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Sample records for cell membranes analytic

  1. Molecular motion in cell membranes: Analytic study of fence-hindered random walks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenkre, V. M.; Giuggioli, L.; Kalay, Z.

    2008-05-01

    A theoretical calculation is presented to describe the confined motion of transmembrane molecules in cell membranes. The study is analytic, based on Master equations for the probability of the molecules moving as random walkers, and leads to explicit usable solutions including expressions for the molecular mean square displacement and effective diffusion constants. One outcome is a detailed understanding of the dependence of the time variation of the mean square displacement on the initial placement of the molecule within the confined region. How to use the calculations is illustrated by extracting (confinement) compartment sizes from experimentally reported published observations from single particle tracking experiments on the diffusion of gold-tagged G -protein coupled μ -opioid receptors in the normal rat kidney cell membrane, and by further comparing the analytical results to observations on the diffusion of phospholipids, also in normal rat kidney cells.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  3. Analytical Investigation and Improvement of Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane (Pem) Fuel Cell in Mobile Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.

    2015-05-01

    In this study, the performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell in mobile applications is investigated analytically. At present the main use and advantages of fuel cells impact particularly strongly on mobile applications such as vehicles, mobile computers and mobile telephones. Some external parameters such as the cell temperature (Tcell ) , operating pressure of gases (P) and air stoichiometry (λair ) affect the performance and voltage losses in the PEM fuel cell. Because of the existence of many theoretical, empirical and semi-empirical models of the PEM fuel cell, it is necessary to compare the accuracy of these models. But theoretical models that are obtained from thermodynamic and electrochemical approach, are very exact but complex, so it would be easier to use the empirical and smi-empirical models in order to forecast the fuel cell system performance in many applications such as mobile applications. The main purpose of this study is to obtain the semi-empirical relation of a PEM fuel cell with the least voltage losses. Also, the results are compared with the existing experimental results in the literature and a good agreement is seen.

  4. Composite fuel cell membranes

    DOEpatents

    Plowman, Keith R.; Rehg, Timothy J.; Davis, Larry W.; Carl, William P.; Cisar, Alan J.; Eastland, Charles S.

    1997-01-01

    A bilayer or trilayer composite ion exchange membrane suitable for use in a fuel cell. The composite membrane has a high equivalent weight thick layer in order to provide sufficient strength and low equivalent weight surface layers for improved electrical performance in a fuel cell. In use, the composite membrane is provided with electrode surface layers. The composite membrane can be composed of a sulfonic fluoropolymer in both core and surface layers.

  5. Composite fuel cell membranes

    DOEpatents

    Plowman, K.R.; Rehg, T.J.; Davis, L.W.; Carl, W.P.; Cisar, A.J.; Eastland, C.S.

    1997-08-05

    A bilayer or trilayer composite ion exchange membrane is described suitable for use in a fuel cell. The composite membrane has a high equivalent weight thick layer in order to provide sufficient strength and low equivalent weight surface layers for improved electrical performance in a fuel cell. In use, the composite membrane is provided with electrode surface layers. The composite membrane can be composed of a sulfonic fluoropolymer in both core and surface layers.

  6. Plant cell membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Packer, L.; Douce, R.

    1987-01-01

    The contents of this book are: Cells, Protoplasts, Vacuoles and Liposomes; Tonoplasts; Nuclei, Endolplasmic Reticulum, and Plasma Membrane; Peroxisomes; Plastids; Teneral Physical and Biochemical Methods; and Mitochondira.

  7. Electroporation of cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Tsong, T Y

    1991-08-01

    Electric pulses of intensity in kilovolts per centimeter and of duration in microseconds to milliseconds cause a temporary loss of the semipermeability of cell membranes, thus leading to ion leakage, escape of metabolites, and increased uptake by cells of drugs, molecular probes, and DNA. A generally accepted term describing this phenomenon is "electroporation." Other effects of a high-intensity electric field on cell membranes include membrane fusions, bleb formation, cell lysis... etc. Electroporation and its related phenomena reflect the basic bioelectrochemistry of cell membranes and are thus important for the study of membrane structure and function. These phenomena also occur in such events as electric injury, electrocution, and cardiac procedures involving electric shocks. Electroporation has found applications in: (a) introduction of plasmids or foreign DNA into living cells for gene transfections, (b) fusion of cells to prepare heterokaryons, hybridoma, hybrid embryos... etc., (c) insertion of proteins into cell membranes, (d) improving drug delivery and hence effectiveness in chemotherapy of cancerous cells, (e) constructing animal model by fusing human cells with animal tissues, (f) activation of membrane transporters and enzymes, and (g) alteration of genetic expression in living cells. A brief review of mechanistic studies of electroporation is given. PMID:1912274

  8. Electroporation of cell membranes.

    PubMed Central

    Tsong, T Y

    1991-01-01

    Electric pulses of intensity in kilovolts per centimeter and of duration in microseconds to milliseconds cause a temporary loss of the semipermeability of cell membranes, thus leading to ion leakage, escape of metabolites, and increased uptake by cells of drugs, molecular probes, and DNA. A generally accepted term describing this phenomenon is "electroporation." Other effects of a high-intensity electric field on cell membranes include membrane fusions, bleb formation, cell lysis... etc. Electroporation and its related phenomena reflect the basic bioelectrochemistry of cell membranes and are thus important for the study of membrane structure and function. These phenomena also occur in such events as electric injury, electrocution, and cardiac procedures involving electric shocks. Electroporation has found applications in: (a) introduction of plasmids or foreign DNA into living cells for gene transfections, (b) fusion of cells to prepare heterokaryons, hybridoma, hybrid embryos... etc., (c) insertion of proteins into cell membranes, (d) improving drug delivery and hence effectiveness in chemotherapy of cancerous cells, (e) constructing animal model by fusing human cells with animal tissues, (f) activation of membrane transporters and enzymes, and (g) alteration of genetic expression in living cells. A brief review of mechanistic studies of electroporation is given. PMID:1912274

  9. Membrane in cancer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Galeotti, T.; Cittadini, A.; Neri, G.; Scarpa, A.

    1988-01-01

    This book contains papers presented at a conference on membranes in cancer cells. Topics covered include Oncogenies, hormones, and free-radical processes in malignant transformation in vitro and Superoxide onion may trigger DNA strand breaks in human granulorytes by acting as a membrane target.

  10. Evaluating focused ion beam and ultramicrotome sample preparation for analytical microscopies of the cathode layer of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de A. Melo, Lis G.; Hitchcock, Adam P.; Berejnov, Viatcheslav; Susac, Darija; Stumper, Juergen; Botton, Gianluigi A.

    2016-04-01

    Optimizing the structure of the porous electrodes of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEM-FC) can improve device power and durability. Analytical microscopy techniques are important tools for measuring the electrode structure, thereby providing guidance for structural optimization. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), with either Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) or Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) analysis, and Scanning Transmission X-Ray Microscopy (STXM) are complementary methods which, together, provide a powerful approach for PEM-FC electrode analysis. Both TEM and STXM require thin (50-200 nm) samples, which can be prepared either by Focused Ion Beam (FIB) milling or by embedding and ultramicrotomy. Here we compare TEM and STXM spectromicroscopy analysis of FIB and ultramicrotomy sample preparations of the same PEM-FC sample, with focus on how sample preparation affects the derived chemical composition and spatial distributions of carbon support and ionomer. The FIB lamella method, while avoiding pore-filling by embedding media, had significant problems. In particular, in the FIB sample the carbon support was extensively amorphized and the ionomer component suffered mass loss and structural damage. Although each sample preparation technique has a role to play in PEM-FC optimization studies, it is important to be aware of the limitations of each method.

  11. Membrane Cells for Brine Electrolysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tingle, M.

    1982-01-01

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

  12. Analytical Applications of Transport Through Bulk Liquid Membranes.

    PubMed

    Diaconu, Ioana; Ruse, Elena; Aboul-Enein, Hassan Y; Bunaciu, Andrei A

    2016-07-01

    This review discusses the results of research in the use of bulk liquid membranes in separation processes and preconcentration for analytical purposes. It includes some theoretical aspects, definitions, types of liquid membranes, and transport mechanism, as well as advantages of using liquid membranes in laboratory studies. These concepts are necessary to understand fundamental principles of liquid membrane transport. Due to the multiple advantages of liquid membranes several studies present analytical applications of the transport through liquid membranes in separation or preconcentration processes of metallic cations and some organic compounds, such as phenol and phenolic derivatives, organic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, and drugs. This review presents coupled techniques such as separation through the liquid membrane coupled with flow injection analysis. PMID:26185963

  13. Diffusing proteins on a fluctuating membrane: Analytical theory and simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reister-Gottfried, Ellen; Leitenberger, Stefan M.; Seifert, Udo

    2010-03-01

    Using analytical calculations and computer simulations, we consider both the lateral diffusion of a membrane protein and the fluctuation spectrum of the membrane in which the protein is embedded. The membrane protein interacts with the membrane shape through its spontaneous curvature and bending rigidity. The lateral motion of the protein may be viewed as diffusion in an effective potential, hence, the effective mobility is always reduced compared to the case of free diffusion. Using a rigorous path-integral approach, we derive an analytical expression for the effective diffusion coefficient for small ratios of temperature and bending rigidity, which is the biologically relevant limit. Simulations show very good quantitative agreement with our analytical result. The analysis of the correlation functions contributing to the diffusion coefficient shows that the correlations between the stochastic force of the protein and the response in the membrane shape are responsible for the reduction. Our quantitative analysis of the membrane height correlation spectrum shows an influence of the protein-membrane interaction causing a distinctly altered wave-vector dependence compared to a free membrane. Furthermore, the time correlations exhibit the two relevant time scales of the system: that of membrane fluctuations and that of lateral protein diffusion with the latter typically much longer than the former. We argue that the analysis of the long-time decay of membrane height correlations can thus provide a new means to determine the effective diffusion coefficient of proteins in the membrane.

  14. Fuel cell membrane humidification

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1999-01-01

    A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell assembly has an anode side and a cathode side separated by the membrane and generating electrical current by electrochemical reactions between a fuel gas and an oxidant. The anode side comprises a hydrophobic gas diffusion backing contacting one side of the membrane and having hydrophilic areas therein for providing liquid water directly to the one side of the membrane through the hydrophilic areas of the gas diffusion backing. In a preferred embodiment, the hydrophilic areas of the gas diffusion backing are formed by sewing a hydrophilic thread through the backing. Liquid water is distributed over the gas diffusion backing in distribution channels that are separate from the fuel distribution channels.

  15. Analytical characterization of beet root vacuole membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Marty, F.; Branton, D.

    1980-10-01

    Vacuoles from beet root (Beta vulgaris L. var. esculenta Gurke) isolated by a mechanical procedure were osmotically lysed to separate the membrane and sap components for analysis. Approximately 62% of the vacuole proteins, 70% of the nondialyzable carbohydrates and almost all of the phospholipids and sterols were recovered in the membrane fraction. The vacuole membrane had a phospholipid:protein ratio of 0.68 and a sterol:phospholipid ratio of 0.21. Seventeen complex polar lipids including phosphatides ad glycolipids have been tentatively identified. Phosphatidylcholine (54%) and phosphatidylethanolamine (24%) were the most prominant phosphoglycerides besides phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidic acid (1, 4, 5, and 12%, respectively. A putative sulfoglycoside and two major ceramide glycoside-like lipids, resembling those of animal lysosomes, were identified by thin-layer chromatography. High-resolution SDS-acrylamide gel electrophoresis of the polypeptides from the vacuole revealed 15 major bands with apparent molecular weights ranging from 91,000 to 12,000. Selective elution experiments delineated those polypeptides that were peripheral membrane proteins or sap proteins adsorbed to the membrane, and those that exhibited hydrophobic interaction with the lipid core. Lectin labeling results indicated that most of the polypeptides from the membrane and from the sap were glycoproteins probably of the high-mannose type characteristic of lysosomal enzymes that have undergone several stages of posttranslational modification.

  16. The First Cell Membranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deamer, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Sandford, Scott A.; Bernstein, Max P.; Allamandola, Louis J.

    2004-01-01

    Organic compounds are synthesized in the interstellar medium and can be delivered to planetary surfaces such as the early Earth, where they mix with endogenous organic mixtures. Some of these compounds are amphiphilic, having polar and non-polar groups on the same molecule. Amphiphilic compounds spontaneously self-assembly into more complex structures such as bimolecular layers, which in turn form closed membranous vesicles. The first forms of cellular life required self-assembled membranes that were likely to be available on the prebiotic Earth. Laboratory simulations show that such vesicles readily encapsulate functional macromolecules, including nucleic acids and polymerases. A goal of future investigations is to fabricate artificial cells as models of the origin of life.

  17. Cell Membrane Softening in Cancer Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Sebastian; Händel, Chris; Käs, Josef

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

  18. Fuel cell with ionization membrane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartley, Frank T. (Inventor)

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Analytical pyrolysis of cells and cell fragments

    SciTech Connect

    Faix, O.; Bertelt, E.

    1995-12-01

    Wood of spruce, beech and birch was disintegrated without chemical pretreatment after 10 minutes of steaming at 110{degrees}C in a laboratory defibrator. Fibers, vessels, and fragments of secondary wall were separated by wet screening. A hydrocylon was used for separation of middle lamellae. By using analytical pyrolysis-GC/MS, parenchymatic cells were found to be richer in lignin than the other cells. The lignin content of middle lamellae was 35% (beech, spruce) and 39% (birch). In agreement with the literature, the S/G ratios of the vessels and middle lamellae was lower than those of the other cells and cell fragments.

  20. The Molecules of the Cell Membrane.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bretscher, Mark S.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  2. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    SciTech Connect

    Grot, Stephen

    2013-09-30

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

  3. Cell membranes: A subjective perspective.

    PubMed

    Simons, Kai

    2016-10-01

    Cell membranes have developed a tremendous complexity of lipids and proteins geared to perform the functions cells require. The lipids have for long remained in the background and are now regaining their role as important building blocks of cells. Their main function is to form the matrix of our cell membranes where they support a variety of functions essential for life. This 2-dimensional fluid matrix has evolved unexpected material properties that involve both lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interactions. This perspective is a short summary of the challenges that this field faces and discusses potential ways and means for coming to grips with the properties of this incredible fluid. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biosimulations edited by Ilpo Vattulainen and Tomasz Róg. PMID:26827711

  4. Dynamics of cell membrane permeability changes at supraphysiological temperatures.

    PubMed Central

    Bischof, J C; Padanilam, J; Holmes, W H; Ezzell, R M; Lee, R C; Tompkins, R G; Yarmush, M L; Toner, M

    1995-01-01

    A quantitative fluorescent microscopy system was developed to characterize, in real time, the effects of supraphysiological temperatures between 37 degrees and 70 degrees C on the plasma membrane of mouse 3T3 fibroblasts and isolated rat skeletal muscle cells. Membrane permeability was assessed by monitoring the leakage as a function of time of the fluorescent membrane integrity probe calcein. The kinetics of dye leakage increased with increasing temperature in both the 3T3 fibroblasts and the skeletal muscle cells. Analytical solutions derived from a two-compartment transport model showed that, for both cell types, a time-dependent permeability assumption provided a statistically better fit of the model predictions to the data than a constant permeability assumption. This finding suggests that the plasma membrane integrity is continuously being compromised while cells are subjected to supraphysiological temperatures. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 PMID:7647264

  5. Lateral organization of membranes and cell shapes.

    PubMed Central

    Markin, V S

    1981-01-01

    The relations among membrane structure, mechanical properties, and cell shape have been investigated. The fluid mosaic membrane models used contains several components that move freely in the membrane plane. These components interact with each other and determine properties of the membrane such as curvature and elasticity. A free energy equation is postulated for such a multicomponent membrane and the condition of free energy minimum is used to obtain differential equations relating the distribution of membrane components and the local membrane curvature. The force that moves membrane components along the membrane in a variable curvature field is calculated. A change in the intramembrane interactions can bring about phase separation or particle clustering. This, in turn, may strongly affect the local curvature. The numerical solution of the set of equations for the two dimensional case allows determination of the cell shape and the component distribution along the membrane. The model has been applied to describe certain erythrocytes shape transformations. PMID:7284547

  6. Transport phenomena in membranes for PEMFC applications: an analytical approach to the calculation of membrane resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Francesco, M.; Arato, E.; Costa, P.

    The transport phenomena of mass and electrical charges play an important role in the proton exchange membrane utilised in fuel cell applications. The calculation of the membrane ion and water transfer is usually determined in two ways: one is a semi-empirical mode that can be experimentally set for any application and cannot be used in the prediction of the characteristics of new cells, and the other is a very complex mathematical approach that needs very long calculation times. In fact, the membrane mass transfer model can cause problems in the management of PEM stack models, by increasing calculation times and, above all, convergence problems. This work attempts to overcome this bottleneck using a novel approach. The validation of the new approach has been made by applying the model results to a PEM fuel cell model and by comparing the overall results to those in the literature. The resulting calculation time warranted the application of this model to a very complex stack simulation, resulting in good fit and reasonable computing times.

  7. Fuel-Cell Structure Prevents Membrane Drying

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcelroy, J.

    1986-01-01

    Embossed plates direct flows of reactants and coolant. Membrane-type fuel-cell battery has improved reactant flow and heat removal. Compact, lightweight battery produces high current and power without drying of membranes.

  8. Actinide transport across cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Bulman, R A; Griffin, R J

    1980-01-01

    Protactinium uptake into the normal liver does not exceed 3%, but when the phospholipid levels in the liver are elevated by administration of thioacetamide this uptake increases to 31%. Phosphatidic acid, which is absent from the normal liver, has been shown to extract protactinium into organic solvents. However, phosphatidylserine, a component of normal liver cell membranes, does not extract protactinium. It might be conjectured that this is why so little protactinium is taken up by the normal liver. The hypothesis is advanced that phosphatidylserine, which is known to complex plutonium, americium and curium, may regulate the uptake of these elements by liver. PMID:7373293

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choe, Yoong-Kee; Henson, Neil J.; Kim, Yu Seung

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Choe, Yoong-Kee; Henson, Neil J.; Kim, Yu Seung

    2015-12-31

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

  11. In-membrane micro fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Omosebi, Ayokunle; Besser, Ronald

    2016-09-06

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

  12. Red blood cell membrane defects.

    PubMed

    Iolascon, Achille; Perrotta, Silverio; Stewart, Gordon W

    2003-03-01

    We present an overview of the currently known molecular basis of red cell membrane disorders. A detailed discussion of the structure of the red cell membrane and the pathophysiology and clinical aspects of its disorders is reported. Generally speaking, hereditary spherocytosis (HS) results from a loss of erythrocyte surface area. The mutations of most cases of HS are located in the following genes: ANK1, SPTB, SLC4A1, EPB42 and SPTA1, which encode for ankyrin, spectrin beta-chain, the anion exchanger 1 (band 3), protein 4.2 and spectrin alpha-chain, respectively. Hereditary elliptocytosis (HE) reflects a diminished elasticity of the skeleton. Its aggravated form, hereditary pyropoikilocytosis (HPP), implies that the skeleton undergoes further destabilization. The mutations responsible for HE and HPP, lie in the SPTA1 and SPTB gene, and in the EPB41 gene encoding protein 4.1. Allele alpha LELY is a common polymorphic allele, which plays the role of an aggravating factor when it occurs in trans of an elliptocytogenic allele of the SPTA1 gene. Southeast Asian ovalocytosis derives from a change in band 3. The genetic disorders of membrane permeability to monovalent cations required a positional cloning approach. In this respect, channelopathies represent a new frontier in the field. Dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis (DHS) was shown to belong to a pleiotropic syndrome: DHS + fetal edema + pseudohyperkalemia, which maps 16q23-24. Splenectomy is strictly contraindicated in DHS and another disease of the same class, overhydrated hereditary stomatocytosis, because it increases the risk of thromboembolic accidents. PMID:14692233

  13. Optically absorbing nanoparticle mediated cell membrane permeabilization.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Kiran; Mehta, Smit; Viator, John

    2012-11-01

    Membrane permeabilization is imperative for gene and drug delivery systems, along with other cell manipulation methods, since the average eukaryotic cell membrane is not permeable to polar and large nonpolar molecules. Antibody conjugated optically absorbing gold nanospheres are targeted to the cell membrane of T47D breast cancer cell line and irradiated with 5 ns pulse, 20 Hz, 532 nm light to increase membrane permeability. Up to 90% permeabilization with less than 6% death is reported at radiant exposures up to 10 times lower than those of other comparable studies. PMID:23114334

  14. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  16. Fuel cell ion-exchange membrane investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toy, M. S.

    1972-01-01

    The present deficiencies in the fluorocarbon sulfonic acid membrane used as the solid polymer electrolyte in the H2/O2 fuel cell are studied. Considered are: Adhesives selection, elastomeric formulations, scavenger exploration, and membrane characterization. The significant data are interpreted and recommendations are given for both short and long range further investigations in two of the four major areas: membrane adhesives and membrane stabilization.

  17. Advanced composite polymer electrolyte fuel cell membranes

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

  18. Fuel cell and membrane therefore

    DOEpatents

    Aindow, Tai-Tsui

    2016-08-09

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  20. Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Devanathan, Ramaswami

    2010-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane, also known as polymer electrolyte membrane, fuel cells (PEMFCs) offer the promise of efficient conversion of chemical energy of fuel, such as hydrogen or methanol, into electricity with minimal pollution. Their widespread use to power zero-emission automobiles as part of a hydrogen economy can contribute to enhanced energy security and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, the commercial viability of PEMFC technology is hindered by high cost associated with the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and poor membrane durability under prolonged operation at elevated temperature. Membranes for automotive fuel cell applications need to perform well over a period comparable to the life of an automotive engine and under heavy load cycling including start-stop cycling under sub-freezing conditions. The combination of elevated temperature, changes in humidity levels, physical stresses and harsh chemical environment contribute to membrane degradation. Perfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA)-based membranes, such as Nafion®, have been the mainstay of PEMFC technology. Their limitations, in terms of cost and poor conductivity at low hydration, have led to continuing research into membranes that have good proton conductivity at elevated temperatures above 120 °C and under low humidity conditions. Such membranes have the potential to avoid catalyst poisoning, simplify fuel cell design and reduce the cost of fuel cells. Hydrocarbon-based membranes are being developed as alternatives to PFSA membranes, but concerns about chemical and mechanical stability and durability remain. Novel anhydrous membranes based on polymer gels infused with protic ionic liquids have also been recently proposed, but considerable fundamental research is needed to understand proton transport in novel membranes and evaluate durability under fuel cell operating conditions. In order to advance this promising technology, it is essential to rationally design the next generation

  1. Detecting Secreted Analytes from Immune Cells: An Overview of Technologies.

    PubMed

    Pike, Kelly A; Hui, Caitlyn; Krawczyk, Connie M

    2016-01-01

    The tumor microenvironment is largely shaped by secreted factors and infiltrating immune cells and the nature of this environment can profoundly influence tumor growth and progression. As such, there is an increasing need to identify and quantify secreted factors by tumor cells, tumor-associated cells, and infiltrating immune cells. To meet this need, the dynamic range of immunoassays such as ELISAs and ELISpots have been improved and the scope of reagents commercially available has been expanded. In addition, new bead-based and membrane-based screening arrays have been developed to allow for the simultaneous detection of multiple analytes in one sample. Similarly, the optimization of intracellular staining for flow cytometry now allows for the quantitation of multiple cytokines from either a purified cell population or a complex mixed cell suspension. Herein, we review the rapidly evolving technologies that are currently available to detect secreted analytes. Emphasis is placed on discussing the advantages and disadvantages of these assays and their applications. PMID:27581018

  2. Functional dynamics of cell surface membrane proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  3. Glycomics and glycoproteomics of membrane proteins and cell-surface receptors: Present trends and future opportunities.

    PubMed

    Chandler, Kevin Brown; Costello, Catherine E

    2016-06-01

    Membrane proteins mediate cell-cell interactions and adhesion, the transfer of ions and metabolites, and the transmission of signals from the extracellular environment to the cell interior. The extracellular domains of most cell membrane proteins are glycosylated, often at multiple sites. There is a growing awareness that glycosylation impacts the structure, interaction, and function of membrane proteins. The application of glycoproteomics and glycomics methods to membrane proteins has great potential. However, challenges also arise from the unique physical properties of membrane proteins. Successful analytical workflows must be developed and disseminated to advance functional glycoproteomics and glycomics studies of membrane proteins. This review explores the opportunities and challenges related to glycomic and glycoproteomic analysis of membrane proteins, including discussion of sample preparation, enrichment, and MS/MS analyses, with a focus on recent successful workflows for analysis of N- and O-linked glycosylation of mammalian membrane proteins. PMID:26872045

  4. Cell membrane array fabrication and assay technology

    PubMed Central

    Yamazaki, Victoria; Sirenko, Oksana; Schafer, Robert J; Nguyen, Luat; Gutsmann, Thomas; Brade, Lore; Groves, Jay T

    2005-01-01

    Background Microarray technology has been used extensively over the past 10 years for assessing gene expression, and has facilitated precise genetic profiling of everything from tumors to small molecule drugs. By contrast, arraying cell membranes in a manner which preserves their ability to mediate biochemical processes has been considerably more difficult. Results In this article, we describe a novel technology for generating cell membrane microarrays for performing high throughput biology. Our robotically-arrayed supported membranes are physiologically fluid, a critical property which differentiates this technology from other previous membrane systems and makes it useful for studying cellular processes on an industrialized scale. Membrane array elements consist of a solid substrate, above which resides a fluid supported lipid bilayer containing biologically-active molecules of interest. Incorporation of transmembrane proteins into the arrayed membranes enables the study of ligand/receptor binding, as well as interactions with live intact cells. The fluidity of these molecules in the planar lipid bilayer facilitates dimerization and other higher order interactions necessary for biological signaling events. In order to demonstrate the utility of our fluid membrane array technology to ligand/receptor studies, we investigated the multivalent binding of the cholera toxin B-subunit (CTB) to the membrane ganglioside GM1. We have also displayed a number of bona fide drug targets, including bacterial endotoxin (also referred to as lipopolysaccharide (LPS)) and membrane proteins important in T cell activation. Conclusion We have demonstrated the applicability of our fluid cell membrane array technology to both academic research applications and industrial drug discovery. Our technology facilitates the study of ligand/receptor interactions and cell-cell signaling, providing rich qualitative and quantitative information. PMID:15960850

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

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Patrick G.

    2008-01-01

    As a result of natural selection driven by severe forms of malaria, 1 in 6 humans in the world, more than 1 billion people, are affected by red cell abnormalities, making them the most common of the inherited disorders. The non-nucleated red cell is unique among human cell type in that the plasma membrane, its only structural component, accounts for all of its diverse antigenic, transport, and mechanical characteristics. Our current concept of the red cell membrane envisions it as a composite structure in which a membrane envelope composed of cholesterol and phospholipids is secured to an elastic network of skeletal proteins via transmembrane proteins. Structural and functional characterization of the many constituents of the red cell membrane, in conjunction with biophysical and physiologic studies, has led to detailed description of the way in which the remarkable mechanical properties and other important characteristics of the red cells arise, and of the manner in which they fail in disease states. Current studies in this very active and exciting field are continuing to produce new and unexpected revelations on the function of the red cell membrane and thus of the cell in health and disease, and shed new light on membrane function in other diverse cell types. PMID:18988878

  6. Analytical strategies for studying stem cell metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, James M.; Choi, William T.; Sreekumar, Arun

    2015-01-01

    Owing to their capacity for self-renewal and pluripotency, stem cells possess untold potential for revolutionizing the field of regenerative medicine through the development of novel therapeutic strategies for treating cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Central to developing these strategies is improving our understanding of biological mechanisms responsible for governing stem cell fate and self-renewal. Increasing attention is being given to the significance of metabolism, through the production of energy and generation of small molecules, as a critical regulator of stem cell functioning. Rapid advances in the field of metabolomics now allow for in-depth profiling of stem cells both in vitro and in vivo, providing a systems perspective on key metabolic and molecular pathways which influence stem cell biology. Understanding the analytical platforms and techniques that are currently used to study stem cell metabolomics, as well as how new insights can be derived from this knowledge, will accelerate new research in the field and improve future efforts to expand our understanding of the interplay between metabolism and stem cell biology. PMID:26213533

  7. Nuclear myosin I regulates cell membrane tension.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Nuclear myosin I regulates cell membrane tension

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Proton conducting membrane for fuel cells

    DOEpatents

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

    2007-03-27

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

  10. Proton conducting membrane for fuel cells

    DOEpatents

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

    2005-12-20

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

  11. Membrane Elastic Properties and Cell Function

    PubMed Central

    Pontes, Bruno; Ayala, Yareni; Fonseca, Anna Carolina C.; Romão, Luciana F.; Amaral, Racκele F.; Salgado, Leonardo T.; Lima, Flavia R.; Farina, Marcos; Viana, Nathan B.; Moura-Neto, Vivaldo; Nussenzveig, H. Moysés

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that the cell membrane, interacting with its attached cytoskeleton, is an important regulator of cell function, exerting and responding to forces. We investigate this relationship by looking for connections between cell membrane elastic properties, especially surface tension and bending modulus, and cell function. Those properties are measured by pulling tethers from the cell membrane with optical tweezers. Their values are determined for all major cell types of the central nervous system, as well as for macrophage. Astrocytes and glioblastoma cells, which are considerably more dynamic than neurons, have substantially larger surface tensions. Resting microglia, which continually scan their environment through motility and protrusions, have the highest elastic constants, with values similar to those for resting macrophage. For both microglia and macrophage, we find a sharp softening of bending modulus between their resting and activated forms, which is very advantageous for their acquisition of phagocytic functions upon activation. We also determine the elastic constants of pure cell membrane, with no attached cytoskeleton. For all cell types, the presence of F-actin within tethers, contrary to conventional wisdom, is confirmed. Our findings suggest the existence of a close connection between membrane elastic constants and cell function. PMID:23844071

  12. Detection of Molecular Charges at Cell Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakata, Toshiya; Miyahara, Yuji

    2008-01-01

    Molecular charges at the cell membrane have been successfully detected using cell-based field-effect devices. Mouse fibroblast cells were adhered to the Si3N4 gate surface of the field-effect devices. The negative charges of sialic acid at the surface of the cell membrane could be detected as a shift of the flatband voltage of the field-effect devices. Quantitative analysis of molecular charges at the cell membrane could be demonstrated in relation to the number of adhered cells on the Si3N4 gate surface. The platform based on the field-effect devices is suitable for a simple, accurate and non-invasive system for cell functional analysis.

  13. Alternate Fuel Cell Membranes for Energy Independence

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-18

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

  14. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Yu Seung; Pivovar, Bryan S.

    2012-07-24

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

  15. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Yu Seung; Pivovar, Bryan S

    2014-02-25

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

  16. A novel bioactive membrane by cell electrospinning.

    PubMed

    Chen, Haiping; Liu, Yuanyuan; Hu, Qingxi

    2015-11-01

    Electrospinning permits fabrication of biodegradable matrices that can resemble the both scale and mechanical behavior of the native extracellular matrix. However, achieving high-cellular density and infiltration of cells within matrices with traditional technique remain challenging and time consuming. The cell electrospinning technique presented in this paper can mitigate the problems associated with these limitations. Cells encapsulated by the material in the cell electrospinning technique survived well and distributed homogenously within the nanofibrous membrane, and their vitality was improved to 133% after being cultured for 28 days. The electrospun nanofibrous membrane has a certain degradation property and favorable cell-membrane interaction that supports the active biocompatibility of the membrane. Its properties are helpful for supporting cell attachment and growth, maintaining phenotypic shape, and secreting an ample amount of extracellular matrix (ECM). This novel membrane may be a potential application within the field of tissue engineering. The ability of cell electrospinning to microintegrate cells into a biodegradable fibrous matrix embodies a novel tissue engineering approach that could be applied to fabricate a high cell density elastic tissue mimetic. PMID:26297530

  17. Durability of PEM Fuel Cell Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Xinyu; Reifsnider, Ken

    Durability is still a critical limiting factor for the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, a leading energy conversion technology for powering future hydrogen fueled automobiles, backup power systems (e.g., for base transceiver station of cellular networks), portable electronic devices, etc. Ionic conducting polymer (ionomer) electrolyte membranes are the critical enabling materials for the PEM fuel cells. They are also widely used as the central functional elements in hydrogen generation (e.g., electrolyzers), membrane cell for chlor-alkali production, etc. A perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer with the trade name Nafion® developed by DuPont™ is the most widely used PEM in chlor-alkali cells and PEM fuel cells. Similar PFSA membranes have been developed by Dow Chemical, Asahi Glass, and lately Solvay Solexis. Frequently, such membranes serve the dual function of reactant separation and selective ionic conduction between two otherwise separate compartments. For some applications, the compromise of the "separation" function via the degradation and mechanical failure of the electrolyte membrane can be the life-limiting factor; this is particularly the case for PEM in hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells.

  18. Photothermal nanoblade for patterned cell membrane cutting.

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-25

    We report a photothermal nanoblade that utilizes a metallic nanostructure to harvest short laser pulse energy and convert it into a highly localized and specifically shaped explosive vapor bubble. Rapid bubble expansion and collapse punctures a lightly-contacting cell membrane via high-speed fluidic flows and induced transient shear stress. The membrane cutting pattern is controlled by the metallic nanostructure configuration, laser pulse polarization, and energy. Highly controllable, sub-micron sized circular hole pairs to half moon-like, or cat-door shaped, membrane cuts were realized in glutaraldehyde treated HeLa cells. PMID:21164656

  19. Vesicle trafficking and cell surface membrane patchiness.

    PubMed

    Tang, Q; Edidin, M

    2001-07-01

    Membrane proteins and lipids often appear to be distributed in patches on the cell surface. These patches are often assumed to be membrane domains, arising from specific molecular associations. However, a computer simulation (Gheber and Edidin, 1999) shows that membrane patchiness may result from a combination of vesicle trafficking and dynamic barriers to lateral mobility. The simulation predicts that the steady-state patches of proteins and lipids seen on the cell surface will decay if vesicle trafficking is inhibited. To test this prediction, we compared the apparent sizes and intensities of patches of class I HLA molecules, integral membrane proteins, before and after inhibiting endocytic vesicle traffic from the cell surface, either by incubation in hypertonic medium or by expression of a dominant-negative mutant dynamin. As predicted by the simulation, the apparent sizes of HLA patches increased, whereas their intensities decreased after endocytosis and vesicle trafficking were inhibited. PMID:11423406

  20. Long-lived anomalous thermal diffusion induced by elastic cell membranes on nearby particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daddi-Moussa-Ider, Abdallah; Guckenberger, Achim; Gekle, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    The physical approach of a small particle (virus, medical drug) to the cell membrane represents the crucial first step before active internalization and is governed by thermal diffusion. Using a fully analytical theory we show that the stretching and bending of the elastic membrane by the approaching particle induces a memory in the system, which leads to anomalous diffusion, even though the particle is immersed in a purely Newtonian liquid. For typical cell membranes the transient subdiffusive regime extends beyond 10 ms and can enhance residence times and possibly binding rates up to 50%. Our analytical predictions are validated by numerical simulations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  2. Fixed charge in the cell membrane

    PubMed Central

    Elul, R.

    1967-01-01

    1. Focal electric field was generated by passing a current of 5 × 10-7 to 1 × 10-5 A from a micropipette into the culture medium. Movement of cells at a distance of 5-50 μ from the electrode tip was observed. In case of cells embedded in the culture only local deformation of the membrane was observed. 2. The cell species explored included neurones, glia, muscle fibres, connective cells, malignant cells and erythrocytes. All cells responded in a similar manner to the electric field, and the current required was in the same range. 3. Cells were attracted to a positive micropipette and repelled from a negative one: the only exception was observed in certain malignant cells which moved in the opposite direction. 4. Movement and membrane deformation could be obtained with electrodes filled with various concentrated and isotonic solutions. The composition of the culture medium also had no qualitative influence on these effects. 5. Metabolic poisons or rupture of the cell membrane had no effect on the movement. Isolated membrane fragments showed movement similar to that of intact cells. 6. The possibility of artifacts due to proximity of the focal electrode is considered. It is shown that electro-osmosis cannot account for the present observations. Some other artifacts are also excluded. 7. It is proposed that the most satisfactory way to account for the present observations is by a membrane carrying negative fixed charge of the order of 2·5 × 103 e.s.u./cm2. Some physiological consequences of presence of negative charge in the membrane are briefly discussed. ImagesFig. 1Fig. 2Fig. 3 PMID:6040152

  3. Fuel cell subassemblies incorporating subgasketed thrifted membranes

    DOEpatents

    Iverson, Eric J.; Pierpont, Daniel M.; Yandrasits, Michael A.; Hamrock, Steven J.; Obradovich, Stephan J.; Peterson, Donald G.

    2013-03-01

    A fuel cell roll good subassembly is described that includes a plurality of individual electrolyte membranes. One or more first subgaskets are attached to the individual electrolyte membranes. Each of the first subgaskets has at least one aperture and the first subgaskets are arranged so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the first subgaskets. A second subgasket comprises a web having a plurality of apertures. The second subgasket web is attached to the one or more first subgaskets so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the second subgasket web. The second subgasket web may have little or no adhesive on the subgasket surface facing the electrolyte membrane.

  4. Fuel cell subassemblies incorporating subgasketed thrifted membranes

    DOEpatents

    Iverson, Eric J; Pierpont, Daniel M; Yandrasits, Michael A; Hamrock, Steven J; Obradovich, Stephan J; Peterson, Donald G

    2014-01-28

    A fuel cell roll good subassembly is described that includes a plurality of individual electrolyte membranes. One or more first subgaskets are attached to the individual electrolyte membranes. Each of the first subgaskets has at least one aperture and the first subgaskets are arranged so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the first subgaskets. A second subgasket comprises a web having a plurality of apertures. The second subgasket web is attached to the one or more first subgaskets so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the second subgasket web. The second subgasket web may have little or no adhesive on the subgasket surface facing the electrolyte membrane.

  5. Engineering supported membranes for cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Cheng-han

    2010-01-01

    Cell membranes exhibit multiple layers of complexity, ranging from their specific molecular content to their emergent mechanical properties and dynamic spatial organization. Both compositional and geometrical organizations of membrane components are known to play important roles in life processes, including signal transduction. Supported membranes, comprised of a bilayer assembly of phospholipids on the solid substrate, have been productively served as model systems to study wide range problems in cell biology. Because lateral mobility of membrane components is readily preserved, supported lipid membranes with signaling molecules can be utilized to effectively trigger various intercellular reactions. The spatial organization and mechanical deformation of supported membranes can also be manipulated by patterning underlying substrates with modern micro- and nano-fabrication techniques. This article focuses on various applications and methods to spatially patterned biomembranes by means of curvature modulations and spatial reorganizations, and utilizing them to interface with live cells. The integration of biological components into synthetic devices provides a unique approach to investigate molecular mechanisms in cell biology. PMID:20559751

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  7. Basement Membranes: Cell Scaffoldings and Signaling Platforms

    PubMed Central

    Yurchenco, Peter D.

    2011-01-01

    Basement membranes are widely distributed extracellular matrices that coat the basal aspect of epithelial and endothelial cells and surround muscle, fat, and Schwann cells. These extracellular matrices, first expressed in early embryogenesis, are self-assembled on competent cell surfaces through binding interactions among laminins, type IV collagens, nidogens, and proteoglycans. They form stabilizing extensions of the plasma membrane that provide cell adhesion and that act as solid-phase agonists. Basement membranes play a role in tissue and organ morphogenesis and help maintain function in the adult. Mutations adversely affecting expression of the different structural components are associated with developmental arrest at different stages as well as postnatal diseases of muscle, nerve, brain, eye, skin, vasculature, and kidney. PMID:21421915

  8. Blend Concepts for Fuel Cell Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerres, Jochen

    Differently cross-linked blend membranes were prepared from commercial arylene main-chain polymers from the classes of poly(ether-ketones) and poly(ethersulfones) modified with sulfonate groups, sulfinate cross-linking groups and basic N-groups. The following membrane types have been prepared: (a) van-der Waals/dipole-dipole blends by mixing a polysulfonate with unmodified PSU. This membrane type showed a heterogeneous morphology, leading to extreme swelling and even dissolution of the sulfonated component at elevated temperatures. (b) Hydrogen bridge blends by mixing a polysulfonate with a polyamide or polyetherimide. This membrane type showed a partially heterogeneous morphology, also leading to extreme swelling/dissolution of the sulfonated blend component at elevated temperatures. (c) Acid-base blends by mixing a polysulfonate with a polymeric N-base (self-developed/commercial). With this membrane type, we could reach a wide variability of properties by variation of different parameters. Membranes showing excellent stability and good fuel cell performance up to 100°C (PEFC) and 130°C (DMFC) were obtained. (d) Covalently cross-linked (blend) membranes by either mixing of a polysulfonate with a polysulfinate or by preparation of a polysulfinatesulfonate, followed by reaction of the sulfinate groups in solution with a dihalogeno compound under S-alkylation. Membranes were prepared that showed effective suppression of swelling without H+-conductivity loss. The membranes showed good PEFC (up to 100°C) and DMFC (up to 130°C) performance. (e) Covalent-ionically cross-linked blend membranes by mixing polysulfonates with polysulfinates and polybases or by mixing a polysulfonate with a polymer carrying both sulfinate and basic N-groups. The covalent-ionically cross-linked membranes were tested in DMFC up to 110°C and showed a good performance. (f) Differently cross-linked organic-inorganic blend composite membranes via different procedures. The best results were

  9. Cell or Cell Membrane-Based Drug Delivery Systems

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Influence of increased membrane cholesterol on membrane fluidity and cell function in human red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Cooper, R A

    1978-01-01

    Cholesterol and phospholipid are the two major lipids of the red cell membrane. Cholesterol is insoluble in water but is solubilized by phospholipids both in membranes and in plasma lipoproteins. Morever, cholesterol exchanges between membranes and lipoproteins. An equilibrium partition is established based on the amount of cholesterol relative to phospholipid (C/PL) in these two compartments. Increases in the C/PL of red cell membranes have been studied under three conditions: First, spontaneous increases in vivo have been observed in the spur red cells of patients with severe liver disease; second, similar red cell changes in vivo have been induced by the administration of cholesterol-enriched diets to rodents and dogs; third, increases in membrane cholesterol have been induced in vitro by enriching the C/PL of the lipoprotein environment with cholesterol-phospholipid dispersions (liposomes) having a C/PL of greater than 1.0. In each case, there is a close relationship between the C/PL of the plasma environment and the C/PL of the red cell membrane. In vivo, the C/PL mole ratio of red cell membranes ranges from a normal value of 0.09--1.0 to values which approach but do not reach 2.0. In vitro, this ratio approaches 3.0. Cholesterol enrichment of red cell membranes directly influences membrane lipid fluidity, as assessed by the rotational diffusion of hydrophobic fluorescent probes such as diphenyl hexatriene (DPH). A close correlation exists between increases in red cell membrane C/PL and decreases in membrane fluidity over the range of membrane C/PL from 1.0 to 2.0; however, little further change in fluidity occurs when membrane C/PL is increased to 2.0--3.0. Cholesterol enrichment of red cell membranes is associated with the transformation of cell contour to one which is redundant and folded, and this is associated with a decrease in red cell filterability in vitro. Circulation in vivo in the presence of the spleen further modifies cell shape to a spiny

  11. Hypercompliant Apical Membranes of Bladder Umbrella Cells

    PubMed Central

    Mathai, John C.; Zhou, Enhua H.; Yu, Weiqun; Kim, Jae Hun; Zhou, Ge; Liao, Yi; Sun, Tung-Tien; Fredberg, Jeffrey J.; Zeidel, Mark L.

    2014-01-01

    Urinary bladder undergoes dramatic volume changes during filling and voiding cycles. In the bladder the luminal surface of terminally differentiated urothelial umbrella cells is almost completely covered by plaques. These plaques (500 to 1000 nm) are made of a family of proteins called uroplakins that are known to form a tight barrier to prevent leakage of water and solutes. Electron micrographs from previous studies show these plaques to be interconnected by hinge regions to form structures that appear rigid, but these same structures must accommodate large changes in cell shape during voiding and filling cycles. To resolve this paradox, we measured the stiffness of the intact, living urothelial apical membrane and found it to be highly deformable, even more so than the red blood cell membrane. The intermediate cells underlying the umbrella cells do not have uroplakins but their membranes are an order of magnitude stiffer. Using uroplakin knockout mouse models we show that cell compliance is conferred by uroplakins. This hypercompliance may be essential for the maintenance of barrier function under dramatic cell deformation during filling and voiding of the bladder. PMID:25229135

  12. Membrane electrode assembly for a fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Cell cycle regulation of Golgi membrane dynamics.

    PubMed

    Tang, Danming; Wang, Yanzhuang

    2013-06-01

    The Golgi apparatus is a membranous organelle in the cell that plays essential roles in protein and lipid trafficking, sorting, processing, and modification. Its basic structure is a stack of closely aligned flattened cisternae. In mammalian cells, dozens of Golgi stacks are often laterally linked into a ribbon-like structure. Biogenesis of the Golgi during cell division occurs through a sophisticated disassembly and reassembly process that can be divided into three distinct but cooperative steps, including the deformation and reformation of the Golgi cisternae, stacks, and ribbon. Here, we review our current understanding of the protein machineries that control these three steps in the cycle of mammalian cell division: GRASP65 and GRASP55 in Golgi stack and ribbon formation; ubiquitin and AAA ATPases in postmitotic Golgi membrane fusion; and golgins and cytoskeleton in Golgi ribbon formation. PMID:23453991

  14. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Collective charge excitations along cell membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manousakis, E.

    2005-07-01

    A significant part of the thin layers of counter-ions adjacent to the exterior and interior surfaces of a cell membrane form quasi-two-dimensional (2D) layers of mobile charge. Collective charge density oscillations, known as plasmon modes, in these 2D charged systems of counter-ions are predicted in the present paper. This is based on a calculation of the self-consistent response of this system to a fast electric field fluctuation. The possibility that the membrane channels might be using these excitations to carry out fast communication is suggested and experiments are proposed to reveal the existence of such excitations.

  16. Analytical characterization of plasma membrane-derived vesicles produced via osmotic and chemical vesiculation.

    PubMed

    Sarabipour, Sarvenaz; Chan, Robin B; Zhou, Bowen; Di Paolo, Gilbert; Hristova, Kalina

    2015-07-01

    Plasma membrane-derived vesicles are being used in biophysical and biochemical research as a simple, yet native-like model of the cellular membrane. Here we report on the characterization of vesicles produced via two different vesiculation methods from CHO and A431 cell lines. The first method is a recently developed method which utilizes chloride salts to induce osmotic vesiculation. The second is a well established chemical vesiculation method which uses DTT and formaldehyde. We show that both vesiculation methods produce vesicles which contain the lipid species previously reported in the plasma membrane of these cell lines. The two methods lead to small but statistically significant differences in two lipid species only; phosphatidylcholine (PC) and plasmalogen phosphatidylethanolamine (PEp). However, highly significant differences were observed in the degree of incorporation of a membrane receptor and in the degree of retention of soluble cytosolic proteins within the vesicles. PMID:25896659

  17. Aging of cell membranes: facts and theories.

    PubMed

    Zs-Nagy, Imre

    2014-01-01

    This chapter is intended to outline the main results of a research trend realized by the author during the last 45 years, focused on the main role played by the cell membrane in the aging process. It is a very wide field; therefore, the reader cannot expect in this limited space a detailed description, but will be given a wide, interdisciplinary insight into the main facts and theories regarding cellular aging. The central idea described here is the concept called the membrane hypothesis of aging (MHA). The history, the chemical roots, physicochemical facts, biophysical processes, as well as the obligatory biochemical consequences are all touched in by indicating the most important sources of detailed knowledge for those who are more interested in the basic biology of the aging process. This chapter covers also the available anti-aging interventions on the cell membrane by means of the centrophenoxine treatment based on the MHA. It also briefly interprets the possibilities of a just developing anti-aging method by using the recombinant human growth hormone, essential basis of which is the species specificity, and the general presence of receptors of this hormone in the plasma membrane of all types of cells. PMID:24862015

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhen-lu; Ding, Hong-ming; Ma, Yu-qiang

    2016-03-01

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

  1. Sputter-deposited fuel cell membranes and electrodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Jeffries-Nakamura, Barbara (Inventor); Chun, William (Inventor); Ruiz, Ron P. (Inventor); Valdez, Thomas I. (Inventor)

    2001-01-01

    A method for preparing a membrane for use in a fuel cell membrane electrode assembly includes the steps of providing an electrolyte membrane, and sputter-depositing a catalyst onto the electrolyte membrane. The sputter-deposited catalyst may be applied to multiple sides of the electrolyte membrane. A method for forming an electrode for use in a fuel cell membrane electrode assembly includes the steps of obtaining a catalyst, obtaining a backing, and sputter-depositing the catalyst onto the backing. The membranes and electrodes are useful for assembling fuel cells that include an anode electrode, a cathode electrode, a fuel supply, and an electrolyte membrane, wherein the electrolyte membrane includes a sputter-deposited catalyst, and the sputter-deposited catalyst is effective for sustaining a voltage across a membrane electrode assembly in the fuel cell.

  2. Interactions of Model Cell Membranes with Nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Angelo, S. M.; Camesano, T. A.; Nagarajan, R.

    2011-12-01

    The same properties that give nanoparticles their enhanced function, such as high surface area, small size, and better conductivity, can also alter the cytotoxicity of nanomaterials. Ultimately, many of these nanomaterials will be released into the environment, and can cause cytotoxic effects to environmental bacteria, aquatic organisms, and humans. Previous results from our laboratory suggest that nanoparticles can have a detrimental effect on cells, depending on nanoparticle size. It is our goal to characterize the properties of nanomaterials that can result in membrane destabilization. We tested the effects of nanoparticle size and chemical functionalization on nanoparticle-membrane interactions. Gold nanoparticles at 2, 5,10, and 80 nm were investigated, with a concentration of 1.1x1010 particles/mL. Model cell membranes were constructed of of L-α-phosphatidylcholine (egg PC), which has negatively charged lipid headgroups. A quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) was used to measure frequency changes at different overtones, which were related to mass changes corresponding to nanoparticle interaction with the model membrane. In QCM-D, a lipid bilayer is constructed on a silicon dioxide crystal. The crystals, oscillate at different harmonic frequencies depending upon changes in mass or energy dissipation. When mass is added to the crystal surface, such as through addition of a lipid vesicle solution, the frequency change decreases. By monitoring the frequency and dissipation, we could verify that a supported lipid bilayer (SLB) formed on the silica surface. After formation of the SLB, the nanoparticles can be added to the system, and the changes in frequency and dissipation are monitored in order to build a mechanistic understanding of nanoparticle-cell membrane interactions. For all of the smaller nanoparticles (2, 5, and 10 nm), nanoparticle addition caused a loss of mass from the lipid bilayer, which appears to be due to the formation of holes

  3. Dynamics of photoinduced cell plasma membrane injury.

    PubMed Central

    Thorpe, W P; Toner, M; Ezzell, R M; Tompkins, R G; Yarmush, M L

    1995-01-01

    We have developed a video microscopy system designed for real-time measurement of single cell damage during photolysis under well defined physicochemical and photophysical conditions. Melanoma cells cultured in vitro were treated with the photosensitizer (PS), tin chlorin e6 (SnCe6) or immunoconjugate (SnCe6 conjugated to a anti-ICAM monoclonal antibody), and illuminated with a 10 mW He/Ne laser at a 630 nm wavelength. Cell membrane integrity was assessed using the vital dye calcein-AM. In experiments in which the laser power density and PS concentration were varied, it was determined that the time lag before cell rupture was inversely proportional to the estimated singlet oxygen flux to the cell surface. Microscopic examination of the lytic event indicated that photo-induced lysis was caused by a point rupture of the plasma membrane. The on-line nature of this microscopy system offers an opportunity to monitor the dynamics of the cell damage process and to gain insights into the mechanism governing photolytic cell injury processes. Images FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 6 FIGURE 7 PMID:7612864

  4. Fuel cell membranes and crossover prevention

    DOEpatents

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

    2009-08-04

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

  5. Correlation of cell membrane dynamics and cell motility

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Essential events of cell development and homeostasis are revealed by the associated changes of cell morphology and therefore have been widely used as a key indicator of physiological states and molecular pathways affecting various cellular functions via cytoskeleton. Cell motility is a complex phenomenon primarily driven by the actin network, which plays an important role in shaping the morphology of the cells. Most of the morphology based features are approximated from cell periphery but its dynamics have received none to scant attention. We aim to bridge the gap between membrane dynamics and cell states from the perspective of whole cell movement by identifying cell edge patterns and its correlation with cell dynamics. Results We present a systematic study to extract, classify, and compare cell dynamics in terms of cell motility and edge activity. Cell motility features extracted by fitting a persistent random walk were used to identify the initial set of cell subpopulations. We propose algorithms to extract edge features along the entire cell periphery such as protrusion and retraction velocity. These constitute a unique set of multivariate time-lapse edge features that are then used to profile subclasses of cell dynamics by unsupervised clustering. Conclusions By comparing membrane dynamic patterns exhibited by each subclass of cells, correlated trends of edge and cell movements were identified. Our findings are consistent with published literature and we also identified that motility patterns are influenced by edge features from initial time points compared to later sampling intervals. PMID:22372978

  6. Quality improvements of cell membrane chromatographic column.

    PubMed

    Ding, Xuan; Chen, Xiaofei; Cao, Yan; Jia, Dan; Wang, Dongyao; Zhu, Zhenyu; Zhang, Juping; Hong, Zhanying; Chai, Yifeng

    2014-09-12

    Cell Membrane Chromatography (CMC) is a biological affinity chromatographic method using a silica stationary phase covered with specific cell membrane. However, its short life span and poor quality control was highlighted in a lot of research articles. In this study, special attention has been paid to the disruption, cell load and packing procedure in order to improve the quality of the CMC columns. Hereto, two newly established CMC models, HSC-T6/CMC and SMMC-7721/CMC have been developed and used in this research project. The optimization of the abovementioned parameters resulted in a better reproducibility of the retention time of the compound GFT (RSD<10%) and improved significantly the quality of the CMC columns. 3.5×10(7)cells were the optimal cell load for the preparation of the CMC columns, the disruption condition was optimized to 5 cycles (400W and 20s interval per cycle) by an ultrasonic processor reducing the total time of cell disruption to 1.5min and the packing flow rate was optimized by applying a linear gradient program. Additionally, 4% paraformaldehyde (PFA) was employed to improve the column quality and prolong the column life span. The results showed that the retention time was longer with PFA treated columns than the ones obtained with the control groups. PMID:25115453

  7. Proton-exchange membrane regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  8. Membrane catalyst layer for fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1993-01-01

    A gas reaction fuel cell incorporates a thin catalyst layer between a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) membrane and a porous electrode backing. The catalyst layer is preferably less than about 10 .mu.m in thickness with a carbon supported platinum catalyst loading less than about 0.35 mgPt/cm.sup.2. The film is formed as an ink that is spread and cured on a film release blank. The cured film is then transferred to the SPE membrane and hot pressed into the surface to form a catalyst layer having a controlled thickness and catalyst distribution. Alternatively, the catalyst layer is formed by applying a Na.sup.+ form of a perfluorosulfonate ionomer directly to the membrane, drying the film at a high temperature, and then converting the film back to the protonated form of the ionomer. The layer has adequate gas permeability so that cell performance is not affected and has a density and particle distribution effective to optimize proton access to the catalyst and electronic continuity for electron flow from the half-cell reaction occurring at the catalyst.

  9. A review of radiation-grafted polymer electrolyte membranes for alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Tianchi; Shao, Rong; Chen, Song; He, Xuemei; Qiao, Jinli; Zhang, Jiujun

    2015-10-01

    The past two decades have witnessed many efforts to develop radiation-grafted alkaline membranes for alkaline PEM fuel cell applications, as such membranes have certain advantages over other kinds of alkaline membranes, including well-controlled composition, functionality, and other promising properties. To facilitate research and development in this area, the present paper reviews radiation-grafted alkaline membranes. We examine their synthesis/fabrication/characterization, membrane material selection, and theoretical approaches for fundamental understanding. We also present detailed examinations of their application in fuel cell in terms of the working principles of the radiation grafting process, the fabrication of MEAs using radiation-grafted membranes, the membranes' corresponding performance in alkaline PEM fuel cells, as well as performance optimization. The paper also summarizes the challenges and mitigation strategies for radiation-grafted alkaline membranes and their application in PEM fuel cells, presenting an overall picture of the technology as it presently stands.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1990-02-01

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

  11. Sodium selectivity of Reissner's membrane epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Sodium absorption by Reissner's membrane is thought to contribute to the homeostasis of the volume of cochlear endolymph. It was previously shown that the absorptive transepithelial current was blocked by amiloride and benzamil. The most commonly-observed target of these drugs is the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), which is composed of the three subunits α-,β- and γ-ENaC. However, other less-selective cation channels have also been observed to be sensitive to benzamil and amiloride. The aim of this study was to determine whether Reissner's membrane epithelial cells could support parasensory K+ absorption via amiloride- and benzamil-sensitive electrogenic pathways. Results We determined the molecular and functional expression of candidate cation channels with gene array (GEO GSE6196), RT-PCR, and whole-cell patch clamp. Transcript expression analysis of Reissner's membrane detected no amiloride-sensitive acid-sensing ion channels (ASIC1a, ASIC2a, ASIC2b) nor amiloride-sensitive cyclic-nucleotide gated channels (CNGA1, CNGA2, CNGA4, CNGB3). By contrast, α-,β- and γ-ENaC were all previously reported as present in Reissner's membrane. The selectivity of the benzamil-sensitive cation currents was observed in whole-cell patch clamp recordings under Cl--free conditions where cations were the only permeant species. The currents were carried by Na+ but not K+, and the permeability of Li+ was greater than that of Na+ in Reissner's membrane. Complete replacement of bath Na+ with the inpermeable cation NMDG+ led to the same inward current as with benzamil in a Na+ bath. Conclusions These results are consistent with the amiloride/benzamil-sensitive absorptive flux of Reissner's membrane mediated by a highly Na+-selective channel that has several key characteristics in common with αβγ-ENaC. The amiloride-sensitive pathway therefore absorbs only Na+ in this epithelium and does not provide a parasensory K+ efflux route from scala media. PMID:21284860

  12. Analytical Model of Nano-Electromechanical (NEM) Nonvolatile Memory Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Boram; Choi, Woo Young

    The fringe field effects of nano-electromechanical (NEM) nonvolatile memory cells have been investigated analytically for the accurate evaluation of NEM memory cells. As the beam width is scaled down, fringe field effect becomes more severe. It has been observed that pull-in, release and hysteresis voltage decrease more than our prediction. Also, the fringe field on cell characteristics has been discussed.

  13. Fuel cell membrane hydration and fluid metering

    DOEpatents

    Jones, Daniel O.; Walsh, Michael M.

    1999-01-01

    A hydration system includes fuel cell fluid flow plate(s) and injection port(s). Each plate has flow channel(s) with respective inlet(s) for receiving respective portion(s) of a given stream of reactant fluid for a fuel cell. Each injection port injects a portion of liquid water directly into its respective flow channel in order to mix its respective portion of liquid water with the corresponding portion of the stream. This serves to hydrate at least corresponding part(s) of a given membrane of the corresponding fuel cell(s). The hydration system may be augmented by a metering system including flow regulator(s). Each flow regulator meters an injecting at inlet(s) of each plate of respective portions of liquid into respective portion(s) of a given stream of fluid by corresponding injection port(s).

  14. Fuel cell membrane hydration and fluid metering

    DOEpatents

    Jones, Daniel O.; Walsh, Michael M.

    2003-01-01

    A hydration system includes fuel cell fluid flow plate(s) and injection port(s). Each plate has flow channel(s) with respective inlet(s) for receiving respective portion(s) of a given stream of reactant fluid for a fuel cell. Each injection port injects a portion of liquid water directly into its respective flow channel. This serves to hydrate at least corresponding part(s) of a given membrane of the corresponding fuel cell(s). The hydration system may be augmented by a metering system including flow regulator(s). Each flow regulator meters an injecting at inlet(s) of each plate of respective portions of liquid into respective portion(s) of a given stream of fluid by corresponding injection port(s).

  15. Membrane Purification Cell for Aluminum Recycling

    SciTech Connect

    David DeYoung; James Wiswall; Cong Wang

    2011-11-29

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

  16. Polymer synthesis toward fuel cell membrane materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebeck, Nathaniel T.

    Fuel cells are a promising technology that will be part of the future energy landscape. New membranes for alkaline and proton exchange membrane fuel cells are needed to improve the performance, simplify the system, and reduce cost. Polymer chemistry can be applied to develop new polymers and to assemble polymers into improved membranes that need less water, have increased performance and are less expensive, thereby removing the deficiencies of current membranes. Nucleophilic aromatic substitution polymerization typically produces thermally stable engineering polymers that can be easily functionalized. New functional monomers were developed to explore new routes to novel functional polymers. Sulfonamides were discovered as new activating groups for polymerization of high molecular weight thermooxidatively stable materials with sulfonic acid latent functionality. While the sulfonamide functional polymers could be produced, the sulfonamide group proved to be too stable to convert into a sulfonic acid after reaction. The reactivity of 2-aminophenol was investigated to search for a new class of ion conducting polymer materials. Both the amine and the phenol groups are found to be reactive in a nucleophilic aromatic substitution, however not to the extent to allow the formation of high molecular weight polymer materials. Layer-by-layer films were assembled from aqueous solutions of poly(styrene sulfonate) and trimethylammonium functionalized poly(phenylene oxide). The deposition conditions were adjusted to increase the free charge carrier content, and chloride conductivites reached almost 30 mS/cm for the best films. Block and random poly(phenylene oxide) copolymers were produced from 2,6-dimethylphenol and 2,6-diphenylphenol and the methyl substituted repeat units were functionalized with trimethylammonium bromide. The block copolymers displayed bromide conductivities up to 26 mS/cm and outperformed the random copolymers, indicating that morphology has an effect on ion

  17. Microfabrication of High-Resolution Porous Membranes for Cell Culture

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Monica Y.; Li, David Jiang; Pham, Long K.; Wong, Brandon G.

    2014-01-01

    Microporous membranes are widely utilized in cell biology to study cell-cell signaling and cell migration. However, the thickness and low porosity of commercial track-etched membranes limit the quality of cell imaging and the degree of cell-cell contact that can be achieved on such devices. We employ photolithography-based microfabrication to achieve porous membranes with pore diameter as small as 0.9 μm, up to 40% porosity, and less than 5% variation in pore size. Through the use of a soap release layer, membranes as thin as 1 μm can be achieved. The thin membranes minimally disrupt contrast enhancement optics, thus allowing good quality imaging of unlabeled cells under white light, unlike commercial membranes. In addition, the polymer membrane materials display low autofluorescence even after patterning, facilitating high quality fluorescence microscopy. Finally, confocal imaging suggests that substantial cell-cell contact is possible through the pores of these thin membranes. This membrane technology can enhance existing uses of porous membranes in cell biology as well as enable new types of experiments. PMID:24567663

  18. Theoretical Analysis of Membrane Tension in Moving Cells

    PubMed Central

    Schweitzer, Yonatan; Lieber, Arnon D.; Keren, Kinneret; Kozlov, Michael M.

    2014-01-01

    Lateral tension in cell plasma membranes plays an essential role in regulation of a number of membrane-related intracellular processes and cell motion. Understanding the physical factors generating the lateral tension and quantitative determination of the tension distribution along the cell membrane is an emerging topic of cell biophysics. Although experimental data are accumulating on membrane tension values in several cell types, the tension distribution along the membranes of moving cells remains largely unexplored. Here we suggest and analyze a theoretical model predicting the tension distribution along the membrane of a cell crawling on a flat substrate. We consider the tension to be generated by the force of actin network polymerization against the membrane at the cell leading edge. The three major factors determining the tension distribution are the membrane interaction with anchors connecting the actin network to the lipid bilayer, the membrane interaction with cell adhesions, and the force developing at the rear boundary due to the detachment of the remaining cell adhesion from the substrate in the course of cell crawling. Our model recovers the experimentally measured values of the tension in fish keratocytes and their dependence on the number of adhesions. The model predicts, quantitatively, the tension distribution between the leading and rear membrane edges as a function of the area fractions of the anchors and the adhesions. PMID:24411240

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Polybenzimidazole-multiwall carbon nanotubes composite membranes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerrero Moreno, Nayibe; Gervasio, Dominic; Godínez García, Andrés; Pérez Robles, Juan Francisco

    2015-12-01

    Polymer membranes are prepared as a composite of polybenzimidazole and non-functionalized multiwall carbon nanotubes (PBI-CNT) and polybenzimidazole (PBI) only. Each is doped with H3PO4 (PA) and used as a proton exchange membrane (PEM) as the electrolyte in a fuel cell. The proton conductivities at 180 °C for the doped PBI membrane (PBIPA) and the doped PBI-CNT membrane (PBICNTPA) are 6.3 × 10-2 and 7.4 × 10-2 Scm-1 respectively. A single fuel cell having these membranes as electrolyte has a Pt catalyzed hydrogen gas fed anode and a similar oxygen cathode without humidification of feed gases; the cell with the PBICNTPA membrane has higher open circuit voltage (0.96 V) than that with a PBIPA membrane (0.8 V) at 180 °C. The mechanical stability of the membrane improves with CNTs addition. The tensile strength of the composite PBI-CNT membrane with 1 wt.% CNTs loading is 32% higher and the Young's Modulus is 147% higher than the values for a membrane of PBI alone. The improvement in conductivity and mechanical properties in the composite membrane due to the CNT addition indicates that a PBI-CNT membrane is a good alternative as a membrane electrolyte in a PEMFC.

  1. Cell bioprocessing in space - Applications of analytical cytology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Todd, P.; Hymer, W. C.; Goolsby, C. L.; Hatfield, J. M.; Morrison, D. R.

    1988-01-01

    Cell bioprocessing experiments in space are reviewed and the development of on-board cell analytical cytology techniques that can serve such experiments is discussed. Methods and results of experiments involving the cultivation and separation of eukaryotic cells in space are presented. It is suggested that an advanced cytometer should be developed for the quantitative analysis of large numbers of specimens of suspended eukaryotic cells and bioparticles in experiments on the Space Station.

  2. Review: Annexin-A5 and cell membrane repair.

    PubMed

    Bouter, A; Carmeille, R; Gounou, C; Bouvet, F; Degrelle, S A; Evain-Brion, D; Brisson, A R

    2015-04-01

    Annexins are soluble proteins that bind to biological membranes containing negatively charged phospholipids, principally phosphatidylserine, in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Annexin-A5 (AnxA5), the smallest member of the annexin family, presents unique properties of membrane binding and self-assembly into ordered two-dimensional (2D) arrays on membrane surfaces. We have previously reported that AnxA5 plays a central role in the machinery of membrane repair by enabling rapid resealing of plasma membrane disruption in murine perivascular cells. AnxA5 promotes membrane repair via the formation of a protective 2D bandage at membrane damaged site. Here, we review current knowledge on cell membrane repair and present recent findings on the role of AnxA5 in membrane resealing of human trophoblasts. PMID:25701430

  3. Resolution of Viable and Membrane-Compromised Bacteria in Freshwater and Marine Waters Based on Analytical Flow Cytometry and Nucleic Acid Double Staining

    PubMed Central

    Grégori, Gérald; Citterio, Sandra; Ghiani, Alessandra; Labra, Massimo; Sgorbati, Sergio; Brown, Spencer; Denis, Michel

    2001-01-01

    The membrane integrity of a cell is a well-accepted criterion for characterizing viable (active or inactive) cells and distinguishing them from damaged and membrane-compromised cells. This information is of major importance in studies of the function of microbial assemblages in natural environments, in order to assign bulk activities measured by various methods to the very active cells that are effectively responsible for the observations. To achieve this task for bacteria in freshwater and marine waters, we propose a nucleic acid double-staining assay based on analytical flow cytometry, which allows us to distinguish viable from damaged and membrane-compromised bacteria and to sort out noise and detritus. This method is derived from the work of S. Barbesti et al. (Cytometry 40:214–218, 2000) which was conducted on cultured bacteria. The principle of this approach is to use simultaneously a permeant (SYBR Green; Molecular Probes) and an impermeant (propidium iodide) probe and to take advantage of the energy transfer which occurs between them when both probes are staining nucleic acids. A full quenching of the permeant probe fluorescence by the impermeant probe will point to cells with a compromised membrane, a partial quenching will indicate cells with a slightly damaged membrane, and a lack of quenching will characterize intact membrane cells identified as viable. In the present study, this approach has been adapted to bacteria in freshwater and marine waters of the Mediterranean region. It is fast and easy to use and shows that a large fraction of bacteria with low DNA content can be composed of viable cells. Admittedly, limitations stem from the unknown behavior of unidentified species present in natural environments which may depart from the established permeability properties with respect to the fluorescing dyes. PMID:11571170

  4. Analytical modeling of the radial pn junction nanowire solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Nouran M.; Allam, Nageh K.; Abdel Haleem, Ashraf M.; Rafat, Nadia H.

    2014-07-01

    In photovoltaic solar cells, radial p-n junctions have been considered a very promising structure to improve the carrier collection efficiency and accordingly the conversion efficiency. In the present study, the semiconductor equations, namely Poisson's and continuity equations for a cylindrical p-n junction solar cell, have been solved analytically. The analytical model is based on Green's function theory to calculate the current density, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and conversion efficiency. The model has been used to simulate p-n and p-i-n silicon radial solar cells. The validity and accuracy of the present simulator were confirmed through a comparison with previously published experimental and numerical reports.

  5. Membrane thickness is an important variable in membrane scaffolds: Influence of chitosan membrane structure on the behavior of cells

    PubMed Central

    Uygun, Basak E.; Bou-Akl, Therese; Albanna, Mohammad

    2009-01-01

    Cell and tissue responses to polymeric materials are orchestrated in part by the conformations of adsorbed plasma proteins. Thus, the chemical properties of a polymer membrane that govern protein adsorption behaviour can play an important role in determining the biological properties of tissue engineered scaffolds derived from that polymer. In this study, we explored the role of membrane thickness as a factor influencing cell adhesion and proliferation on chitosan membranes with and without covalently-attached glycosaminoglycans. Rat mesenchymal stem cells cultured on chitosan membranes of various thicknesses demonstrated significantly improved cell adhesion, spreading and proliferation as membrane thickness was increased. Hepatocytes displayed increased spreading on the substrate with increasing membrane thickness similar to MSCs. Increased thickness reduced the overall crystallinity of the membrane, and the data indicate that the improved cellular responses were likely due to enhanced adsorption of serum vitronectin, presumably due to reduced membrane crystallinity. These results demonstrate that membrane thickness is an important design variable that can be manipulated in chitosan-based scaffolds to achieve enhanced cell spreading, proliferation and function. PMID:19925888

  6. Kinetics and mechanism of cell membrane electrofusion.

    PubMed Central

    Abidor, I G; Sowers, A E

    1992-01-01

    A new quantitative approach to study cell membrane electrofusion has been developed. Erythrocyte ghosts were brought into close contact using dielectrophoresis and then treated with one square or even exponentially decaying fusogenic pulse. Individual fusion events were followed by lateral diffusion of the fluorescent lipid analogue 1,1'-dihexadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (Dil) from originally labeled to unlabeled adjacent ghosts. It was found that ghost fusion can be described as a first-order rate process with corresponding rate constants; a true fusion rate constant, k(f), for the square waveform pulse and an effective fusion rate constant, k(ef), for the exponential pulse. Compared with the fusion yield, the fusion rate constants are more fundamental characteristics of the fusion process and have implications for its mechanisms. Values of k(f) for rabbit and human erythrocyte ghosts were obtained at different electric field strength and temperatures. Arrhenius k(f) plots revealed that the activation energy of ghost electrofusion is in the range of 6-10 kT. Measurements were also made with the rabbit erythrocyte ghosts exposed to 42 degrees C for 10 min (to disrupt the spectrin network) or 0.1-1.0 mM uranyl acetate (to stabilize the bilayer lipid matrix of membranes). A correlation between the dependence of the fusion and previously published pore-formation rate constants for all experimental conditions suggests that the cell membrane electrofusion process involve pores formed during reversible electrical breakdown. A statistical analysis of fusion products (a) further supports the idea that electrofusion is a stochastic process and (b) shows that the probability of ghost electrofusion is independent of the presence of Dil as a label as well as the number of fused ghosts. PMID:1617138

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

  8. Cell Adhesion and Growth on the Anodized Aluminum Oxide Membrane.

    PubMed

    Park, Jeong Su; Moon, Dalnim; Kim, Jin-Seok; Lee, Jin Seok

    2016-03-01

    Nanotopological cues are popular tools for in vivo investigation of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and cellular microenvironments. The ECM is composed of multiple components and generates a complex microenvironment. The development of accurate in vivo methods for the investigation of ECM are important for disease diagnosis and therapy, as well as for studies on cell behavior. Here, we fabricated anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes using sulfuric and oxalic acid under controlled voltage and temperature. The membranes were designed to possess three different pore and interpore sizes, AAO-1, AAO-2, and AAO-3 membranes, respectively. These membranes were used as tools to investigate nanotopology-signal induced cell behavior. Cancerous cells, specifically, the OVCAR-8 cell-line, were cultured on porous AAO membranes and the effects of these membranes on cell shape, proliferation, and viability were studied. AAO-1 membranes bearing small sized pores were found to maintain the spreading shape of the cultured cells. Cells cultured on AAO-2 and AAO-3 membranes, bearing large pore-sized AAO membranes, changed shape from spreading to rounding. Furthermore, cellular area decreased when cells were cultured on all three AAO membranes that confirmed decreased levels of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Additionally, OVCAR-8 cells exhibited increased proliferation on AAO membranes possessing various pore sizes, indicating the importance of the nanosurface structure in regulating cell behaviors, such as cell proliferation. Our results suggest that porous-AAO membranes induced nanosurface regulated cell behavior as focal adhesion altered the intracellular organization of the cytoskeleton. Our results may find potential applications as tools in in vivo cancer research studies. PMID:27280255

  9. Computational modeling and optimization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Secanell Gallart, Marc

    Improvements in performance, reliability and durability as well as reductions in production costs, remain critical prerequisites for the commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. In this thesis, a computational framework for fuel cell analysis and optimization is presented as an innovative alternative to the time consuming trial-and-error process currently used for fuel cell design. The framework is based on a two-dimensional through-the-channel isothermal, isobaric and single phase membrane electrode assembly (MEA) model. The model input parameters are the manufacturing parameters used to build the MEA: platinum loading, platinum to carbon ratio, electrolyte content and gas diffusion layer porosity. The governing equations of the fuel cell model are solved using Netwon's algorithm and an adaptive finite element method in order to achieve quadratic convergence and a mesh independent solution respectively. The analysis module is used to solve two optimization problems: (i) maximize performance; and, (ii) maximize performance while minimizing the production cost of the MEA. To solve these problems a gradient-based optimization algorithm is used in conjunction with analytical sensitivities. The presented computational framework is the first attempt in the literature to combine highly efficient analysis and optimization methods to perform optimization in order to tackle large-scale problems. The framework presented is capable of solving a complete MEA optimization problem with state-of-the-art electrode models in approximately 30 minutes. The optimization results show that it is possible to achieve Pt-specific power density for the optimized MEAs of 0.422 gPt/kW. This value is extremely close to the target of 0.4 gPt/kW for large-scale implementation and demonstrate the potential of using numerical optimization for fuel cell design.

  10. Multiscale modeling of mechanosensing channels on vesicles and cell membranes in 3D constricted flows and shear flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Zhangli; Pak, On Shun; Young, Yuan-Nan; Liu, Allen; Stone, Howard

    2015-11-01

    We investigate the gating of mechanosensing channels (Mscls) on vesicles and cell membranes under different flow conditions using a multiscale approach. At the cell level (microns), the membrane tension is calculated using a 3D two-component whole-cell membrane model based on dissipative particle dynamics (DPD), including the cortex cytoskeleton and its interactions with the lipid bilayer. At the Mscl level (nanometers), we predict the relation between channel gating and the membrane tension obtained from a cell-level model using a semi-analytical model based on the bilayer hydrophobic mismatch energy. We systematically study the gating of Mscls of vesicles and cell membranes in constricted channel flows and shear flows, and explore the dependence of the gating on flow rate, cell shape and size. The results provide guidance for future experiments in inducing Mscl opening for various purposes such as drug delivery.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Hydrocarbon-based polymer electrolyte cerium composite membranes for improved proton exchange membrane fuel cell durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyejin; Han, Myungseong; Choi, Young-Woo; Bae, Byungchan

    2015-11-01

    Hydrocarbon-based cerium composite membranes were prepared for proton exchange membrane fuel cell applications to increase oxidative stability. Different amounts of cerium ions were impregnated in sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (SPES) membranes and their physicochemical properties were investigated according to the cerium content. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy and inductively coupled plasma analyses confirmed the presence of cerium ions in the composite membranes and 1H NMR indicated the successful coordination of sulfonic acid groups with the metal ions. Increasing amounts of cerium ions resulted in decreases in the proton conductivity and water uptake, but enhanced oxidative stability. The oxidative stability of the composite membranes was proven via a hydrogen peroxide exposure experiment which mimicked fuel cell operating conditions. In addition, more than 2200 h was achieved with the composite membrane under in situ accelerated open circuit voltage (OCV) durability testing (DOE protocol), whereas the corresponding pristine SPES membrane attained only 670 h.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haryadi, Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Haryadi, Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E.

    2015-12-29

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

  16. An analytical approach for solid oxide cell electrode geometric design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, George J.

    2015-12-01

    An analytical model for gas distributions in porous solid oxide cell electrodes is applied to develop dimensionless metrics that describe electrode performance. These metrics include two forms of a dimensionless reactant depletion current density and a geometry sensitive Damköhler number used to assess electrode catalytic effectiveness. The first dimensionless depletion current density defines when reducing electrode thickness no longer benefits mass transfer performance for a given cell geometry. The second dimensionless depletion current density provides a gage of deviation from the limiting current behavior predicted using button-cell experimental and modeling approaches. The Damköhler number and related catalytic effectiveness quantify two-dimensional transport effects under non-depleted operating conditions, providing a means of generalizing insights from reactant depletion behavior for typical cell operating conditions. A finite element solution for gas transport based on the dusty-gas model is used as a benchmark for the analytical model and dimensionless metrics. Estimates of concentration polarization based on analytical and numerical models compare well to published experimental data. Analytical performance predictions provide clear demonstration of the influence of two-dimensional electrode geometry on solid oxide cell performance. These results agree with finite element predictions and suggest that reduction of electrode thickness does not exclusively benefit cell performance.

  17. Nonhumidified High-Temperature Membranes Developed for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kinder, James D.

    2005-01-01

    Fuel cells are being considered for a wide variety of aerospace applications. One of the most versatile types of fuel cells is the proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell. PEM fuel cells can be easily scaled to meet the power and space requirements of a specific application. For example, small 100-W PEM fuel cells are being considered for personal power for extravehicular activity suit applications, whereas larger PEM fuel cells are being designed for primary power in airplanes and in uninhabited air vehicles. Typically, PEM fuel cells operate at temperatures up to 80 C. To increase the efficiency and power density of the fuel cell system, researchers are pursuing methods to extend the operating temperature of the PEM fuel cell to 180 C. The most widely used membranes in PEM fuel cells are Nafion 112 and Nafion 117--sulfonated perfluorinated polyethers that were developed by DuPont. In addition to their relatively high cost, the properties of these membranes limit their use in a PEM fuel cell to around 80 C. The proton conductivity of Nafion membranes significantly decreases above 80 C because the membrane dehydrates. The useful operating range of Nafion-based PEM fuel cells can be extended to over 100 C if ancillary equipment, such as compressors and humidifiers, is added to maintain moisture levels within the membrane. However, the addition of these components reduces the power density and increases the complexity of the fuel cell system.

  18. Physical principles of membrane remodelling during cell mechanoadaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  19. Physical principles of membrane remodelling during cell mechanoadaptation.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Biological processes in any physiological environment involve changes in cell shape, which must be accommodated by their physical envelope--the bilayer membrane. However, the fundamental biophysical principles by which the cell membrane allows for and responds to shape changes remain unclear. Here we show that the 3D remodelling of the membrane in response to a broad diversity of physiological perturbations can be explained by a purely mechanical process. This process is passive, local, almost instantaneous, before any active remodelling and generates different types of membrane invaginations that can repeatedly store and release large fractions of the cell membrane. We further demonstrate that the shape of those invaginations is determined by the minimum elastic and adhesive energy required to store both membrane area and liquid volume at the cell-substrate interface. Once formed, cells reabsorb the invaginations through an active process with duration of the order of minutes. PMID:26073653

  20. Selective effect of cell membrane on synaptic neurotransmission.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Selective effect of cell membrane on synaptic neurotransmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. In situ measurements of water crossover through the membrane for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, C.; Zhao, T. S.

    We show analytically that the water-crossover flux through the membrane used for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) can be in situ determined by measuring the water flow rate at the exit of the cathode flow field. This measurement method enables investigating the effects of various design and geometric parameters as well as operating conditions, such as properties of cathode gas diffusion layer (GDL), membrane thickness, cell current density, cell temperature, methanol solution concentration, oxygen flow rate, etc., on water crossover through the membrane in situ in a DMFC. Water crossover through the membrane is generally due to electro-osmotic drag, diffusion and back convection. The experimental data showed that diffusion dominated the total water-crossover flux at low current densities due to the high water concentration difference across the membrane. With the increase in current density, the water flux by diffusion decreased, but the flux by back convection increased. The corresponding net water-transport coefficient was also found to decrease with current density. The experimental results also showed that the use of a hydrophobic cathode GDL with a hydrophobic MPL could substantially reduce water crossover through the membrane, and thereby significantly increasing the limiting current as the result of the improved oxygen transport. It was found that the cell operating temperature, oxygen flow rate and membrane thickness all had significant influences on water crossover, but the influence of methanol concentration was negligibly small.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1989-01-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cells revolve around the development of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes useful as the proton transport medium and separator. Some of the performance characteristics which are typical for such membranes are outlined. The results of tests utilizing a new experimental membrane useful in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells are presented. The high voltage at low current densities can lead to higher system efficiencies while, at the same time, not sacrificing other critical properties pertinent to membrane fuel cell operation. A series of tests to determine response times indicated that on-off cycles are on the order of 80 milliseconds to reach 90 percent of full power. The IR free voltage at 100 amps/sq ft was determined and the results indicating a membrane/electrode package resistance to be .15 ohm-sq cm at 100 amps/sq ft.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1989-12-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cells revolve around the development of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes useful as the proton transport medium and separator. Some of the performance characteristics which are typical for such membranes are outlined. The results of tests utilizing a new experimental membrane useful in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells are presented. The high voltage at low current densities can lead to higher system efficiencies while, at the same time, not sacrificing other critical properties pertinent to membrane fuel cell operation. A series of tests to determine response times indicated that on-off cycles are on the order of 80 milliseconds to reach 90 percent of full power. The IR free voltage at 100 amps/sq ft was determined and the results indicating a membrane/electrode package resistance to be .15 ohm-sq cm at 100 amps/sq ft.

  5. Optomechanical characterization of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jalani, Nikhil H.; Mizar, Shivananda P.; Choi, Pyoungho; Furlong, Cosme; Datta, Ravindra

    2004-08-01

    Nafion is widely used as the polymer electrolyte in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The properties that make the Nafion membrane indispensable are the combination of good water uptake, ion-exchange capacity, proton conductivity, gas permeability, and excellent electrochemical stability. The amount of water sorbed in the Nafion membrane is critical as the proton conductivity depends directly on the water content of the membrane which determines the fuel cell performance. The factors which affect the extent of the solvent uptake by Nafion are temperature, ion-exchange capacity, pretreatment of membrane, and the physical state of absorbing water, whether it is in liquid or vapor phase. The water sorption in the membrane is explained in terms of thermodynamic equilibrium of water in the vapor and absorption phases. As the membrane imbibes more water, the membrane matrix expands and exerts a pressure on the pore liquid which affects its chemical potential and limits extent of swelling. The extent of matrix expansion of the membranes depends on the elastic modulus, E, of the membrane, which directly affects the sorption. Hence, it is important to understand the variation of E for Nafion membrane with relative humidity (RH) and temperature. Optoelectronic holography (OEH) techniques are applied to perform quantitative, noninvasive, full field of view investigations to determine temperature and water activity dependence of E. The results obtained confirm that with the increase in temperature, E decreases and the membranes imbibes more water. Such results will allow optimization and realization of fuel cells with improved efficiency and performance.

  6. Roles of membrane trafficking in plant cell wall dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Ebine, Kazuo; Ueda, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    The cell wall is one of the characteristic components of plant cells. The cell wall composition differs among cell types and is modified in response to various environmental conditions. To properly generate and modify the cell wall, many proteins are transported to the plasma membrane or extracellular space through membrane trafficking, which is one of the key protein transport mechanisms in eukaryotic cells. Given the diverse composition and functions of the cell wall in plants, the transport of the cell wall components and proteins that are involved in cell wall-related events could be specialized for each cell type, i.e., the machinery for cell wall biogenesis, modification, and maintenance could be transported via different trafficking pathways. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in the current understanding of the roles and mechanisms of membrane trafficking in plant cells and focus on the biogenesis and regulation of the cell wall. PMID:26539200

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Exo70 Generates Membrane Curvature for Morphogenesis and Cell Migration

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yuting; Liu, Jianglan; Yang, Changsong; Capraro, Benjamin R.; Baumgart, Tobias; Bradley, Ryan P.; Ramakrishnan, N.; Xu, Xiaowei; Radhakrishnan, Ravi; Svitkina, Tatyana; Guo, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Dynamic shape changes of the plasma membrane are fundamental to many processes ranging from morphogenesis and cell migration to phagocytosis and viral propagation. Here we demonstrate that Exo70, a component of the exocyst complex, induces tubular membrane invaginations towards the lumen of synthetic vesicles in vitro and generates protrusions on the surface of cells. Biochemical analyses using Exo70 mutants and independent molecular dynamics simulations based on Exo70 structure demonstrate that Exo70 generates negative membrane curvature through an oligomerization-based mechanism. In cells, the membrane-deformation function of Exo70 is required for protrusion formation and directional cell migration. Exo70 thus represents a membrane-bending protein that may couple actin dynamics and plasma membrane remodeling for morphogenesis. PMID:23948253

  9. Engineered nanoparticles mimicking cell membranes for toxin neutralization.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  10. Membrane tension and cytoskeleton organization in cell motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sens, Pierre; Plastino, Julie

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lux, Samuel E

    2016-01-14

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

  12. Bending elastic modulus of red blood cell membrane derived from buckling instability in micropipet aspiration tests.

    PubMed

    Evans, E A

    1983-07-01

    Observation of cell membrane buckling and cell folding in micropipette aspiration experiments was used to evaluate the bending rigidity of the red blood cell membrane. The suction pressure required to buckle the membrane surface initially was found to be about one-half to two-thirds of the pressure that caused the cell to fold and move up the pipet. A simple analytical model for buckling of a membrane disk supported at inner and outer radii correlates well with the observed buckling pressures vs. pipet radii. The buckling pressure is predicted to increase in inverse proportion to the cube of the pipet radius; also, the buckling pressure depends inversely on the radial distance to the toroidal rim of the cell, normalized by the pipet radius. As such, the pressure required to buckle the membrane with 1 X 10(-4) cm diam pipet would be about four times greater than with a 2 X 10(-4) cm pipet. This is the behavior observed experimentally. Based on analysis of the observed buckling data, the membrane bending or curvature elastic modulus is calculated to be 1.8 X 10(-12) dyn-cm. PMID:6882860

  13. Water and methanol uptakes in Nafion membranes and membrane effects on direct methanol cell performance

    SciTech Connect

    Ren, X.; Springer, T.E.; Gottesfeld, S.

    2000-01-01

    This paper compares direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) employing two types of Nafion{reg{underscore}sign} (E.I.DuPont de Nemours and Company) membranes of different equivalent weight (EW). Methanol and water uptakes in 1,100 and 1,200 EW Nafion membranes were determined by weighing P{sub 2}O{sub 5}-dried and methanol solution-equilibrated membranes. Both methanol and water uptakes in the 1,200 EW membrane were about 70--74% of those in the 1,100 EW membrane. The methanol crossover rate corresponding to that in a DMFC at open circuit was measured using a voltammetric method in the DMFC configuration and under the same cell operating conditions. After accounting for the thickness difference between the membrane samples, the methanol crossover rate through a 1,200 EW membrane was 52% of that through an 1,100 EW membrane. To resolve the cathode and anode performances in an operating DMFC, a dynamic hydrogen electrode was used as a reference electrode. Results show that in an operating DMFC the cathode can be easily flooded, as shown in a DMFC using 1,100 EW membrane. An increase in methanol crossover rate decreases the DMFC cathode potential at open circuit. At a high cell current density, the DMFC cathode potential can approach that of a H{sub 2}/air cell.

  14. Dendrimers as synthetic gene vectors: Cell membrane attachment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voulgarakis, N. K.; Rasmussen, K. Ø.; Welch, P. M.

    2009-04-01

    We present molecular-level simulations of dendrimer/DNA complexes in the presence of a model cell membrane. We determine the required conditions for the complex to arrive intact at the membrane, and the lifetime of the complex as it resides attached to the membrane. Our simulations directly pertain to critical issues arising in emerging gene delivery therapeutic applications, where a molecular carrier is required to deliver DNA segments to the interior of living cells.

  15. Plasmonic nanoparticle interaction with cell membrane for diagnostic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Sumana; Arikady, Akshata; Vasireddi, Ramakrishna; Harika Villa, Krishna; Konnur, Manish C.; Hegde, Gopalkrishna M.; Roy Mahapatra, D.

    2014-03-01

    Optofluidic schemes of inhibition, transport and activation by carrier molecules through cell membrane have interesting applications. Through plasmonic excitation of nanoparticles integrated in microfluidic channel, we observe cell membrane structural changes. Related phenomena are studied in situ in a microfluidic channel via fluorescence imaging. Detailed analysis is carried out to understand the possible application of this scheme in optically induced transport and expression of cell membrane protein. Optical properties of the cells undergoing plasmonic transport are monitored and correlated to cell expression assay. Plasmonic charge transport and optical transmission are measured in the microfluidic lab-on-chip along with in-situ imaging.

  16. Cultivation of MDCK epithelial cells on chitosan membranes.

    PubMed

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

    1985-01-01

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

  17. Effect of EMP fields on cell membrane potentials

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-06-01

    A simple model is presented for cell membrane potentials induced during exposure to electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Using calculated values of internal electric field strength induced during EMP exposure, the model predicts that cell membrane potentials of about 100 mV may be induced for time frames on the order of 10 ns. Possible biological effects of these potentials including electroporation area discussed.

  18. Analytical results for cell constriction dominated by bending energy.

    PubMed

    Almendro-Vedia, Victor G; Monroy, Francisco; Cao, Francisco J

    2015-01-01

    Analytical expressions are obtained for the main magnitudes of a symmetrically constricted vesicle. These equations provide an easy and compact way to predict minimal requirements for successful constriction and its main magnitudes. Thus, they can be useful for the design of synthetic divisomes and give good predictions for magnitudes including constriction energy, length of the constriction zone, volume and area of the vesicle, and the stability coefficient for symmetric constriction. The analytical expressions are derived combining a perturbative expansion in the Lagrangian for small deformations with a cosine ansatz in the constriction region. Already the simple fourth-order (or sixth-order) approximation provides a good approximation to the values of the main physical magnitudes during constriction, as we show through comparison with numerical results. Results are for vesicles with negligible effects from spontaneous curvature, surface tension, and pressure differences. This is the case when membrane components generating spontaneous curvature are scarce, membrane trafficking is present with low energetic cost, and the external medium is isotonic. PMID:25679648

  19. Favorable effect of in-situ generated platinum in the membrane on fuel cell membrane durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macauley, Natalia; Wong, Ka Hung; Watson, Mark; Kjeang, Erik

    2015-12-01

    The overall lifetime of polymer electrolyte fuel cells is often determined by the membrane durability. Platinum, which may dissolve from the catalyst layers during fuel cell operation and deposit in the membrane, has been shown to have both positive and negative effects on membrane stability. In the present work, we analyze what specific conditions are required in order to reach a favorable, membrane stabilizing effect with the controlled use of platinum in the membrane. Using accelerated membrane durability testing, field operated membrane samples, and electron microscopy, we demonstrate that a high platinum concentration with specific particle shapes and sizes is essential for enhanced membrane stability. Specifically, star shaped and dendritic particles with high particle density and high surface area are shown to be preferable. These particles contain high levels of Pt(111) and are expected to have high catalytic activity toward peroxide quenching and crossover gas consumption, thereby mitigating chemical membrane degradation. On the other hand, small, dispersed cubic particles are found to have no effect or the opposite, negative effect on membrane stability.

  20. Molecular basis of red cell membrane disorders.

    PubMed

    Delaunay, Jean

    2002-01-01

    We will consider an array of genetic disorders of the red cell membrane. Some affect well-known genes. The mutations of most cases of hereditary spherocytosis (HS) are located in the following genes: ANK1, SPTB, SLC4A1, EPB42 and SPTA1, which encode ankyrin, spectrin beta-chain, the anion exchanger 1 (band 3), protein 4.2 and spectrin alpha-chain, respectively. A dominant form of distal renal tubular acidosis also stems from distinct mutations in the SLC4A1 gene. The mutations responsible for hereditary elliptocytosis (HE) and its aggravated form, poikilocytosis (HP), lie in the SPTA1 and SPTB gene, already mentioned, and in the EPB41 gene encoding protein 4.1. Whereas in HS, the SPTA1 and SPTB gene mutations tend to abolish the synthesis of the corresponding chains, in HE/HP, they hinder spectrin tetramerization. Allele alpha(LELY) is a common polymorphic allele which plays the role of an aggravating factor when it occurs in trans of an elliptocytogenic allele of the SPTA1 gene. Southeast Asian ovalocytosis results from a 27- nucleotide deletion in the SLC4A1 gene. Besides these conditions in which the mutations were reached from known alterations in the proteins, other conditions required a positional cloning approach. Such are the genetic disorders of membrane permeability to monovalent cations. Knowledge is the most advanced as regards dehydrated hereditary stomatocytois (DHS). DHS was shown to belong to a pleiotropic syndrome: DHS + fetal edema + pseudohyperkalemia, which maps to 16q23-24. Concerning DHS and another disease of the same class, overhydrated hereditary stomatocytosis, splenectomy almost certainly appears to elicit thromboembolic accidents. PMID:12432217

  1. Lactobacillus casei combats acid stress by maintaining cell membrane functionality.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chongde; Zhang, Juan; Wang, Miao; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2012-07-01

    Lactobacillus casei strains have traditionally been recognized as probiotics and frequently used as adjunct culture in fermented dairy products where lactic acid stress is a frequently encountered environmental condition. We have investigated the effect of lactic acid stress on the cell membrane of L. casei Zhang [wild type (WT)] and its acid-resistant mutant Lbz-2. Both strains were grown under glucose-limiting conditions in chemostats; following challenge by low pH, the cell membrane stress responses were investigated. In response to acid stress, cell membrane fluidity decreased and its fatty acid composition changed to reduce the damage caused by lactic acid. Compared with the WT, the acid-resistant mutant exhibited numerous survival advantages, such as higher membrane fluidity, higher proportions of unsaturated fatty acids, and higher mean chain length. In addition, cell integrity analysis showed that the mutant maintained a more intact cellular structure and lower membrane permeability after environmental acidification. These results indicate that alteration in membrane fluidity, fatty acid distribution, and cell integrity are common mechanisms utilized by L. casei to withstand severe acidification and to reduce the deleterious effect of lactic acid on the cell membrane. This detailed comparison of cell membrane responses between the WT and mutant add to our knowledge of the acid stress adaptation and thus enable new strategies to be developed aimed at improving the industrial performance of this species under acid stress. PMID:22366811

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-14

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

  5. Evaluating the interfacial reaction kinetics of the bipolar membrane interface in the bipolar membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Peng, Sikan; Lu, Shanfu; Zhang, Jin; Sui, Pang-Chieh; Xiang, Yan

    2013-07-21

    A reaction kinetic model of the bipolar membrane interface in the bipolar membrane fuel cell (BPMFC) was proposed based on the p-n junction theory and chemical reaction kinetics. It verified the self-humidification feasibility of the BPMFC successfully. PMID:23744271

  6. Analytical determination of critical crack size in solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, C. P.

    1988-01-01

    Although solar cells usually have chips and cracks, no material specifications concerning the allowable crack size on solar cells are available for quality assurance and engineering design usage. Any material specifications that the cell manufacturers use were developed for cosmetic reasons that have no technical basis. Therefore, the Applied Solar Energy Corporation (ASEC) has sponsored a continuing program for the fracture mechanics evaluation of GaAs. Fracture mechanics concepts were utilized to develop an analytical model that can predict the critical crack size of solar cells. This model indicates that the edge cracks of a solar cell are more critical than its surface cracks. In addition, the model suggests that the material specifications on the allowable crack size used for Si solar cells should not be applied to GaAs solar cells. The analytical model was applied to Si and GaAs solar cells, but it would also be applicable to the semiconductor wafers of other materials, such as a GaAs thin film on a Ge substrate, using appropriate input data.

  7. Cell membrane potentials induced during exposure to EMP fields

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2016-01-21

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes that make major contributions to the production of the oxygen in the Earth atmosphere. The photosynthetic machinery in cyanobacterial cells is housed in flattened membrane structures called thylakoids. The structural organization of cyanobacterial cells and the arrangement of the thylakoid membranes in response to environmental conditions have been widely investigated. However, there is limited knowledge about the internal dynamics of these membranes in terms of their flexibility and motion during the photosynthetic process. We present a direct observation of thylakoid membrane undulatory motion in vivo and show a connection between membrane mobility and photosynthetic activity. High-resolution inelastic neutron scattering experiments on the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 assessed the flexibility of cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane sheets and the dependence of the membranes on illumination conditions. We observed softer thylakoid membranes in the dark that have three-to four fold excess mobility compared to membranes under high light conditions. Our analysis indicates that electron transfer between photosynthetic reaction centers and the associated electrochemical proton gradient across the thylakoid membrane result in a significant driving force for excess membrane dynamics. These observations provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between photosynthesis and cellular architecture. PMID:26790980

  11. Humidification studies on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sridhar, P.; Perumal, Ramkumar; Rajalakshmi, N.; Raja, M.; Dhathathreyan, K. S.

    Two methods of humidifying the anode gas, namely, external and membrane humidification, for a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel (PEMFC) cell are explained. It is found that the water of solvation of protons decreases with increase in the current density and the electrode area. This is due to insufficient external humidification. In a membrane-based humidification, an optimum set of parameters, such as gas flow rate, area and type of the membrane, must be chosen to achieve effective humidification. The present study examines the dependence of water pick-up by hydrogen on the temperature, area and thickness of the membrane in membrane humidification. Since the performance of the fuel cell is dependent more on hydrogen humidification than on oxygen humidification, the scope of the work is restricted to the humidification of hydrogen using Nafion ® membrane. An examination is made on the dependence of water pick-up by hydrogen in membrane humidification on the temperature, area and thickness of the membrane. The dependence of fuel cell performance on membrane humidification and external humidification in the anode gas is also considered.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    The T lymphocyte plasma membrane condenses at the site of activation but the functional significance of this receptor-mediated membrane reorganization is not yet known. Here we demonstrate that membrane condensation at the T cell activation sites can be inhibited by incorporation of the oxysterol 7-ketocholesterol (7KC), which is known to prevent the formation of raft-like liquid-ordered domains in model membranes. We enriched T cells with 7KC, or cholesterol as control, to assess the importance of membrane condensation for T cell activation. Upon 7KC treatment, T cell antigen receptor (TCR) triggered calcium fluxes and early tyrosine phosphorylation events appear unaltered. However, signaling complexes form less efficiently on the cell surface, fewer phosphorylated signaling proteins are retained in the plasma membrane and actin restructuring at activation sites is impaired in 7KC-enriched cells resulting in compromised downstream activation responses. Our data emphasizes lipids as an important medium for the organization at T cell activation sites and strongly indicates that membrane condensation is an important element of the T cell activation process. PMID:18509459

  13. Photocatalytic Degradation of Cell Membrane Coatings for Controlled Drug Release.

    PubMed

    Rao, Lang; Meng, Qian-Fang; Huang, Qinqin; Liu, Pei; Bu, Lin-Lin; Kondamareddy, Kiran Kumar; Guo, Shi-Shang; Liu, Wei; Zhao, Xing-Zhong

    2016-06-01

    Biomimetic cell-membrane-camouflaged particles with desirable features have been widely used for various biomedical applications. However, there are few reports on employing these particles for cancer drug delivery due to the failure of the membrane coatings to be efficiently degraded in the tumor microenvironment which hampers the drug release. In this work, core-shell SiO2 @TiO2 nanoparticles with enhanced photocatalytic activity are used for controlled degradation of surface erythrocyte membrane coatings. The antitumor drug docetaxel is encapsulated into nanocarriers to demonstrate the controlled drug release under ultraviolet irradiation, and the drug-loaded nanoparticles are further used for enhanced cancer cell therapy. Here, a simple but practical method for degradation of cell membrane coatings is presented, and a good feasibility of using cell membrane-coated nanocarriers for controlled drug delivery is demonstrated. PMID:27191802

  14. Cell Membranes Under Hydrostatic Pressure Subjected to Micro-Injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vassilev, Vassil M.; Kostadinov, Kostadin G.; Mladenov, Ivaïlo M.; Shulev, Assen A.; Stoilov, Georgi I.; Djondjorov, Peter A.

    2011-04-01

    The work is concerned with the determination of the mechanical behaviour of cell membranes under uniform hydrostatic pressure subject to micro-injections. For that purpose, assuming that the shape of the deformed cell membrane is axisymmetric a variational statement of the problem is developed on the ground of the so-called spontaneous curvature model. In this setting, the cell membrane is regarded as an axisymmetric surface in the three-dimensional Euclidean space providing a stationary value of the shape energy functional under the constraint of fixed total area and fixed enclosed volume. The corresponding Euler-Lagrange equations and natural boundary conditions are derived, analyzed and used to express the forces and moments in the membrane. Several examples of such surfaces representing possible shapes of cell membranes under pressure subjected to micro injection are determined numerically.

  15. Extracellular Protease Digestion to Evaluate Membrane Protein Cell Surface Localization

    PubMed Central

    Besingi, Richard N.; Clark, Patricia L.

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins play crucial roles in signaling and as anchors for cell surface display. Proper secretion of a membrane protein can be evaluated by its susceptibility to digestion by an extracellular protease, but this requires a crucial control to confirm membrane integrity during digestion. This protocol describes how to use this approach to determine how efficiently a protein is secreted to the outer surface of Gram-negative bacteria. Its success relies upon careful selection of an appropriate intracellular reporter protein that will remain undigested if the membrane barrier remains intact, but is rapidly digested when cells are lysed prior to evaluation. Reporter proteins that are resistant to proteases (e.g. maltose-binding protein) do not return accurate results; in contrast, proteins that are more readily digested (e.g. SurA) serve as more sensitive reporters of membrane integrity, yielding more accurate measurements of membrane protein localization. Similar considerations apply when evaluating membrane protein localization in other contexts, including eukaryotic cells and organelle membranes. Evaluating membrane protein localization using this approach requires only standard biochemistry laboratory equipment for cell lysis, gel electrophoresis and western blotting. After expression of the protein of interest, this procedure can be completed in 4 h. PMID:26584447

  16. Membrane potential perturbations induced in tissue cells by pulsed electric fields

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, M.S.

    1995-09-01

    Pulsed electric fields directly influence the electrophysiology of tissue cells by transiently perturbing their transmembrane potential. To determine the magnitude and time course of this interaction, electronic cable theory was used to calculate the membrane potential perturbations induced in tissue cells by a spatially uniform, pulsed electric field. Analytic solutions were obtained that predict shifts in membrane potential along the length of cells as a function of time in response to an electrical pulse. For elongated tissue cells, or groups of tissue cells that are couple electronically by gap junctions, significant hyperpolarizations and depolarizations can result form millisecond applications of electric fields with strengths on the order of 10--100 mV/cm. The results illustrate the importance of considering cellular cable parameters in assessing the effects of transient electric fields on biological systems, as well as in predicting the efficacy of pulsed electric fields in medical treatments.

  17. How the antimicrobial peptides destroy bacteria cell membrane: Translocations vs. membrane buckling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, T; Hirabayashi, Y

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  20. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

    Curving biological membranes establishes the complex architecture of the cell and mediates membrane traffic to control flux through subcellular compartments. Common molecular mechanisms for bending membranes are evident in different cell biological contexts across eukaryotic phyla. These mechanisms can be intrinsic to the membrane bilayer (either the lipid or protein components) or can be brought about by extrinsic factors, including the cytoskeleton. Here, we review examples of membrane curvature generation in animals, fungi, and plants. We showcase the molecular mechanisms involved and how they collaborate and go on to highlight contexts of curvature that are exciting areas of future research. Lessons from how membranes are bent in yeast and mammals give hints as to the molecular mechanisms we expect to see used by plants and protists. PMID:27528656

  1. Mechanisms of gold nanoparticle mediated ultrashort laser cell membrane perforation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schomaker, M.; Baumgart, J.; Motekaitis, D.; Heinemann, D.; Krawinkel, J.; Pangalos, M.; Bintig, W.; Boulais, E.; Lachaine, R.; St.-Louis Lalonde, B.; Ngezahayo, A.; Meunier, M.; Heisterkamp, A.

    2011-03-01

    The gold nanoparticle (AuNP) mediated ultrashort laser cell membrane perforation has been proven as an efficient delivery method to bring membrane impermeable molecules into the cytoplasm. Nevertheless, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully determined yet. Different effects may occur when irradiating a AuNP with ultrashort laser pulses and finally enable the molecule to transfer. Depending on the parameters (pulse length, laser fluence and wavelength, particle size and shape, etc.) light absorption or an enhanced near field scattering can lead to perforation of the cell membrane when the particle is in close vicinity. Here we present our experimental results to clarify the perforation initiating mechanisms. The generation of cavitation and gas bubbles due to the laser induced effects were observed via time resolved imaging. Additionally, pump-probe experiments for bubble detection was performed. Furthermore, in our patch clamp studies a depolarization of the membrane potential and the current through the membrane of AuNP loaded cell during laser treatment was detected. This indicates an exchange of extra- and intra cellular ions trough the perforated cell membrane for some milliseconds. Additionally investigations by ESEM imaging were applied to study the interaction of cells and AuNP after co incubation. The images show an attachment of AuNP at the cell membrane after several hours of incubation. Moreover, images of irradiated and AuNP loaded cells were taken to visualize the laser induced effects.

  2. Human hepatocytes and endothelial cells in organotypic membrane systems.

    PubMed

    Salerno, Simona; Campana, Carla; Morelli, Sabrina; Drioli, Enrico; De Bartolo, Loredana

    2011-12-01

    The realization of organotypic liver model that exhibits stable phenotype is a major challenge in the field of liver tissue engineering. In this study we developed liver organotypic co-culture systems by using synthetic and biodegradable membranes with primary human hepatocytes and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Synthetic membranes prepared by a polymeric blend constituted of modified polyetheretherketone (PEEK-WC) and polyurethane (PU) and biodegradable chitosan membranes were developed by phase inversion technique and used in homotypic and organotypic culture systems. The morphological and functional characteristics of cells in the organotypic co-culture membrane systems were evaluated in comparison with homotypic cultures and traditional systems. Hepatocytes in the organotypic co-culture systems exhibit compact polyhedral cells with round nuclei and well demarcated cell-cell borders like in vivo, as a result of heterotypic interaction with HUVECs. In addition HUVECs formed tube-like structures directly through the interactions with the membranes and hepatocytes and indirectly through the secretion of ECM proteins which secretion improved in the organotypic co-culture membrane systems. The heterotypic cell-cell contacts have beneficial effect on the hepatocyte albumin production, urea synthesis and drug biotransformation. The developed organotypic co-culture membrane systems elicit liver specific functions in vitro and could be applied for the realization of engineered liver tissues to be used in tissue engineering, drug metabolism studies and bioartificial liver devices. PMID:21871658

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-21

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

  4. Improved Membrane Materials for PEM Fuel Cell Application

    SciTech Connect

    Kenneth A. Mauritz; Robert B. Moore

    2008-06-30

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1989-01-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cell devices revolves around the development and subsequent investigation of the perfluorinated inomeric membrane separator useful in proton-exchange membrane systems. Work is currently focusing on studying the effects of equivalent weight, thickness, water of hydration, pretreatment procedures, as well as the degree of water management required for a given membrane separator in the cell. The presentation will include details of certain aspects of the above as well as some of the requirements for high and low power generation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1989-12-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cell devices revolves around the development and subsequent investigation of the perfluorinated inomeric membrane separator useful in proton-exchange membrane systems. Work is currently focusing on studying the effects of equivalent weight, thickness, water of hydration, pretreatment procedures, as well as the degree of water management required for a given membrane separator in the cell. The presentation will include details of certain aspects of the above as well as some of the requirements for high and low power generation.

  7. Blood analyte sensing using fluorescent dye-loaded red blood cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritter, Sarah C.; Shao, Xiaole; Cooley, Nicholas; Milanick, Mark A.; Glass, Timothy E.; Meissner, Kenith E.

    2014-02-01

    Measurement of blood analytes provides crucial information about a patient's health. Some such analytes, such as glucose in the case of diabetes, require long-term or near-continuous monitoring for proper disease management. However, current monitoring techniques are far from ideal: multiple-per-day finger stick tests are inconvenient and painful for the patient; implantable sensors have short functional life spans (i.e., 3-7 days). Due to analyte transporters on red blood cell (RBC) membranes that equilibrate intracellular and extracellular analyte levels, RBCs serve as an attractive alternative for encapsulating analyte sensors. Once reintroduced to the blood stream, the functionalized RBCs may continue to live for the remainder of their life span (120 days for humans). They are biodegradable and biocompatible, thereby eliminating the immune system response common for many implanted devices. The proposed sensing system utilizes the ability of the RBCs to swell in response to a decrease in the osmolarity of the extracellular solution. Just before lysis, they develop small pores on the scale of tens of nanometers. While at low temperature, analyte-sensitive dyes in the extracellular solution diffuse into the perforated RBCs and become entrapped upon restoration of temperature and osmolarity. Since the fluorescent signal from the entrapped dye reports on changes in the analyte level of the extracellular solution via the RBC transporters, interactions between the RBCs and the dye are critical to the efficacy of this technique. In this work, we study the use of a near infrared pH sensitive dye encapsulated within RBCs and assess the ability to measure dye fluorescence in vivo.

  8. Layer-by-layer cell membrane assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matosevic, Sandro; Paegel, Brian M.

    2013-11-01

    Eukaryotic subcellular membrane systems, such as the nuclear envelope or endoplasmic reticulum, present a rich array of architecturally and compositionally complex supramolecular targets that are as yet inaccessible. Here we describe layer-by-layer phospholipid membrane assembly on microfluidic droplets, a route to structures with defined compositional asymmetry and lamellarity. Starting with phospholipid-stabilized water-in-oil droplets trapped in a static droplet array, lipid monolayer deposition proceeds as oil/water-phase boundaries pass over the droplets. Unilamellar vesicles assembled layer-by-layer support functional insertion both of purified and of in situ expressed membrane proteins. Synthesis and chemical probing of asymmetric unilamellar and double-bilayer vesicles demonstrate the programmability of both membrane lamellarity and lipid-leaflet composition during assembly. The immobilized vesicle arrays are a pragmatic experimental platform for biophysical studies of membranes and their associated proteins, particularly complexes that assemble and function in multilamellar contexts in vivo.

  9. Effect of Hydroperoxides on Red Blood Cell Membrane Mechanical Properties

    PubMed Central

    Hale, John P.; Winlove, C. Peter; Petrov, Peter G.

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the effect of oxidative stress on red blood cell membrane mechanical properties in vitro using detailed analysis of the membrane thermal fluctuation spectrum. Two different oxidants, the cytosol-soluble hydrogen peroxide and the membrane-soluble cumene hydroperoxide, are used, and their effects on the membrane bending elastic modulus, surface tension, strength of confinement due to the membrane skeleton, and 2D shear elastic modulus are measured. We find that both oxidants alter significantly the membrane elastic properties, but their effects differ qualitatively and quantitatively. While hydrogen peroxide mainly affects the elasticity of the membrane protein skeleton (increasing the membrane shear modulus), cumene hydroperoxide has an impact on both membrane skeleton and lipid bilayer mechanical properties, as can be seen from the increased values of the shear and bending elastic moduli. The biologically important implication of these results is that the effects of oxidative stress on the biophysical properties, and hence the physiological functions, of the cell membrane depend on the nature of the oxidative agent. Thermal fluctuation spectroscopy provides a means of characterizing these different effects, potentially in a clinical milieu. PMID:22004746

  10. Existence of a Flat Phase in Red Cell Membrane Skeletons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Christoph F.; Svoboda, Karel; Lei, Ning; Petsche, Irena B.; Berman, Lonny E.; Safinya, Cyrus R.; Grest, Gary S.

    1993-02-01

    Biomolecular membranes display rich statistical mechanical behavior. They are classified as liquid in the absence of shear elasticity in the plane of the membrane and tethered (solid) when the neighboring molecules or subunits are connected and the membranes exhibit solid-like elastic behavior in the plane of the membrane. The spectrin skeleton of red blood cells was studied as a model tethered membrane. The static structure factor of the skeletons, measured by small-angle x-ray and light scattering, was fitted with a structure factor predicted with a model calculation. The model describes tethered membrane sheets with free edges in a flat phase, which is a locally rough but globally flat membrane configuration. The fit was good for large scattering vectors. The membrane roughness exponent, zeta, defined through h propto L^zeta, where h is the average amplitude of out-of-plane fluctuations and L is the linear membrane dimension, was determined to be 0.65 ± 0.10. Computer simulations of model red blood cell skeletons also showed this flat phase. The value for the roughness exponent, which was determined from the scaling properties of membranes of different sizes, was consistent with that from the experiments.

  11. Radiation Interaction with Therapeutic Drugs and Cell Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Diana I.; Manaila, Elena N.; Matei, Constantin I.; Iacob, Nicusor I.; Ighigeanu, Daniel I.; Craciun, Gabriela D.; Moisescu, Mihaela I.; Savopol, Tudor D.; Kovacs, Eugenia A.; Cinca, Sabin A.; Margaritescu, Irina D.

    2007-04-23

    This transient permeabilized state of the cell membrane, named the 'cell electroporation' (CE) can be used to increase cells uptake of drugs that do not readily pass cell membrane, thus enabling their cytotoxicity. The anticancer drugs, such as bleomycin (BL) and cisplatin, are the most candidates for the combined use with ionizing and non-ionizing radiation fields. The methods and installations for the cell electroporation by electron beam (EB) and microwave (MW) irradiation are presented. The viability tests of the human leukocytes under EB and MW exposure with/without the BL in the cell cultures are discussed.

  12. Cytoskeletal control of the red-blood cell membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gov, Nir; Safran, Sam

    2004-03-01

    We have shown (Physical Review Letters, 90, 228101 (2003)) that the thermal fluctuations of red blood cells can be accounted for by a model of a nearly-free, but confined bilayer membrane with a finite tension; both the confinement and tension arise from the coupling of the membrane with the cytoskeleton. Recently, we have shown that these relatively gentle effects of the cytoskeleton-membrane couplings on the membrane fluctuations are due to the dilute nature of the coupling molecules. To quantify this, we predict the fluctuation amplitude for a microscopic model of the inhomogeneous coupling of a fluid membrane and a fixed cytoskeleton. The coupling is modeled as periodic and harmonic, and we consider the linear response of the membrane. We find that there is indeed, an effective surface tension and confinement of such a membrane, in accord with our phenomenological model, and relate these quantities to the strength and periodicity of the microscopic coupling. We also find, surprisingly, that the membrane can develop a spontaneous breaking of the cytoskeleton symmetry, at low confinements. Finally we address the role of ATP activity on the cytoskeleton-driven fluctuations and the equilibrium shape of the cell. We examine in detail the role of spectrin disconnections as the main ATP-activated network defects on the global cell shape and membrane fluctuations.

  13. Investigating cell membrane structure and dynamics with TCSPC-FLIM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Marois, Alix; Owen, Dylan M.; Suhling, Klaus

    2015-03-01

    We report the use of Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) in a polarization-resolved Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) setup for the investigation of cell membrane structural and dynamic properties. This technique allows us to study the orientation and mobility of fluorescent membrane dyes, namely di-4-ANEPPDHQ and DiO, in model bilayers of different lipid compositions. Dipole alignment and extent of rotational motion can be linked to membrane order and fluidity. Comparison of the time-resolved anisotropy decays of the two fluorescent dyes suggests that rotational motion of membrane constituents is restricted in liquid-ordered phases, and appears to be limited to the region of aliphatic tails in liquid-disordered phases. In living cells, understanding the membrane structure provides crucial information on its functional properties, such as exo- and endocytosis, cell mobility and signal transduction.

  14. Direct measurements of membrane potential and membrane resistance of human red cells

    PubMed Central

    Lassen, U. V.; Sten-Knudsen, O.

    1968-01-01

    1. In order to evaluate the membrane potentials calculated from the distribution of chloride ions in human red cells and plasma, it is desirable to have a direct measurement of the transmembrane potential of these cells. 2. A method has been devised for introducing a capillary micro-electrode into human red cells. The method allows simultaneous measurements of potential and membrane resistance with only one micro-electrode located in the cell. 3. Upon impalement of single cells in plasma, a scatter of membrane potentials and of resistance values was obtained. The potential drop never exceeded -14 mV and the maximum resistances were about 7 Ω. cm2. Positive potentials were obtained on impalement of red cell aggregates. 4. Arguments are given to support the view that it is in these cells which suffer least damage from the impalement that maximum values of membrane potentials and resistances are observed. The errors caused by the change in the liquid junction during the impalement have been estimated. 5. As judged from this study, it seems permissible under normal conditions to calculate the membrane potential of the red cell from the chloride concentrations in plasma and in intracellular water. PMID:5649641

  15. Cell-cell communication via extracellular membrane vesicles and its role in the immune response.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Inkyu

    2013-08-01

    The host immune response involves a variety of cell types, including specialized immune and non-immune cells. The delicate coordination among these cells via close communication is central for the proper operation of immune system. Cell-cell communication is mediated by a complex network that includes soluble factors such as cytokines, chemokines, and metabolites exported from cells, as well as membrane-bound receptors and their ligands. Cell-cell communication is also mediated by membrane vesicles (e.g., exosomes, ectosomes), which are either shed by distant cells or exchanged by cells that are making direct contact. Intercellular communication via extracellular membrane vesicles has drawn much attention recently, as they have been shown to carry various biomolecules that modulate the activities of recipient cells. In this review, I will discuss current views on cell-cell communication via extra-cellular membrane vesicles, especially shedded membrane vesicles, and their effects on the control of the immune system. PMID:23807045

  16. A Facile Approach to Functionalize Cell Membrane-Coated Nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Hao; Fan, Zhiyuan; Lemons, Pelin K.; Cheng, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Convenient strategies to provide cell membrane-coated nanoparticles (CM-NPs) with multi-functionalities beyond the natural function of cell membranes would dramatically expand the application of this emerging class of nanomaterials. We have developed a facile approach to functionalize CM-NPs by chemically modifying live cell membranes prior to CM-NP fabrication using a bifunctional linker, succinimidyl-[(N-maleimidopropionamido)-polyethyleneglycol] ester (NHS-PEG-Maleimide). This method is particularly suitable to conjugate large bioactive molecules such as proteins on cell membranes as it establishes a strong anchorage and enable the control of linker length, a critical parameter for maximizing the function of anchored proteins. As a proof of concept, we show the conjugation of human recombinant hyaluronidase, PH20 (rHuPH20) on red blood cell (RBC) membranes and demonstrate that long linker (MW: 3400) is superior to short linker (MW: 425) for maintaining enzyme activity, while minimizing the changes to cell membranes. When the modified membranes were fabricated into RBC membrane-coated nanoparticles (RBCM-NPs), the conjugated rHuPH20 can assist NP diffusion more efficiently than free rHuPH20 in matrix-mimicking gels and the pericellular hyaluronic acid matrix of PC3 prostate cancer cells. After quenching the unreacted chemical groups with polyethylene glycol, we demonstrated that the rHuPH20 modification does not reduce the ultra-long blood circulation time of RBCM-NPs. Therefore, this surface engineering approach provides a platform to functionlize CM-NPs without sacrificing the natural function of cell membranes. PMID:27217834

  17. Catalytic membranes for CO oxidation in fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Sandi-Tapia, Giselle; Carrado Gregar, Kathleen; Kizilel, Riza

    2010-06-08

    A hydrogen permeable membrane, which includes a polymer stable at temperatures of about 200 C having clay impregnated with Pt or Au or Ru or Pd particles or mixtures thereof with average diameters of less than about 10 nanometers (nms) is disclosed. The membranes are useful in fuel cells or any device which requires hydrogen to be separated from carbon monoxide.

  18. Membrane-electrode assemblies for electrochemical cells

    DOEpatents

    Swathirajan, Sundararajan; Mikhail, Youssef M.

    1993-01-01

    A combination, unitary, membrane and electrode assembly with a solid polymer electrolyte membrane, and first and second electrodes at least partially embedded in opposed surfaces of the membrane. The electrodes each comprise a respective group of finely divided carbon particles, very finely divided catalytic particles supported on internal and external surfaces of the carbon particles and a proton conductive material intermingled with the catalytic and carbon particles. A first group of finely divided carbon particles forming the first electrode has greater water attraction and retention properties, and is more hydrophilic than a second group of carbon particles forming the second electrode. In a preferred method, the membrane electrode assembly of the invention is prepared by forming a slurry of proton conductive material and at least one group of the carbon and catalyst particles. The slurry is applied to the opposed surfaces of the membrane and heated while being pressed to the membrane for a time and at a temperature and compressive load sufficient to embed at least a portion of the particles into the membrane.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. Membrane organization and cell fusion during mating in fission yeast requires multipass membrane protein Prm1.

    PubMed

    Curto, M-Ángeles; Sharifmoghadam, Mohammad Reza; Calpena, Eduardo; De León, Nagore; Hoya, Marta; Doncel, Cristina; Leatherwood, Janet; Valdivieso, M-Henar

    2014-04-01

    The involvement of Schizosaccharomyces pombe prm1(+) in cell fusion during mating and its relationship with other genes required for this process have been addressed. S. pombe prm1Δ mutant exhibits an almost complete blockade in cell fusion and an abnormal distribution of the plasma membrane and cell wall in the area of cell-cell interaction. The distribution of cellular envelopes is similar to that described for mutants devoid of the Fig1-related claudin-like Dni proteins; however, prm1(+) and the dni(+) genes act in different subpathways. Time-lapse analyses show that in the wild-type S. pombe strain, the distribution of phosphatidylserine in the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane undergoes some modification before an opening is observed in the cross wall at the cell-cell contact region. In the prm1Δ mutant, this membrane modification does not take place, and the cross wall between the mating partners is not extensively degraded; plasma membrane forms invaginations and fingers that sometimes collapse/retract and that are sometimes strengthened by the synthesis of cell-wall material. Neither prm1Δ nor prm1Δ dniΔ zygotes lyse after cell-cell contact in medium containing and lacking calcium. Response to drugs that inhibit lipid synthesis or interfere with lipids is different in wild-type, prm1Δ, and dni1Δ strains, suggesting that membrane structure/organization/dynamics is different in all these strains and that Prm1p and the Dni proteins exert some functions required to guarantee correct membrane organization that are critical for cell fusion. PMID:24514900

  1. Graphene can wreak havoc with cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Dallavalle, Marco; Calvaresi, Matteo; Bottoni, Andrea; Melle-Franco, Manuel; Zerbetto, Francesco

    2015-02-25

    Molecular dynamics--coarse grained to the level of hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions--shows that small hydrophobic graphene sheets pierce through the phospholipid membrane and navigate the double layer, intermediate size sheets pierce the membrane only if a suitable geometric orientation is met, and larger sheets lie mainly flat on the top of the bilayer where they wreak havoc with the membrane and create a patch of upturned phospholipids. The effect arises in order to maximize the interaction between hydrophobic moieties and is quantitatively explained in terms of flip-flops by the analysis of the simulations. Possible severe biological consequences are discussed. PMID:25648559

  2. Enzyme Activities in Polarized Cell Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Bass, L.; McIlroy, D. K.

    1968-01-01

    The theoretical pH dependence of enzyme activities in membranes of low dielectric constant is estimated. It is shown that in biological membranes some types of enzymes may attain a limiting pH sensitivity such that an increment of only 0.2 pH unit (sufficient to induce action potentials in squid axons) causes a relative activity change of over 25%. The transients of enzyme activity generated by membrane depolarization and by pH increments in the bathing solution are discussed in relation to the transients of nervous excitation. PMID:5641405

  3. Sulfonated polyphosphazene-based membranes for use in direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, Roy Lee

    Novel crosslinked and sulfonated poly[bis(3-methylphenoxy)phosphazene] blended proton exchange membranes were fabricated for use as the solid polymer electrolyte in a direct methanol fuel cell. Three polymers, polybenzimidazole, polyacrylonitrile and polyvinylidene fluoride-co-polyhexafluoropropylene were found to be compatible for blending with sulfonated polyphosphazene. A combination of blending and crosslinking was shown to be an effective method of producing durable, low water swelling films with acceptable proton conductivity. A novel tracer-diffusion 1H NMR method was developed and used to measure the mutual diffusion of methanol in non-crosslinked and crosslinked membranes composed of sulfonated polyphosphazene. The technique measures the growth of a solute NMR signal in the bulk (external) solution as it diffuses out of a thin film membrane. The transient increase in methanol peak height during analyte (methanol) desorption was fitted to a simple theoretical diffusion model using the methanol diffusion coefficient as an adjustable parameter. This method was found to be fast, reproducible, and accurate to within about +/-20%. Diffusion coefficients at 25°C were in the range of 1.0 x 10-8 cm2/s to 4.0 x 10-7 cm2/s for methanol concentrations of 1.0--5.0 M and were significantly smaller than those reported for a NafionRTM perfluorosulfonic acid membrane. Direct liquid methanol fuel cell tests were performed with membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) fabricated with polyphosphazene-based proton-exchange membranes. MEAs worked best when high ion-exchange capacity (high conductivity) polyphosphazene membrane contacted the electrodes, in which case the fuel cell power output was nearly the same as that with Nafion 117 (for current densities ≤0.15 A/cm2), but the methanol crossover was three times lower than that of Nafion. The electrochemical performance of single-membrane MEAs with low conductivity S-POP/PAN films was poor, although the methanol crossover was

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  5. Refurbishment of an Analytical Laboratory Hot Cell Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenberg, K.E.; Henslee, S.P.; Michelbacher, J.A.; Coleman, R.M.

    1996-08-01

    An Analytical Laboratory Hot Cell (ALHC) Facility at Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W) was in service for nearly thirty years. In order to comply with DOE regulations governing such facilities and meet ANL-W programmatic requirements, a major refurbishment effort was undertaken. To place the facility in compliance with current regulations, all penetrations within the facility were sealed, the ventilation system was redesigned, upgraded and replaced, the master-slave manipulators were replaced, the hot cell windows were removed, refurbished, and reinstalled, all hot cell utilities were replaced, a lead-shielded glovebox housing an Inductive Coupled Plasma - Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES) System was interfaced with the hot cells, and a new CO{sub 2} fire suppression system and other ALHC support equipment were installed.

  6. Cd and Hg ions stimulate cell membrane potassium conductance

    SciTech Connect

    Jungwirth, A.; Paulmichl, M.; Lang, F. )

    1989-02-09

    Intracellular microelectrodes have been applied to study the effect of cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) ions on cultured renal epitheloid Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells. Within 10 seconds Cd and within 50 seconds Hg hyperpolarize the cell membrane from - 53 {plus minus} 1 mV to - 68 {plus minus} 1 mV and - 67 {plus minus} 1 mV, resp., increase the potassium selectivity of the cell membrane (tk) from 0.33 {plus minus} 0.02 to 0.64 {plus minus} 0.03 and 0.77 {plus minus} 0.02, resp., and reduce the apparent cell membrane resistance from 40 {plus minus} 2 MOhm to 27 {plus minus} 2 MOhm and 22 {plus minus} 2 MOhm, resp.. Thus, both, Cd and Hg hyperpolarize the cell membrane by enhancement of the potassium conductance. The concentration required to elicit half maximal hyperpolarization is some 400 nmol/1 for either, Cd or Hg. Barium (1 mmol/1) depolarizes the cell membrane to - 34 {plus minus} 1 mV and virtually abolishes tk in the absence of Cd and Hg. In the presence of barium Cd leads to a transient, Hg to a sustained reappearance of tk and hyperpolarization. Thus, the Cd induced potassium conductance is blocked by barium with delay, the Hg induced potassium conductance is insensitive to barium. Quinidine (1 mmol/1) depolarizes the cell membrane to - 3 {plus minus}1 mV and abolishes the effect of both, Cd and Hg. In the nominal absence of extracellular calcium Cd leads to transient, Hg to sustained increase of tk and hyperpolarization of the cell membrane. In conclusion, both, CD and Hg at the low concentrations encountered during Cd and Hg intoxication enhance potassium conductance of MDCK cell membranes. However, the channels activated apparently differ.

  7. Mechanical and water sorption properties of nafion and composite nafion/titanium dioxide membranes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satterfield, May Barclay

    The mechanical properties of the membranes used in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are important to the performance and longevity of the cell. The speed and extent of membrane water uptake depend on the membrane's viscoelastic mechanical properties, which are themselves dependent on membrane hydration, and increased hydration improves membrane proton conductivity and fuel cell performance. Membrane mechanical properties also affect durability and cell longevity, preventing membrane failure from stresses induced by changing temperature and water content during operational cycling. Further, membrane creep and stress-relaxation can change the extent of membrane/electrode contact, also changing cell behavior. New composite membrane materials have exhibited superior performance in fuel cells, and it is suspected that improved mechanical properties are responsible. Studies of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell dynamics using Nafion membranes have demonstrated the importance of membrane mechanical properties, swelling and water-absorption behavior to cell performance. Nonlinear and delayed dynamic responses to changing operating parameters were unexpected, but reminiscent of polymer viscoelastic behavior and water sorption dynamics, illustrating the need to better understand membrane properties to design and operate fuel cells. Further, Nafion/TiO2 composite membranes developed by the Princeton Chemistry Department improve fuel cell performance, which may be due to changes in membrane microstructure and enhanced mechanical properties. Mechanical properties, stress-relaxation behavior, water sorption and desorption rates and pressures exerted during hydration by a confined membrane have been measured for Nafion and for Nafion/TiO2 composite membranes. Mechanical properties, including the Young's modulus and limits of elastic deformation are dependent on temperature and membrane water content. The Young's modulus decreases with increasing water content and

  8. Adipocyte cell size enlargement involves plasma membrane area increase.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, H H; Zorec, R

    2012-07-01

    The adipocyte enlargement is associated with an increase in the cytoplasmic lipid content, but how the plasma membrane area follows this increase is poorly understood. We monitored single-cell membrane surface area fluctuations, which mirror the dynamics of exocytosis and endocytosis. We employed the patch-clamp technique to measure membrane capacitance (C(m)), a parameter linearly related to the plasma membrane area. Specifically, we studied whether insulin affects membrane area dynamics in adipocytes. A five-minute cell exposure to insulin increased resting C(m) by 12 ± 4%; in controls the change in C(m) was not different from zero. We measured cell diameter of isolated rat adipocytes microscopically. Twenty-four hour exposure of cells to insulin resulted in a significant increase in cell diameter by 5.1 ± 0.6%. We conclude that insulin induces membrane area increase, which may in chronic hyperinsulinemia promote the enlargement of plasma membrane area, acting in concert with other insulin-mediated metabolic effects on adipocytes. PMID:22540353

  9. Selectivity of biopolymer membranes using HepG2 cells

    PubMed Central

    Lü, Dongyuan; Gao, Yuxin; Luo, Chunhua; Lü, Shouqian; Wang, Qian; Xu, Xianghong; Sun, Shujin; Wang, Chengzhi; Long, Mian

    2015-01-01

    Bioartificial liver (BAL) system has emerged as an alternative treatment to bridge acute liver failure to either liver transplantation or liver regeneration. One of the main reasons that the efficacy of the current BAL systems was not convincing in clinical trials is attributed to the lack of friendly interface between the membrane and the hepatocytes in liver bioreactor, the core unit of BAL system. Here, we systematically compared the biological responses of hepatosarcoma HepG2 cells seeded on eight, commercially available biocompatible membranes made of acetyl cellulose-nitrocellulose mixed cellulose (CA-NC), acetyl cellulose (CA), nylon (JN), polypropylene (PP), nitrocellulose (NC), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polycarbonate (PC) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Physicochemical analysis and mechanical tests indicated that CA, JN and PP membranes yield high adhesivity and reasonable compressive and/or tensile features with friendly surface topography for cell seeding. Cells prefer to adhere on CA, JN, PP or PTFE membranes with high proliferation rate in spheriod-like shape. Actin, albumin and cytokeratin 18 expressions are favorable for cells on CA or PP membrane, whereas protein filtration is consistent among all the eight membranes. These results further the understandings of cell growth, morphology and spreading, as well as protein filtration on distinct membranes in designing a liver bioreactor. PMID:26816630

  10. Low Crossover Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prakash, G. K. Surya; Smart, Marshall; Atti, Anthony R.; Olah, George A.; Narayanan, S. R.; Valdez, T.; Surampudi, S.

    1996-01-01

    Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC's) using polymer electrolyte membranes are promising power sources for portable and vehicular applications. State of the art technology using Nafion(R) 117 membranes (Dupont) are limited by high methanol permeability and cost, resulting in reduced fuel cell efficiencies and impractical commercialization. Therefore, much research in the fuel cell field is focused on the preparation and testing of low crossover and cost efficient polymer electrolyte membranes. The University of Southern California in cooperation with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is focused on development of such materials. Interpenetrating polymer networks are an effective method used to blend polymer systems without forming chemical links. They provide the ability to modify physical and chemical properties of polymers by optimizing blend compositions. We have developed a novel interpenetrating polymer network based on poly (vinyl - difluoride)/cross-linked polystyrenesulfonic acid polymer composites (PVDF PSSA). Sulfonation of polystyrene accounts for protonic conductivity while the non-polar, PVDF backbone provides structural integrity in addition to methanol rejection. Precursor materials were prepared and analyzed to characterize membrane crystallinity, stability and degree of interpenetration. USC JPL PVDF-PSSA membranes were also characterized to determine methanol permeability, protonic conductivity and sulfur distribution. Membranes were fabricated into membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) and tested for single cell performance. Tests include cell performance over a wide range of temperatures (20 C - 90 C) and cathode conditions (ambient Air/O2). Methanol crossover values are measured in situ using an in-line CO2 analyzer.

  11. Cell-free system for synthesizing membrane proteins cell free method for synthesizing membrane proteins

    DOEpatents

    Laible, Philip D; Hanson, Deborah K

    2013-06-04

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

  12. Highly Permeable Silicon Membranes for Shear Free Chemotaxis and Rapid Cell Labeling

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Henry H.; Chan, Charles K.; Khire, Tejas S.; Marsh, Graham A.; Clark, Alfred; Waugh, Richard E.; McGrath, James L.

    2015-01-01

    Microfluidic systems are powerful tools for cell biology studies because they enable the precise addition and removal of solutes in small volumes. However, the fluid forces inherent in the use of microfluidics for cell cultures are sometimes undesirable. An important example is chemotaxis systems where fluid flow creates well-defined and steady chemotactic gradients but also pushes cells downstream. Here we demonstrate a chemotaxis system in which two chambers are separated by a molecularly thin (15 nm), transparent, and nanoporous silicon membrane. One chamber is a microfluidic channel that carries a flow-generated gradient while the other chamber is a shear-free environment for cell observation. The molecularly thin membranes provide effectively no resistance to molecular diffusion between the two chambers, making them ideal elements for creating flow-free chambers in microfluidic systems. Analytical and computational flow models that account for membrane and chamber geometry, predict shear reduction of more than five orders of magnitude. This prediction is confirmed by observing the pure diffusion of nanoparticles in the cell-hosting chamber despite high input flow (Q = 10 µL min−1; vavg ~45 mm min−1) in the flow chamber only 15 nm away. Using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, we show that a flow-generated molecular gradient will pass through the membrane into the quiescent cell chamber. Finally we demonstrate that our device allows us to expose migrating neutrophils to a chemotactic gradient or fluorescent label without any influence from flow. PMID:24850320

  13. Analytical applications of microbial fuel cells. Part I: Biochemical oxygen demand.

    PubMed

    Abrevaya, Ximena C; Sacco, Natalia J; Bonetto, Maria C; Hilding-Ohlsson, Astrid; Cortón, Eduardo

    2015-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical devices, where usually the anode (but sometimes the cathode, or both) contains microorganisms able to generate and sustain an electrochemical gradient which is used typically to generate electrical power. In the more studied set-up, the anode contains heterotrophic bacteria in anaerobic conditions, capable to oxidize organic molecules releasing protons and electrons, as well as other by-products. Released protons could reach the cathode (through a membrane or not) whereas electrons travel across an external circuit originating an easily measurable direct current flow. MFCs have been proposed fundamentally as electric power producing devices or more recently as hydrogen producing devices. Here we will review the still incipient development of analytical uses of MFCs or related devices or set-ups, in the light of a non-restrictive MFC definition, as promising tools to asset water quality or other measurable parameters. An introduction to biological based analytical methods, including bioassays and biosensors, as well as MFCs design and operating principles, will also be included. Besides, the use of MFCs as biochemical oxygen demand sensors (perhaps the main analytical application of MFCs) is discussed. In a companion review (Part 2), other new analytical applications are reviewed used for toxicity sensors, metabolic sensors, life detectors, and other proposed applications. PMID:24856922

  14. Membrane stress increases cation permeability in red cells.

    PubMed

    Johnson, R M

    1994-11-01

    The human red cell is known to increase its cation permeability when deformed by mechanical forces. Light-scattering measurements were used to quantitate the cell deformation, as ellipticity under shear. Permeability to sodium and potassium was not proportional to the cell deformation. An ellipticity of 0.75 was required to increase the permeability of the membrane to cations, and flux thereafter increased rapidly as the limits of cell extension were reached. Induction of membrane curvature by chemical agents also did not increase cation permeability. These results indicate that membrane deformation per se does not increase permeability, and that membrane tension is the effector for increased cation permeability. This may be relevant to some cation permeabilities observed by patch clamping. PMID:7858123

  15. Decreasing Outer Hair Cell Membrane Cholesterol Increases Cochlear Electromechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownell, William E.; Jacob, Stefan; Hakizimana, Pierre; Ulfendahl, Mats; Fridberger, Anders

    2011-11-01

    The effect of decreasing membrane cholesterol on the mechanical response of the cochlea to acoustic and/or electrical stimulation was monitored using laser interferometry. In contrast to pharmacological interventions that typically decrease cochlear electromechanics, reducing membrane cholesterol increased the response. The electromechanical response in untreated preparations was asymmetric with greater displacements in response to positive currents and cholesterol depletion increased the asymmetry. The results confirm that outer hair cell electromotility is enhanced by low membrane cholesterol. The asymmetry of the response indicates the outer hair cell resting membrane potential is hyperpolarized relative to the voltage of maximum gain for the outer hair cell voltage-displacement function. The magnitude of the response increase suggests a non-uniform distribution of cholesterol along the lateral wall of normal adult outer hair cells.

  16. Membrane Protein Mobility and Orientation Preserved in Supported Bilayers Created Directly from Cell Plasma Membrane Blebs.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-29

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

  17. Evaluation of composite membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, X.; Roberts, E. P. L.; Holmes, S. M.

    The performance of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) can be significantly affected by the transport of methanol through the membrane, depolarising the cathode. In this paper, the literature on composite membranes that have been developed for reduction of methanol crossover in DMFCs is reviewed. While such membranes can be effective in reducing methanol permeability, this is usually combined with a reduction in proton conductivity. Measurements of methanol permeability and proton conductivity are relatively straightforward, and these parameters (or a membrane 'selectivity' based on the ratio between them) are often used to characterize DMFC membranes. However, we have carried out one-dimensional simulations of DMFC performance for a wide range of membrane properties, and the results indicate that DMFC performance is normally either limited by methanol permeability or proton conductivity. Thus use of a 'selectivity' is not appropriate for comparison of membrane materials, and results from the model can be used to compare different membranes. The results also show that Nafion ® 117 has an optimum thickness, where DMFC performance is equally limited by both methanol permeability and proton conductivity. The model also indicates that new composite membranes based on Nafion ® can only offer significant improvement in DMFC performance by enabling operation with increased methanol concentration in the fuel. A number of composite membrane materials that have been reported in the literature are shown to deliver significant reduction in DMFC performance due to reduced proton conductivity, although improved performance at high methanol concentration may be possible.

  18. Membrane Composition Tunes the Outer Hair Cell Motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajagopalan, L.; Sfondouris, J.; Oghalai, J. S.; Pereira, F. A.; Brownell, W. E.

    2009-02-01

    Cholesterol and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an ω-3 fatty acid, affect membrane mechanical properties in different ways and modulate the function of membrane proteins. We have probed the functional consequence of altering cholesterol and DHA levels in the membranes of OHCs and prestin expressing HEK cells. Large, dynamic and reversible changes in prestin-associated charge movement and OHC motor activity result from altering the concentration of membrane cholesterol. Increasing membrane cholesterol shifts the q/V function ~ 50 mV in the hyperpolarizing direction, possibly a response related to increases in membrane stiffness. The voltage shift is linearly related to total membrane cholesterol. Increasing cholesterol also decreases the total charge moved in a linear fashion. Decreasing membrane cholesterol shifts the q/V function ~ 50 mV in the depolarizing direction with little or no effect on the amount of charge moved. In vivo increases in membrane cholesterol transiently increase but ultimately lead to decreases in DPOAE. Docosahexaenoic acid shifts the q/V function in the hyperpolarizing direction < 15 mV and increases total charge moved. Tuning of cochlear function by membrane cholesterol contributes to the exquisite temporal and frequency processing of mammalian hearing by optimizing the cochlear amplifier.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henle, Mark L.; Levine, Alex J.

    2009-03-01

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

  1. Controlled permeation of cell membrane by single bubble acoustic cavitation.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Y; Yang, K; Cui, J; Ye, J Y; Deng, C X

    2012-01-10

    Sonoporation is the membrane disruption generated by ultrasound and has been exploited as a non-viral strategy for drug and gene delivery. Acoustic cavitation of microbubbles has been recognized to play an important role in sonoporation. However, due to the lack of adequate techniques for precise control of cavitation activities and real-time assessment of the resulting sub-micron process of sonoporation, limited knowledge has been available regarding the detail processes and correlation of cavitation with membrane disruption at the single cell level. In the current study, we developed a combined approach including optical, acoustical, and electrophysiological techniques to enable synchronized manipulation, imaging, and measurement of cavitation of single bubbles and the resulting cell membrane disruption in real-time. Using a self-focused femtosecond laser and high frequency ultrasound (7.44MHz) pulses, a single microbubble was generated and positioned at a desired distance from the membrane of a Xenopus oocyte. Cavitation of the bubble was achieved by applying a low frequency (1.5MHz) ultrasound pulse (duration 13.3 or 40μs) to induce bubble collapse. Disruption of the cell membrane was assessed by the increase in the transmembrane current (TMC) of the cell under voltage clamp. Simultaneous high-speed bright field imaging of cavitation and measurements of the TMC were obtained to correlate the ultrasound-generated bubble activities with the cell membrane poration. The change in membrane permeability was directly associated with the formation of a sub-micrometer pore from a local membrane rupture generated by bubble collapse or bubble compression depending on ultrasound amplitude and duration. The impact of the bubble collapse on membrane permeation decreased rapidly with increasing distance (D) between the bubble (diameter d) and the cell membrane. The effective range of cavitation impact on membrane poration was determined to be D/d=0.75. The maximum mean

  2. Fault detection and isolation of PEM fuel cell system based on nonlinear analytical redundancy. An application via parity space approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aitouche, A.; Yang, Q.; Ould Bouamama, B.

    2011-05-01

    This paper presents a procedure dealing with the issue of fault detection and isolation (FDI) using nonlinear analytical redundancy (NLAR) technique applied in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system based on its mathematic model. The model is proposed and simplified into a five orders state space representation. The transient phenomena captured in the model include the compressor dynamics, the flow characteristics, mass and energy conservation and manifold fluidic mechanics. Nonlinear analytical residuals are generated based on the elimination of the unknown variables of the system by an extended parity space approach to detect and isolate actuator and sensor faults. Finally, numerical simulation results are given corresponding to a faults signature matrix.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Membrane Organization and Cell Fusion During Mating in Fission Yeast Requires Multipass Membrane Protein Prm1

    PubMed Central

    Curto, M.-Ángeles; Sharifmoghadam, Mohammad Reza; Calpena, Eduardo; De León, Nagore; Hoya, Marta; Doncel, Cristina; Leatherwood, Janet; Valdivieso, M.-Henar

    2014-01-01

    The involvement of Schizosaccharomyces pombe prm1+ in cell fusion during mating and its relationship with other genes required for this process have been addressed. S. pombe prm1Δ mutant exhibits an almost complete blockade in cell fusion and an abnormal distribution of the plasma membrane and cell wall in the area of cell–cell interaction. The distribution of cellular envelopes is similar to that described for mutants devoid of the Fig1-related claudin-like Dni proteins; however, prm1+ and the dni+ genes act in different subpathways. Time-lapse analyses show that in the wild-type S. pombe strain, the distribution of phosphatidylserine in the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane undergoes some modification before an opening is observed in the cross wall at the cell–cell contact region. In the prm1Δ mutant, this membrane modification does not take place, and the cross wall between the mating partners is not extensively degraded; plasma membrane forms invaginations and fingers that sometimes collapse/retract and that are sometimes strengthened by the synthesis of cell-wall material. Neither prm1Δ nor prm1Δ dniΔ zygotes lyse after cell–cell contact in medium containing and lacking calcium. Response to drugs that inhibit lipid synthesis or interfere with lipids is different in wild-type, prm1Δ, and dni1Δ strains, suggesting that membrane structure/organization/dynamics is different in all these strains and that Prm1p and the Dni proteins exert some functions required to guarantee correct membrane organization that are critical for cell fusion. PMID:24514900

  6. Loading of red blood cells with an analyte-sensitive dye for development of a long-term monitoring technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritter, Sarah C.; Meissner, Kenith E.

    2012-03-01

    Measurement of blood analytes, such as pH and glucose, provide crucial information about a patient's health. Some such analytes, such as glucose in the case of diabetes, require long-term or near-continuous monitoring for proper disease management. However, current monitoring techniques are far from ideal: multiple-per-day finger stick tests are inconvenient and painful for the patient; implantable sensors have short functional life spans (i.e., 3-7 days). Red blood cells serve as an attractive alternative for carriers of analyte sensors. Once reintroduced to the blood stream, these carriers may continue to live for the remainder of their life span (120 days for humans). They are also biodegradable and biocompatible, thereby eliminating the immune system response common for many implanted devices. The proposed carrier system takes advantage of the ability of the red blood cells to swell in response to a decrease in the osmolarity of the extracellular solution. Just before the membranes lyse, they develop small pores on the scale of tens of nanometers. Analyte-sensitive dyes in the extracellular solution may then diffuse into the perforated red blood cells and become entrapped upon restoration of physiological temperature and osmolarity. Because the membranes contain various analyte transporters, intracellular analyte levels rapidly equilibrate to those of the extracellular solution. A fluorescent dye has been loaded inside of red blood cells using a preswelling technique. Alterations in preparation parameters have been shown to affect characteristics of the resulting dye-loaded red blood cells (e.g., intensity of fluorescence).

  7. Protein diffusion in plant cell plasma membranes: the cell-wall corral

    PubMed Central

    Martinière, Alexandre; Runions, John

    2013-01-01

    Studying protein diffusion informs us about how proteins interact with their environment. Work on protein diffusion over the last several decades has illustrated the complex nature of biological lipid bilayers. The plasma membrane contains an array of membrane-spanning proteins or proteins with peripheral membrane associations. Maintenance of plasma membrane microstructure can be via physical features that provide intrinsic ordering such as lipid microdomains, or from membrane-associated structures such as the cytoskeleton. Recent evidence indicates, that in the case of plant cells, the cell wall seems to be a major player in maintaining plasma membrane microstructure. This interconnection / interaction between cell-wall and plasma membrane proteins most likely plays an important role in signal transduction, cell growth, and cell physiological responses to the environment. PMID:24381579

  8. Anhydrous Proton-Conducting Membranes for Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram; Yen, Shiao-Pin S.

    2005-01-01

    Polymeric electrolyte membranes that do not depend on water for conduction of protons are undergoing development for use in fuel cells. Prior polymeric electrolyte fuel-cell membranes (e.g., those that contain perfluorosulfonic acid) depend on water and must be limited to operation below a temperature of 125 C because they retain water poorly at higher temperatures. In contrast, the present developmental anhydrous membranes are expected to function well at temperatures up to 200 C. The developmental membranes exploit a hopping-and-reorganization proton- conduction process that can occur in the solid state in organic amine salts and is similar to a proton-conduction process in a liquid. This process was studied during the 1970s, but until now, there has been no report of exploiting organic amine salts for proton conduction in fuel cells.

  9. Why can hydrogen sulfide permeate cell membranes?

    PubMed

    Riahi, Saleh; Rowley, Christopher N

    2014-10-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Membrane trafficking and osmotically induced volume changes in guard cells.

    PubMed

    Shope, Joseph C; Mott, Keith A

    2006-01-01

    Guard cells rapidly adjust their plasma membrane surface area while responding to osmotically induced volume changes. Previous studies have shown that this process is associated with membrane internalization and remobilization. To investigate how guard cells maintain membrane integrity during rapid volume changes, the effects of two membrane trafficking inhibitors on the response of intact guard cells of Vicia faba to osmotic treatments were studied. Using confocal microscopy and epidermal peels, the relationship between the area of a medial paradermal guard-cell section and guard-cell volume was determined. This allowed estimates of guard-cell volume to be made from single paradermal confocal images, and therefore allowed rapid determination of volume as cells responded to osmotic treatments. Volume changes in control cells showed exponential kinetics, and it was possible to calculate an apparent value for guard-cell hydraulic conductivity from these kinetics. Wortmannin and cytochalasin D inhibited the rate of volume loss following a 0-1.5 MPa osmotic treatment. Cytochalasin D also inhibited volume increases following a change from 1.5 MPa to 0 MPa, but wortmannin had no effect. Previous studies showing that treatment with arabinanase inhibits changes in guard-cell volume in response to osmotic treatments were confirmed. However, pressure volume curves show that the effects of arabinanase and the cytochalasin D were not due to changes in cell wall elasticity. It is suggested that arabinanase, cytochalasin D, and wortmannin cause reductions in the hydraulic conductivity of the plasma membrane, possibly via gating of aquaporins. A possible role for aquaporins in co-ordinating volume changes with membrane trafficking is discussed. PMID:17088361

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jeffrey F. Harper, Ph.D.

    2004-06-30

    How membrane proteins are targeted to specific subcellular locations is a very complex and poorly understood area of research. Our long-term goal is to use P-type ATPases (ion pumps), in a model plant system Arabidopsis, as a paradigm to understand how members of a family of closely related membrane proteins can be targeted to different subcellular locations. The research is divided into two specific aims. The first aim is focused on determining the targeting destination of all 10 ACA-type calcium pumps (Arabidopsis Calcium ATPase) in Arabidopsis. ACAs represent a plant specific-subfamily of plasma membrane-type calcium pumps. In contrast to animals, the plant homologs have been found in multiple membrane systems, including the ER (ACA2), tonoplast (ACA4) and plasma membrane (ACA8). Their high degree of similarity provides a unique opportunity to use a comparative approach to delineate the membrane specific targeting information for each pump. One hypothesis to be tested is that an endomembrane located ACA can be re-directed to the plasma membrane by including targeting information from a plasma membrane isoform, ACA8. Our approach is to engineer domain swaps between pumps and monitor the targeting of chimeric proteins in plant cells using a Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) as a tag. The second aim is to test the hypothesis that heterologous transporters can be engineered into plants and targeted to the plasma membrane by fusing them to a plasma membrane proton pump. As a test case we are evaluating the targeting properties of fusions made between a yeast sodium/proton exchanger (Sod2) and a proton pump (AHA2). This fusion may potentially lead to a new strategy for engineering salt resistant plants. Together these aims are designed to provide fundamental insights into the biogenesis and function of plant cell membrane systems.

  13. How Leucocyte Cell Membrane Modified Janus Microcapsules are Phagocytosed by Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    He, Wenping; Frueh, Johannes; Wu, Zhenwei; He, Qiang

    2016-02-01

    Modern drug delivery systems rely on either antibody-based single-surface recognition or on surface-hydrophobicity-based approaches. For a tumor showing various surface mutations, both approaches fail. This publication hereby presents Janus capsules based on polyelectrolyte multilayer microcapsules exhibiting human leucocyte (THP-1 cell line) cell membranes for discriminating HUVEC cells from three different cancer cell lines. Despite destroying the cellular integrity of leucocyte cells, the modified Janus capsules are able to adhere to cancer cells. Leucocyte cell-membrane-coated Janus capsules are phagocytosed with the cellular membrane part pointing to the cells. PMID:26824329

  14. Nanomaterials for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells; Materials Challenges Facing Electrical Energy Storate

    SciTech Connect

    Gopal Rao, MRS Web-Editor; Yury Gogotsi, Drexel University; Karen Swider-Lyons, Naval Research Laboratory

    2010-08-05

    Symposium T: Nanomaterials for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are under intense investigation worldwide for applications ranging from transportation to portable power. The purpose of this seminar is to focus on the nanomaterials and nanostructures inherent to polymer fuel cells. Symposium topics will range from high-activity cathode and anode catalysts, to theory and new analytical methods. Symposium U: Materials Challenges Facing Electrical Energy Storage Electricity, which can be generated in a variety of ways, offers a great potential for meeting future energy demands as a clean and efficient energy source. However, the use of electricity generated from renewable sources, such as wind or sunlight, requires efficient electrical energy storage. This symposium will cover the latest material developments for batteries, advanced capacitors, and related technologies, with a focus on new or emerging materials science challenges.

  15. A Journey of Cytolethal Distending Toxins through Cell Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen; Alexander, Desiree; Dlakić, Mensur; Shenker, Bruce J.

    2016-01-01

    The multifunctional role of lipids as structural components of membranes, signaling molecules, and metabolic substrates makes them an ideal partner for pathogens to hijack host cell processes for their own survival. The properties and composition of unique membrane micro-domains such as membrane rafts make these regions a natural target for pathogens as it affords them an opportunity to hijack cell signaling and intracellular trafficking pathways. Cytolethal distending toxins (Cdts), members of the AB2 family of toxins are comprised of three subunits, the active, CdtB unit, and the binding, CdtA-CdtC unit. Cdts are cyclomodulins leading to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in a wide variety of cell types. Cdts from several species share a requirement for membrane rafts, and often cholesterol specifically for cell binding and CdtB mediated cytotoxicity. In this review we focus on how host–cell membrane bilayer organization contributes to the cell surface association, internalization, and action of bacteria derived cytolethal distending toxins (Cdts), with an emphasis on Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Cdt. PMID:27559534

  16. Gradiently crosslinked polymer electrolyte membranes in fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, De; Wu, Bin; Zhang, Genlei; Zhang, Wen; Wang, Yuxin

    2016-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes in fuel cells should be high in both ionic conductivity and mechanical strength. However, the two are often exclusive to each other. To solve this conundrum, a novel strategy is proposed in this paper, with extensively researched sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) membrane as a paradigm. A SPEEK membrane of high sulfonation degree is simply post-treated with NaBH4 and H2SO4 solution at ambient temperature for a certain time to afford the membrane with a gradient crosslinking structure. Measurements via 1H NMR, ATR-FTIR and SEM-EDS are conducted to verify such structural changes. The gradient crosslinks make practically no damage to proton conductance, but effectively restrain the membrane from over swelling and greatly enhance its tensile strength. A H2-O2 fuel cell with the gradiently crosslinked SPEEK membrane shows a maximal power density of 533 mW cm-2 at 80 °C, whereas the fuel cell with the pristine SPEEK membrane cannot be operated beyond 30 °C.

  17. A new class of partially fluorinated fuel cell membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Buechi, F.N.; Gupta, B.; Halim, J.; Haas, O.; Scherer, G.G.

    1994-12-31

    A series of differently crosslinked FEP-g-polystyrene proton exchange membranes has been synthesized by the pre-irradiation grafting method. Divinylbenzene (DVB) and/or triallyl cyanurate (TAC) were used as crosslinkers in the membranes. It was found, that the physical properties of the membranes, such as water-uptake and specific resistance are strongly influenced by the nature of the crosslinker. Generally it can be stated, that DVB decreases water-uptake and increases specific resistance, on the other hand TAC increases swelling and decreases specific resistance to values as low as 5.0 {Omega}cm at 60 C. The membranes were tested in H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} fuel cells for stability and performance. It was found, that thick (170 {mu}m) DBV crosslinked membranes showed stable operation for 1,400 hours at temperatures up to 80 C. The highest power density in the fuel cell was found for the DVB and TAC double crosslinked membrane, it exceeded the value of a cell with a Nafion{reg_sign} 117 membrane by more than 60%.

  18. Analytical model for macromolecular partitioning during yeast cell division

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Asymmetric cell division, whereby a parent cell generates two sibling cells with unequal content and thereby distinct fates, is central to cell differentiation, organism development and ageing. Unequal partitioning of the macromolecular content of the parent cell — which includes proteins, DNA, RNA, large proteinaceous assemblies and organelles — can be achieved by both passive (e.g. diffusion, localized retention sites) and active (e.g. motor-driven transport) processes operating in the presence of external polarity cues, internal asymmetries, spontaneous symmetry breaking, or stochastic effects. However, the quantitative contribution of different processes to the partitioning of macromolecular content is difficult to evaluate. Results Here we developed an analytical model that allows rapid quantitative assessment of partitioning as a function of various parameters in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This model exposes quantitative degeneracies among the physical parameters that govern macromolecular partitioning, and reveals regions of the solution space where diffusion is sufficient to drive asymmetric partitioning and regions where asymmetric partitioning can only be achieved through additional processes such as motor-driven transport. Application of the model to different macromolecular assemblies suggests that partitioning of protein aggregates and episomes, but not prions, is diffusion-limited in yeast, consistent with previous reports. Conclusions In contrast to computationally intensive stochastic simulations of particular scenarios, our analytical model provides an efficient and comprehensive overview of partitioning as a function of global and macromolecule-specific parameters. Identification of quantitative degeneracies among these parameters highlights the importance of their careful measurement for a given macromolecular species in order to understand the dominant processes responsible for its observed partitioning. PMID

  19. Fuel cell electrolyte membrane with basic polymer

    DOEpatents

    Larson, James M.; Pham, Phat T.; Frey, Matthew H.; Hamrock, Steven J.; Haugen, Gregory M.; Lamanna, William M.

    2010-11-23

    The present invention is an electrolyte membrane comprising an acid and a basic polymer, where the acid is a low-volatile acid that is fluorinated and is either oligomeric or non-polymeric, and where the basic polymer is protonated by the acid and is stable to hydrolysis.

  20. Fuel cell electrolyte membrane with basic polymer

    DOEpatents

    Larson, James M.; Pham, Phat T.; Frey, Matthew H.; Hamrock, Steven J.; Haugen, Gregory M.; Lamanna, William M.

    2012-12-04

    The present invention is an electrolyte membrane comprising an acid and a basic polymer, where the acid is a low-volatile acid that is fluorinated and is either oligomeric or non-polymeric, and where the basic polymer is protonated by the acid and is stable to hydrolysis.

  1. Detection of cytoplasmic and surface membrane markers in cells of some human hematopoietic cell lines.

    PubMed

    Koníková, E; Babusíková, O; Kusenda, J; Glasová, M

    1992-01-01

    The cells of some human leukemia-lymphoma T cell lines (JURKAT, MOLT4), B cell lines (DAUDI, U-266) and of myeloid U-937 cell line were characterized for their surface membrane and cytoplasmic marker profiles. The usefulness of some fixation and permeabilization methods of cell membrane for detection of cytoplasmic markers by flow cytometry was studied. The methods of cell fixation in suspension were found to be more sensitive than the methods of cell fixation in smears. With the very short buffered formaldehyde-acetone (BFA) fixation used in this study an optimal penetration of the monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) through the plasma membrane and specific binding to the appropriate structures were achieved. CD22 antigen was detected in cytoplasm but not on membrane of DAUDI cells. In another B cell line, U-266, CD22 antigen was present both in cell membrane and cytoplasm. The marker corresponding to anti-CD19 MoAb was detected in cytoplasm but was absent on membrane of U-266 cells. Furthermore, the antigen estimated by anti-CD3 MoAb could be detected intracellularly in cells of both T cell lines tested, while it was absent on cell membrane of these cells. The phenotypic study of U-937 cells showed that the majority of cells expressed myeloid associated antigens. In our study the CD14 marker detected on cell surface membrane of U-937 cells was missing in their cytoplasm. The surface antigens remained intact after BFA fixation enabling a simultaneous detection of membrane and cytoplasmic markers in double immunofluorescence studies. Through this combination of markers minor cell populations could be detected. Human hematopoietic cell lines could serve as a reliable model system for a rapid and quantitative immunodiagnosis. PMID:1491722

  2. Calcium movements across the membrane of human red cells

    PubMed Central

    Schatzmann, H. J.; Vincenzi, F. F.

    1969-01-01

    1. A study has been made of the cellular content and movement of Ca across the membrane of human red blood cells. 2. The [Ca] in the cellular contents of fresh red cells is 4·09 × 10-2 mM. The intracellular concentration of free ionic Ca ([Ca2+]) is considered to be less than this value and therefore less than extracellular [Ca2+] under normal conditions. 3. Observation of unidirectional Ca fluxes with 45Ca confirms previous reports of low permeability of the red cell membrane for Ca. After nearly 1 week of loading in the cold, intracellular 45Ca content is 1·8% of extracellular 45Ca content. Appearance in extracellular fluid of 45Ca from coldloaded cells can be considered to arise from two compartments. Efflux of 45Ca from the `slower compartment' is accelerated by the addition of glucose. 4. Starved red cells, incubated at 37° C, after reversible haemolysis for loading with Ca and Mg-ATP, exhibit an outward net transport of Ca against an electrochemical gradient. The transport is associated with the appearance of inorganic phosphate (Pi). Cells treated similarly, but without ATP show no transport and no appearance of Pi. 5. During the initial phase of transport, 1·3 mole Pi appear per mole Ca transported. 6. The transport of Ca from ATP-loaded cells is highly temperature-dependent, with a Q10 of 3·5. 7. Cell membrane adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) activity of reversibly haemolysed cells is stimulated only by intracellular, and not by extracellular Ca. 8. Neither Ca transport in reversibly haemolysed cells, nor the Ca-Mg activated ATPase of isolated cell membranes is sensitive to Na, K, ouabain or oligomycin. 9. Mg is not transported under the conditions which reveal Ca transport, but Mg appears to be necessary for Ca transport. 10. Sr is transported from reversibly haemolysed Mg-ATP-loaded cells. Sr also can substitute for Ca, but not for Mg, in the activation of membrane ATPase. 11. It is concluded that, in addition to a low passive permeability, an

  3. Molecular interactions between gold nanoparticles and model cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Hu, Peipei; Zhang, Xiaoxian; Zhang, Chi; Chen, Zhan

    2015-04-21

    The interactions between nanoparticles (NPs) and cells are of huge interest because NPs have been extensively researched for biomedical applications. For the cellular entry of NPs, it remains unclear how the cell membrane molecules respond to the exposure of NPs due to a lack of appropriate surface/interface-sensitive techniques to study NP-cell membrane interactions in situ in real time. In this study, sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy was employed to examine the interactions between lipid bilayers (serving as model mammalian cell membranes) and Au NPs of four different sizes with the same mass, or the same NP number, or the same NP surface area. It was found that lipid flip-flop was induced by Au NPs of all four sizes. Interestingly, the lipid flip-flop rate was found to increase as the Au NP size increased with respect to the same particle number or the same NP surface area. However, the induced lipid flip-flop rate was the same for Au NPs with different sizes with the same mass, which was interpreted by the same "effective surface contact area" between Au NPs and the model cell membrane. We believe that this study provided the first direct observation of the lipid flip-flop induced by the interactions between Au NPs and the model mammalian cell membrane. PMID:25776800

  4. Graphene microsheets enter cells through spontaneous membrane penetration at edge asperities and corner sites

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yinfeng; Yuan, Hongyan; von dem Bussche, Annette; Creighton, Megan; Hurt, Robert H.; Kane, Agnes B.; Gao, Huajian

    2013-01-01

    Understanding and controlling the interaction of graphene-based materials with cell membranes is key to the development of graphene-enabled biomedical technologies and to the management of graphene health and safety issues. Very little is known about the fundamental behavior of cell membranes exposed to ultrathin 2D synthetic materials. Here we investigate the interactions of graphene and few-layer graphene (FLG) microsheets with three cell types and with model lipid bilayers by combining coarse-grained molecular dynamics (MD), all-atom MD, analytical modeling, confocal fluorescence imaging, and electron microscopic imaging. The imaging experiments show edge-first uptake and complete internalization for a range of FLG samples of 0.5- to 10-μm lateral dimension. In contrast, the simulations show large energy barriers relative to kBT for membrane penetration by model graphene or FLG microsheets of similar size. More detailed simulations resolve this paradox by showing that entry is initiated at corners or asperities that are abundant along the irregular edges of fabricated graphene materials. Local piercing by these sharp protrusions initiates membrane propagation along the extended graphene edge and thus avoids the high energy barrier calculated in simple idealized MD simulations. We propose that this mechanism allows cellular uptake of even large multilayer sheets of micrometer-scale lateral dimension, which is consistent with our multimodal bioimaging results for primary human keratinocytes, human lung epithelial cells, and murine macrophages. PMID:23840061

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-21

    The cell membrane cloaking technique has emerged as an intriguing strategy in nanomaterial functionalization. Coating synthetic nanostructures with natural cell membranes bestows the nanostructures with unique cell surface antigens and functions. Previous studies have focused primarily on development of cell membrane-coated spherical nanoparticles and the uses thereof. Herein, we attempt to extend the cell membrane cloaking technique to nanofibers, a class of functional nanomaterials that are drastically different from nanoparticles in terms of dimensional and mechanophysical characteristics. Using pancreatic beta cells as a model cell line, we demonstrate successful preparation of cell membrane-coated nanofibers and validate that the modified nanofibers possess an antigenic exterior closely resembling that of the source beta cells. When such nanofiber scaffolds are used to culture beta cells, both cell proliferation rate and function are significantly enhanced. Specifically, glucose-dependent insulin secretion from the cells is increased by near five-fold compared with the same beta cells cultured in regular, unmodified nanofiber scaffolds. Overall, coating cell membranes onto nanofibers could add another dimension of flexibility and controllability in harnessing cell membrane functions and offer new opportunities for innovative applications. PMID:27139582

  7. Actuation of flexoelectric membranes in viscoelastic fluids with applications to outer hair cells.

    PubMed

    Herrera-Valencia, E E; Rey, Alejandro D

    2014-11-28

    Liquid crystal flexoelectric actuation uses an imposed electric field to create membrane bending, and it is used by the outer hair cells (OHCs) located in the inner ear, whose role is to amplify sound through generation of mechanical power. Oscillations in the OHC membranes create periodic viscoelastic flows in the contacting fluid media. A key objective of this work on flexoelectric actuation relevant to OHCs is to find the relations and impact of the electromechanical properties of the membrane, the rheological properties of the viscoelastic media, and the frequency response of the generated mechanical power output. The model developed and used in this work is based on the integration of: (i) the flexoelectric membrane shape equation applied to a circular membrane attached to the inner surface of a circular capillary and (ii) the coupled capillary flow of contacting viscoelastic phases, such that the membrane flexoelectric oscillations drive periodic viscoelastic capillary flows, as in OHCs. By applying the Fourier transform formalism to the governing equation, analytical expressions for the transfer function associated with the curvature and electrical field and for the power dissipation of elastic storage energy were found. PMID:25332388

  8. Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoparticles for Targeted Therapeutics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luk, Brian Tsengchi

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

  9. Anion selective membrane. [ion exchange resins and ion exchange membrane electrolytes for electrolytic cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Banai, M.; Kahane, I.; Feldner, J.; Razin, S.

    1981-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  12. Direct Cytoskeleton Forces Cause Membrane Softening in Red Blood Cells

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Aluminum chloride and membrane potentials of barley root cells

    SciTech Connect

    Etherton, B.; Shane, M.

    1986-04-01

    Aluminum chloride at pH 4 hyperpolarizes the membrane potentials of barley root epidermal cells. The authors tested to see whether this hyperpolarization could be caused by an aluminum induced alteration of the permeability of the membrane to potassium or sodium ions by measuring the effect of .04 mM aluminum ions (the Ca/sup + +/ conc. was 0.1 mM) on the membrane potential changes induced by changing the potassium or sodium concentrations in the medium bathing the roots. Aluminum ions did not change the magnitude of potassium or sodium induced changes in membrane potentials but significantly altered the rates of potassium and sodium induced changes of the potential. The results indicate that aluminum ions did not change sodium or potassium ion permeabilities of barley root cells.

  14. Surface-enhanced Raman imaging of cell membrane by a highly homogeneous and isotropic silver nanostructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zito, Gianluigi; Rusciano, Giulia; Pesce, Giuseppe; Dochshanov, Alden; Sasso, Antonio

    2015-04-01

    scattering (SERS) in confocal microscopy, but requires engineering plasmonic architectures with a spatially invariant SERS enhancement factor G(x, y) = G. To this end, we exploit a self-assembled isotropic nanostructure with characteristics of homogeneity typical of the so-called near-hyperuniform disorder. The resulting highly dense, homogeneous and isotropic random pattern consists of clusters of silver nanoparticles with limited size dispersion. This nanostructure brings together several advantages: very large hot spot density (~104 μm-2), superior spatial reproducibility (SD < 1% over 2500 μm2) and single-molecule sensitivity (Gav ~ 109), all on a centimeter scale transparent active area. We are able to reconstruct the label-free SERS-based chemical map of live cell membranes with confocal resolution. In particular, SERS imaging is here demonstrated on red blood cells in vitro in order to use the Raman-resonant heme of the cell as a contrast medium to prove spectroscopic detection of membrane molecules. Numerical simulations also clarify the SERS characteristics of the substrate in terms of electromagnetic enhancement and distance sensitivity range consistently with the experiments. The large SERS-active area is intended for multi-cellular imaging on the same substrate, which is important for spectroscopic comparative analysis of complex organisms like cells. This opens new routes for in situ quantitative surface analysis and dynamic probing of living cells exposed to membrane-targeting drugs. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Additional details of the methods, further experimental data and data analysis, Raman assignment with additional references. Further sections: Basis Analysis (for two-analyte statistics), substrate oxidation, long-term stability and nanotoxicity issues. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr01341k

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Mechanical degradation of fuel cell membranes under fatigue fracture tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khorasany, Ramin M. H.; Sadeghi Alavijeh, Alireza; Kjeang, Erik; Wang, G. G.; Rajapakse, R. K. N. D.

    2015-01-01

    The effects of cyclic stresses on the fatigue and mechanical stability of perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes are experimentally investigated under standard fuel cell conditions. The experiments are conducted ex-situ by subjecting membrane specimens to cyclic uniaxial tension at controlled temperature and relative humidity. The fatigue lifetime is measured in terms of the number of cycles until ultimate fracture. The results indicate that the membrane fatigue lifetime is a strong function of the applied stress, temperature, and relative humidity. The fatigue life increases exponentially with reduced stresses in all cases. The effect of temperature is found to be more significant than that of humidity, with reduced fatigue life at high temperatures. The maximum membrane strain at fracture is determined to decrease exponentially with increasing membrane lifetime. At a given fatigue life, a membrane exposed to fuel cell conditions is shown to accommodate more plastic strain before fracture than one exposed to room conditions. Overall, the proposed ex-situ membrane fatigue experiment can be utilized to benchmark the fatigue lifetime of new materials in a fraction of the time and cost associated with conventional in-situ accelerated stress testing methods.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Chance, S.C.

    1987-01-01

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

  18. Virus and Host Mechanics Support Membrane Penetration and Cell Entry.

    PubMed

    Greber, Urs F

    2016-04-01

    Viruses are quasi-inert macromolecular assemblies. Their metastable conformation changes during entry into cells, when chemical and mechanical host cues expose viral membrane-interacting proteins. This leads to membrane rupture or fusion and genome uncoating. Importantly, virions tune their physical properties and enhance penetration and uncoating. For example, influenza virus softens at low pH to uncoat. The stiffness and pressure of adenovirus control uncoating and membrane penetration. Virus and host mechanics thus present new opportunities for antiviral therapy. PMID:26842477

  19. [Membrane permeability of brain cell processes after death].

    PubMed

    Agafonov, V A

    1975-07-01

    Experiments were conducted on rats. A study was made of persistence of semipermeability of the membranes of the cell processes of the brain (contraction) with the action of a hypertonic buffer at various periods after death. The membranes of the processes proved to retain the property of semi-permeability even 48 hours after death. Prefixation of the postmortem material in the glutaraldehyde did not influence the sensitivity of the membranes of the processes to the osmotic strength of the surrounding solution. PMID:1227661

  20. A boron phosphate-phosphoric acid composite membrane for medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamlouk, M.; Scott, K.

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-13

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

  2. Scalable nanostructured membranes for solid-oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheah, May Jean

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

  4. Membrane aging during cell growth ascertained by Laurdan generalized polarization.

    PubMed

    Parasassi, T; Di Stefano, M; Ravagnan, G; Sapora, O; Gratton, E

    1992-10-01

    The sensitivity of the fluorescent probe Laurdan to the phase state of lipids has been utilized to detect modifications in the composition and physical state of cell membranes during cell growth. In phospholipid vesicles, the Laurdan emission spectrum shows a 50-nm red shift by passing from the gel to the liquid-crystalline phase. The Generalized Polarization (GP) value has been used for the data treatment instead of the ratiometric method common in investigations utilizing other fluorescent probes that display spectral sensitivity to medium properties. The GP value can be measured easily and quickly and possesses all the properties of "classical" polarization, including the additivity rule. Once Laurdan limiting GP values have been established for the gel and the liquid-crystalline phase of lipids, the quantitative determination of coexisting phases in natural samples is possible. In the present work the observation of a relevant decrease in the fractional intensity of the liquid-crystalline phase in K562 cell membranes during 5 days of asynchronous growth is reported. A decrease in the "fluidity" of cell membranes in K562 cells kept in culture for several months is also reported. The procedure developed for labeling cell membranes with Laurdan is reported and the influence of cell metabolism on fluorescence parameters is discussed. Also discussed is the influence of cholesterol on Laurdan GP. PMID:1397095

  5. Membrane distribution of sodium-hydrogen and chloride-bicarbonate exchangers in crypt and villus cell membranes from rabbit ileum.

    PubMed Central

    Knickelbein, R G; Aronson, P S; Dobbins, J W

    1988-01-01

    Present evidence suggests that in the small intestine, villus cells are primarily absorptive and crypt cells are primarily secretory. In order to further confirm that there are differences in transport properties between villus and crypt cells, we have separated villus from crypt cells, using calcium chelations techniques, and determined the distribution of Na:H and Cl:HCO3 exchange activity on brush border membrane and basolateral membrane preparations from these two cell populations. Separation of cells was determined utilizing alkaline phosphatase and maltase activity as a marker of villus cells and thymidine kinase activity as a marker of crypt cells. Utilizing these techniques, we were able to sequentially collect cells along the villus-crypt axis. Na-stimulated glucose and alanine uptake in brush border membrane vesicles diminished from the villus to the crypt region in the sequentially collected cells fractions, further suggesting separation of these cells. Brush border and basolateral membranes were then prepared from cells from the villus and crypt areas, utilizing a continuous sucrose gradient. In the villus cells, Na:H exchange activity was found associated with both the brush border and basolateral membrane, whereas, in crypt cells, Na:H exchange activity was only found on the basolateral membrane. Cl:HCO3 exchange activity was found only on the brush border membrane, in both villus and crypt cells. These studies suggest functional heterogeneity in ion transport between villus and crypt cells. PMID:2848868

  6. Crosstalk between adjacent nanopores in a solid-state membrane array for multi-analyte high-throughput biomolecule detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raza, Muhammad Usman; Saleem, Sajid; Ali, Waqas; Iqbal, Samir M.

    2016-08-01

    Single nanopores are used to detect a variety of biological molecules. The modulations in ionic current under applied bias across the nanopore contain important information about translocating species, thus providing single analyte detection. These systems are, however, challenged in practical situations where multiple analytes have to be detected at high throughput. This paper presents the analysis of a multi-nanopore system that can be used for the detection of analytes with high throughput. As a scalable model, two nanopores were simulated in a single solid-state membrane. The interactions of the electric fields at the mouths of the individual nanopores were analyzed. The data elucidated the electrostatic properties of the nanopores from a single membrane and provided a framework to calculate the -3 dB distance, akin to the Debye length, from one nanopore to the other. This distance was the minimum distance between the adjacent nanopores such that their individual electric fields did not significantly interact with one another. The results can help in the optimal experimental design to construct solid-state nanopore arrays for any given nanopore size and applied bias.

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

    PubMed

    Baumgart, Florian; Schütz, Gerhard J

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Development of membrane electrode assembly for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell by catalyst coating membrane method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Huagen; Su, Huaneng; Pollet, Bruno G.; Pasupathi, Sivakumar

    2015-08-01

    Membrane electrode assembly (MEA), which contains cathode and anode catalytic layer, gas diffusion layers (GDL) and electrolyte membrane, is the key unit of a PEMFC. An attempt to develop MEA for ABPBI membrane based high temperature (HT) PEMFC is conducted in this work by catalyst coating membrane (CCM) method. The structure and performance of the MEA are examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and I-V curve. Effects of the CCM preparation method, Pt loading and binder type are investigated for the optimization of the single cell performance. Under 160 °C and atmospheric pressure, the peak power density of the MEA, with Pt loading of 0.5 mg cm-2 and 0.3 mg cm-2 for the cathode and the anode, can reach 277 mW cm-2, while a current density of 620 A cm-2 is delivered at the working voltage of 0.4 V. The MEA prepared by CCM method shows good stability operating in a short term durability test: the cell voltage maintained at ∼0.45 V without obvious drop when operated at a constant current density of 300 mA cm-2 and 160 °C under ambient pressure for 140 h.

  9. Optical detection of aqueous phase analytes via host-guest interactions on a lipid membrane surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, Darryl Y.; Waggoner, Tina Y.

    1999-06-01

    The organization and assembly of molecules in cellular membranes is orchestrated through the recognition and binding of specific chemical signals. A simplified version of the cellular membrane system has been developed using a synthetically prepared membrane receptor incorporated into a biologically derived lipid bilayer. Through an interplay of electrostatic and van der Waals interactions, aggregation or dispersion of molecular components could be executed on command using a specific chemical signal. A pyrene fluorophore was used as an optical probe to monitor the aggregational state of the membrane receptors in the bilayer matrix. The pyrene excimer emission to monomer emission (E/M) intensity ratio gave a relative assessment of the local concentration of receptors in the membrane. Bilayers were prepared with receptors selective for the divalent metal ions of copper, mercury, and lead. Addition of the metal ions produced a rapid dispersion of aggregated receptor components at nano- to micro-molar concentrations. The process was reversible by sequestering the metal ions with EDTA. Receptors for proteins and polyhistidine were also prepared and incorporated into phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers. In this case, the guest molecules bound to the membrane through multiple points of interaction causing aggregation of initially dispersed receptor molecules. The rapid, selective, and sensitive fluorescence optical response of these lipid assemblies make them attractive in sensor applications for aqueous phase metal ions and polypeptides.

  10. Optical Detection of Aqueous Phase Analytes via Host-Guest Interactions on a Lipid Membrane Surface

    SciTech Connect

    Sasaki, D.Y.; Waggoner, T.A.

    1999-01-11

    The organization and assembly of molecules in cellular membranes is orchestrated through the recognition and binding of specific chemical signals. A simplified version of the cellular membrane system has been developed using a synthetically prepared membrane receptor incorporated into a biologically derived lipid bilayer. Through an interplay of electrostatic and van der Wards interactions, aggregation or dispersion of molecular components could be executed on command using a specific chemical signal. A pyrene fluorophore was used as an optical probe to monitor the aggregational state of the membrane receptors in the bilayer matrix. The pyrene excimer emission to monomer emission (E/M) intensity ratio gave a relative assessment of the local concentration of receptors in the membrane. Bilayers were prepared with receptors selective for the divalent metal ions of copper, mercury, and lead. Addition of the metal ions produced a rapid dispersion of aggregated receptor components at nano- to micro-molar concentrations. The process was reversible by sequestering the metal ions with EDTA. Receptors for proteins and polyhistidine were also prepared and incorporated into phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers. In this case, the guest molecules bound to the membrane through multiple points of interaction causing aggregation of initially dispersed receptor molecules. The rapid, selective, and sensitive fluorescence optical response of these lipid assemblies make them attractive in sensor applications for aqueous phase metal ions and polypeptides.

  11. Determination of apical membrane polarity in mammary epithelial cell cultures: The role of cell-cell, cell-substratum, and membrane-cytoskeleton interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Parry, G.; Beck, J.C.; Moss, L.; Bartley, J. ); Ojakian, G.K. )

    1990-06-01

    The membrane glycoprotein, PAS-O, is a major differentiation antigen on mammary epithelial cells and is located exclusively in the apical domain of the plasma membrane. The authors have used 734B cultured human mammary carcinoma cells as a model system to study the role of tight junctions, cell-substratum contacts, and submembranous cytoskeletal elements in restricting PAS-O to the apical membrane. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectronmicroscopy experiments demonstrated that while tight junctions demarcate PAS-O distribution in confluent cultures, apical polarity could be established at low culture densities when cells could not form tight junctions with neighboring cells. They suggest, then, that interactions between vitronectin and its receptor, are responsible for establishment of membrane domains in the absence of tight junctions. The role of cytoskeletal elements in restricting PAS-O distribution was examined by treating cultures with cytochalasin D, colchicine, or acrylamide. Cytochalasin D led to a redistribution of PAS0O while colchicine and acrylamide did not. They hypothesize that PAS-O is restricted to the apical membrane by interactions with a microfilament network and that the cytoskeletal organization is dependent upon cell-cell and cell-substratum interactions.

  12. Electrochemical detection of intracellular and cell membrane redox systems in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawson, Frankie J.; Downard, Alison J.; Baronian, Keith H.

    2014-06-01

    Redox mediators can interact with eukaryote cells at a number of different cell locations. While cell membrane redox centres are easily accessible, the redox centres of catabolism are situated within the cytoplasm and mitochondria and can be difficult to access. We have systematically investigated the interaction of thirteen commonly used lipophilic and hydrophilic mediators with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A double mediator system is used in which ferricyanide is the final electron acceptor (the reporter mediator). After incubation of cells with mediators, steady state voltammetry of the ferri/ferrocyanide redox couple allows quantitation of the amount of mediator reduced by the cells. The plateau current at 425 mV vs Ag/AgCl gives the analytical signal. The results show that five of the mediators interact with at least three different trans Plasma Membrane Electron Transport systems (tPMETs), and that four mediators cross the plasma membrane to interact with cytoplasmic and mitochondrial redox molecules. Four of the mediators inhibit electron transfer from S. cerevisiae. Catabolic inhibitors were used to locate the cellular source of electrons for three of the mediators.

  13. Electrochemical detection of intracellular and cell membrane redox systems in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Rawson, Frankie J.; Downard, Alison J.; Baronian, Keith H.

    2014-01-01

    Redox mediators can interact with eukaryote cells at a number of different cell locations. While cell membrane redox centres are easily accessible, the redox centres of catabolism are situated within the cytoplasm and mitochondria and can be difficult to access. We have systematically investigated the interaction of thirteen commonly used lipophilic and hydrophilic mediators with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A double mediator system is used in which ferricyanide is the final electron acceptor (the reporter mediator). After incubation of cells with mediators, steady state voltammetry of the ferri/ferrocyanide redox couple allows quantitation of the amount of mediator reduced by the cells. The plateau current at 425 mV vs Ag/AgCl gives the analytical signal. The results show that five of the mediators interact with at least three different trans Plasma Membrane Electron Transport systems (tPMETs), and that four mediators cross the plasma membrane to interact with cytoplasmic and mitochondrial redox molecules. Four of the mediators inhibit electron transfer from S. cerevisiae. Catabolic inhibitors were used to locate the cellular source of electrons for three of the mediators. PMID:24910017

  14. Membrane Mechanics of Endocytosis in Cells with Turgor

    PubMed Central

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2015-01-01

    Endocytosis is an essential process by which cells internalize a piece of plasma membrane and material from the outside. In cells with turgor, pressure opposes membrane deformations, and increases the amount of force that has to be generated by the endocytic machinery. To determine this force, and calculate the shape of the membrane, we used physical theory to model an elastic surface under pressure. Accurate fits of experimental profiles are obtained assuming that the coated membrane is highly rigid and preferentially curved at the endocytic site. The forces required from the actin machinery peaks at the onset of deformation, indicating that once invagination has been initiated, endocytosis is unlikely to stall before completion. Coat proteins do not lower the initiation force but may affect the process by the curvature they induce. In the presence of isotropic curvature inducers, pulling the tip of the invagination can trigger the formation of a neck at the base of the invagination. Hence direct neck constriction by actin may not be required, while its pulling role is essential. Finally, the theory shows that anisotropic curvature effectors stabilize membrane invaginations, and the loss of crescent-shaped BAR domain proteins such as Rvs167 could therefore trigger membrane scission. PMID:26517669

  15. Red Blood Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoparticles For Drug Delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, Cody Westcott

    Herein we describe the development of the Red Blood Cell coated nanoparticle, RBC-NP. Purified natural erythrocyte membrane is used to coat drug-loaded poly(lacticco-glycolic acid) (PLGA). Synthetic PLGA co-polymer is biocompatible and biodegradable and has already received US FDA approval for drug-delivery and diagnostics. This work looks specifically at the retention of immunosuppressive proteins on RBC-NPs, right-sidedness of natural RBC membranes interfacing with synthetic polymer nanoparticles, sustained and retarded drug release of RBC-NPs as well as further surface modification of RBC-NPs for increased targeting of model cancer cell lines.

  16. Coarse-Grained Models for Protein-Cell Membrane Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Ryan; Radhakrishnan, Ravi

    2015-01-01

    The physiological properties of biological soft matter are the product of collective interactions, which span many time and length scales. Recent computational modeling efforts have helped illuminate experiments that characterize the ways in which proteins modulate membrane physics. Linking these models across time and length scales in a multiscale model explains how atomistic information propagates to larger scales. This paper reviews continuum modeling and coarse-grained molecular dynamics methods, which connect atomistic simulations and single-molecule experiments with the observed microscopic or mesoscale properties of soft-matter systems essential to our understanding of cells, particularly those involved in sculpting and remodeling cell membranes. PMID:26613047

  17. Dual network model for red blood cell membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boal, David H.; Seifert, Udo; Zilker, Andreas

    1992-12-01

    A two-component network is studied by Monte Carlo simulation to model the lipid/spectrin membrane of red blood cells. The model predicts that the shear modulus decreases rapidly with the maximum length of the model spectrin and should be in the 10-7 J/m2 range for human red blood cells. A simplified model for the isolated spectrin network shows a negative Lamé coefficient λ. Transverse fluctuations of the dual membrane are found to be fluidlike over the range of wavelengths investigated.

  18. [Studies on potassium transport through glial cell membranes (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Coles, J A; Gardner-Medwin, A R; Tsacopoulos, M

    1980-04-01

    The retina of the honeybee drone is used as a model for the study of ion movements across the membranes of the glial cells caused by changes in the extracellular potassium concentration. The values found for changes in extracellular potential suggest that at least some of the potassium that enters glial cells in an active region of tissue is associated with an efflux of potassium from parts of the glial syncytium not affected by an increase in extracellular potassium concentration. In addition, it appears that ions other than K+ cross the glial membrane. PMID:7421023

  19. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Xue

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

  20. A semi-analytical model for semiconductor solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, D.; Johnson, S. R.; Yu, S.-Q.; Wu, S.-N.; Zhang, Y.-H.

    2011-12-01

    A semi-analytical model is constructed for single- and multi-junction solar cells. This model incorporates the key performance aspects of practical devices, including nonradiative recombination, photon recycling within a given junction, spontaneous emission coupling between junctions, and non-step-like absorptance and emittance with below-bandgap tail absorption. Four typical planar structures with the combinations of a smooth/textured top surface and an absorbing/reflecting substrate (or backside surface) are investigated, through which the extracted power and four types of fundamental loss mechanisms, transmission, thermalization, spatial-relaxation, and recombination loss are analyzed for both single- and multi-junction solar cells. The below-bandgap tail absorption increases the short-circuit current but decreases the output and open-circuit voltage. Using a straightforward formulism this model provides the initial design parameters and the achievable efficiencies for both single- and multiple-junction solar cells over a wide range of material quality. The achievable efficiency limits calculated using the best reported materials and AM1.5 G one sun for GaAs and Si single-junction solar cells are, respectively, 27.4 and 21.1% for semiconductor slabs with a flat surface and a non-reflecting index-matched absorbing substrate, and 30.8 and 26.4% for semiconductor slabs with a textured surface and an ideal 100% reflecting backside surface. Two important design rules for both single- and multi-junction solar cells are established: i) the optimal junction thickness decreases and the optimal bandgap energy increases when nonradiative recombination increases; and ii) the optimal junction thickness increases and the optimal bandgap energy decreases for higher solar concentrations.

  1. Highly Water Resistant Anion Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhengjin; Hou, Jianqiu; Wang, Xinyu; Wu, Liang; Xu, Tongwen

    2015-07-01

    For anion exchange membranes (AEMs), achieving efficient hydroxide conductivity without excessive hydrophilicity presents a challenge. Hence, new strategies for constructing mechanically strengthened and hydroxide conductive (especially at controlled humidity) membranes are critical for developing better AEMs. Macromolecular modification involving ylide chemistry (Wittig reaction) for the fabrication of novel AEMs with an interpenetrating polymer network structure is reported. The macromolecular modification is cost effective, facile, and based on a one-pot synthesis. AEM water uptake is reduced to 3.6 wt% and a high hydroxide conductivity (69.7 mS cm(-1) , 90 °C) is achieved simultaneously. More importantly, the membrane exhibits similar tensile strength (>35 MPa) and comparable flexibility in both dry and wet states. These AEMs could find further applications within anion exchange membrane fuel cells with low humidity or photoelectric assemblies. PMID:25962480

  2. New High-Temperature Membranes Developed for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kinder, James D.

    2004-01-01

    Fuel cells are receiving a considerable amount of attention for potential use in a variety of areas, including the automotive industry, commercial power generation, and personal electronics. Research at the NASA Glenn Research Center has focused on the development of fuel cells for use in aerospace power systems for aircraft, unmanned air vehicles, and space transportation systems. These applications require fuel cells with higher power densities and better durability than what is required for nonaerospace uses. In addition, membrane cost is a concern for any fuel cell application. The most widely used membrane materials for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are based on sulfonated perfluorinated polyethers, typically Nafion 117, Flemion, or Aciplex. However, these polymers are costly and do not function well at temperatures above 80 C. At higher temperatures, conventional membrane materials dry out and lose their ability to conduct protons, essential for the operation of the fuel cell. Increasing the operating temperature of PEM fuel cells from 80 to 120 C would significantly increase their power densities and enhance their durability by reducing the susceptibility of the electrode catalysts to carbon monoxide poisoning. Glenn's Polymers Branch has focused on developing new, low-cost membranes that can operate at these higher temperatures. A new series of organically modified siloxane (ORMOSIL) polymers were synthesized for use as membrane materials in a high-temperature PEM fuel cell. These polymers have an organic portion that can allow protons to transport through the polymer film and a cross-linked silica network that gives the polymers dimensional stability. These flexible xerogel polymer films are thermally stable, with decomposition onset as high as 380 C. Two types of proton-conducting ORMOSIL films have been produced: (1) NASA-A, which can coordinate many highly acid inorganic salts that facilitate proton conduction and (2) NASA-B, which has been

  3. Mapping Cd²⁺-induced membrane permeability changes of single live cells by means of scanning electrochemical microscopy.

    PubMed

    Filice, Fraser P; Li, Michelle S M; Henderson, Jeffrey D; Ding, Zhifeng

    2016-02-18

    Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy (SECM) is a powerful, non-invasive, analytical methodology that can be used to investigate live cell membrane permeability. Depth scan SECM imaging allowed for the generation of 2D current maps of live cells relative to electrode position in the x-z or y-z plane. Depending on resolution, one depth scan image can contain hundreds of probe approach curves (PACs). Individual PACs were obtained by simply extracting vertical cross-sections from the 2D image. These experimental PACs were overlaid onto theoretically generated PACs simulated at specific geometry conditions. Simulations were carried out using 3D models in COMSOL Multiphysics to determine the cell membrane permeability coefficients at different locations on the surface of the cells. Common in literature, theoretical PACs are generated using a 2D axially symmetric geometry. This saves on both compute time and memory utilization. However, due to symmetry limitations of the model, only one experimental PAC right above the cell can be matched with simulated PAC data. Full 3D models in this article were developed for the SECM system of live cells, allowing all experimental PACs over the entire cell to become usable. Cd(2+)-induced membrane permeability changes of single human bladder (T24) cells were investigated at several positions above the cell, displaced from the central axis. The experimental T24 cells under study were incubated with Cd(2+) in varying concentrations. It is experimentally observed that 50 and 100 μM Cd(2+) caused a decrease in membrane permeability, which was uniform across all locations over the cell regardless of Cd(2+) concentration. The Cd(2+) was found to have detrimental effects on the cell, with cells shrinking in size and volume, and the membrane permeability decreasing. A mapping technique for the analysis of the cell membrane permeability under the Cd(2+) stress is realized by the methodology presented. PMID:26826690

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Khare, S.; Jayakumar, A.; Trivedi, A.; Kesavan, P.C.; Prasad, R.

    1982-05-01

    The effect of various doses of ..gamma.. radiation (5-60 krad) on the membrane permeability and cell survival of Candida albicans, a pathogenic yeast, was investigated. A reduction in the cell survival and in the accumulation of amino acids (proline, glycine, lysine, and glutamic acid) was observed following irradiation. The rate of oxygen uptake, which is often associated with transport, was also reduced. There was no damage to available sulfhydryl groups following the exposure of cells to various doses of ..gamma.. radiation. The membrane lipid composition of C. albicans cells can be altered by growing them in alkanes of varying chain lengths. The effects of such altered lipid composition on radiosensitivity was examined. It was observed that C. albicans cells with altered lipid content acquire resistance to ..gamma.. radiation.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, H.W.; Palmer, F.B.; Byers, D.M.; Spence, M.W.

    1988-11-01

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

  7. The role of cell membranes in the regulation of lignification in pine cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hendrix, D. L.

    1978-01-01

    The identity of pine cell membranes bearing PAL enzyme activity, the isolation of a plasma membrane preparation from pine cells for testing as a regulatory barrier in lignification, and the measurement of the geopotential effect in pine stems are presented. A model to describe and predict the interaction of gravity and lignification of higher plants was developed.

  8. Inorganic Nanoporous Membranes for Immunoisolated Cell-Based Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Mendelsohn, Adam; Desai, Tejal

    2014-01-01

    Materials advances enabled by nanotechnology have brought about promising approaches to improve the encapsulation mechanism for immunoisolated cell-based drug delivery. Cell-based drug delivery is a promising treatment for many diseases but has thus far achieved only limited clinical success. Treatment of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) by transplantation of pancreatic β-cells represents the most anticipated application of cell-based drug delivery technology. This review outlines the challenges involved with maintaining transplanted cell viability and discusses how inorganic nanoporous membranes may be useful in achieving clinical success. PMID:20384222

  9. PIG7 promotes leukemia cell chemosensitivity via lysosomal membrane permeabilization

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    PIG7 localizes to lysosomal membrane in leukemia cells. Our previous work has shown that transduction of pig7 into a series of leukemia cell lines did not result in either apoptosis or differentiation of most tested cell lines. Interestingly, it did significantly sensitize these cell lines to chemotherapeutic drugs. Here, we further investigated the mechanism underlying pig7-induced improved sensitivity of acute leukemia cells to chemotherapy. Our results demonstrated that the sensitization effect driven by exogenous pig7 was more effective in drug-resistant leukemia cell lines which had lower endogenous pig7 expression. Overexpression of pig7 did not directly activate the caspase apoptotic pathway, but decreased the lysosomal stability. The expression of pig7 resulted in lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP) and lysosomal protease (e.g. cathepsin B, D, L) release. Moreover, we also observed increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) induced by pig7. Some autophagy markers such as LC3I/II, ATG5 and Beclin-1, and necroptosis maker MLKL were also stimulated. However, intrinsic antagonism such as serine/cysteine protease inhibitors Spi2A and Cystatin C prevented downstream effectors from triggering leukemia cells, which were only on the “verge of apoptosis”. When combined with chemotherapy, LMP increased and more proteases were released. Once this process was beyond the limit of intrinsic antagonism, it induced programmed cell death cooperatively via caspase-independent and caspase-dependent pathways. PMID:26716897

  10. Lipids that determine detergent resistance of MDCK cell membrane fractions.

    PubMed

    Manni, Marco M; Cano, Ainara; Alonso, Cristina; Goñi, Félix M

    2015-10-01

    A comparative lipidomic study has been performed of whole Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells and of the detergent-resistant membrane fraction (DRM) obtained after treating the cells with the non-ionic detergent Triton X-100. The DRM were isolated following a standard procedure that is extensively used in cell biology studies. Significant differences were found in the lipid composition of the whole cells and of DRM. The latter were enriched in all the analyzed sphingolipid classes: sphingomyelins, ceramides and hexosylceramides. Diacylglycerols were also preferentially found in DRM. The detergent-resistant fraction was also enriched in saturated over unsaturated fatty acyl chains, and in sn-1 acyl chains containing 16 carbon atoms, over the longer and shorter ones. The glycerophospholipid species phosphatidylethanolamines and phosphatidylinositols, that were mainly unsaturated, did not show a preference for DRM. Phosphatidylcholines were an intermediate case: the saturated, but not the unsaturated species were found preferentially in DRM. The question remains on whether these DRM, recovered from detergent-membrane mixtures by floatation over a sucrose gradient, really correspond to membrane domains existing in the cell membrane prior to detergent treatment. PMID:26320877

  11. Optical Trapping Techniques Applied to the Study of Cell Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morss, Andrew J.

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

  12. Membrane with internal passages to permit fluid flow and an electrochemical cell containing the same

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cisar, Alan J. (Inventor); Gonzalez-Martin, Anuncia (Inventor); Hitchens, G. Duncan (Inventor); Murphy, Oliver J. (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    The invention provides an improved proton exchange membrane for use in electrochemical cells having internal passages parallel to the membrane surface, an apparatus and process for making the membrane, membrane and electrode assemblies fabricated using the membrane, and the application of the membrane and electrode assemblies to a variety of devices, both electrochemical and otherwise. The passages in the membrane extend from one edge of the membrane to another and allow fluid flow through the membrane and give access directly to the membrane for purposes of hydration.

  13. Extracellular Heme Uptake and the Challenges of Bacterial Cell Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Aaron D.; Wilks, Angela

    2013-01-01

    In bacteria, the fine balance of maintaining adequate iron levels while preventing the deleterious effects of excess iron has led to the evolution of sophisticated cellular mechanisms to obtain, store, and regulate iron. Iron uptake provides a significant challenge given its limited bioavailability and need to be transported across the bacterial cell wall and membranes. Pathogenic bacteria have circumvented the iron-availability issue by utilizing the hosts' heme-containing proteins as a source of iron. Once internalized, iron is liberated from the porphyrin enzymatically for cellular processes within the bacterial cell. Heme, a lipophilic and toxic molecule, poses a significant challenge in terms of transport given its chemical reactivity. As such, pathogenic bacteria have evolved sophisticated membrane transporters to coordinate, sequester, and transport heme. Recent advances in the biochemical and structural characterization of the membrane-bound heme transport proteins are discussed in the context of ligand coordination, protein–protein interaction, and heme transfer. PMID:23046657

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

    SciTech Connect

    Chris Roger; David Mountz; Wensheng He; Tao Zhang

    2011-03-17

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

  15. Nano mineral fiber enhanced catalyst coated membranes for improving polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Feng; Xu, Ran; Mu, Shichun

    In order to protect the perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomer from an attack of contaminant metal ions as well as to enhance the mechanical stability of catalyst layers, palygorskite (PGS) is introduced into the catalyst layer of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. PGS is a widely used natural nano-sized silicate mineral fiber with unique nano-sized channel structure, has a strong absorption capacity for heavy metal ions. We identify a negative influence of Fe 2+ on PFSA membranes to make a comparative study. Subsequently catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) prepared with a PGS-Pt/C composite catalyst show a great effect in reducing Fe 2+ ion crossover. Results display that PGS absorbs Fe 2+ in nano-structure channels, and effectively protect PFSA ionomer in both the catalyst layer and membrane from hydroxyl radicals (OH rad) attack. Thus, the chemical stability of PFSA ionomer in both the catalyst layer and membrane is greatly improved. Furthermore, the enhancement of the mechanical performance of catalyst layers is discussed.

  16. Electrospun fiber membranes enable proliferation of genetically modified cells

    PubMed Central

    Borjigin, Mandula; Eskridge, Chris; Niamat, Rohina; Strouse, Bryan; Bialk, Pawel; Kmiec, Eric B

    2013-01-01

    Polycaprolactone (PCL) and its blended composites (chitosan, gelatin, and lecithin) are well-established biomaterials that can enrich cell growth and enable tissue engineering. However, their application in the recovery and proliferation of genetically modified cells has not been studied. In the study reported here, we fabricated PCL-biomaterial blended fiber membranes, characterized them using physicochemical techniques, and used them as templates for the growth of genetically modified HCT116-19 colon cancer cells. Our data show that the blended polymers are highly miscible and form homogenous electrospun fiber membranes of uniform texture. The aligned PCL nanofibers support robust cell growth, yielding a 2.5-fold higher proliferation rate than cells plated on standard plastic plate surfaces. PCL-lecithin fiber membranes yielded a 2.7-fold higher rate of proliferation, while PCL-chitosan supported a more modest growth rate (1.5-fold higher). Surprisingly, PCL-gelatin did not enhance cell proliferation when compared to the rate of cell growth on plastic surfaces. PMID:23467983

  17. Single cell electric impedance topography: mapping membrane capacitance.

    PubMed

    Dharia, Sameera; Ayliffe, Harold E; Rabbitt, Richard D

    2009-12-01

    Single-cell electric impedance topography (sceTopo), a technique introduced here, maps the spatial distribution of capacitance (i.e. displacement current) associated with the membranes of isolated, living cells. Cells were positioned in the center of a circular recording chamber surrounded by eight electrodes. Electrodes were evenly distributed on the periphery of the recording chamber. Electric impedance measured between adjacent electrode pairs (10 kHz-5 MHz) was used to construct topographical maps of the spatial distribution of membrane capacitance. Xenopus Oocytes were used as a model cell to develop sceTopo because these cells consist of two visually distinguishable hemispheres, each with distinct membrane composition and structure. Results showed significant differences in the imaginary component of the impedance between the two oocyte hemispheres. In addition, the same circumferential array was used to map the size of the extracellular electrical shunt path around the cell, providing a means to estimate the location and shape of the cell in the recording chamber. PMID:19904403

  18. Membrane resistance and current distribution measurements under various operating conditions in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brett, D. J. L.; Atkins, S.; Brandon, N. P.; Vasileiadis, N.; Vesovic, V.; Kucernak, A. R.

    The ability to make spatially resolved measurements in a fuel cell provides one of the most useful ways in which to monitor and optimise their performance. Localised membrane resistance and current density measurements for a single channel polymer electrolyte fuel cell are presented for a range of operating conditions. The current density distribution results are compared with an analytical model that exhibited generally good agreement across a broad range of operating conditions. However, under conditions of high air flow rate, an increase in current is observed along the channel which is not predicted by the model. Under such circumstances, localised electrochemical impedance measurements show a decrease in membrane resistance along the channel. This phenomenon is attributed to drying of the electrolyte at the start of the channel and is more pronounced with increasing operating temperature. Under conditions of reactant depletion, an increase in electrolyte resistance with decreasing current is observed. This is due to the hydrating effect of product water and electro-osmotic drag through the membrane when ionic current is flowing. Localised conduction is shown to be an effective means of conditioning previously unused membrane electrode assemblies by forcing passage of ionic current through the electrolyte.

  19. Sulfonated Nanoplates in Proton Conducting Membranes for Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, W.F.; Ni’mah, H.; Yu-Cheng Shen, Y.-C.; Kuo, P.-L.

    2011-09-29

    Surface-functionalized nanoplates are synthesized by anchoring sulfonic acid containing siloxanes on zirconium phosphate, and in turn blended with Nafion to fabricate proton conducting membranes. The effects of these sulfonated nanoplates on proton conduction, hydro-characteristics and fuel cell performance are reported.

  20. CAPSTONE SENIOR DESIGN - SUPRAMOLECULAR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANES FOR FUEL CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    In order to assume a leading role in the burgeoning hydrogen economy, new infrastructure will be required for fuel cell manufacturing and R&D capabilities. The objective of this proposal is the development of a new generation of advanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) technol...

  1. Cell outer membrane mimetic chitosan nanoparticles: preparation, characterization and cytotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jing; Liang, Fei; Kong, Lingheng; Zheng, Lina; Fan, Tao

    2015-01-01

    A negatively charged copolymer poly (MPC-co-AMPS) of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) and 2-acrylamide-2-methyl propane sulfonic acid (AMPS) was designed and synthesized. Chitosan nanoparticles with cell outer membrane mimetic structure were prepared by electrostatic interaction between the sulfonic acid groups of poly (MPC-co-AMPS) and the protonated amino groups of chitosan. Effects of factors on influencing the particle size, distribution, and stability were investigated. The experimental results showed that cell membrane mimetic chitosan nanoparticles with controllable and homogeneous size ranged from 100 to 300 nm were prepared at the concentration of 0.1-2.0 mg/mL and the charge ratio of 0.5-1.1. Chitosan nanoparticles prepared can exist stably for more than 45 days when placed at 4 °C and pH < 7.5. The cytotoxicity of the chitosan nanoparticles reduced significantly after surface modification with cell membrane mimetic structure, meeting the basic requirements of biomedical materials. The results suggest cell membrane mimetic chitosan nanoparticles prepared with polyanion and polycation obtain good biological compatibility and immune stealth ability, which has important academic significance and great application prospects. PMID:26230052

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    Core-shell type `nanoghosts' were synthesized with a drug-loaded biodegradable PLGA core and a monocyte cell membrane-derived shell. The nanoghosts were monodisperse with an average size <200 nm, and showed good serum stability for 120 h. Doxorubicin-loaded nanoghosts showed greater cellular uptake and cytotoxicity compared to non-coated nanoparticle controls in metastatic MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines.Core-shell type `nanoghosts' were synthesized with a drug-loaded biodegradable PLGA core and a monocyte cell membrane-derived shell. The nanoghosts were monodisperse with an average size <200 nm, and showed good serum stability for 120 h. Doxorubicin-loaded nanoghosts showed greater cellular uptake and cytotoxicity compared to non-coated nanoparticle controls in metastatic MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr07588b

  3. Dynamic membrane patterning, signal localization and polarity in living cells.

    PubMed

    Zamparo, M; Chianale, F; Tebaldi, C; Cosentino-Lagomarsino, M; Nicodemi, M; Gamba, A

    2015-02-01

    We review the molecular and physical aspects of the dynamic localization of signaling molecules on the plasma membranes of living cells. At the nanoscale, clusters of receptors and signaling proteins play an essential role in the processing of extracellular signals. At the microscale, "soft" and highly dynamic signaling domains control the interaction of individual cells with their environment. At the multicellular scale, individual polarity patterns control the forces that shape multicellular aggregates and tissues. PMID:25563791

  4. The nuclear membranes in hypertrophied human cardiac muscle cells.

    PubMed Central

    Ferrans, V. J.; Jones, M.; Maron, B. J.; Roberts, W. C.

    1975-01-01

    Nuclear membranes of cardiac muscle cells were studied in 134 patients with cardiac hypertrophy of various causes. Abnormalities observed consisted of: a) increased foldings and convolutions; b) nuclear pseudoinclusions formed by cytoplasmic organelles protruding into saccular invaginations of the nuclear membranes, and c) intranuclear tubules. The increased foldings and convolutions of the nuclear membranes and the nuclear pseudoinclusions appear to result from synthesis of nuclear membranes in excess of that needed to accommodate the increase in nuclear volume which occurs in hypertrophy. Intranuclear tubules were found in 6 patients and consisted of tubular invaginations, 400 to 650 A in diameter, of the inner nuclear membranes into the nucleoplasm. Some of these tubules were straight and cylindrical, and were associated with a peripheral layer of marginated chromatin; others were not associated with chromatin, appeared coiled and followed irregular courses. Intranuclear tubules in cardiac muscle cells probably represent an extreme cellular response to the stimulus of hypertrophy. Images Fig 21 Fig 11 Fig 12 Fig 13 Fig 14 Fig 1 Fig 15 Fig 2 Figs 3 and 4 Fig 5 Fig 16 Fig 17 Fig 6 Fig 18 Fig 7 Fig 8 Fig 9 Fig 10 Fig 19 Fig 20 PMID:164122

  5. Alternative Sources of Adult Stem Cells: Human Amniotic Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolbank, Susanne; van Griensven, Martijn; Grillari-Voglauer, Regina; Peterbauer-Scherb, Anja

    Human amniotic membrane is a highly promising cell source for tissue engineering. The cells thereof, human amniotic epithelial cells (hAEC) and human amniotic mesenchymal stromal cells (hAMSC), may be immunoprivileged, they represent an early developmental status, and their application is ethically uncontroversial. Cell banking strategies may use freshly isolated cells or involve in vitro expansion to increase cell numbers. Therefore, we have thoroughly characterized the effect of in vitro cultivation on both phenotype and differentiation potential of hAEC. Moreover, we present different strategies to improve expansion including replacement of animal-derived supplements by human platelet products or the introduction of the catalytic subunit of human telomerase to extend the in vitro lifespan of amniotic cells. Characterization of the resulting cultures includes phenotype, growth characteristics, and differentiation potential, as well as immunogenic and immunomodulatory properties.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Probing cell membrane dynamics using plasmon coupling microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rong, Guoxin

    The plasma membrane of mammalian cells is depicted as a two-dimensional hybrid material which is compartmentalized into submicron-sized domains. These membrane domains play a pivotal role in cellular signaling processes due to selective recruitment of specific cell surface receptors. The structural dynamics of the membrane domains and their exact biological functions are, however, still unclear, partially due to the wave nature of light, which limits the optical resolution in the visible light to approximately 400 nm in conventional optical microscopy. Here, we provide a non-fluorescence based approach for monitoring distance changes on subdiffraction limit length scales in a conventional far-field optical microscope. This approach, which is referred to as plasmon coupling microscopy (PCM), utilizes the distance dependent near-field coupling between noble metal nanoparticle (NP) labels to resolve close contacts on the length scale of approximately one NP diameter. We firstly utilize this PCM strategy to resolve interparticle separations during individual encounters of gold NP labeled fibronectin-integrin complexes in living HeLa cells. We then further refine this ratiometric detection methodology by augmenting it with a polarization-sensitive detection, which enables simultaneous monitoring of the distance and conformation changes in NP dimers and clusters. We apply this polarization resolved PCM approach to characterize the structural lateral heterogeneity of cell membranes on sub-micron length scales. Finally, we demonstrate that PCM can provide quantitative information about the structural dynamics of individual epidermal growth factor receptor (ErbB1)-enriched membrane domains in living cells.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siu, Ana Rosa

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

  9. Chemical Imaging of the Cell Membrane by NanoSIMS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-02-23

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

  10. Novel phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Haifeng

    Acid doped polybenzimidazole (PBIRTM, called mPBI in this thesis) membranes are applied as electrolytes in high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Several series of homopolymers and copolymers with high I.V. were synthesized in PPA solution. A novel membrane fabrication and acid doping process, called the PPA process, was developed by casting the polymer-polyphosphoric acid (PPA) solution directly after polymerization without isolation or redissolution of the polymers. The PPA absorbed moisture from the atmosphere and hydrolyzed to phosphoric acid, which induced a sol-gel transition and produced a high acid doped PBI membrane. A water spray method was developed to make an acid doped ABPBI membrane by spraying water or dilute phosphoric acid onto the cast solution directly. This process induced film formation for ABPBI, but washed out most of the phosphoric acid dopant. A more rigid pPBI homopolymer was synthesized in PPA solution with high inherent viscosity (2˜3 dL/g). Acid doped pPBI membranes showed high acid doping level (pPBI·69H3PO4) and high conductivity (0.24 S/cm at 160°C). Fuel cells based on pPBI/PA showed good performance at various conditions. For example, a fuel cell based on pPBI/PA showed a maximum power density of 0.92 W/cm2 at 160°C and ambient pressure (H2/O2). The degradation rate of the cell potential was -21 mV/1,000 hours and -35 mV/1,000 hours at 160°C and 180°C, respectively in continuous testing. Fuel cells also showed good performance and tolerance to carbon monoxide poisoning when operated at temperatures higher than 120°C. The voltage drop was only 31 mV (from 0.657 V to 0.626 V at 0.3 A/cm2) when reformate gas (40.0% H2, 0.2% CO, 19.0% CO2, 40.8% N2) was used instead of pure hydrogen at one atmosphere pressure and 160°C. The structure-property relationships were investigated on the homopolymers and copolymers with different rigidities in the main chain. It is found that para-oriented structures

  11. Block copolymers for alkaline fuel cell membrane materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yifan

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

  12. Nonisothermal water transport through hydrophobic membranes in a stirred cell

    SciTech Connect

    Vazquez-Gonzalez, M.I.; Martinez, L.

    1994-10-01

    This paper studies the transport of pure water through microporous hydrophobic membranes in a stirred cell when bathed by two phases at different temperatures. The dependence of the phenomena on the stirring rate and on the average temperature has been investigated. The influence of these operating conditions on the mass transfer rate is discussed while keeping in mind the theories of mass and heat transfer within the membrane and adjoining liquids. The concept of temperature polarization is introduced in the transport equations, and it is shown to be important in the interpretation of our experimental results.

  13. Plasma membrane growth during the cell cycle: unsolved mysteries and recent progress

    PubMed Central

    McCusker, Derek; Kellogg, Douglas R.

    2012-01-01

    Growth of the plasma membrane is as fundamental to cell reproduction as DNA replication, chromosome segregation and ribosome biogenesis, yet little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Membrane growth during the cell cycle requires mechanisms that control the initiation, location, and extent of membrane growth, as well as mechanisms that coordinate membrane growth with cell cycle progression. Recent experiments have established links between membrane growth and core cell cycle regulators. Further analysis of these links will yield insights into conserved and fundamental mechanisms of cell growth. A better understanding of the post-Golgi pathways by which membrane growth occurs will be essential for future progress. PMID:23141634

  14. A Novel Unitized Regenerative Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.

    1996-01-01

    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel single cell unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it are presented.

  15. Deformation of PEM fuel cell gas diffusion layers under compressive loading: An analytical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norouzifard, Vahid; Bahrami, Majid

    2014-10-01

    In the PEM fuel cell stack, the fibrous porous gas diffusion layer (GDL) provides mechanical support for the membrane assembly against the compressive loads imposed by bipolar plates. In this study, a new mechanistic model is developed using fundamental beam theory that can accurately predict the mechanical deflection of GDL under compressive loads. The present analytical model is built on a unit cell approach, which assumes a simplified geometry for the complex and random GDL microstructure. The model includes salient microstructural parameters and properties of the fibrous porous medium including: carbon fiber diameter, fiber elastic modulus, pore size distribution, and porosity. Carbon fiber bending is proved to be the main deformation mechanism at the unit cell level. A comprehensive optical measurement study with statistical analysis is performed to determine the geometrical parameters of the model for a number of commercially available GDL samples. A comparison between the present model and our experimental stress-strain data shows a good agreement for the linear deformation region, where the compressive pressure is higher than 1 MPa.

  16. Morphological features (defects) in fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundu, S.; Fowler, M. W.; Simon, L. C.; Grot, S.

    Reliability and durability issues in fuel cells are becoming more important as the technology and the industry matures. Although research in this area has increased, systematic failure analysis, such as a failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), are very limited in the literature. This paper presents a categorization scheme of causes, modes, and effects related to fuel cell degradation and failure, with particular focus on the role of component quality, that can be used in FMEAs for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The work also identifies component defects imparted on catalyst-coated membranes (CCM) by manufacturing and proposes mechanisms by which they can influence overall degradation and reliability. Six major defects have been identified on fresh CCM materials, i.e., cracks, orientation, delamination, electrolyte clusters, platinum clusters, and thickness variations.

  17. Oxytocin binding by myoepithelial cell membranes from involuted mammary tissue.

    PubMed

    Ruberti, A; Olins, G M; Eakle, K A; Bremel, R D

    1983-04-29

    Oxytocin binding activity of myoepithelial cell membranes from mammary tissue was measured under a variety of different experimental conditions. Mammary tissue from non-lactating rats bound oxytocin with a Kd of 9.2 +/- 1.6 nM (+/- S.E.) and indicates that receptors are retained by the myoepithelial cells in a non-lactating state. Ovariectomy of non-lactating rats did not depress the binding activity of the membranes. Administration of the estrogenic compounds estradiol-17 beta and diethylstibestrol at doses which affect uterine weight and are known to increase uterine oxytocin binding did not influence the binding activity of the myoepithelial cells. This indicates that the oxytocin receptors of the mammary gland are not under the same endocrine control as the uterine receptors. PMID:6303330

  18. Gold Nanoparticles-Enhanced Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  20. Dynamics of flat membranes and flickering in red blood cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, Erwin; Nelson, David R.

    1991-12-01

    A theory of the dynamics of polymerized membranes in the flat phase is presented. The dynamics of dilute membrane solutions is strongly influenced by long-ranged hydrodynamic interactions among the monomers, mediated by the intervening solvent. We discuss the renormalization of the kinetic coefficients for the undulation and phonon modes due to hydrodynamic “backflow” (Zimm behavior). The dynamics is also studied for free draining membranes (Rouse dynamics) corresponding to the Brownian dynamics method used in Monte Carlo simulations. The long time behavior of the dynamic structure factor is given by stretched exponentials with stretching exponents determined by the exponents of the elastic coefficients and the wave vector dependence of the Oseen tensor. We also study the dynamics of the thickness fluctuations in red blood cells (flicker phenomenon) taking into account the underlying polymerized spectrin skeleton. Qualitatively different dynamical behavior is predicted for spectrin skeletons isolated from heir natural lipid environment.

  1. Creating transient cell membrane pores using a standard inkjet printer.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Creating Transient Cell Membrane Pores Using a Standard Inkjet Printer

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Bioprinting has a wide range of applications and significance, including tissue engineering, direct cell application therapies, and biosensor microfabrication.1-10 Recently, thermal inkjet printing has also been used for gene transfection.8,9 The thermal inkjet printing process was shown to temporarily disrupt the cell membranes without affecting cell viability. The transient pores in the membrane can be used to introduce molecules, which would otherwise be too large to pass through the membrane, into the cell cytoplasm.8,9,11 The application being demonstrated here is the use of thermal inkjet printing for the incorporation of fluorescently labeled g-actin monomers into cells. The advantage of using thermal ink-jet printing to inject molecules into cells is that the technique is relatively benign to cells.8, 12 Cell viability after printing has been shown to be similar to standard cell plating methods1,8. In addition, inkjet printing can process thousands of cells in minutes, which is much faster than manual microinjection. The pores created by printing have been shown to close within about two hours. However, there is a limit to the size of the pore created (~10 nm) with this printing technique, which limits the technique to injecting cells with small proteins and/or particles. 8,9,11 A standard HP DeskJet 500 printer was modified to allow for cell printing.3, 5, 8 The cover of the printer was removed and the paper feed mechanism was bypassed using a mechanical lever. A stage was created to allow for placement of microscope slides and coverslips directly under the print head. Ink cartridges were opened, the ink was removed and they were cleaned prior to use with cells. The printing pattern was created using standard drawing software, which then controlled the printer through a simple print command. 3T3 fibroblasts were grown to confluence, trypsinized, and then resuspended into phosphate buffered saline with soluble fluorescently labeled g-actin monomers. The

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Electroporation-based treatments and other therapies that permeabilize the plasma membrane have been shown to be more devastating to malignant cells than to normal cells. In this study, we asked if a difference in repair capacity could explain this observed difference in sensitivity. Membrane repair was investigated by disrupting the plasma membrane using laser followed by monitoring fluorescent dye entry over time in seven cancer cell lines, an immortalized cell line, and a normal primary cell line. The kinetics of repair in living cells can be directly recorded using this technique, providing a sensitive index of repair capacity. The normal primary cell line of all tested cell lines exhibited the slowest rate of dye entry after laser disruption and lowest level of dye uptake. Significantly, more rapid dye uptake and a higher total level of dye uptake occurred in six of the seven tested cancer cell lines (p < 0.05) as well as the immortalized cell line (p < 0.001). This difference in sensitivity was also observed when a viability assay was performed one day after plasma membrane permeabilization by electroporation. Viability in the primary normal cell line (98 % viable cells) was higher than in the three tested cancer cell lines (81-88 % viable cells). These data suggest more effective membrane repair in normal, primary cells and supplement previous explanations why electroporation-based therapies and other therapies permeabilizing the plasma membrane are more effective on malignant cells compared to normal cells in cancer treatment. PMID:27312328

  4. A novel unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.

    1995-01-01

    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed in work performed at Lynntech. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it will be presented.

  5. Sodium channels in membrane vesicles from cultured toad bladder cells

    SciTech Connect

    Asher, C.; Moran, A.; Rossier, B.C.; Garty, H. Ben Gurion Univ., Beer-Sheva Institut de Pharmacologie de l'Universite de Lausanne )

    1988-04-01

    Electrical potential-driven {sup 22}Na{sup +} fluxes were measured in membrane vesicles prepared from TBM-18(cl23) cells (a clone of the established cell line TB-M). Fifty to seventy percent of the tracer uptake in vesicles derived from cells that were cultivated on a porous support were blocked by the diuretic amiloride. The amiloride inhibition constant was <0.1 {mu}M, indicating that this flux is mediated by the apical Na{sup +}-specific channels. Vesicles prepared from cells that were not grown on a porous support exhibited much smaller amiloride-sensitive fluxes. Two Ca{sup 2+}-dependent processes that down-regulated the channel conductance and were previously identified in native epithelia were found in the cultured cells as well. Vesicles isolated from cells that were preincubated with 5 {times} 10{sup {minus}7} M aldosterone for 16-20 h exhibited higher amiloride-sensitive conductance than vesicles derived from control, steroid-depleted cells. Thus membrane derived from TBM-18(cl23) cells can be used to characterize the epithelial Na{sup +} channel and its hormonal regulation.

  6. A novel unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.

    1995-04-01

    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed in work performed at Lynntech. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it will be presented.

  7. Stem cell differentiation increases membrane-actin adhesion regulating cell blebability, migration and mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Sliogeryte, Kristina; Thorpe, Stephen D.; Lee, David A.; Botto, Lorenzo; Knight, Martin M.

    2014-01-01

    This study examines how differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells regulates the interaction between the cell membrane and the actin cortex controlling cell behavior. Micropipette aspiration was used to measure the pressure required for membrane-cortex detachment which increased from 0.15 kPa in stem cells to 0.71 kPa following chondrogenic differentiation. This effect was associated with reduced susceptibility to mechanical and osmotic bleb formation, reduced migration and an increase in cell modulus. Theoretical modelling of bleb formation demonstrated that the increased stiffness of differentiated cells was due to the increased membrane-cortex adhesion. Differentiated cells exhibited greater F-actin density and slower actin remodelling. Differentiated cells also expressed greater levels of the membrane-cortex ezrin, radixin, moeisin (ERM) linker proteins which was responsible for the reduced blebability, as confirmed by transfection of stem cells with dominant active ezrin-T567D-GFP. This study demonstrates that stem cells have an inherently weak membrane-cortex adhesion which increases blebability thereby regulating cell migration and stiffness. PMID:25471686

  8. Preparation and characterization of micro-cell membrane chromatographic column with silica-based porous layer open tubular capillary as cellular membrane carrier.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fugeng; Zhao, Xinchao; Xu, Bei; Cheng, Shuai; Tang, Cheng; Duan, Hongquan; Xiao, Xuefeng; Du, Wuxun; Xu, Liang

    2016-04-01

    Cell membrane chromatography (CMC) is a powerful tool to study membrane protein interactions and to screen active compounds extracted from natural products. Unfortunately, a large amount of cells are typically required for column preparation in order to carry out analyses in an efficient manner. Micro-CMC (mCMC) has recently been developed by using a silica capillary as a membrane carrier. However, a reduced retention of analytes is generally associated with mCMC mostly due to a low ligand (cellular membrane) capacity. To solve this common problem, in this work a silica-based porous layer open tubular (PLOT) capillary was fabricated and, to the best of our knowledge, for the first time applied to mCMC. The mCMC column was prepared by physical adsorption of rabbit red blood cell (rRBC) membranes onto the inner surface of the PLOT capillary. The effects of the PLOT capillaries fabricated by different feed compositions, on the immobilization amount of cellular membranes (represented by the fluorescence intensity of the capillary immobilized with fluorescein isothiocyanate isomer-labeled cellular membranes) and on the dynamic binding capacity (DBC) of verapamil (VP, a widely used calcium antagonist which specific interacts with L-type calcium channel proteins located on cellular membrane of rRBC) have been systematically investigated. The fluorescence intensity of the mCMC column when combined with the PLOT capillary was found to be more than five times higher than the intensity using a bare capillary. This intriguing result indicates that the PLOT capillary exhibits a higher cellular membrane capacity. The DBC of VP in the PLOT column was found to be more than nine times higher than that in the bare capillary. An rRBC/CMC column was also prepared for comparative studies. As a result, mCMC provides similar chromatographic retention factors and stability with common CMC; however, the cellular membrane consumption for mCMC was found to be more than 460 times lower than

  9. Laser analytical spectrometry based on optical phase conjugation by degenerate four-wave mixing in a flowing liquid analyte cell.

    PubMed

    Wu, Z Q; Tong, W G

    1989-05-01

    Nonlinear laser spectroscopy based on optical phase conjugation by degenerate four-wave mixing in an absorbing liquid analyte solution is reported as a sensitive analytical technique using a relatively low-power continuous-wave argon ion laser as the excitation source. This novel laser method provides excellent detection sensitivity since the analytical signal is a wavefront-reversed replica of the probe beam. Optical signal detection is convenient and efficient since the signal is a visible coherent laser beam. Important characteristics of this nonlinear laser method include cubic dependence of signal on laser power and quadratic dependence of signal on concentration. Excellent sensitivity, small detection volume, and convenient sample introduction offer many potential applications in trace-level condensed-phase analysis of continuously flowing systems. A preliminary detection limit of 2.9 X 10(-18) mol of eosin B in a simple flow cell is reported. PMID:2729603

  10. Determination of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) degradation products in fuel cell water using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Zedda, Marco; Tuerk, Jochen; Peil, Stefan; Schmidt, Torsten C

    2010-12-30

    Within the scope of research of membrane degradation phenomena during fuel cell operation a reliable analytical procedure for the extraction, detection and quantification of possible membrane oxidation products has been developed. These oxidation products originate from the attack of hydroxyl or peroxyl radicals on the membrane polymer. Such radicals are formed in situ (during fuel cell operation) or ex situ (Fenton test as oxidative stress simulation). The analysis of membrane oxidation products was carried out by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Five potential membrane oxidation products (4-hydroxybenzoic acid (4-HBA), 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (4-HBAD), 4,4-biphenol (4,4-BP), 4-hydroxybenzenesulfonate (4-HBS), and 4,4-sulfonylbiphenol (4,4-SBP)) were selected based on the molecular structure of the sulfonated polyarylether membrane used. In conjunction with the development of a multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) method, the ionization and fragmentation of the selected compounds were investigated. For 4,4-BP a molecular ion (M(+•) ) was observed in the positive ionization mode and used for MRM method development. Reproducible extraction of the model compounds was achieved using a mixed-mode sorbent material with both weak anion-exchange and reversed-phase retention properties. By using the developed analytical procedure, the identities of two membrane degradation products (4-HBA and 4-HBAD) were determined in situ and ex situ. In addition to the investigation of membrane degradation phenomena, the combination of extraction on a mixed-mode sorbent material and tandem mass spectrometric detection is attractive for the analysis of aromatic sulfonic acids, phenolic acids and phenols. PMID:21080505

  11. Tetraspanins regulate the protrusive activities of cell membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Bari, Rafijul; Guo, Qiusha; Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan ; Xia, Bing; Zhang, Yanhui H.; Giesert, Eldon E.; Levy, Shoshana; Zheng, Jie J.; Zhang, Xin A.

    2011-12-02

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Tetraspanins regulate microvillus formation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Tetraspanin CD81 promotes microvillus formation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Tetraspanin CD82 inhibits microvillus formation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Based on this study, we extrapolated a general cellular mechanism for tetraspanins. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Tetraspanins engage various functions by regulating membrane protrusion morphogenesis. -- Abstract: Tetraspanins have gained increased attention due to their functional versatility. But the universal cellular mechanism that governs such versatility remains unknown. Herein we present the evidence that tetraspanins CD81 and CD82 regulate the formation and/or development of cell membrane protrusions. We analyzed the ultrastructure of the cells in which a tetraspanin is either overexpressed or ablated using transmission electron microscopy. The numbers of microvilli on the cell surface were counted, and the radii of microvillar tips and the lengths of microvilli were measured. We found that tetraspanin CD81 promotes the microvillus formation and/or extension while tetraspanin CD82 inhibits these events. In addition, CD81 enhances the outward bending of the plasma membrane while CD82 inhibits it. We also found that CD81 and CD82 proteins are localized at microvilli using immunofluorescence. CD82 regulates microvillus morphogenesis likely by altering the plasma membrane curvature and/or the cortical actin cytoskeletal organization. We predict that membrane protrusions embody a common morphological phenotype and cellular mechanism for, at least some if not all, tetraspanins. The differential effects of tetraspanins on microvilli likely lead to the functional diversification of tetraspanins and appear to correlate with their functional propensity.

  12. Fluconazole treatment hyperpolarizes the plasma membrane of Candida cells.

    PubMed

    Elicharova, Hana; Sychrova, Hana

    2013-11-01

    Five pathogenic Candida species were compared in terms of their osmotolerance, tolerance to toxic sodium and lithium cations, and resistance to fluconazole. The species not only differed, in general, in their tolerance to high osmotic pressure (C. albicans and C. parapsilosis being the most osmotolerant) but exhibited distinct sensitivities to toxic sodium and lithium cations, with C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis being very tolerant but C. krusei and C. dubliniensis sensitive to LiCl. The treatment of both fluconazole-susceptible (C. albicans and C. parapsilosis) and fluconazole-resistant (C. dubliniensis, C. krusei and C. tropicalis) growing cells with subinhibitory concentrations of fluconazole resulted in substantially elevated intracellular Na(+) levels. Using a diS-C3(3) assay, for the first time, to monitor the relative membrane potential (ΔΨ) of Candida cells, we show that the fluconazole treatment of growing cells of all five species results in a substantial hyperpolarization of their plasma membranes, which is responsible for an increased non-specific transport of toxic alkali metal cations and other cationic drugs (e.g., hygromycin B). Thus, the combination of relatively low doses of fluconazole and drugs, whose import into the tested Candida strains is driven by the cell membrane potential, might be especially potent in terms of its ability to inhibit the growth of or even kill various Candida species. PMID:23547882

  13. Muscarinic receptor size on smooth muscle cells and membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Collins, S.M.; Jung, C.Y.; Grover, A.K.

    1986-08-01

    The loss of (/sup 3/H)quinuclidinyl benzilate ((/sup 3/H)QNB) binding following high-energy radiation was used to compare the muscarinic receptor size on single smooth muscle cells isolated by collagenase digestion from the canine stomach and on plasma membranes derived from intact gastric smooth muscle without exposure to exogenous proteolysis. Radiation inactivation of galactose oxidase (68 kdaltons), yeast alcohol dehydrogenase (160 kdaltons), and pyruvate kinase (224 kdaltons) activities were used as molecular-weight standards. Radiation inactivation of (/sup 3/H)QNB binding to rat brain membranes, which gave a target size of 86 kdaltons, served as an additional control. In isolated smooth muscle cells, the calculated size of the muscarinic receptor was 80 +/- 8 kdaltons. In contrast, in a smooth muscle enriched plasma membrane preparation, muscarinic receptor size was significantly smaller at 45 +/- 3 kdaltons. Larger molecular sizes were obtained either in the presence of protease inhibitors (62 +/- 4 kdaltons) or by using a crude membrane preparation of gastric smooth muscle 86 +/- 7 kdaltons).

  14. Determining TGF-β Receptor Levels in the Cell Membrane.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Long; Zhou, Fangfang; van Dinther, Maarten; Ten Dijke, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a pleiotropic cytokine that signals via transmembrane TGF-β type I and type II serine/threonine kinases receptors, i.e., TβRI and TβRII. Upon TGF-β-induced receptor complex formation, the TβRII kinase phosphorylates TβRI. Subsequently, the activated TβRI induces the phosphorylation of receptor regulated SMAD2 and SMAD3, which can form heteromeric complexes with Smad4. These heteromeric SMAD complexes accumulate in the nucleus, where they regulate target gene expression. The stability and membrane localization of TβRI is an important determinant to control the intensity and duration of TGF-β signaling. TβRI is targeted for poly-ubiquitylation-mediated proteasomal degradation by the SMAD7-SMURF E3 ligase complex. We recently identified another important regulatory factor that controls TβRI levels in the cell membrane. As a strong inducer of TGF-β signaling, ubiquitin-specific protease (USP) 4 was found to directly interact with TβRI and act as a deubiquitylating enzyme, thereby stabilizing TβRI levels at the plasma membrane. This chapter introduces methods for examining cell membrane receptor (TβRI) levels. PMID:26520116

  15. Streamlined method for parallel identification of single domain antibodies to membrane receptors on whole cells

    PubMed Central

    Rossotti, Martín; Tabares, Sofía; Alfaya, Lucía; Leizagoyen, Carmen; Moron, Gabriel; González-Sapienza, Gualberto

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Owing to their minimal size, high production yield, versatility and robustness, the recombinant variable domain (nanobody) of camelid single chain antibodies are valued affinity reagents for research, diagnostic, and therapeutic applications. While their preparation against purified antigens is straightforward, the generation of nanobodies to difficult targets such as multi-pass or complex membrane cell receptors remains challenging. Here we devised a platform for high throughput identification of nanobodies to cell receptor based on the use of a biotin handle. METHODS Using a biotin-acceptor peptide tag, the in vivo biotinylation of nanobodies in 96 well culture blocks was optimized allowing their parallel analysis by flow cytometry and ELISA, and their direct used for pull-down/MS target identification. RESULTS The potential of this strategy was demonstrated by the selection and characterization of panels of nanobodies to Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18), MHC II and the mouse Ly-5 leukocyte common antigen (CD45) receptors, from a VHH library obtained from a llama immunized with mouse bone marrow derived dendritic cells. By on and off switching of the addition of biotin, the method also allowed the epitope binning of the selected Nbs directly on cells. CONCLUSIONS This strategy streamline the selection of potent nanobodies to complex antigens, and the selected nanobodies constitute ready-to-use biotinylated reagents. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE This method will accelerate the discovery of nanobodies to cell membrane receptors which comprise the largest group of drug and analytical targets. PMID:25819371

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

  17. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Swathirajan, S.

    1996-04-01

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

  18. Development of structured polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasa, Jeffrey

    The objective of this research was to explore structure-property relationships to develop the understanding needed for introduction of superior PEM materials. Polymer electrolyte membranes based on sulfonated poly(ether ketone ketone) (SPEKK) were fabricated using N-methyl pyrrolidone as casting solvent. The membranes were characterized in terms of properties that were relevant to fuel cell applications, such as proton conductivity, methanol permeability, and swelling properties, among others. It was found in this study that the proton conductivity of neat SPEKK membranes could reach the conductivity of commercial membranes such as NafionRTM. However, when the conductivity of SPEKK was comparable to NafionRTM, the swelling of SPEKK in water was quite excessive. The swelling problem was remedied by modifying the microstructure of SPEKK using different techniques. One of them involved blending of lightly sulfonated PEKK with highly acidic particles (sulfonated crosslinked polystyrene-SXLPS). Low sulfonation level of SPEKK was used to reduce the swelling of the membrane in water and the role of the highly acidic particles was to enhance the proton conductivity of the membrane. Because of the residual crystallinity in SPEKK with low sulfonation levels (IEC < 1 meq/g), the composite membranes exhibited excellent dimensional stability in water at elevated temperatures (30-90 °C). Also, the resistance to swelling of these composite membranes in methanol-water mixtures was far better than NafionRTM, and so was the methanol permeability. Another technique explored was blending with non-conductive polymers (poly(ether imide) and poly(ether sulfone)) to act as mechanical reinforcement. It was found that miscibility behavior of the blends had a significant impact on the transport and swelling properties of these blends, which could be explained by the blend microstructure. The miscibility behavior was found to be strongly dependent on the sulfonation level of SPEKK. The

  19. Interaction of Boron Nitride Nanosheets with Model Cell Membranes.

    PubMed

    Hilder, Tamsyn A; Gaston, Nicola

    2016-06-01

    Boron nitride nanomaterials have attracted attention for biomedical applications, due to their improved biocompatibility when compared with carbon nanomaterials. Recently, graphene and graphene oxide nanosheets have been shown, both experimentally and computationally, to destructively extract phospholipids from Escherichia coli. Boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs) have exciting potential biological and environmental applications, for example the ability to remove oil from water. These applications are likely to increase the exposure of prokaryotes and eukaryotes to BNNSs. Yet, despite their promise, the interaction between BNNSs and cell membranes has not yet been investigated. Here, all-atom molecular dynamics simulations were used to demonstrate that BNNSs are spontaneously attracted to the polar headgroups of the lipid bilayer. The BNNSs do not passively cross the lipid bilayer, most likely due to the large forces experienced by the BNNSs. This study provides insight into the interaction of BNNSs with cell membranes and may aid our understanding of their improved biocompatibility. PMID:26934705

  20. Airborne elements, cell membranes, and chlorophyll in transplanted lichens

    SciTech Connect

    Garty, J.; Cohen, Y.; Kloog, N.

    1998-07-01

    The objective of the present study was to test the concentration of airborne mineral elements in the lichen Ramalina lacera (with.) J.R. Laund. in comparison with its physiological status. Thalli of Ramalina lacera were collected in a remote unpolluted site and transplanted in a polluted region for 10 mo. An analysis of 20 elements in addition to an analysis of the status of cell membranes and the integrity of chlorophyll was performed after this period of transplantation. The lichen manifested a great potential for the accumulation of Pb, V, Ni, Zn, and Cu. Potassium and P were found to leach out. High concentrations of Ni, Mg, and B coincided with damage caused to cell membranes. The integrity of chlorophyll correlated with the concentration of K and correlated inversely with the concentration of Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and B.

  1. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    One widely held model of early life suggests primitive cells consisted of simple RNA-based catalysts within lipid compartments. One possible selective advantage conferred by an encapsulated catalyst is stabilization of the compartment, resulting from catalyst-promoted synthesis of key membrane components. Here we show model protocell vesicles containing an encapsulated enzyme that promotes the synthesis of simple fatty acid derivatives become stabilized to Mg(2+), which is required for ribozyme activity and RNA synthesis. Thus, protocells capable of such catalytic transformations would have enjoyed a selective advantage over other protocells in high Mg(2+) environments. The synthetic transformation requires both the catalyst and vesicles that solubilize the water-insoluble precursor lipid. We suggest that similar modified lipids could have played a key role in early life, and that primitive lipid membranes and encapsulated catalysts, such as ribozymes, may have acted in conjunction with each other, enabling otherwise-impossible chemical transformations within primordial cells. PMID:26996603

  2. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    One widely held model of early life suggests primitive cells consisted of simple RNA-based catalysts within lipid compartments. One possible selective advantage conferred by an encapsulated catalyst is stabilization of the compartment, resulting from catalyst-promoted synthesis of key membrane components. Here we show model protocell vesicles containing an encapsulated enzyme that promotes the synthesis of simple fatty acid derivatives become stabilized to Mg2+, which is required for ribozyme activity and RNA synthesis. Thus, protocells capable of such catalytic transformations would have enjoyed a selective advantage over other protocells in high Mg2+ environments. The synthetic transformation requires both the catalyst and vesicles that solubilize the water-insoluble precursor lipid. We suggest that similar modified lipids could have played a key role in early life, and that primitive lipid membranes and encapsulated catalysts, such as ribozymes, may have acted in conjunction with each other, enabling otherwise-impossible chemical transformations within primordial cells. PMID:26996603

  3. Do heavy ions cause microlesions in cell membranes?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koniarek, Jan P.; Worgul, Basil V.

    1992-01-01

    The microlesion question is investigated by monitoring the electrical potential difference across the endothelium of rat corneas in vitro before, during, and after irradiation. When the corneas were exposed to 1 Gy of Fe-56 ions (450 and 600 MeV/a.m.u.), no effect was detected on this parameter. These results suggest that direct physical damage to cell membranes, as predicted by the microlesion theory, does not take place.

  4. Transient electrical field across cellular membranes: pulsed electric field treatment of microbial cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timoshkin, I. V.; MacGregor, S. J.; Fouracre, R. A.; Crichton, B. H.; Anderson, J. G.

    2006-02-01

    The pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment of liquid and pumpable products contaminated with microorganisms has attracted significant interest from the pulsed power and bioscience research communities particularly because the inactivation mechanism is non-thermal, thereby allowing retention of the original nutritional and flavour characteristics of the product. Although the biological effects of PEF have been studied for several decades, the physical mechanisms of the interaction of the fields with microorganisms is still not fully understood. The present work is a study of the dynamics of the electrical field both in a PEF treatment chamber with dielectric barriers and in the plasma (cell) membrane of a microbial cell. It is shown that the transient process can be divided into three physical phases, and models for these phases are proposed and briefly discussed. The complete dynamics of the time development of the electric field in a spherical dielectric shell representing the cellular membrane is then obtained using an analytical solution of the Ohmic conduction problem. It was found that the field in the membrane reaches a maximum value that could be two orders of magnitude higher than the original Laplacian electrical field in the chamber, and this value was attained in a time comparable to the field relaxation time in the chamber. Thus, the optimal duration of the field during PEF treatment should be equal to such a time.

  5. Stimulation of Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling by Mushroom Tyrosinase

    PubMed Central

    Frauenfeld, Leonie; Alzoubi, Kousi; Abed, Majed; Lang, Florian

    2014-01-01

    Background: Mushroom tyrosinase, a copper containing enzyme, modifies growth and survival of tumor cells. Mushroom tyrosinase may foster apoptosis, an effect in part due to interference with mitochondrial function. Erythrocytes lack mitochondria but are able to undergo apoptosis-like suicidal cell death or eryptosis, which is characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling leading to phosphatidylserine-exposure at the erythrocyte surface. Signaling involved in the triggering of eryptosis include increase of cytosolic Ca2+-activity ([Ca2+]i) and activation of sphingomyelinase with subsequent formation of ceramide. The present study explored, whether tyrosinase stimulates eryptosis. Methods: Cell volume has been estimated from forward scatter, phosphatidylserine-exposure from annexin V binding, [Ca2+]i from Fluo3-fluorescence, and ceramide abundance from binding of fluorescent antibodies in flow cytometry. Results: A 24 h exposure to mushroom tyrosinase (7 U/mL) was followed by a significant increase of [Ca2+]i, a significant increase of ceramide abundance, and a significant increase of annexin-V-binding. The annexin-V-binding following tyrosinase treatment was significantly blunted but not abrogated in the nominal absence of extracellular Ca2+. Tyrosinase did not significantly modify forward scatter. Conclusions: Tyrosinase triggers cell membrane scrambling, an effect, at least partially, due to entry of extracellular Ca2+ and ceramide formation. PMID:24647148

  6. A review of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, M.; Bazylak, A.

    This paper presents an overview of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack testing. Stack testing is critical for evaluating and demonstrating the viability and durability required for commercial applications. Single cell performance cannot be employed alone to fully derive the expected performance of PEMFC stacks, due to the non-uniformity in potential, temperature, and reactant and product flow distributions observed in stacks. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive review of the state-of-the art in PEMFC testing. We discuss the main topics of investigation, including single cell vs. stack-level performance, cell voltage uniformity, influence of operating conditions, durability and degradation, dynamic operation, and stack demonstrations. We also present opportunities for future work, including the need to verify the impact of stack size and cell voltage uniformity on performance, determine operating conditions for achieving a balance between electrical efficiency and flooding/dry-out, meet lifetime requirements through endurance testing, and develop a stronger understanding of degradation.

  7. Latent progenitor cells as potential regulators for tympanic membrane regeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Seung Won; Kim, Jangho; Seonwoo, Hoon; Jang, Kyung-Jin; Kim, Yeon Ju; Lim, Hye Jin; Lim, Ki-Taek; Tian, Chunjie; Chung, Jong Hoon; Choung, Yun-Hoon

    2015-06-01

    Tympanic membrane (TM) perforation, in particular chronic otitis media, is one of the most common clinical problems in the world and can present with sensorineural healing loss. Here, we explored an approach for TM regeneration where the latent progenitor or stem cells within TM epithelial layers may play an important regulatory role. We showed that potential TM stem cells present highly positive staining for epithelial stem cell markers in all areas of normal TM tissue. Additionally, they are present at high levels in perforated TMs, especially in proximity to the holes, regardless of acute or chronic status, suggesting that TM stem cells may be a potential factor for TM regeneration. Our study suggests that latent TM stem cells could be potential regulators of regeneration, which provides a new insight into this clinically important process and a potential target for new therapies for chronic otitis media and other eardrum injuries.

  8. Self-humidified proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Operation of larger cells and fuel cell stacks

    SciTech Connect

    Dhar, H.P.; Lee, J.H.; Lewinski, K.A.

    1996-12-31

    The PEM fuel cell is promising as the power source for use in mobile and stationary applications primarily because of its high power density, all solid components, and simplicity of operation. For wide acceptability of this power source, its cost has to be competitive with the presently available energy sources. The fuel cell requires continuous humidification during operation as a power source. The humidification unit however, increases fuel cell volume, weight, and therefore decreases its overall power density. Great advantages in terms of further fuel cell simplification can be achieved if the humidification process can be eliminated or minimized. In addition, cost reductions are associated with the case of manufacturing and operation. At BCS Technology we have developed a technology of self-humidified operation of PEM fuel cells based on the mass balance of the reactants and products and the ability of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) to retain water necessary for humidification under the cell operating conditions. The reactants enter the fuel cell chambers without carrying any form of water, whether in liquid or vapor form. Basic principles of self-humidified operation of fuel cells as practiced by BCS Technology, Inc. have been presented previously in literature. Here, we report the operation of larger self-humidified single cells and fuel cell stacks. Fuel cells of areas Up to 100 cm{sup 2} have been operated. We also show the self-humidified operation of fuel cell stacks of 50 and 100 cm{sup 2} electrode areas.

  9. A comparative study of water uptake by and transport through ionomeric fuel cell membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Zawodzinski, T.A.Jr.; Springer, T.E.; Davey, J.; Jestel, R.; Lopez, C.; Valerio, J.; Gottesfeld, S. . Electronics Materials and Device Research)

    1993-07-01

    Water uptake and transport parameters measured at 30 C for several available perfluorosulfonic acid membranes are compared. The water sorption characteristics, diffusion coefficient of water, electroosmotic drag, and protonic conductivity were determined for Nafion 117, Membrane C, and Dow XUS 13204.10 developmental fuel cell membrane. The diffusion coefficient and conductivity of each of these membranes were determined as functions of membrane water content. Experimental determination of transport parameters, enables one to compare membranes without the skewing effects of extensive features such as membrane thickness which contributes in a nonlinear fashion to performance in polymer electrolyte fuel cells.

  10. Analysis and Test of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Power System for Space Power Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, Arturo; Varanauski, Donald; Clark, Robert, Jr.

    2000-01-01

    An effort is underway to develop a prototype Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell breadboard system for fuhlre space applications. This prototype will be used to develop a comprehensive design basis for a space-rated PEM fuel cell powerplant. The prototype system includes reactant pressure regulators, ejector-based reactant pumps, a 4-kW fuel cell stack and cooling system, and a passive, membranebased oxygen / water separator. A computer model is being developed concurrently to analytically predict fluid flow in the oxidant reactant system. Fuel cells have historically played an important role in human-rated spacecraft. The Gemini and Apollo spacecraft used fuel cells for vehicle electrical power. The Space Shuttle currently uses three Alkaline Fuel Cell Powerplants (AFCP) to generate all of the vehicle's 15-20kW electrical power. Engineers at the Johnson Space Center have leveraged off the development effort ongoing in the commercial arena to develop PEM fuel cel ls for terrestrial uses. The prototype design originated from efforts to develop a PEM fuel cell replacement for the current Space Shuttle AFCP' s. In order to improve on the life and an already excellent hi storical record of reliability and safety, three subsystems were focused on. These were the fuel cell stack itself, the reactant circulation devices, and reactant / product water separator. PEM fuel cell stack performance is already demonstrating the potential for greater than four times the useful life of the current Shuttle's AFCP. Reactant pumping for product water removal has historically been accomplished with mechanical pumps. Ejectors offer an effective means of reactant pumping as well as the potential for weight reduction, control simplification, and long life. Centrifugal water separation is used on the current AFCP. A passive, membrane-based water separator offers compatibility with the micro-gravity environment of space, and the potential for control simplification, elimination of

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-05-03

    We report a mass spectrometry-based strategy for quantitative analysis of cell surface membrane proteome changes. The strategy includes enrichment of surface membrane proteins using a membrane-impermeable chemical probe followed by stable isotope 18O labeling and LC-MS analysis. We applied this strategy for enriching membrane proteins expressed by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a gram-negative bacterium with known metal-reduction capability via extracellular electron transfer between outer membrane proteins and environmental electron receptors. LC/MS/MS analysis resulted in the identification of about 79% membrane proteins among all proteins identified from the enriched sample. To illustrate the quantification of membrane proteome changes, enriched membrane protein samples from wild-type and mutant cells (generated from deletion of a type II secretion protein, GspD) were further labeled with 16O and 18O at the peptide level prior to LC-MS analysis. A chemical-probe-labeled pure protein has also been used as an internal standard for normalization purpose. The quantitative data revealed reduced abundances of many outer membrane proteins such as OmcA and MtrC in ΔgspD mutant cells, which agreed well with previously published studies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    We report a mass spectrometry-based strategy for quantitative analysis of cell surface membrane proteome changes. The strategy includes enrichment of surface membrane proteins using a membrane-impermeable chemical probe followed by stable isotope 18O labeling and LC-MS analysis. We applied this strategy for enriching membrane proteins expressed by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a gram-negative bacterium with known metal-reduction capability via extracellular electron transfer between outer membrane proteins and extracellular electron receptors. LC/MS/MS analysis resulted in the identification of about 400 proteins with 79% of them being predicted to be membrane localized. Quantitative aspects of the membrane enrichment were shown by peptide level 16O and 18O labeling of proteins from wild-type and mutant cells (generated from deletion of a type II secretion protein, GspD) prior to LC-MS analysis. Using a chemical probe labeled pure protein as an internal standard for normalization, the quantitative data revealed reduced abundances in ΔgspD mutant cells of many outer membrane proteins including the outer membrane c-cype cytochromes OmcA and MtrC, in agreement with previously investigation demonstrating that these proteins are substrates of the type II secretion system. PMID:20380418

  13. Investigation of Anion-Exchange and Immunoaffinity Particle-Loaded Membranes for the Isolation of Charged Organic Analytes from Water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dombrowski, T.R.; Wilson, G.S.; Thurman, E.M.

    1998-01-01

    Anion-exchange and immunoaffinity particle loaded membranes (PLMs) were investigated as a mechanism for the isolation of charged organic analytes from water. Kinetic properties determined theoretically included dynamic capacity, pressure drop (??P), residence and diffusion times (Tr, Td), and total membrane porosity (???T). These properties were confirmed through experimental evaluation, and the PLM method showed significant improvement over conventional solid-phase extraction (SPE) and ion-exchange formats. Recoveries of more than 90% were observed for a variety of test compounds at flow rates up to 70 mL/min (equipment-limited maximum flow rate). A fast-flow immunoaffinity column was developed using antibodies (Abs) attached to the PLMs. Reproducible recoveries (88% ?? 4%) were observed at flow rates up to 70 mL/min for the antibody (Ab)-loaded PLMs. Findings indicate increased selectivity over anion-exchange PLMs and conventional SPE or ion-exchange methods and rapid Ab-antigen binding rates given the excellent mass-transfer characteristics of the PLMs.

  14. Migration of connexin in the membranes of living cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bledsoe, Matthew; Rana, Daharsh; May, Karl; Kreft, Jennifer

    2008-11-01

    Movement of connexins within cell lipid bilayers remains somewhat mysterious. In studying their movement, researchers hoped to shed more light on the mechanisms by which they are influenced. We examined this problem by observing the behavior of the connexins directly. Cancerous human liver cells were cultured and their membrane connexins labeled with green fluorescent protein through transvection. The connexins were then filmed by high speed camera and carefully analyzed. The study served to fine-tune the model used in simulations of connexin migration, enabling further study of connexins and their transmembrane environment.

  15. Incorporating photon recycling into the analytical drift-diffusion model of high efficiency solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Lumb, Matthew P.; Steiner, Myles A.; Geisz, John F.; Walters, Robert J.

    2014-11-21

    The analytical drift-diffusion formalism is able to accurately simulate a wide range of solar cell architectures and was recently extended to include those with back surface reflectors. However, as solar cells approach the limits of material quality, photon recycling effects become increasingly important in predicting the behavior of these cells. In particular, the minority carrier diffusion length is significantly affected by the photon recycling, with consequences for the solar cell performance. In this paper, we outline an approach to account for photon recycling in the analytical Hovel model and compare analytical model predictions to GaAs-based experimental devices operating close to the fundamental efficiency limit.

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

    PubMed Central

    Saeui, Christopher T.; Mathew, Mohit P.; Liu, Lingshui; Urias, Esteban; Yarema, Kevin J.

    2015-01-01

    Membranes constitute the interface between the basic unit of life—a single cell—and the outside environment and thus in many ways comprise the ultimate “functional biomaterial”. To perform the many and often conflicting functions required in this role, for example to partition intracellular contents from the outside environment while maintaining rapid intake of nutrients and efflux of waste products, biological membranes have evolved tremendous complexity and versatility. This article describes how membranes, mainly in the context of living cells, are increasingly being manipulated for practical purposes with drug discovery, biofuels, and biosensors providing specific, illustrative examples. Attention is also given to biology-inspired, but completely synthetic, membrane-based technologies that are being enabled by emerging methods such as bio-3D printers. The diverse set of applications covered in this article are intended to illustrate how these versatile technologies—as they rapidly mature—hold tremendous promise to benefit human health in numerous ways ranging from the development of new medicines to sensitive and cost-effective environmental monitoring for pathogens and pollutants to replacing hydrocarbon-based fossil fuels. PMID:26096148

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaojuan; Zhou, Boyang

    2016-08-01

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

  18. Better Proton-Conducting Polymers for Fuel-Cell Membranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayan, Sri; Reddy, Prakash

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Malaeb, Lilian; Katuri, Krishna P; Logan, Bruce E; Maab, Husnul; Nunes, S P; Saikaly, Pascal E

    2013-10-15

    A new hybrid, air-biocathode microbial fuel cell-membrane bioreactor (MFC-MBR) system was developed to achieve simultaneous wastewater treatment and ultrafiltration to produce water for direct reclamation. The combined advantages of this system were achieved by using an electrically conductive ultrafiltration membrane as both the cathode and the membrane for wastewater filtration. The MFC-MBR used an air-biocathode, and it was shown to have good performance relative to an otherwise identical cathode containing a platinum catalyst. With 0.1 mm prefiltered domestic wastewater as the feed, the maximum power density was 0.38 W/m(2) (6.8 W/m(3)) with the biocathode, compared to 0.82 W/m(2) (14.5 W/m(3)) using the platinum cathode. The permeate quality from the biocathode reactor was comparable to that of a conventional MBR, with removals of 97% of the soluble chemical oxygen demand, 97% NH3-N, and 91% of total bacteria (based on flow cytometry). The permeate turbidity was <0.1 nephelometric turbidity units. These results show that a biocathode MFC-MBR system can achieve high levels of wastewater treatment with a low energy input due to the lack of a need for wastewater aeration. PMID:24016059

  20. Membrane Cholesterol Modulates LOX-1 Shedding in Endothelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Gioia, Magda; Vindigni, Giulia; Testa, Barbara; Raniolo, Sofia; Fasciglione, Giovanni Francesco; Coletta, Massimiliano; Biocca, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    The lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) is a scavenger receptor responsible for ox-LDL recognition, binding and internalization, which is up-regulated during atherogenesis. Its activation triggers endothelium dysfunction and induces inflammation. A soluble form of LOX-1 has been identified in the human blood and its presence considered a biomarker of cardiovascular diseases. We recently showed that cholesterol-lowering drugs inhibit ox-LDL binding and internalization, rescuing the ox-LDL induced apoptotic phenotype in primary endothelial cells. Here we have investigated the molecular bases of human LOX-1 shedding by metalloproteinases and the role of cell membrane cholesterol on the regulation of this event by modulating its level with MβCD and statins. We report that membrane cholesterol affects the release of different forms of LOX-1 in cells transiently and stably expressing human LOX-1 and in a human endothelial cell line (EA.hy926). In particular, our data show that i) cholesterol depletion triggers the release of LOX-1 in exosomes as a full-length transmembrane isoform and as a truncated ectodomain soluble fragment (sLOX-1); ii) endothelial cells secrete a soluble metalloproteinase which induces LOX-1 ectodomain shedding and iii) long term statins treatment enhances sLOX-1 proteolytic shedding. PMID:26495844

  1. Membrane Cholesterol Modulates LOX-1 Shedding in Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Testa, Barbara; Raniolo, Sofia; Fasciglione, Giovanni Francesco; Coletta, Massimiliano; Biocca, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    The lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1) is a scavenger receptor responsible for ox-LDL recognition, binding and internalization, which is up-regulated during atherogenesis. Its activation triggers endothelium dysfunction and induces inflammation. A soluble form of LOX-1 has been identified in the human blood and its presence considered a biomarker of cardiovascular diseases. We recently showed that cholesterol-lowering drugs inhibit ox-LDL binding and internalization, rescuing the ox-LDL induced apoptotic phenotype in primary endothelial cells. Here we have investigated the molecular bases of human LOX-1 shedding by metalloproteinases and the role of cell membrane cholesterol on the regulation of this event by modulating its level with MβCD and statins. We report that membrane cholesterol affects the release of different forms of LOX-1 in cells transiently and stably expressing human LOX-1 and in a human endothelial cell line (EA.hy926). In particular, our data show that i) cholesterol depletion triggers the release of LOX-1 in exosomes as a full-length transmembrane isoform and as a truncated ectodomain soluble fragment (sLOX-1); ii) endothelial cells secrete a soluble metalloproteinase which induces LOX-1 ectodomain shedding and iii) long term statins treatment enhances sLOX-1 proteolytic shedding. PMID:26495844

  2. A flexible portable proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Fu-Kuang; Lee, Ming-San; Lin, Chi-Chang; Lin, Yu-Kuo; Hsu, Wei-Ting

    2012-12-01

    A flexible portable proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is developed with non-directional flexibility acquired through new carbon-fibre-made current collectors and a new cell structure. The performance of a pilot cell suffers no significant loss when bent to curvatures with various radii in multiple directions. It also compares well with a nonflexible cylindrical portable PEMFC composed of similar components. The new cell is made with a single cup-like flexible main body with the membrane glued to the inside rim. The current collector is composed of several bunches of carbon fibre, each with metal wires embedded in them. The soft and flexible fibres not only allow for close and evenly-distributed contact with the bent electrode, but also change the character of the contact so that a large compressional force is no longer required to acquire low contact resistance which is, above all, the key to the success of this flexible cell design. The metal wire provides the needed flexibility to cover large curved electrode areas. A wire spring is used to pressure the collector against the electrode while the main body bends.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Membrane proteins (MPs) mediate a variety of cellular responses to extracellular signals. While MPs are intensely studied for their values as disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets, in situ investigation of binding kinetics of MPs with their ligands has been a challenge. Traditional approaches isolate MPs and then study them ex situ, which does not accurately reflect their native structures and functions. We present here a label-free plasmonic microscopy method to map the local binding kinetics of MPs in their native environment. This new analytical method can perform simultaneous plasmonic and fluorescence imaging, thus making it possible to combine the strengths of both label-based and label-free techniques in one system. Using this method, we have determined the distribution of MPs on the surface of single cells, and the local binding kinetic constants of different MPs. Furthermore, we have studied the polarization of the MPs on the cell surface during chemotaxis. PMID:23000999

  4. Alkaline direct alcohol fuel cells using an anion exchange membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Koji; Iriyama, Yasutoshi; Abe, Takeshi; Matsuoka, Masao; Ogumi, Zempachi

    Alkaline direct alcohol fuel cells using an OH-form anion exchange membrane and polyhydric alcohols were studied. A high open circuit voltage of ca. 800 mV was obtained for a cell using Pt-Ru/C (anode) and Pt/C (cathode) at 323 K, which was about 100-200 mV higher than that for a DMFC using Nafion ®. The maximum power densities were in the order of ethylene glycol > glycerol > methanol > erythritol > xylitol. Silver catalysts were used as a cathode catalyst to fabricate alkaline fuel cells, since silver catalyst is almost inactive in the oxidation of polyhydric alcohols. Alkaline direct ethylene glycol fuel cells using silver as a cathode catalyst gave excellent performance because higher concentrations of fuel could be supplied to the anode.

  5. Long range physical cell-to-cell signalling via mitochondria inside membrane nanotubes: a hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Scholkmann, Felix

    2016-01-01

    Coordinated interaction of single cells by cell-to-cell communication (signalling) enables complex behaviour necessary for the functioning of multicellular organisms. A quite newly discovered cell-to-cell signalling mechanism relies on nanotubular cell-co-cell connections, termed "membrane nanotubes" (MNTs). The present paper presents the hypothesis that mitochondria inside MNTs can form a connected structure (mitochondrial network) which enables the exchange of energy and signals between cells. It is proposed that two modes of energy and signal transmission may occur: electrical/electrochemical and electromagnetic (optical). Experimental work supporting the hypothesis is reviewed, and suggestions for future research regarding the discussed topic are given. PMID:27267202

  6. Molecular modeling of membrane responses to the adsorption of rotating nanoparticles: promoted cell uptake and mechanical membrane rupture.

    PubMed

    Yue, Tongtao; Zhang, Xianren; Huang, Fang

    2015-01-21

    Recently, a unique dynamic magnetic field was developed to induce the rotational movement of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. This technique has been applied to remotely control both cellular internalization and apoptosis. Therefore, a thorough understanding of how a lipid membrane responds to the introduction of rotating NPs is quite important to promote the applications of this technique in a variety of biomedical area. Here, we performed Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) simulations to systematically investigate the interaction mechanism between lipid membranes and rotating NPs. Two kinds of membrane responses are observed. One is the promoted cell uptake and the other is the mechanical membrane rupture. The promoting effect of NP rotation on the cell uptake is ascribed to the enhanced membrane monolayer protrusion, which can wrap the NP from the top side. Meanwhile, the rotating NP exerts a shearing force on the membrane. Accordingly, the membrane undergoes a local distortion around the NP. If the shearing force exceeds a critical value, the local membrane distortion develops into a mechanical rupture. A number of factors, like NP size, NP shape, ligand density and rotation speed, are critical in both of the above membrane responses. PMID:25388826

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. The action of antidiuretic hormone on cell membranes

    PubMed Central

    Cuthbert, A. W.; Painter, Elisabeth

    1969-01-01

    1. The instantaneous impedance method has been used to study the effects of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) on frog skin. 2. The resting skin may be represented by a parallel RC network with a single time constant. 3. Antidiuretic hormone causes an increase in conductance and capacitance and in some cases the appearance of a polarization angle. 4. The structures in the skin responsible for the transients are located in the outermost membranes. 5. The effects of ADH have been interpreted in terms of the formation of water-filled sodium-permselective pores in the outer facing membranes which occupy, at most, 0.3% of the skin surface. These pores constitute a parallel, and hence additive, capacitance with that of the normally ion impermeable parts of the cell surface, and in addition are responsible for the increase in conductance. The polarization angle is due to the polydisperse nature of the skin after hormone treatment. PMID:5762042

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ingermann, R.L. )

    1989-09-01

    Some natural and synthetic estrogens inhibit carrier-mediated transport of glucose into human red blood cells and membrane vesicles from the placenta. The inhibitory action of these estrogens on transport appears to be a direct effect at the membrane and does not involve receptor binding and protein synthesis. It is not clear, however, whether such inhibition is a common feature among estrogenic agents. Several chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides have been shown to possess estrogenic activity. These pesticides could have inhibitory effects on the human sodium-independent glucose transporter. Owing to the apparent importance of this membrane transporter in human tissues, direct interaction of hormones and xenobiotics with the glucose transporter is of fundamental significance. Some pesticides have been shown to alter membrane structure directly and alter the passive permeability of membranes. Whether the estrogenic pesticides influence passive diffusion of sugars across membranes has not been established. Finally, preliminary observations have suggested that some estrogens and pesticides have lytic effects on intact cells. Consequently, this study focuses on the ability of several estrogens and estrogenic pesticides to disrupt the cell membrane, influence the monosaccharide transporter, and alter the rate of monosaccharide permeation through the membrane by simple diffusion.

  10. Nanocomposite membranes based on polybenzimidazole and ZrO2 for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-24

    Owing to the numerous benefits obtained when operating proton exchange membrane fuel cells at elevated temperature (>100 °C), the development of thermally stable proton exchange membranes that demonstrate conductivity under anhydrous conditions remains a significant goal for fuel cell technology. This paper presents composite membranes consisting of poly[2,2'-(m-phenylene)-5,5'-bibenzimidazole] (PBI4N) impregnated with a ZrO2 nanofiller of varying content (ranging from 0 to 22 wt %). The structure-property relationships of the acid-doped and undoped composite membranes have been studied using thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, wide-angle X-ray scattering, infrared spectroscopy, and broadband electrical spectroscopy. Results indicate that the level of nanofiller has a significant effect on the membrane properties. From 0 to 8 wt %, the acid uptake as well as the thermal and mechanical properties of the membrane increase. As the nanofiller level is increased from 8 to 22 wt % the opposite effect is observed. At 185 °C, the ionic conductivity of [PBI4N(ZrO2 )0.231 ](H3 PO4 )13 is found to be 1.04×10(-1)  S cm(-1) . This renders membranes of this type promising candidates for use in high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. PMID:25801848

  11. High temperature polymers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Einsla, Brian Russel

    Novel proton exchange membranes (PEMs) were investigated that show potential for operating at higher temperatures in both direct methanol (DMFC) and H 2/air PEM fuel cells. The need for thermally stable polymers immediately suggests the possibility of heterocyclic polymers bearing appropriate ion conducting sites. Accordingly, monomers and random disulfonated poly(arylene ether) copolymers containing either naphthalimide, benzoxazole or benzimidazole moieties were synthesized via direct copolymerization. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) was varied by simply changing the ratio of disulfonated monomer to nonsulfonated monomer in the copolymerization step. Water uptake and proton conductivity of cast membranes increased with IEC. The water uptake of these heterocyclic copolymers was lower than that of comparable disulfonated poly(arylene ether) systems, which is a desirable improvement for PEMs. Membrane electrode assemblies were prepared and the initial fuel cell performance of the disulfonated polyimide and polybenzoxazole (PBO) copolymers was very promising at 80°C compared to the state-of-the-art PEM (NafionRTM); nevertheless these membranes became brittle under operating conditions. Several series of poly(arylene ether)s based on disodium-3,3'-disulfonate-4,4 '-dichlorodiphenylsulfone (S-DCDPS) and a benzimidazole-containing bisphenol were synthesized and afforded copolymers with enhanced stability. Selected properties of these membranes were compared to separately prepared miscible blends of disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers and polybenzimidazole (PBI). Complexation of the sulfonic acid groups with the PBI structure reduced water swelling and proton conductivity. The enhanced proton conductivity of NafionRTM membranes has been proposed to be due to the aggregation of the highly acidic side-chain sulfonic acid sites to form ion channels. A series of side-chain sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers based on methoxyhydroquinone was

  12. Membrane-Bound TRAIL Supplements Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxicity Against Neuroblastoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Sheard, Michael A.; Asgharzadeh, Shahab; Liu, Yin; Lin, Tsen-Yin; Wu, Hong-Wei; Ji, Lingyun; Groshen, Susan; Lee, Dean A.; Seeger, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    Neuroblastoma cells have been reported to be resistant to death induced by soluble, recombinant forms of TRAIL (CD253/TNFSF10) due to low or absent expression of caspase-8 and/or TRAIL-receptor 2 (TRAIL-R2/DR5/CD262/TNFRSF10b). However, their sensitivity to membrane-bound TRAIL on natural killer (NK) cells is not known. Comparing microarray gene expression and response to NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity, we observed a correlation between TRAIL-R2 expression and the sensitivity of fourteen neuroblastoma cell lines to the cytotoxicity of NK cells activated with IL-2 plus IL-15. Even though most NK cytotoxicity was dependent upon perforin, the cytotoxicity was supplemented by TRAIL in fourteen of seventeen (82%) neuroblastoma cell lines as demonstrated using an anti-TRAIL neutralizing antibody. Similarly, a recently developed NK cell expansion system employing IL-2 plus lethally irradiated K562 feeder cells constitutively expressing membrane-bound IL-21 (K562 clone 9.mbIL21) resulted in activated NK cells derived from normal healthy donors and neuroblastoma patients that also utilized TRAIL to supplement cytotoxicity. Exogenous IFNγ up-regulated expression of caspase-8 in three of four neuroblastoma cell lines and increased the contribution of TRAIL to NK cytotoxicity against two of the three lines; however, relatively little inhibition of cytotoxicity was observed when activated NK cells were treated with an anti-IFNγ neutralizing antibody. Constraining the binding of anti-TRAIL neutralizing antibody to membrane-bound TRAIL but not soluble TRAIL indicated that membrane-bound TRAIL alone was responsible for essentially all of the supplemental cytotoxicity. Together, these findings support a role for membrane-bound TRAIL in the cytotoxicity of NK cells against neuroblastoma cells. PMID:23719242

  13. 160 C PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE (PEM) FUEL CELL SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

    SciTech Connect

    L.G. Marianowski

    2001-12-21

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

  14. Force Balance and Membrane Shedding at the Red-Blood-Cell Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sens, Pierre; Gov, Nir

    2007-01-01

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

  15. Process for recycling components of a PEM fuel cell membrane electrode assembly

    DOEpatents

    Shore, Lawrence

    2012-02-28

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

  16. Triggering of erythrocyte cell membrane scrambling by salinomycin.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    Salinomycin, a polyether ionophore antibiotic effective against a variety of pathogens, has been shown to trigger apoptosis of cancer cells and cancer stem cells. The substance is thus considered for the treatment of malignancy. Salinomycin compromises tumour cell survival at least in part by interference with mitochondrial function. Erythrocytes lack mitochondria but may undergo apoptosis-like suicidal cell death or eryptosis, which is characterized by scrambling of the cell membrane with phosphatidylserine exposure at the erythrocyte surface. Signalling involved in the triggering of eryptosis includes activation of oxidant-sensitive Ca(2+) permeable cation channels with subsequent increase in cytosolic Ca(2+) activity ([Ca(2+)]i). This study explored whether salinomycin stimulates eryptosis. Phosphatidylserine-exposing erythrocytes were identified by measurement of annexin-V binding, cell volume was estimated from forward scatter, haemolysis determined from haemoglobin release, [Ca(2+)]i quantified utilizing Fluo3-fluorescence and oxidative stress from 2',7' dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFDA) fluorescence in flow cytometry. A 48-hr exposure to salinomycin (5-100 nM) was followed by a significant increase in Fluo3-fluorescence, DCFDA fluorescence and annexin-V binding, as well as a significant decrease in forward scatter (at 5-10 nM, but not at 50 and 100 nM). The annexin-V binding after salinomycin treatment was significantly blunted but not abrogated in the nominal absence of extracellular Ca(2+) or in the presence of antioxidant n-acetyl cysteine (1 mM). Salinomycin triggers cell membrane scrambling, an effect at least partially due to oxidative stress and entry of extracellular Ca(2+). PMID:24717091

  17. Carbon monoxide poisoning of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Rodrigues, A.; Amphlett, J.C.; Mann, R.F.; Peppley, B.A.; Roberge, P.R.

    1997-12-31

    The platinum-alloy catalyst used in proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell anodes is highly susceptible to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO reduces the catalyst activity by blocking active catalyst sites normally available for hydrogen chemisorption and dissociation. The reaction kinetics at the anode catalyst surface can be used to estimate the decrease in cell voltage due to various levels of CO contamination in the inlet fuel streams on PEM fuel cell performance have been reviewed and analyzed in an attempt to further understand the electrochemical properties of the CO adsorption process. A fuel cell performance model of bipolar, Nafion 117 PEM fuel cell stack has been developed which predicts equilibrium cell output voltage as a function of current density and partial pressure of CO. The model contains both empirical and mechanistic parameters and evolved from a steady-state electrochemical model for a PEM fuel cell fed with a CO-free anode gas. Reaction kinetics and equilibrium surface coverage have been incorporated into the electrochemical model to predict the decrease in fuel cell performance at equilibrium. The effects of CO were studied at various concentrations of CO in hydrogen as the anode feed gas. Literature data were used to develop the model parameters and the resulting model is used to compare the model-predicted voltages, with and without CO, to data found in the literature.

  18. [LIGHT-DEPENDENT SYNTHESIS OF CELL MEMBRANES IN THE Brc-1 MUTANT OF CHLAMYDOMONAS REINHARDTII].

    PubMed

    Semenova, G A; Chekunova, E M; Ladygin, V G

    2015-01-01

    The structural organization of cells of the Brc-1 mutant of the unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii grown in the light and in the dark has been studied. The Brc-1 mutant contains the brc-1 mutation in the nucleus gene LTS3. In the light, all membrane structures in mutant cells form normally and are well developed. In the dark under heterotrophic conditions, the mutant cells grew and divided well, however, all its cell membranes: plasmalemma, tonoplast, mitochondrial membranes, membranes of the nucleus shell and chloroplast, thylakoids, and the membranes of dictiosomes of the Golgi apparatus were not detected. In the dark under heterotrophic conditions, mutant cells well grow and divide. It were shown that a short-term (1-10 min) exposure of Brc-1 mutant cells to light leads to the restoration of all above-mentioned membrane structures. Possible reasons for the alterations of membrane structures are discussed. PMID:26281212

  19. Regulation of Cell Contraction and Membrane Ruffling by Distinct Signals in Migratory Cells

    PubMed Central

    Cheresh, David A.; Leng, Jie; Klemke, Richard L.

    1999-01-01

    Cell migration and wound contraction requires assembly of actin into a functional myosin motor unit capable of generating force. However, cell migration also involves formation of actin-containing membrane ruffles. Evidence is provided that actin-myosin assembly and membrane ruffling are regulated by distinct signaling pathways in the migratory cell. Interaction of cells with extracellular matrix proteins or cytokines promote cell migration through activation of the MAP kinases ERK1 and ERK2 as well as the molecular coupling of the adaptor proteins p130CAS and c-CrkII. ERK signaling is independent of CAS/Crk coupling and regulates myosin light chain phosphorylation leading to actin-myosin assembly during cell migration and cell-mediated contraction of a collagen matrix. In contrast, membrane ruffling, but not cell contraction, requires Rac GTPase activity and the formation of a CAS/Crk complex that functions in the context of the Rac activating protein DOCK180. Thus, during cell migration ERK and CAS/Crk coupling operate as components of distinct signaling pathways that control actin assembly into myosin motors and membrane ruffles, respectively. PMID:10477763

  20. Analytical applications of microbial fuel cells. Part II: Toxicity, microbial activity and quantification, single analyte detection and other uses.

    PubMed

    Abrevaya, Ximena C; Sacco, Natalia J; Bonetto, Maria C; Hilding-Ohlsson, Astrid; Cortón, Eduardo

    2015-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells were rediscovered twenty years ago and now are a very active research area. The reasons behind this new activity are the relatively recent discovery of electrogenic or electroactive bacteria and the vision of two important practical applications, as wastewater treatment coupled with clean energy production and power supply systems for isolated low-power sensor devices. Although some analytical applications of MFCs were proposed earlier (as biochemical oxygen demand sensing) only lately a myriad of new uses of this technology are being presented by research groups around the world, which combine both biological-microbiological and electroanalytical expertises. This is the second part of a review of MFC applications in the area of analytical sciences. In Part I a general introduction to biological-based analytical methods including bioassays, biosensors, MFCs design, operating principles, as well as, perhaps the main and earlier presented application, the use as a BOD sensor was reviewed. In Part II, other proposed uses are presented and discussed. As other microbially based analytical systems, MFCs are satisfactory systems to measure and integrate complex parameters that are difficult or impossible to measure otherwise, such as water toxicity (where the toxic effect to aquatic organisms needed to be integrated). We explore here the methods proposed to measure toxicity, microbial metabolism, and, being of special interest to space exploration, life sensors. Also, some methods with higher specificity, proposed to detect a single analyte, are presented. Different possibilities to increase selectivity and sensitivity, by using molecular biology or other modern techniques are also discussed here. PMID:24906984

  1. Noncontact microsurgery of cell membranes using femtosecond laser pulses for optoinjection of specified substances into cells

    SciTech Connect

    Il'ina, I V; Ovchinnikov, A V; Chefonov, O V; Sitnikov, D S; Agranat, Mikhail B; Mikaelyan, A S

    2013-04-30

    IR femtosecond laser pulses were used for microsurgery of a cell membrane aimed at local and short-duration change in its permeability and injection of specified extracellular substances into the cells. The possibility of noncontact laser delivery of the propidium iodide fluorescent dye and the pEGFP plasmid, encoding the green fluorescent protein, into the cells with preservation of the cell viability was demonstrated. (extreme light fields and their applications)

  2. Direct liquid-feed fuel cell with membrane electrolyte and manufacturing thereof

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram (Inventor); Surampudi, Subbarao (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor)

    1999-01-01

    An improved direct liquid-feed fuel cell having a solid membrane electrolyte for electrochemical reactions of an organic fuel. Improvements in interfacing of the catalyst layer and the membrane and activating catalyst materials are disclosed.

  3. Aluminum and temperature alteration of cell membrane permeability of Quercus rubra

    SciTech Connect

    Junping Chen; Sucoff, E.I.; Stadelmann, E.J. )

    1991-06-01

    Al toxicity is the major factor limiting plant growth in acid soils. This report extends research on Al-induced changes in membrane behavior of intact root cortex cells of Northern red oak (Quercus rubra). Membrane permeability was determined by the plasmometric method for individual intact cells at temperatures from 2 or 4 to 35 C. Al (0.37 millimolar) significantly increased membrane permeability to urea and monoethyl urea and decreased permeability to water. Al significantly altered the activation energy required to transport water (+ 32%), urea (+ 9%), and monoethyl urea ({minus}7%) across cell membranes. Above 9 C, Al increased the lipid partiality of the cell membranes; below 7 C, Al decreased it. Al narrowed by 6 C the temperature range over which plasmolysis occurred without membrane damage. These changes in membrane behavior are explainable if Al reduced membrane lipid fluidity and kink frequency and increases packing density and the occurrence of straight lipid chains.

  4. Ionic Liquids and New Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belieres, Jean-Philippe

    2004-01-01

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

  5. The Properties of Chondrocyte Membrane Reservoirs and Their Role in Impact-Induced Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    Moo, Eng Kuan; Amrein, Matthias; Epstein, Marcelo; Duvall, Mike; Abu Osman, Noor Azuan; Pingguan-Murphy, Belinda; Herzog, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Impact loading of articular cartilage causes extensive chondrocyte death. Cell membranes have a limited elastic range of 3–4% strain but are protected from direct stretch during physiological loading by their membrane reservoir, an intricate pattern of membrane folds. Using a finite-element model, we suggested previously that access to the membrane reservoir is strain-rate-dependent and that during impact loading, the accessible membrane reservoir is drastically decreased, so that strains applied to chondrocytes are directly transferred to cell membranes, which fail when strains exceed 3–4%. However, experimental support for this proposal is lacking. The purpose of this study was to measure the accessible membrane reservoir size for different membrane strain rates using membrane tethering techniques with atomic force microscopy. We conducted atomic force spectroscopy on isolated chondrocytes (n = 87). A micron-sized cantilever was used to extract membrane tethers from cell surfaces at constant pulling rates. Membrane tethers could be identified as force plateaus in the resulting force-displacement curves. Six pulling rates were tested (1, 5, 10, 20, 40, and 80 μm/s). The size of the membrane reservoir, represented by the membrane tether surface areas, decreased exponentially with increasing pulling rates. The current results support our theoretical findings that chondrocytes exposed to impact loading die because of membrane ruptures caused by high tensile membrane strain rates. PMID:24094400

  6. Critical importance of humidification of the anode in miniature air-breathing polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamel, Simon; Fréchette, Luc G.

    2011-08-01

    Although water management at the cathode is known to be critical in miniature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (mPEMFCs), this study shows that control of water transport towards the anode is a determining factor to increase air-breathing mPEMFC performances. An analytical 1D model is developed to capture the water transport and water content profile in the membrane. It shows that drying at the anode and flooding at the cathode can happen simultaneously, mainly due to dominant electro-osmotic drag at low cell temperatures. Experimental results demonstrate that injecting water at the anode, at a rate of 3 times the amount produced at the cathode, increases the cell performances at high current densities. By this method, the limiting current and maximum power densities have been raised by 100% and 30% respectively.

  7. A Simple Alkaline Method for Decellularizing Human Amniotic Membrane for Cell Culture

    PubMed Central

    Saghizadeh, Mehrnoosh; Winkler, Michael A.; Kramerov, Andrei A.; Hemmati, David M.; Ghiam, Chantelle A.; Dimitrijevich, Slobodan D.; Sareen, Dhruv; Ornelas, Loren; Ghiasi, Homayon; Brunken, William J.; Maguen, Ezra; Rabinowitz, Yaron S.; Svendsen, Clive N.; Jirsova, Katerina; Ljubimov, Alexander V.

    2013-01-01

    Human amniotic membrane is a standard substratum used to culture limbal epithelial stem cells for transplantation to patients with limbal stem cell deficiency. Various methods were developed to decellularize amniotic membrane, because denuded membrane is poorly immunogenic and better supports repopulation by dissociated limbal epithelial cells. Amniotic membrane denuding usually involves treatment with EDTA and/or proteolytic enzymes; in many cases additional mechanical scraping is required. Although ensuring limbal cell proliferation, these methods are not standardized, require relatively long treatment times and can result in membrane damage. We propose to use 0.5 M NaOH to reliably remove amniotic cells from the membrane. This method was used before to lyse cells for DNA isolation and radioactivity counting. Gently rubbing a cotton swab soaked in NaOH over the epithelial side of amniotic membrane leads to nearly complete and easy removal of adherent cells in less than a minute. The denuded membrane is subsequently washed in a neutral buffer. Cell removal was more thorough and uniform than with EDTA, or EDTA plus mechanical scraping with an electric toothbrush, or n-heptanol plus EDTA treatment. NaOH-denuded amniotic membrane did not show any perforations compared with mechanical or thermolysin denuding, and showed excellent preservation of immunoreactivity for major basement membrane components including laminin α2, γ1-γ3 chains, α1/α2 and α6 type IV collagen chains, fibronectin, nidogen-2, and perlecan. Sodium hydroxide treatment was efficient with fresh or cryopreserved (10% dimethyl sulfoxide or 50% glycerol) amniotic membrane. The latter method is a common way of membrane storage for subsequent grafting in the European Union. NaOH-denuded amniotic membrane supported growth of human limbal epithelial cells, immortalized corneal epithelial cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells. This simple, fast and reliable method can be used to standardize

  8. Cryptosporidia: epicellular parasites embraced by the host cell membrane.

    PubMed

    Valigurová, Andrea; Jirků, Miloslav; Koudela, Bretislav; Gelnar, Milan; Modrý, David; Slapeta, Jan

    2008-07-01

    The ultrastructure of two gastric cryptosporidia, Cryptosporidium muris from experimentally infected rodents (Mastomys natalensis) and Cryptosporidium sp. 'toad' from naturally infected toads (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), was studied using electron microscopy. Observations presented herein allowed us to map ultrastructural aspects of the cryptosporidian invasion process and the origin of a parasitophorous sac. Invading parasites attach to the host cell, followed by gradual envelopment, with the host's cell membrane folds, eventually forming the parasitophorous sac. Cryptosporidian developmental stages remain epicellular during the entire life cycle. The parasite development is illustrated in detail using high resolution field emission scanning electron microscopy. This provides a new insight into the ultrastructural detail of host-parasite interactions and species-specific differences manifested in frequency of detachment of the parasitophorous sac, radial folds of the parasitophorous sac and stem-formation of the parasitised host cell. PMID:18158154

  9. Percolation in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Catalyst Layer

    SciTech Connect

    Stacy, Stephen; Allen, Jeffrey

    2012-07-01

    Water management in the catalyst layers of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is confronted by two issues, flooding and dry out, both of which result in improper functioning of the fuel cell and lead to poor performance and degradation. At the present time, the data that has been reported about water percolation and wettability within a fuel cell catalyst layer is limited. A method and apparatus for measuring the percolation pressure in the catalyst layer has been developed based upon an experimental apparatus used to test water percolation in porous transport layers (PTL). The experimental setup uses a pseudo Hele-Shaw type testing where samples are compressed and a fluid is injected into the sample. Testing the samples gives percolation pressure plots which show trends in increasing percolation pressure with an increase in flow rate. A decrease in pressure was seen as percolation occurred in one sample, however the pressure only had a rising effect in the other sample.

  10. Research Resource: Monitoring Endoplasmic Reticulum Membrane Integrity in β-Cells at the Single-Cell Level

    PubMed Central

    Kanekura, Kohsuke; Ou, Jianhong; Hara, Takashi; Zhu, Lihua J.

    2015-01-01

    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane integrity is an emerging target for human chronic diseases associated with ER stress. Despite the underlying importance of compromised ER membrane integrity in disease states, the entire process leading to ER membrane permeabilization and cell death is still not clear due to technical limitations. Here we describe a novel method for monitoring ER membrane integrity at the single-cell level in real time. Using a β-cell line expressing ER-targeted redox sensitive green fluorescent protein, we could identify a β-cell population undergoing ER membrane permeabilization induced by palmitate and could monitor cell fate and ER stress of these cells at the single-cell level. Our method could be used to develop a novel therapeutic modality targeting the ER membrane for ER-associated disorders, including β-cell death in diabetes, neurodegeneration, and Wolfram syndrome. PMID:25584413

  11. Alterations of Red Cell Membrane Properties in Nneuroacanthocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Siegl, Claudia; Hamminger, Patricia; Jank, Herbert; Ahting, Uwe; Bader, Benedikt; Danek, Adrian; Gregory, Allison; Hartig, Monika; Hayflick, Susan; Hermann, Andreas; Prokisch, Holger; Sammler, Esther M.; Yapici, Zuhal; Prohaska, Rainer; Salzer, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Neuroacanthocytosis (NA) refers to a group of heterogenous, rare genetic disorders, namely chorea acanthocytosis (ChAc), McLeod syndrome (MLS), Huntington’s disease-like 2 (HDL2) and pantothenate kinase associated neurodegeneration (PKAN), that mainly affect the basal ganglia and are associated with similar neurological symptoms. PKAN is also assigned to a group of rare neurodegenerative diseases, known as NBIA (neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation), associated with iron accumulation in the basal ganglia and progressive movement disorder. Acanthocytosis, the occurrence of misshaped erythrocytes with thorny protrusions, is frequently observed in ChAc and MLS patients but less prevalent in PKAN (about 10%) and HDL2 patients. The pathological factors that lead to the formation of the acanthocytic red blood cell shape are currently unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether NA/NBIA acanthocytes differ in their functionality from normal erythrocytes. Several flow-cytometry-based assays were applied to test the physiological responses of the plasma membrane, namely drug-induced endocytosis, phosphatidylserine exposure and calcium uptake upon treatment with lysophosphatidic acid. ChAc red cell samples clearly showed a reduced response in drug-induced endovesiculation, lysophosphatidic acid-induced phosphatidylserine exposure, and calcium uptake. Impaired responses were also observed in acanthocyte-positive NBIA (PKAN) red cells but not in patient cells without shape abnormalities. These data suggest an “acanthocytic state” of the red cell where alterations in functional and interdependent membrane properties arise together with an acanthocytic cell shape. Further elucidation of the aberrant molecular mechanisms that cause this acanthocytic state may possibly help to evaluate the pathological pathways leading to neurodegeneration. PMID:24098554

  12. Alterations of red cell membrane properties in neuroacanthocytosis.

    PubMed

    Siegl, Claudia; Hamminger, Patricia; Jank, Herbert; Ahting, Uwe; Bader, Benedikt; Danek, Adrian; Gregory, Allison; Hartig, Monika; Hayflick, Susan; Hermann, Andreas; Prokisch, Holger; Sammler, Esther M; Yapici, Zuhal; Prohaska, Rainer; Salzer, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Neuroacanthocytosis (NA) refers to a group of heterogenous, rare genetic disorders, namely chorea acanthocytosis (ChAc), McLeod syndrome (MLS), Huntington's disease-like 2 (HDL2) and pantothenate kinase associated neurodegeneration (PKAN), that mainly affect the basal ganglia and are associated with similar neurological symptoms. PKAN is also assigned to a group of rare neurodegenerative diseases, known as NBIA (neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation), associated with iron accumulation in the basal ganglia and progressive movement disorder. Acanthocytosis, the occurrence of misshaped erythrocytes with thorny protrusions, is frequently observed in ChAc and MLS patients but less prevalent in PKAN (about 10%) and HDL2 patients. The pathological factors that lead to the formation of the acanthocytic red blood cell shape are currently unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether NA/NBIA acanthocytes differ in their functionality from normal erythrocytes. Several flow-cytometry-based assays were applied to test the physiological responses of the plasma membrane, namely drug-induced endocytosis, phosphatidylserine exposure and calcium uptake upon treatment with lysophosphatidic acid. ChAc red cell samples clearly showed a reduced response in drug-induced endovesiculation, lysophosphatidic acid-induced phosphatidylserine exposure, and calcium uptake. Impaired responses were also observed in acanthocyte-positive NBIA (PKAN) red cells but not in patient cells without shape abnormalities. These data suggest an "acanthocytic state" of the red cell where alterations in functional and interdependent membrane properties arise together with an acanthocytic cell shape. Further elucidation of the aberrant molecular mechanisms that cause this acanthocytic state may possibly help to evaluate the pathological pathways leading to neurodegeneration. PMID:24098554

  13. Cytoplasmic and surface membrane phenotypic markers in cells of B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Koníková, E; Babusíková, O; Mesárosová, A; Kusenda, J; Glasová, M

    1994-01-01

    Peripheral blood cells of twenty-six patients with B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) were characterized for their surface membrane and cytoplasmic marker profiles using flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. According to surface membrane marker analysis three distinct immunophenotypic subgroups of B-CLL were identified: group I (SIg+, MR+, CD5+, B Ag+, T Ag-; 19 cases), group II (SIg+, MR+, CD5+, B Ag+, TAg+; 3 cases), group III (SIg-, MR+, CD5+, B Ag+, T Ag-; 4 cases). Cells from all patients were positive for the CD19 antigen and at least one of other B cell antigens. Cells from all patients expressed also CD5 and HLA-DR antigens and formed mouse rosettes (MR). Great heterogeneity was found in the membrane and cytoplasmic marking by anti-CD22 MoAb. In four of 23 patients tested, CD22 antigen was expressed in the cytoplasm of CLL cells while it was absent on surface membrane of these cells. This finding was discussed from the point of certain cell heterogeneity in the followed B-CLL cases. Cytoplasmic immunoglobulin (CyIg) detection showed to be very important especially in group III of followed B-CLL cases with undetectable surface immunoglobulins (SIg). Cytoplasmic antigens and immunoglobulin determinations are useful in phenotyping every B-CLL patient, as well as in the immunological study of different maturation stages of B lymphocytes. PMID:8208317

  14. Cholera Toxin and Cell Growth: Role of Membrane Gangliosides

    PubMed Central

    Hollenberg, Morley D.; Fishman, Peter H.; Bennett, Vann; Cuatrecasas, Pedro

    1974-01-01

    The binding of cholera toxin to three transformed mouse cell lines derived from the same parent strain, and the effects of the toxin on DNA synthesis and adenylate cyclase activity, vary in parallel with the ganglioside composition of the cells. TAL/N cells of early passage, which contain large quantities of gangliosides GM3, GM2, GM1, and GDla, as well as the glycosyltransferases necessary for the synthesis of these gangliosides, bind the most cholera toxin and are the most sensitive to its action. TAL/N cells of later passage, which lack chemically detectable GM1 and GDla and which have no UDP-Gal:GM2 galactosyltransferase activity, are intermediate in binding and response to the toxin. SVS AL/N cells, which lack GM2 in addition to GM1 and GDla and which have little detectable UDP-GalNAc:GM3N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase activity, bind the least amount of toxin. The SVS AL/N cells are the least responsive to inhibition of DNA synthesis and stimulation of adenylate cyclase activity by cholera toxin. Gangliosides (especially GM1), which appear to be the natural membrane receptors for cholera toxin, may normally have important roles in the regulation of cell growth and cAMP-mediated responses. PMID:4530298

  15. Chimerism of buccal membrane cells in a monochorionic dizygotic twin.

    PubMed

    Fumoto, Seiko; Hosoi, Kenichiro; Ohnishi, Hiroaki; Hoshina, Hiroaki; Yan, Kunimasa; Saji, Hiroh; Oka, Akira

    2014-04-01

    No monochorionic dizygotic twins (MCDZTs) with cellular chimerism involving cells other than blood cells have been reported in the literature to date. Here we report a probable first case of MCDZTs with buccal cell chimerism. A 32-year-old woman conceived twins by in vitro fertilization by using 2 cryopreserved blastocysts that were transferred into her uterus. An ultrasound scan at 8 weeks' gestation showed signs indicative of monochorionic twins. A healthy boy and a healthy girl were born, showing no sexual ambiguity. Cytogenetic analyses and microsatellite studies demonstrated chimerism in blood cells of both twins. Notably, repeated fluorescence in situ hybridization and microsatellite studies revealed chimerism in buccal cells obtained from 1 of the twins. Although the mechanism through which buccal cell chimerism was generated remains to be elucidated, ectopic differentiation of chimeric hematopoietic cells that migrated to the buccal membrane or the cellular transfer between the 2 embryos at the early stage of development might be responsible for the phenomenon. This hypothesis raises an interesting issue regarding embryonic development and cellular differentiation into organs during fetal development. Given the possibility of cryptic chimerism in various organs including gonadal tissues in MCDZTs, close observation will be required to determine whether complications develop in the course of the patients' growth. PMID:24685957

  16. Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy for living cell membrane potential measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panday, Namuna

    Recently, the existence of multiple micro-domains of extracellular potential around individual cells have been revealed by voltage reporter dye using fluorescence microscopy. One hypothesis is that these long lasting potential patterns play a vital role in regulating important cell activities such as embryonic patterning, regenerative repair and reduction of cancerous disorganization. We used multifunctional Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy (SICM) to study these extracellular potential patterns of single cell with higher spatial resolution. To validate this novel technique, we compared the extracellular potential distribution on the fixed HeLa cell surface and Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surface and found significant difference. We then measured the extracellular potential distributions of living melanocytes and melanoma cells and found both the mean magnitude and spatial variation of extracellular potential of the melanoma cells are bigger than those of melanocytes. As compared to the voltage reporter dye based fluorescence microscope method, SICM can achieve quantitative potential measurements of non-labeled living cell membranes with higher spatial resolution.

  17. Preparation and analytical application of the novel Hg(II)-selective membrane electrodes based on oxime compounds.

    PubMed

    Sardohan-Koseoglu, Tugba; Kir, Esengul; Dede, Bulent

    2015-04-15

    Novel Hg(II)-selective poly(vinyl) chloride (PVC) membrane electrodes based on oxime compounds of (4-(4-methylphenylaminoisonitrosoacetyl)biphenyl, I1; 4-(4-clorophenylaminoisonitrosoacetyl)biphenyl, I2; N,N-bis[1-(4-phenylphenyl)-2-hydroxyimino-2-(4-chloroaniline)-1-ethylidene]-diethylenetriamine, I3 and N,N-bis[1-(4-phenylphenyl)-2-hydroxyimino-2-(4-chloroaniline)-1-ethylidene]- 1,3-propanediamine), I4 were developed. Effects of the species and ratios of ionophore, plasticizer, PVC and lipophilic additive on the potentiometric response of electrodes were investigated in order to determine the electrode specifications. Overall results revealed that the optimum membrane composition was: 4% ionophore, 64% plasticizer (o-NPOE), 31% PVC, and 1% lipophilic additive (NaTPB). Obtained results showed that the electrodes have detection limit of 1.76×10(-6), 1.68×10(-6), 2.35×10(-6) and 2.44×10(-6) and have linear responses of 34.2, 33.4, 35.9 and 37.6 mV/pHg(2+) for a wide concentration range of Hg(II) ions. According to durability studies, the electrodes can be used for approximately 1 month without any considerable divergence in potential values. Analytical applications of the electrodes were performed and it was found that developed electrodes can successfully be used as indicator electrodes for the potentiometric titration of Hg(II) ion with EDTA solution. PMID:25585282

  18. Analytical Ultracentrifugation Sedimentation Velocity for the Characterization of Detergent-Solubilized Membrane Proteins Ca++-ATPase and ExbB

    PubMed Central

    Salvay, Andrés G.; Santamaria, Monica; le Maire, Marc

    2008-01-01

    We have investigated the potential of new methods of analysis of sedimentation velocity (SV) analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) for the characterization of detergent-solubilized membrane proteins. We analyze the membrane proteins Ca++-ATPase and ExbB solubilized with DDM (dodecyl-β-d-maltoside). SV is extremely well suited for characterizing sample heterogeneity. DDM micelles (s20w = 3.1 S) and complexes (Ca++-ATPase: s20w = 7.3 S; ExbB: s20w = 4 S) are easily distinguished. Using different detergent and protein concentrations, SV does not detect any evidence of self-association for the two proteins. An estimate of bound detergent of 0.9 g/g for Ca++-ATPase and 1.5 g/g for ExbB is obtained from the combined analysis of SV profiles obtained using absorbance and interference optics. Combining s20w with values of the hydrodynamic radius, Rs = 5.5 nm for Ca++-ATPase or Rs = 3.4 nm for ExbB, allows the determination of buoyant molar masses, Mb. In view of their Mb and composition, Ca++-ATPase and ExbB are monomers in our experimental conditions. We conclude that one of the main advantages of SV versus other techniques is the possibility to ascertain the homogeneity of the samples and to focus on a given complex even in the presence of other impurities or aggregates. The relative rapidity of SV measurements also allows experiments on unstable samples. PMID:19669527

  19. Linewidth narrowing for 31Phosphorus MRI of cell membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Sean; Frey, Merideth; Madri, Joseph; Michaud, Michael

    2011-03-01

    Most 31 P Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy studies of tissues try to avoid contamination by a relatively large, but broad, spectral feature attributed to cell membrane phospholipids. MRI using this broad 31 P membrane spectrum is not even attempted, since the spatial resolution and signal-to-noise would be poor, relative to conventional MRI using the narrow 1 H water spectrum. This long-standing barrier has been overcome by a novel pulse sequence, recently discovered in fundamental quantum computation research, which narrows the broad 31 P spectrum by ~ 1000 × . Applying time-dependent gradients in synch with a repeating pulse block enables a new route to high spatial resolution, 3D 31 P MRI of the soft solid components of cells and tissues. So far, intact and sectioned samples of ex vivo fixed mouse organs have been imaged, with (sub-mm)3 voxels. Extending the reach of MRI to broad spectra in natural and artificial tissues opens a new window into cells, enabling progress in biomedical research. W.J. Thoma et al., J. MR 61, 141 (1985); E.J. Murphy et al., MR Med 12, 282 (1989); R. McNamara et al., NMR Biomed 7, 237 (1994).

  20. Geometry of the Contact Zone between Fused Membrane-Coated Beads Mimicking Cell-Cell Fusion.

    PubMed

    Savić, Filip; Kliesch, Torben-Tobias; Verbeek, Sarah; Bao, Chunxiao; Thiart, Jan; Kros, Alexander; Geil, Burkhard; Janshoff, Andreas

    2016-05-24

    The fusion of lipid membranes is a key process in biology. It enables cells and organelles to exchange molecules with their surroundings, which otherwise could not cross the membrane barrier. To study such complex processes we use simplified artificial model systems, i.e., an optical fusion assay based on membrane-coated glass spheres. We present a technique to analyze membrane-membrane interactions in a large ensemble of particles. Detailed information on the geometry of the fusion stalk of fully fused membranes is obtained by studying the diffusional lipid dynamics with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. A small contact zone is a strong obstruction for the particle exchange across the fusion spot. With the aid of computer simulations, fluorescence-recovery-after-photobleaching recovery times of both fused and single-membrane-coated beads allow us to estimate the size of the contact zones between two membrane-coated beads. Minimizing delamination and bending energy leads to minimal angles close to those geometrically allowed. PMID:27224487

  1. High cell-surface density of HER2 deforms cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Chung, Inhee; Reichelt, Mike; Shao, Lily; Akita, Robert W; Koeppen, Hartmut; Rangell, Linda; Schaefer, Gabriele; Mellman, Ira; Sliwkowski, Mark X

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancers (BC) with HER2 overexpression (referred to as HER2 positive) progress more aggressively than those with normal expression. Targeted therapies against HER2 can successfully delay the progression of HER2-positive BC, but details of how this overexpression drives the disease are not fully understood. Using single-molecule biophysical approaches, we discovered a new effect of HER2 overexpression on disease-relevant cell biological changes in these BC. We found HER2 overexpression causes deformation of the cell membranes, and this in turn disrupts epithelial features by perturbing cell-substrate and cell-cell contacts. This membrane deformation does not require receptor signalling activities, but results from the high levels of HER2 on the cell surface. Our finding suggests that early-stage morphological alterations of HER2-positive BC cells during cancer progression can occur in a physical and signalling-independent manner. PMID:27599456

  2. Membrane electrode assembly with enhanced platinum utilization for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell prepared by catalyst coating membrane method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Huagen; Su, Huaneng; Pollet, Bruno G.; Linkov, Vladimir; Pasupathi, Sivakumar

    2014-11-01

    In this work, membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) prepared by catalyst coating membrane (CCM) method are investigated for reduced platinum (Pt) loading and improved Pt utilization of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) based on phosphoric acid (PA)-doped poly(2,5-benzimidazole) (AB-PBI) membrane. The results show that CCM method exhibits significantly higher cell performance and Pt-specific power density than that of MEAs prepared with conventional gas diffusion electrode (GDE) under a low Pt loading level. In-suit cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) show that the MEAs prepared by the CCM method have a higher electrochemical surface area (ECSA), low cell ohmic resistance and low charge transfer resistance as compared to those prepared with GDEs at the same Pt loading.

  3. MYADM regulates Rac1 targeting to ordered membranes required for cell spreading and migration.

    PubMed

    Aranda, Juan F; Reglero-Real, Natalia; Kremer, Leonor; Marcos-Ramiro, Beatriz; Ruiz-Sáenz, Ana; Calvo, María; Enrich, Carlos; Correas, Isabel; Millán, Jaime; Alonso, Miguel A

    2011-04-15

    Membrane organization into condensed domains or rafts provides molecular platforms for selective recruitment of proteins. Cell migration is a general process that requires spatiotemporal targeting of Rac1 to membrane rafts. The protein machinery responsible for making rafts competent to recruit Rac1 remains elusive. Some members of the MAL family of proteins are involved in specialized processes dependent on this type of membrane. Because condensed membrane domains are a general feature of the plasma membrane of all mammalian cells, we hypothesized that MAL family members with ubiquitous expression and plasma membrane distribution could be involved in the organization of membranes for cell migration. We show that myeloid-associated differentiation marker (MYADM), a protein with unique features within the MAL family, colocalizes with Rac1 in membrane protrusions at the cell surface and distributes in condensed membranes. MYADM knockdown (KD) cells had altered membrane condensation and showed deficient incorporation of Rac1 to membrane raft fractions and, similar to Rac1 KD cells, exhibited reduced cell spreading and migration. Results of rescue-of-function experiments by expression of MYADM or active Rac1L61 in cells knocked down for Rac1 or MYADM, respectively, are consistent with the idea that MYADM and Rac1 act on parallel pathways that lead to similar functional outcomes. PMID:21325632

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Tethers are thin membrane tubes that can be formed when relatively small and localized forces are applied to cellular membranes and lipid bilayers. Tether pulling experiments have been used to better understand the fine membrane properties. These include the interaction between the plasma membrane and the underlying cytoskeleton, which is an important factor affecting membrane mechanics. We use a computational method aimed at the interpretation and design of tether pulling experiments in cells with a strong membrane-cytoskeleton attachment. In our model, we take into account the detailed information on the topology of bonds connecting the plasma membrane and the cytoskeleton. We compute the force-dependent piecewise membrane deflection and bending as well as modes of stored energy in three major regions of the system: body of the tether, membrane-cytoskeleton attachment zone, and the transition zone between the two. We apply our method to three cells: cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs), human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells, and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. OHCs have a special system of pillars connecting the membrane and the cytoskeleton, and HEK and CHO cells have a bond arrangement via bonds (e.g., PIP2) which is common to many other cells. We also present a validation of our model by using experimental data on CHO and HEK cells. The proposed method can be an effective tool in the analyses of experiments to probe the properties of cellular membranes. PMID:19905340

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Analysis of plasma membrane phosphoinositides from fusogenic carrot cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, J.J.; Boss, W.F.

    1987-04-01

    Phosphatidylinositol monophosphate (PIP) and phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP/sub 2/) were found to be associated with the plasma membrane-rich fractions isolated by aqueous polymer two-phase partitioning from fusogenic cells. They represented at least 5% and 0.7% of the total inositol-labeled lipids in the plasma membrane-rich fractions, respectively, and were present in a ratio of about 7:1 (PIP:PIP/sub 2/). In addition, two unidentified inositol-labeled compounds, which together were approximately 3% of the inositol-labeled lipids, were found predominantly in the plasma membrane-rich fractions and migrated between PIP/sub 2/ and PIP. The R/sub f/s of these compounds were approximately 0.31 and 0.34 in the solvent system CHCl/sub 3/:MeOH:15N NH/sub 4/OH:H/sub 2/O (90:90:7:22) using LK5 plates presoaked in 1% potassium oxalate. These compounds incorporated /sup 32/P/sub i/, (/sup 3/H)inositol and were hydrolyzed in mild base. These data suggested that they were glycero-phospholipids. Although the compounds did not comigrate with lysoPIP obtained from bovine brain (R/sub f/ approx. 0.35), when endogenous PIP was hydrolyzed to lysoPIP, the breakdown product migrated in the region of the unidentified inositol lipids.

  7. Grafted polyelectrolyte membranes for lithium batteries and fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, John B.

    2003-06-24

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

  8. Cytoskeleton confinement of red blood cell membrane fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gov, Nir; Zilman, Anton; Safran, Samuel

    2003-03-01

    We analyze theoretically both the static and dynamic fluctuation spectrum of the red-blood cell in a unified manner, using a simple model of the composite membrane. In this model, the two-dimensional spectrin network that forms the cytoskeleton is treated as a rigid shell, located at a fixed, average distance from the lipid bilayer. The cytoskeleton thereby confines both the static and dynamic fluctuations of the lipid bilayer. The predictions of the model account for the wavevector and frequency dependence of the experimental data.

  9. Cytoskeleton Confinement and Tension of Red Blood Cell Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gov, N.; Zilman, A. G.; Safran, S.

    2003-06-01

    We analyze theoretically both the static and dynamic fluctuation spectra of the red blood cell in a unified manner, using a simple model of the composite membrane. In this model, the two-dimensional spectrin network that forms the cytoskeleton is treated as a rigid shell, located at a fixed, average distance from the lipid bilayer. The cytoskeleton thereby confines both the static and dynamic fluctuations of the lipid bilayer. The sparse connections of the cytoskeleton and bilayer induce a surface tension, for wavelengths larger than the bilayer persistence length. The predictions of the model give a consistent account for both the wave vector and frequency dependence of the experimental data.

  10. 2011 Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cell Workshop Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Pivovar, B.

    2012-02-01

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

  11. A novel membrane-less direct alcohol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Qingfeng; Chen, Qinghua; Yang, Zheng

    2015-12-01

    Membrane-less fuel cell possesses such advantages as simplified design and lower cost. In this paper, a membrane-less direct alcohol fuel cell is constructed by using multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) supported Pd and ternary PdSnNi composites as the anode catalysts and Fe/C-PANI composite, produced by direct pyrolysis of Fe-doped polyaniline precursor, as the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst. The alcohols investigated in the present study are methanol, ethanol, n-propanol, iso-propanol, n-butanol, iso-butanol and sec-butanol. The cathode catalyst Fe/C-PANI is electrochemically inactive to oxidation of the alcohols. The performance of the cell with various alcohols in 1 mol L-1 NaOH solution on either Pd/MWCNT or PdSnNi/MWCNT catalyst has been evaluated. In any case, the performance of the cell using the anode catalyst PdSnNi/MWCNT is considerably better than Pd/MWCNT. For the PdSnNi/MWCNT, the maximum power densities of the cell using methanol (0.5 mol L-1), ethanol (0.5 mol L-1), n-propanol (0.5 mol L-1), iso-propanol (0.5 mol L-1), n-butanol (0.2 mol L-1), iso-butanol (0.2 mol L-1) and sec-butanol (0.2 mol L-1) are 0.34, 1.03, 1.07, 0.44, 0.50, 0.31 and 0.15 mW cm-2, respectively.

  12. Accurate analytical method for the extraction of solar cell model parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phang, J. C. H.; Chan, D. S. H.; Phillips, J. R.

    1984-05-01

    Single diode solar cell model parameters are rapidly extracted from experimental data by means of the presently derived analytical expressions. The parameter values obtained have a less than 5 percent error for most solar cells, in light of the extraction of model parameters for two cells of differing quality which were compared with parameters extracted by means of the iterative method.

  13. [Progress with research on the permeability characteristics of reproductive cell membranes].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zheng; Chen, Guangming; Zhang, Shaozhi

    2012-04-01

    The successful cryopreservation of reproductive cells has important practical significance in many fields. In order to improve the recovery rate and viability of cryopreserved cells, it is necessary to study the permeability characteristics of cell membrane to both water and cryoprotectant. In this paper we review the studies on membrane permeability of animal reproductive cell for the recent years. We firstly list the typical permeability data of spermatozoa and oocyte membrane for water and cryoprotectant. We then analyze the effects of these characteristics on the design of cryopreservation protocol. We also introduce the latest experimental methods to measure the cell membrane permeability. PMID:22616195

  14. The Effect of Platinum Electrocatalyst on Membrane Degradation in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Membrane degradation is a severe factor limiting the lifetime of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Therefore, obtaining a deeper knowledge is fundamental in order to establish fuel cells as competitive product. A segmented single cell was operated under open circuit voltage with alternating relative humidity. The influence of the catalyst layer on membrane degradation was evaluated by measuring a membrane without electrodes and a membrane-electrode-assembly under identical conditions. After 100 h of accelerated stress testing the proton conductivity of membrane samples near the anode and cathode was investigated by means of ex situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The membrane sample near the cathode inlet exhibited twofold lower membrane resistance and a resulting twofold higher proton conductivity than the membrane sample near the anode inlet. The results from the fluoride ion analysis have shown that the presence of platinum reduces the fluoride emission rate; which supports conclusions drawn from the literature. PMID:26670258

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The influenza virus (IFV) acquires its envelope by budding from host cell plasma membranes. Using quantitative shotgun mass spectrometry, we determined the lipidomes of the host Madin–Darby canine kidney cell, its apical membrane, and the IFV budding from it. We found the apical membrane to be enriched in sphingolipids (SPs) and cholesterol, whereas glycerophospholipids were reduced, and storage lipids were depleted compared with the whole-cell membranes. The virus membrane exhibited a further enrichment of SPs and cholesterol compared with the donor membrane at the expense of phosphatidylcholines. Our data are consistent with and extend existing models of membrane raft-based biogenesis of the apical membrane and IFV envelope. PMID:22249292

  16. The Effect of Platinum Electrocatalyst on Membrane Degradation in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Membrane degradation is a severe factor limiting the lifetime of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Therefore, obtaining a deeper knowledge is fundamental in order to establish fuel cells as competitive product. A segmented single cell was operated under open circuit voltage with alternating relative humidity. The influence of the catalyst layer on membrane degradation was evaluated by measuring a membrane without electrodes and a membrane-electrode-assembly under identical conditions. After 100 h of accelerated stress testing the proton conductivity of membrane samples near the anode and cathode was investigated by means of ex situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The membrane sample near the cathode inlet exhibited twofold lower membrane resistance and a resulting twofold higher proton conductivity than the membrane sample near the anode inlet. The results from the fluoride ion analysis have shown that the presence of platinum reduces the fluoride emission rate; which supports conclusions drawn from the literature. PMID:26670258

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

    PubMed Central

    Harder, Thomas

    2003-01-01

    Numerous cell membrane associated processes, including signal transduction, membrane sorting, protein processing and virus trafficking take place in membrane subdomains. Protein-protein interactions provide the frameworks necessary to generate biologically functional membrane domains. For example, coat proteins define membrane areas destined for sorting processes, viral proteins self-assemble to generate a budding virus, and adapter molecules organize multimolecular signalling assemblies, which catalyse downstream reactions. The concept of raft lipid-based membrane domains provides a different principle for compartmentalization and segregation of membrane constituents. Accordingly, rafts are defined by the physical properties of the lipid bilayer and function by selective partitioning of membrane lipids and proteins into membrane domains of specific phase behaviour and lipid packing. Here, I will discuss the interplay of these independent principles of protein scaffolds and raft lipid microdomains leading to the generation of biologically functional membrane domains. PMID:12803918

  18. Cooperative binding of Annexin A5 to phosphatidylserine on apoptotic cell membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janko, Christina; Jeremic, Ivica; Biermann, Mona; Chaurio, Ricardo; Schorn, Christine; Muñoz, Luis E.; Herrmann, Martin

    2013-12-01

    Healthy cells exhibit an asymmetric plasma membrane with phosphatidylserine (PS) located on the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane bilayer. Annexin A5-FITC, a PS binding protein, is commonly used to evaluate apoptosis in flow cytometry. PS exposed by apoptotic cells serves as a major ‘eat-me’ signal for phagocytes. Although exposition of PS has been observed after alternative stimuli, no clearance of viable, PS exposing cells has been detected. Thus, besides PS exposure, membranes of viable and apoptotic cells might exhibit specific characteristics. Here, we show that Annexin A5 binds in a cooperative manner to different types of dead cells. Shrunken apoptotic cells thereby showed the highest Hill coefficient values. Contrarily, parafomaldehyde fixation of apoptotic cells completely abrogates the cooperativity effect seen with dead and dying cells. We tend to speculate that the cooperative binding of Annexin A5 to the membranes of apoptotic cells reflects higher fluidity of the exposed membranes facilitating PS clustering.

  19. HIV-1 Nef promotes the localization of Gag to the cell membrane and facilitates viral cell-to-cell transfer

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Newly synthesized HIV-1 particles assemble at the plasma membrane of infected cells, before being released as free virions or being transferred through direct cell-to-cell contacts to neighboring cells. Localization of HIV-1 Gag precursor at the cell membrane is necessary and sufficient to trigger viral assembly, whereas the GagPol precursor is additionally required to generate a fully matured virion. HIV-1 Nef is an accessory protein that optimizes viral replication through partly defined mechanisms. Whether Nef modulates Gag and/or GagPol localization and assembly at the membrane and facilitates viral cell-to-cell transfer has not been extensively characterized so far. Results We report that Nef increases the total amount of Gag proteins present in infected cells, and promotes Gag localization at the cell membrane. Moreover, the processing of p55 into p24 is improved in the presence of Nef. We also examined the effect of Nef during HIV-1 cell-to-cell transfer. We show that without Nef, viral transfer through direct contacts between infected cells and target cells is impaired. With a nef-deleted virus, the number of HIV-1 positive target cells after a short 2h co-culture is reduced, and viral material transferred to uninfected cells is less matured. At later time points, this defect is associated with a reduction in the productive infection of new target cells. Conclusions Our results highlight a previously unappreciated role of Nef during the viral replication cycle. Nef promotes HIV-1 Gag membrane localization and processing, and facilitates viral cell-to-cell transfer. PMID:23899341

  20. Undressing the fungal cell wall/cell membrane--the antifungal drug targets.

    PubMed

    Tada, Rui; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Aimanianda, Vishukumar

    2013-01-01

    Being external, the fungal cell wall plays a crucial role in the fungal life. By covering the underneath cell, it offers mechanical strength and acts as a barrier, thus protecting the fungus from the hostile environment. Chemically, this cell wall is composed of different polysaccharides. Because of their specific composition, the fungal cell wall and its underlying plasma membrane are unique targets for the development of drugs against pathogenic fungal species. The objective of this review is to consolidate the current knowledge on the antifungal drugs targeting the cell wall and plasma membrane, mainly of Aspergillus and Candida species - the most prevalent fungal pathogens, and also to present challenges and questions conditioning the development of new antifungal drugs targeting the cell wall. PMID:23278542

  1. Two-phase flow and transport in the air cathode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    WANG,Z.H.; WANG,C.Y.; CHEN,KEN S.

    2000-03-20

    Two-phase flow and transport of reactants and products in the air cathode of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells is studied analytically and numerically. Four regimes of water distribution and transport are classified by defining three threshold current densities and a maximum current density. They correspond to first appearance of liquid water at the membrane/cathode interface, extension of the gas-liquid two-phase zone to the cathode/channel interface, saturated moist air exiting the gas channel, and complete consumption of oxygen by the electrochemical reaction. When the cell operates above the first threshold current density, liquid water appears and a two-phase zone forms within the porous cathode. A two-phase, multi-component mixture model in conjunction with a finite-volume-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique is applied to simulate the cathode operation in this regime. The model is able to handle the situation where a single-phase region co-exists with a two-phase zone in the air cathode. For the first time, the polarization curve as well as water and oxygen concentration distributions encompassing both single- and two-phase regimes of the air cathode are presented. Capillary action is found to be the dominant mechanism for water transport inside the two-phase zone. The liquid water saturation within the cathode is predicted to reach 6.3% at 1.4 A/cm{sup 2}.

  2. Modeling of gaseous flows within proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Weisbrod, K.R.; Vanderborgh, N.E.; Grot, S.A.

    1996-12-31

    Development of a comprehensive mechanistic model has been helpful to understand PEM fuel cell performance. Both through-the-electrode and down-the-channel models have been developed to support our experimental effort to enhance fuel cell design and operation. The through-the-electrode model was described previously. This code describes the known transport properties and dynamic processes that occur within a membrane and electrode assembly. Key parameters include transport through the backing layers, water diffusion and electroosmotic transport in the membrane, and reaction electrochemical kinetics within the cathode catalyst layer. In addition, two geometric regions within the cathode layer are represented, the first region below saturation and second with liquid water present. Although processes at high gas stoichiometry are well represented by more simple codes, moderate stoichiometry processes require a two dimensional representation that include the gaseous composition and temperature along flow channel. Although usually PEM hardware utilizes serpentine flow channels, this code does not include such geometric features and thus the flow can be visualized along a single channel.

  3. Cell-Culture Reactor Having a Porous Organic Polymer Membrane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koontz, Steven L. (Inventor)

    2000-01-01

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

  4. Bioelectrorheological model of the cell. VI. Experimental verification of the rheological model of cytoplasmic membrane.

    PubMed Central

    Pawlowski, P; Szutowicz, I; Rózycki, S; Zieliński, J; Fikus, M

    1996-01-01

    The susceptibility of the Neurospora crassa (slime) cellular membrane to electroporation and electrodestruction in an alternating electric field was further investigated. The results were analyzed according to the dynamic rheological model of the cytoplasmic membrane. Based on an analytical description of membrane susceptibility to electroporation, the rheological parameters of the foregoing process in N. crassa cellular membrane were found: they closely resemble those previously determined for the membranes' destruction. This suggests that both processes are temporally related and are induced within the same structures of the membrane. The dependence of the destruction of the membrane on the time of application and the frequency of the electric field was theoretically predicted and experimentally confirmed. PMID:8789120

  5. Thermal, High Pressure, and Electric Field Processing Effects on Plant Cell Membrane Integrity and Relevance to Fruit and Vegetable Quality

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Maria E; Barrett, Diane M

    2010-01-01

    Advanced food processing methods that accomplish inactivation of microorganisms but minimize adverse thermal exposure are of great interest to the food industry. High pressure (HP) and pulsed electric field (PEF) processing are commercially applied to produce high quality fruit and vegetable products in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Both microbial and plant cell membranes are significantly altered following exposure to heat, HP, or PEF. Our research group sought to quantify the degree of damage to plant cell membranes that occurs as a result of exposure to heat, HP, or PEF, using the same analytical methods. In order to evaluate whether new advanced processing methods are superior to traditional thermal processing methods, it is necessary to compare them. In this review, we describe the existing state of knowledge related to effects of heat, HP, and PEF on both microbial and plant cells. The importance and relevance of compartmentalization in plant cells as it relates to fruit and vegetable quality is described and various methods for quantification of plant cell membrane integrity are discussed. These include electrolyte leakage, cell viability, and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR). PMID:20492210

  6. Modifications of wheat germ cell-free system for functional proteomics of plant membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Nozawa, Akira; Tozawa, Yuzuru

    2014-01-01

    Functional proteomics of plant membrane proteins is an important approach to understand the comprehensive architecture of each metabolic pathway in plants. One bottleneck in the characterization of membrane proteins is the difficulty in producing sufficient quantities of functional protein for analysis. Here, we describe three methods for membrane protein production utilizing a wheat germ cell-free protein expression system. Owing to the open nature of cell-free synthesis reaction, protein synthesis can be modified with components necessary to produce functional protein. In this way we have developed modifications to a wheat germ cell-free system for the production of functional membrane proteins. Supplementation of liposomes or detergents allows the synthesis of functional integral membrane proteins. Furthermore, supplementation of myristic acid enables synthesis of N-myristylated peripheral membrane proteins. These modified cell-free synthesis methods facilitate the preparation and subsequent functional analyses of a wide variety of membrane proteins. PMID:24136528

  7. DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2002-06-11

    The Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising power sources for stand-alone utility and electric vehicle applications. Platinum (Pt) Catalyst is used for both fuel and air electrodes in PEMFCs. However, carbon monoxide (CO) contamination of H{sub 2} greatly affects electro catalysts used at the anode of PEMFCs and decreases cell performance. The irreversible poisoning of the anode can occur even in CO concentrations as low as few parts per million (ppm). In this work, we have synthesized several novel elctrocatalysts (Pt/C, Pt/Ru/C, Pt/Mo/C, Pt/Ir and Pt/Ru/Mo) for PEMFCs. These catalysts have been tested for CO tolerance in the H{sub 2}/air fuel cell, using CO concentrations in the H{sub 2} fuel that varies from 10 to 100 ppm. The performance of the electrodes was evaluated by determining the cell potential against current density. The effects of catalyst composition and electrode film preparation method on the performance of PEM fuel cell were also studied. It was found that at 70 C and 3.5 atm pressure at the cathode, Pt-alloy catalyst (10 wt% Pt/Ru/C, 20 wt% Pt/Mo/C) were more CO tolerant than the 20 wt% Pt/C catalyst alone. It was also observed that spraying method was better than the brushing technique for the preparation of electrode film.

  8. Proliferation of Schwann cells induced by axolemmal and myelin membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Dinneen, M..

    1985-01-01

    Purified Schwann Cells were cultured from neonatal rat sciatic nerve using a modification of the method of Brockes. Schwann cells and contaminating fibroblasts were unambiguously identified using fluorescent antibodies of 2'3' cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase and the thy 1.1 antigen respectively. The Schwann cells were quiescent unless challenged with mitogens. They proliferated rapidly in response to the soluble mitogen, cholera toxin, or to membrane fractions from rat CNS or PNS, prepared by the method of DeVries. Mitogenic activity was present in both axolemmal and myelin enriched fractions and promoted a 10-15 fold increase in the rate of /sup 3/H-thymidine uptake. The axolemmal mitogen was sensitive to heat (80/sup 0/C for 10 minutes), trypsin digestion (0.05% x 30 mins) or to treatment with endoglycosidase D, suggesting that it could be a glycoprotein. Fifty percent of the axolemmal mitogenic activity was solubilized in 1% octyl-glucoside. The solubilized material, however, was very unstable and further purification was not possible. The myelin associated mitogenic activity was markedly different. It was resistant to freeze thaw cycles, trypsin digestion of endoglycosidase treatment and the activity was actually enhanced by heating at 100/sup 0/C for two hours. It is proposed that the axolemmal activity is responsible for Schwann cell proliferation during development and that the myelin associated activity promotes Schwann cell proliferation during Wallerian degeneration.

  9. Pyro-electrification of polymer membranes for cell patterning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-21

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

  11. Depolarization of cell membrane is associated with an increase in ciliary beat frequency (CBF).

    PubMed

    Mao, H; Wong, L B

    1995-10-24

    We hypothesize that activation of muscarinic cholinergic receptors depolarizes the cell membrane of the mammalian ciliated cells which in turn causes an increase of CBF. To test this hypothesis, a di-8-ANEPPS fluorescence photon counting and nonstationary heterodyne laser light scattering system was developed to measure cell membrane potential (psi) and CBF in cultured ovine tracheal ciliated cells simultaneously. Carbachol dose dependently depolarized the cell membrane with a corresponding stimulation of CBF. The carbachol induced depolarization of cell membrane and increases of CBF were inhibited by prior application of either atropine or verapamil or amiloride. These novel data suggest that depolarization of the cell membrane and the corresponding stimulation of CBF caused by the activation of muscarinic receptors of the mammalian ciliated cells are dependent on the influx of either extracellular Ca2+ or Na+. PMID:7488025

  12. Cell Division and Targeted Cell Cycle Arrest Opens and Stabilizes Basement Membrane Gaps

    PubMed Central

    Matus, David Q.; Chang, Emily; Makohon-Moore, Sasha C.; Hagedorn, Mary A.; Chi, Qiuyi; Sherwood, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Large gaps in basement membrane (BM) occur during organ remodeling and cancer cell invasion. Whether dividing cells, which temporarily reduce their attachment to BM, influence these breaches is unknown. Here we analyse uterine-vulval attachment during development across 21 species of rhabditid nematodes and find that the BM gap that forms between these organs is always bounded by a non-dividing vulval cell. Through cell cycle manipulation and live cell imaging in Caenorhabditis elegans, we show that actively dividing vulval cells facilitate enlargement of this breach by promoting BM movement. In contrast, targeted cell-cycle arrest halts BM movement and limits gap opening. Further, we demonstrate that the BM component laminin accumulates at the BM gap edge and promotes increased integrin levels in non-dividing vulval cells, stabilizing gap position. Together, these studies reveal that cell division can be used as a mechanism to regulate BM breaches, thus controlling the exchange of cells between tissues. PMID:24924309

  13. Sampling membrane potential, membrane resistance and electrode resistance with a glass electrode impaled into a single cell.

    PubMed

    Schiebe, M; Jaeger, U

    1980-04-01

    A method is demonstrated to measure membrane resistances and membrane potentials of single cells during impalement by a single glass microelectrode. The intention was to develop a procedure which would provide data almost continuously. Therefore, a frequency-dependent voltage divider network has been chosen to represent the basic electrical properties of the electrode and cell membrane, and used to explore its voltage response to a current stimulus, consisting of two rectangular pulses of different widths. It can be shown that the resolution of the method can be improved by inverting this stimulus so that each polarization becomes a relaxation and vice versa. In order to generate, analyze and display this signal continuously, a device has been designed which has been called 'Electrophysiological Monitor, (E1M2)'. E1M2 provides a current stimulus as input into a standard bridge network and can analyze the summed response of the electrode and cell by a set of sample-hold amplifiers. It then decodes and displays the data continuously, as membrane potential (Em), input resistance of the cell (Rinp) and the electrode resistance (Re) respectively. From Rinp the membrane resistance (Rm) can be deduced. The validity of the method has been examined by measuring these parameters in frog muscle cells. Technical design considerations, the accuracy and possible pitfalls with the suggested procedure are discussed. PMID:7392671

  14. Water-Free Proton-Conducting Membranes for Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram; Yen, Shiao-Pin

    2007-01-01

    Poly-4-vinylpyridinebisulfate (P4VPBS) is a polymeric salt that has shown promise as a water-free proton-conducting material (solid electrolyte) suitable for use in membrane/electrode assemblies in fuel cells. Heretofore, proton-conducting membranes in fuel cells have been made from perfluorinated ionomers that cannot conduct protons in the absence of water and, consequently, cannot function at temperatures >100 C. In addition, the stability of perfluorinated ionomers at temperatures >100 C is questionable. However, the performances of fuel cells of the power systems of which they are parts could be improved if operating temperatures could be raised above 140 C. What is needed to make this possible is a solid-electrolyte material, such as P4VPBS, that can be cast into membranes and that both retains proton conductivity and remains stable in the desired higher operating temperature range. A family of solid-electrolyte materials different from P4VPBS was described in Anhydrous Proton-Conducting Membranes for Fuel Cells (NPO-30493), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 29, No. 8 (August 2005), page 48. Those materials notably include polymeric quaternized amine salts. If molecules of such a polymeric salt could be endowed with flexible chain structures, it would be possible to overcome the deficiencies of simple organic amine salts that must melt before being able to conduct protons. However, no polymeric quaternized amine salts have yet shown to be useful in this respect. The present solid electrolyte is made by quaternizing the linear polymer poly- 4-vinylpyridine (P4VP) to obtain P4VPBS. It is important to start with P4VP having a molecular weight of 160,000 daltons because P4VPBS made from lower-molecular-weight P4VP yields brittle membranes. In an experimental synthesis, P4VP was dissolved in methanol and then reacted with an excess of sulfuric acid to precipitate P4VPBS. The precipitate was recovered, washed several times with methanol to remove traces of acid, and dried to a

  15. Characterization of direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) applications with H 2SO 4 modified chitosan membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osifo, Peter O.; Masala, Aluwani

    Chitosan (Chs) flakes were prepared from chitin materials that were extracted from the exoskeleton of Cape rock lobsters in South Africa. The Chs flakes were prepared into membranes and the Chs membranes were modified by cross-linking with H 2SO 4. The cross-linked Chs membranes were characterized for the application in direct methanol fuel cells. The Chs membrane characteristics such as water uptake, thermal stability, proton resistance and methanol permeability were compared to that of high performance conventional Nafion 117 membranes. Under the temperature range studied 20-60 °C, the membrane water uptake for Chs was found to be higher than that of Nafion. Thermal analysis revealed that Chs membranes could withstand temperature as high as 230 °C whereas Nafion 117 membranes were stable to 320 °C under nitrogen. Nafion 117 membranes were found to exhibit high proton resistance of 284 s cm -1 than Chs membranes of 204 s cm -1. The proton fluxes across the membranes were 2.73 mol cm -2 s -1 for Chs- and 1.12 mol cm -2 s -1 Nafion membranes. Methanol (MeOH) permeability through Chs membrane was less, 1.4 × 10 -6 cm 2 s -1 for Chs membranes and 3.9 × 10 -6 cm 2 s -1 for Nafion 117 membranes at 20 °C. Chs and Nafion membranes were fabricated into membrane electrode assemblies (MAE) and their performances measure in a free-breathing commercial single cell DMFC. The Nafion membranes showed a better performance as the power density determined for Nafion membranes of 0.0075 W cm -2 was 2.7 times higher than in the case of Chs MEA.

  16. Direct deposit of catalyst on the membrane of direct feed fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chun, William (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Jeffries-Nakamura, Barbara (Inventor); Valdez, Thomas I. (Inventor); Linke, Juergen (Inventor)

    2001-01-01

    An improved direct liquid-feed fuel cell having a solid membrane electrolyte for electrochemical reactions of an organic fuel. Catalyst utilization and catalyst/membrane interface improvements are disclosed. Specifically, the catalyst layer is applied directly onto the membrane electrolyte.

  17. A rapid method for the evaluation of the ionic permeabilities across epithelial cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Movileanu, L

    1999-02-01

    This short note presents a recipe for the calculation of the ionic permeabilities across epithelial cell membranes. The method requires the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz formalism as well as the consideration of the equivalent electrical circuit for an epithelial cell. The equivalent electrical circuit is solved in terms of the equivalent electromotive forces coupled in series with the ionic resistances of both cell membranes (apical and basolateral). The present procedure is feasible for any leaky epithelial cell membrane with the condition that this membrane (apical or basolateral) does not contain primary or secondary mechanisms for active transport. PMID:10100952

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

    PubMed Central

    Prada, Ilaria; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Prada, Ilaria; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kaljot, K.T.; Shaw, R.D.; Greenberg, H.B. Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical Center, CA ); Rubin, D.H. )

    1988-04-01

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

  1. Monoacylated Cellular Prion Protein Modifies Cell Membranes, Inhibits Cell Signaling, and Reduces Prion Formation*

    PubMed Central

    Bate, Clive; Williams, Alun

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases occur following the conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a disease related, protease-resistant isoform (PrPSc). In these studies, a cell painting technique was used to introduce PrPC to prion-infected neuronal cell lines (ScGT1, ScN2a, or SMB cells). The addition of PrPC resulted in increased PrPSc formation that was preceded by an increase in the cholesterol content of cell membranes and increased activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2). In contrast, although PrPC lacking one of the two acyl chains from its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor (PrPC-G-lyso-PI) bound readily to cells, it did not alter the amount of cholesterol in cell membranes, was not found within detergent-resistant membranes (lipid rafts), and did not activate cPLA2. It remained within cells for longer than PrPC with a conventional GPI anchor and was not converted to PrPSc. Moreover, the addition of high amounts of PrPC-G-lyso-PI displaced cPLA2 from PrPSc-containing lipid rafts, reduced the activation of cPLA2, and reduced PrPSc formation in all three cell lines. In addition, ScGT1 cells treated with PrPC-G-lyso-PI did not transmit infection following intracerebral injection to mice. We propose that that the chemical composition of the GPI anchor attached to PrPC modified the local membrane microenvironments that control cell signaling, the fate of PrPC, and hence PrPSc formation. In addition, our observations raise the possibility that pharmacological modification of GPI anchors might constitute a novel therapeutic approach to prion diseases. PMID:21212283

  2. Computational Estimates of Membrane Flow and Tension Gradient in Motile Cells

    PubMed Central

    Fogelson, Ben; Mogilner, Alex

    2014-01-01

    All parts of motile cells, including the plasma membrane, have to translocate in the direction of locomotion. Both directed intracellular membrane transport coupled with polarized endo- and exocytosis and fluid flow in the plane of the plasma membrane can contribute to this overall plasma membrane translocation. It remains unclear how strong a force is required to generate this flow. We numerically solve Stokes equations for the viscous membrane flow across a flat plasma membrane surface in the presence of transmembrane proteins attached to the cytoskeleton and find the membrane tension gradient associated with this flow. This gradient is sensitive to the size and density of the transmembrane proteins attached to the cytoskeleton and can become significant enough to slow down cell movement. We estimate the influence of intracellular membrane transport and actin growth and contraction on the tension gradient, and discuss possible ‘tank tread’ flow at ventral and dorsal surfaces. PMID:24465414

  3. Vaginal epithelial cells regulate membrane adhesiveness to co-ordinate bacterial adhesion.

    PubMed

    Younes, Jessica A; Klappe, Karin; Kok, Jan Willem; Busscher, Henk J; Reid, Gregor; van der Mei, Henny C

    2016-04-01

    Vaginal epithelium is colonized by different bacterial strains and species. The bacterial composition of vaginal biofilms controls the balance between health and disease. Little is known about the relative contribution of the epithelial and bacterial cell surfaces to bacterial adhesion and whether and how adhesion is regulated over cell membrane regions. Here, we show that bacterial adhesion forces with cell membrane regions not located above the nucleus are stronger than with regions above the nucleus both for vaginal pathogens and different commensal and probiotic lactobacillus strains involved in health. Importantly, adhesion force ratios over membrane regions away from and above the nucleus coincided with the ratios between numbers of adhering bacteria over both regions. Bacterial adhesion forces were dramatically decreased by depleting the epithelial cell membrane of cholesterol or sub-membrane cortical actin. Thus, epithelial cells can regulate membrane regions to which bacterial adhesion is discouraged, possibly to protect the nucleus. PMID:26477544

  4. Rapid micropatterning of cell lines and human pluripotent stem cells on elastomeric membranes.

    PubMed

    Paik, Isha; Scurr, David J; Morris, Bryan; Hall, Graham; Denning, Chris; Alexander, Morgan R; Shakesheff, Kevin M; Dixon, James E

    2012-10-01

    Tissue function during development and in regenerative medicine completely relies on correct cell organization and patterning at micro and macro scales. We describe a rapid method for patterning mammalian cells including human embryonic stem cells (HESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) on elastomeric membranes such that micron-scale control of cell position can be achieved over centimeter-length scales. Our method employs surface engineering of hydrophobic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membranes by plasma polymerization of allylamine. Deposition of plasma polymerized allylamine (ppAAm) using our methods may be spatially restricted using a micro-stencil leaving faithful hydrophilic ppAAm patterns. We employed airbrushing to create aerosols which deposit extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins (such as fibronectin and Matrigel™) onto the same patterned ppAAm rich regions. Cell patterns were created with a variety of well characterized cell lines (e.g., NIH-3T3, C2C12, HL1, BJ6, HESC line HUES7, and HiPSC line IPS2). Individual and multiple cell line patterning were also achieved. Patterning remains faithful for several days and cells are viable and proliferate. To demonstrate the utility of our technique we have patterned cells in a variety of configurations. The ability to rapidly pattern cells at high resolution over macro scales should aid future tissue engineering efforts for regenerative medicine applications and in creating in vitro stem cell niches. PMID:22511037

  5. Proton conducting, composite sulfonated polymer membrane for medium temperature and low relative humidity fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Dong Won; Kang, Na Rae; Lee, Kang Hyuck; Cho, Doo Hee; Kim, Ji Hoon; Lee, Won Hyo; Lee, Young Moo

    2014-09-01

    Inorganic-organic composite membranes are fabricated using zirconium acetylacetonate nanoparticles and biphenol-based sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) as an inorganic, proton conducting nanomaterial and a polymer matrix, respectively. An amphiphilic surfactant (Pluronic®) induces distribution of the inorganic nanoparticles over the entire polymer membrane. The composite membranes are thermally stable up to 200 °C. Zirconium acetylacetonate improves inter-chain interactions and the robustness of polymer membranes resulting in excellent membrane mechanical properties. In addition, composite membranes show outstanding proton conductivity compared to that of the pristine membrane at medium temperatures (80-120 °C) and low relative humidity (<50%) conditions. This improvement is due to the presence of acetylacetonate anions, which bind water molecules and act as an additional proton conducting site and/or medium. Therefore, the composite membranes significantly outperform the pristine membrane in fuel cell performance tests at medium temperatures and low relative humidity.

  6. Super-resolution fluorescence imaging of organelles in live cells with photoswitchable membrane probes

    PubMed Central

    Shim, Sang-Hee; Xia, Chenglong; Zhong, Guisheng; Babcock, Hazen P.; Vaughan, Joshua C.; Huang, Bo; Wang, Xun; Xu, Cheng; Bi, Guo-Qiang; Zhuang, Xiaowei

    2012-01-01

    Imaging membranes in live cells with nanometer-scale resolution promises to reveal ultrastructural dynamics of organelles that are essential for cellular functions. In this work, we identified photoswitchable membrane probes and obtained super-resolution fluorescence images of cellular membranes. We demonstrated the photoswitching capabilities of eight commonly used membrane probes, each specific to the plasma membrane, mitochondria, the endoplasmic recticulum (ER) or lysosomes. These small-molecule probes readily label live cells with high probe densities. Using these probes, we achieved dynamic imaging of specific membrane structures in living cells with 30–60 nm spatial resolution at temporal resolutions down to 1–2 s. Moreover, by using spectrally distinguishable probes, we obtained two-color super-resolution images of mitochondria and the ER. We observed previously obscured details of morphological dynamics of mitochondrial fusion/fission and ER remodeling, as well as heterogeneous membrane diffusivity on neuronal processes. PMID:22891300

  7. Experience with Dismantling of the Analytic Cell in the JRTF Decommissioning Program

    SciTech Connect

    Annoh, Akio; Nemoto, Koichi; Tajiri, Hideo; Saito, Keiichiro; Miyajima, Kazutoshi; Myodo, Masato

    2003-02-27

    The analytic cell was mainly used for process control analysis of the reprocessing process and for the measurement of fuel burn up ratio in JAERI's Reprocessing Test Facility (JRTF). The analytic cell was a heavy shielded one and equipped with a conveyor. The cell was alpha and beta(gamma)contaminated. For dismantling of analytic cells, it is very important to establish a method to remove the heavy shield safely and reduce the exposure. At first, a green house was set up to prevent the spread out of contamination, and next, the analytic cell was dismantled. Depending on the contamination condition, the workers wore protective suits such as air ventilated-suits for prevention of internal exposure and vinyl chloride aprons, lead aprons in order to reduce external exposure. From the work carried out, various data such as needed manpower for the activities, the collective dose of workers by external exposure, the amount of radioactive wastes and the relation between the weight of the shield and its dismantling efficiency were obtained and input for the database. The method of dismantling and the experience with the dismantling of the analytic cell in the JRTF, carried out during 2001 and 2002, are described in this paper.

  8. Developments of Novel Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irita, Tomomi; Kondo, Masahiro; Aoyama, Hirokazu; Russell, Thomas

    2006-03-01

    Perfluorinated polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM), such as Nafion, are considered to be the most promising candidate for the development of the next generation fuel cell technology. The key technological challenges facing PEMs are their performance, durability and cost. In this research, the polymer electrolyte emulsions (PEE) were obtained by a simple hydrolysis reaction of the precursor polymer emulsion. PEMs are obtained by solvent casting the PEE. The PEE obtained here has a very low viscosity even at high solution concentrations. Using high concentration emulsions greatly reduces the amount of the waste, which makes this technology superior to the conventional ones. Casting conditions were optimized to enhance the mechanical properties, e.g. the tensile strength and viscoelastic properties, of the membrane. The PEMs obtained possessed better ionic conductivity than Nafion while their mechanical properties are comparable. Finally, the cost evaluation for this process was conducted and it was shown that the contribution to the cost reduction becomes bigger. (This research was sponsored by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan)

  9. Chemical degradation of fluorosulfonamide fuel cell membrane polymer model compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alsheheri, Jamela M.; Ghassemi, Hossein; Schiraldi, David A.

    2014-12-01

    The durability of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell membrane, along with high proton conductivity and mechanical performance is critical to the success of these energy conversion devices. Extending our work in perfluorinated membrane stability, aromatic trifluoromethyl sulfonamide model compounds were prepared, and their oxidative degradation was examined. The chemical structures for the models were based on mono-, di- and tri-perfluorinated sulfonamide modified phenyl rings. Durability of the model compounds was evaluated by exposure to hydroxyl radicals generated using Fenton reagent and UV irradiation of hydrogen peroxide. LC-MS results for the mono-substituted model compound indicate greater stability to radical oxidation than the di-substituted species; loss of perfluorinated fonamide side chains appears to be an important pathway, along with dimerization and aromatic ring hydroxylation. The tri-substituted model compound also shows loss of side chains, with the mono-substituted compound being a major oxidation product, along with a limited amount of hydroxylation and dimerization of the starting material.

  10. Novel Polyoxometalate Containing Membranes for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mason K. Harrup; Frederick F. Stewart; Thomas A Luther; Tammy Trowbridge

    2009-03-01

    Current proton exchange membrane (PEM) technologies are inadequate to address the projected needs for fuel cell performance above 80 ºC. Continuing research into traditional ion carriers in novel membrane materials offers the promise of marginal improvement, representing only an evolutionary increase in performance. This conclusion is supported by the role of water in conduction. Thus, the key to better PEMs is not to eliminate water, but to change the role of water by developing ion carriers that will bind water more tightly than traditional sulfur or phosphorus based carriers resulting in materials that will conduct at higher temperatures. This change entails having a carrier structure that interacts more intimately with water and by increasing the ion carrier anionic charge to result in more tightly held inner shell protonated waters of hydration. Both of these factors synergistically act to maintain a critical water concentration at the carrier necessary for conduction. In this work, polyoxometalate (POM) clusters were selected to serve as these different proton carriers.

  11. Interactions between earthworm hemolysins and sheep red blood cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Roch, P; Canicatti, C; Valembois, P

    1989-08-01

    The hemolytic activity exhibited by the coelomic fluid of the Annelid Eisenia fetida andrei is mediated by two lipoproteins of mass 40 and 45 kDa, each of them capable of hemolysis. Such an activity is not inhibited by zymosan, inulin or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), nor by hydrazine or methylamine, suggesting that earthworm hemolysins are not related to C3 or C3b complement components. Among the membrane lipids tested (phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, sphingomyelin and cholesterol) only sphingomyelin inhibited hemolysis. The analysis of E.f. andrei proteins bound to sphingomyelin microvesicles, as well as to sheep red blood cell (SRBC) membranes, revealed a polymerization of E.f. andrei 40 kDa and/or 45 kDa hemolysins. Consequently, sphingomyelin appears a likely candidate for hemolytic complex receptor. Electron microscopy observations suggested that the polymerization causes an open channel through the lipid bilayer. As demonstrated using metal ions, heparin, chondroitin sulfate, poly(L-lysine) and protamine chloride, the mode of action of earthworm hemolytic complex is not analogous to that of C9 or perforine. PMID:2758056

  12. Basement membrane components are potent promoters of rat intestinal epithelial cell differentiation in vitro.

    PubMed

    Hahn, U; Stallmach, A; Hahn, E G; Riecken, E O

    1990-02-01

    Basement membranes have been implicated in morphogenesis and cell differentiation. In this study, the effect of basement membrane components on intestinal epithelial cell maturation in a mesenchyme-free environment was investigated. Fetal rat small intestinal epithelial cells (from the 14th-17th day of gestation) were exposed to basement membrane-derived proteins (laminin, collagen type IV, and a complex basement membrane-enriched extract from the Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm sarcoma) and other extracellular matrix proteins (collagen type I and fibronectin) coated onto Petri dishes. The cells attached readily only to fibronectin and basement membrane proteins. For 5 days the developing epithelial colonies were monitored in vitro, assessing morphological and functional parameters of cell maturation. Colonies grown on laminin and the basement membrane extract were larger and of greater cell density. An increase in alkaline phosphatase and lactase activity was observed after 3-4 days in these colonies which could be enhanced to yield 90%-100% positive cells by the addition of dexamethasone to the medium while no sucrase-isomaltase activity was elicited. Electron microscopy confirmed a high degree of cellular polarization illustrated by tight junctions and apical microvilli in epithelial cells grown on a basement membrane-like support. In contrast, none of the other proteins stimulated the cells to mature in vitro. The authors conclude that certain basement membrane components actively promote fetal intestinal epithelial cell differentiation. PMID:2295387

  13. Characterization of femtosecond-laser pulse induced cell membrane nanosurgical attachment

    PubMed Central

    Katchinskiy, Nir; Godbout, Roseline; Elezzabi, Abdulhakem Y.

    2016-01-01

    This article provides insight into the mechanism of femtosecond laser nanosurgical attachment of cells. We have demonstrated that during the attachment of two retinoblastoma cells using sub-10 femtosecond laser pulses, with 800 nm central wavelength, the phospholipid molecules of both cells hemifuse and form one shared phospholipid bilayer, at the attachment location. In order to verify the hypothesis that hemifusion takes place, transmission electron microscope images of the cell membranes of retinoblastoma cells were taken. It is shown that at the attachment interface, the two cell membranes coalesce and form one single membrane shared by both cells. Thus, further evidence is provided to support the hypothesis that laser-induced ionization process led to an ultrafast reversible destabilization of the phospholipid layer of the cellular membrane, which resulted in cross-linking of the phospholipid molecules in each membrane. This process of hemifusion occurs throughout the entire penetration depth of the femtosecond laser pulse train. Thus, the attachment between the cells takes place across a large surface area, which affirms our findings of strong physical attachment between the cells. The femtosecond laser pulse hemifusion technique can potentially provide a platform for precise molecular manipulation of cellular membranes. Manipulation of the cellular membrane is an important procedure that could aid in studying diseases such as cancer; where the expression level of plasma proteins on the cell membrane is altered. PMID:27446703

  14. Characterization of femtosecond-laser pulse induced cell membrane nanosurgical attachment.

    PubMed

    Katchinskiy, Nir; Godbout, Roseline; Elezzabi, Abdulhakem Y

    2016-07-01

    This article provides insight into the mechanism of femtosecond laser nanosurgical attachment of cells. We have demonstrated that during the attachment of two retinoblastoma cells using sub-10 femtosecond laser pulses, with 800 nm central wavelength, the phospholipid molecules of both cells hemifuse and form one shared phospholipid bilayer, at the attachment location. In order to verify the hypothesis that hemifusion takes place, transmission electron microscope images of the cell membranes of retinoblastoma cells were taken. It is shown that at the attachment interface, the two cell membranes coalesce and form one single membrane shared by both cells. Thus, further evidence is provided to support the hypothesis that laser-induced ionization process led to an ultrafast reversible destabilization of the phospholipid layer of the cellular membrane, which resulted in cross-linking of the phospholipid molecules in each membrane. This process of hemifusion occurs throughout the entire penetration depth of the femtosecond laser pulse train. Thus, the attachment between the cells takes place across a large surface area, which affirms our findings of strong physical attachment between the cells. The femtosecond laser pulse hemifusion technique can potentially provide a platform for precise molecular manipulation of cellular membranes. Manipulation of the cellular membrane is an important procedure that could aid in studying diseases such as cancer; where the expression level of plasma proteins on the cell membrane is altered. PMID:27446703

  15. Purinergically induced membrane fluidization in ciliary cells: characterization and control by calcium and membrane potential.

    PubMed Central

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

    1996-01-01

    To examine the role of membrane dynamics in transmembrane signal transduction, we studied changes in membrane fluidity in mucociliary tissues from frog palate and esophagus epithelia stimulated by extracellular ATP. Micromolar concentrations of ATP induced strong changes in fluorescence polarization, possibly indicating membrane fluidization. This effect was dosage dependent, reaching a maximum at 10-microM ATP. It was dependent on the presence of extracellular Ca2+ (or Mg2+), though it was insensitive to inhibitors of voltage-gated calcium channels. It was inhibited by thapsigargin and by ionomycin (at low extracellular Ca2+ concentration), both of which deplete Ca2+ stores. It was inhibited by the calcium-activated potassium channel inhibitors quinidine, charybdotoxin, and apamine and was reduced considerably by replacement of extracellular Na+ with K+. Hyperpolarization, or depolarization, of the mucociliary membrane induced membrane fluidization. The degree of membrane fluidization depended on the degree of hyperpolarization or depolarization of the ciliary membrane potential and was considerably lower than the effect induced by extracellular ATP. These results indicate that appreciable membrane fluidization induced by extracellular ATP depends both on an increase in intracellular Ca2+, mainly from its internal stores, and on hyperpolarization of the membrane. Calcium-dependent potassium channels couple the two effects. In light of recent results on the enhancement of ciliary beat frequency, it would appear that extracellular ATP-induced changes both in ciliary beat frequency and in membrane fluidity are triggered by similar signal transduction pathways. PMID:8789123

  16. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  17. Semipermeability of the nuclear membrane in the intact cell.

    PubMed

    HARDING, C V; FELDHERR, C

    1959-07-20

    The osmotic properties of nuclei in intact cells were studied by injecting solutions into the cytoplasm of amphibian oocytes. Subsequent changes in nuclear volume were recorded photographically. The injection of solutions containing polyvinylpyrrolidone or bovine serum albumin caused changes in nuclear volume which were related to the colloid osmotic pressure of the solution injected. The concentration in which no significant nuclear volume change occurred (the isotonic range) was 1.0 to 1.5 per cent polyvinylpyrrolidone (2.0 to 3.75 x 10(-4)M). 2 per cent bovine serum albumin had no significant effect on nuclear volume, whereas 4 per cent caused a significant decrease. The significance of these findings is discussed in terms of the permeability characteristics of the nuclear membrane. PMID:13664918

  18. Dynamic maintenance of stochastic molecular clusters on cell membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugler, Andrew; Wehrens, Martijn; Ten Wolde, Pieter Rein

    2015-03-01

    Clustering of molecules on cell membranes is a widely observed phenomenon. A key example is the oncoprotein Ras. Maintenance of Ras clusters has been linked to proper Ras signaling. Yet, the mechanism by which Ras clusters are maintained remains unclear. Recently it was discovered that activated Ras promotes further Ras activation. We show using particle-based simulation that this positive feedback link is sufficient to produce persistent clusters of active Ras molecules via a dynamic nucleation mechanism. The cluster statistics are consistent with experimental observations. Interestingly, our model does not support a Turing regime of macroscopic reaction-diffusion patterning. This means that the clustering we observe is a purely stochastic effect, arising from the coupling of the positive feedback network with the discrete nature of individual molecules. These findings underscore the importance of stochastic and dynamic properties of reaction diffusion systems for biological behavior.

  19. Disentangling Membrane Dynamics and Cell Migration; Differential Influences of F-actin and Cell-Matrix Adhesions

    PubMed Central

    Kowalewski, Jacob M.; Shafqat-Abbasi, Hamdah; Jafari-Mamaghani, Mehrdad; Endrias Ganebo, Bereket; Gong, Xiaowei

    2015-01-01

    Cell migration is heavily interconnected with plasma membrane protrusion and retraction (collectively termed “membrane dynamics”). This makes it difficult to distinguish regulatory mechanisms that differentially influence migration and membrane dynamics. Yet such distinctions may be valuable given evidence that cancer cell invasion in 3D may be better predicted by 2D membrane dynamics than by 2D cell migration, implying a degree of functional independence between these processes. Here, we applied multi-scale single cell imaging and a systematic statistical approach to disentangle regulatory associations underlying either migration or membrane dynamics. This revealed preferential correlations between membrane dynamics and F-actin features, contrasting with an enrichment of links between cell migration and adhesion complex properties. These correlative linkages were often non-linear and therefore context-dependent, strengthening or weakening with spontaneous heterogeneity in cell behavior. More broadly, we observed that slow moving cells tend to increase in area, while fast moving cells tend to shrink, and that the size of dynamic membrane domains is independent of cell area. Overall, we define macromolecular features preferentially associated with either cell migration or membrane dynamics, enabling more specific interrogation and targeting of these processes in future. PMID:26248038

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

    PubMed

    Noutsi, Pakiza; Gratton, Enrico; Chaieb, Sahraoui

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Noutsi, Pakiza; Gratton, Enrico; Chaieb, Sahraoui

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Cross-linked anion exchange membranes with pendent quaternary pyrrolidonium salts for alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lan, Chunhua; Fang, Jun; Guan, Yingjie; Zhou, Huili; Zhao, Jinbao

    2015-11-01

    Novel anion-exchange membranes based on two kinds of pyrrolidonium type ionic liquids, N-methyl-N-vinyl-pyrrolidonium (NVMP) and N-ethyl-N-vinyl-pyrrolidonium (NVEP), have been synthesized via polymerization and crosslinking treatment, followed by membrane casting. The covalent cross-linked structures of these membranes are confirmed by FT-IR. The obtained membranes are also characterized in terms of water uptake, ion exchange capacity (IEC), ionic conductivity as well as thermal, dimensional and chemical stability. The membranes display hydroxide conductivity of above 10-2 S cm-1 at 25 °C. Excellent thermal stability with onset degradation temperature above 235 °C, good alkaline stability in 6 mol L-1 NaOH at 60 °C for 168 h and remarkable dimensional stability of the resulting membranes have been proved. H2/air single fuel cells employed membrane M3 and N3 show the open-circuit voltage (OCV) of 0.953 V and 0.933 V, and the maximum power density of 88.90 mW cm-2 and 81.90 mW cm-2 at the current density of 175 mA cm-2 and 200 mA cm-2 at 65 °C, respectively.

  3. Towards fuel cell membranes with improved lifetime: Aquivion® Perfluorosulfonic Acid membranes containing immobilized radical scavengers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Urso, C.; Oldani, C.; Baglio, V.; Merlo, L.; Aricò, A. S.

    2014-12-01

    A facile synthesis, based on a wet impregnation technique and a thermal treatment, of a novel silica-supported cerium-oxide-based radical scavenger bearing sulfonic acid functionalities is presented. This material is loaded as a filler in ePTFE reinforced membranes (called R79-02S) prepared starting from Aquivion® Perfluoro-Sulfonic Acid (PFSA) dispersions. The aim is to mitigate the peroxy radicals attack to the polymeric membrane under fuel cell operating conditions. These membranes show much longer (7 times more) life-time in Accelerated Stress Tests (AST) and reduced fluoride release (about one half) in Fenton's tests than the radical scavenger-free membrane without any loss in electrochemical performance. Scavenger-free Aquivion® PFSA-based membrane durability is about 200 h in AST whereas the same membrane containing the newly developed radical scavenger exceeds 1400 h. These results confirm the stability of the modified membranes and the excellent activity of the composite scavenger in mitigating the polymer electrolyte degradation.

  4. Meninges: from protective membrane to stem cell niche

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Meninges are a three tissue membrane primarily known as coverings of the brain. More in depth studies on meningeal function and ultrastructure have recently changed the view of meninges as a merely protective membrane. Accurate evaluation of the anatomical distribution in the CNS reveals that meninges largely penetrate inside the neural tissue. Meninges enter the CNS by projecting between structures, in the stroma of choroid plexus and form the perivascular space (Virchow-Robin) of every parenchymal vessel. Thus, meninges may modulate most of the physiological and pathological events of the CNS throughout the life. Meninges are present since the very early embryonic stages of cortical development and appear to be necessary for normal corticogenesis and brain structures formation. In adulthood meninges contribute to neural tissue homeostasis by secreting several trophic factors including FGF2 and SDF-1. Recently, for the first time, we have identified the presence of a stem cell population with neural differentiation potential in meninges. In addition, we and other groups have further described the presence in meninges of injury responsive neural precursors. In this review we will give a comprehensive view of meninges and their multiple roles in the context of a functional network with the neural tissue. We will highlight the current literature on the developmental feature of meninges and their role in cortical development. Moreover, we will elucidate the anatomical distribution of the meninges and their trophic properties in adult CNS. Finally, we will emphasize recent evidences suggesting the potential role of meninges as stem cell niche harbouring endogenous precursors that can be activated by injury and are able to contribute to CNS parenchymal reaction. PMID:23671802

  5. Thylakoid Membrane Maturation and PSII Activation Are Linked in Greening Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 Cells1

    PubMed Central

    Barthel, Sandra; Bernát, Gábor; Seidel, Tobias; Rupprecht, Eva; Kahmann, Uwe; Schneider, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Thylakoid membranes are typical and essential features of both chloroplasts and cyanobacteria. While they are crucial for phototrophic growth of cyanobacterial cells, biogenesis of thylakoid membranes is not well understood yet. Dark-grown Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 cells contain only rudimentary thylakoid membranes but still a relatively high amount of phycobilisomes, inactive photosystem II and active photosystem I centers. After shifting dark-grown Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 cells into the light, “greening” of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 cells, i.e. thylakoid membrane formation and recovery of photosynthetic electron transport reactions, was monitored. Complete restoration of a typical thylakoid membrane system was observed within 24 hours after an initial lag phase of 6 to 8 hours. Furthermore, activation of photosystem II complexes and restoration of a functional photosynthetic electron transport chain appears to be linked to the biogenesis of organized thylakoid membrane pairs. PMID:23922268

  6. A novel Bruch's membrane-mimetic electrospun substrate scaffold for human retinal pigment epithelium cells.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Ping; Wu, Kun-Chao; Zhu, Ying; Xiang, Lue; Li, Chong; Chen, Deng-Long; Chen, Feng; Xu, Guotong; Wang, Aijun; Li, Min; Jin, Zi-Bing

    2014-12-01

    Various artificial membranes have been used as scaffolds for retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE) for monolayer reconstruction, however, long-term cell viability and functionality are still largely unknown. This study aimed to construct an ultrathin porous nanofibrous film to mimic Bruch's membrane, and in particular to investigate human RPE cell responses to the resultant substrates. An ultrathin porous nanofibrous membrane was fabricated by using regenerated wild Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin (RWSF), polycaprolactone (PCL) and gelatin (Gt) and displayed a thickness of 3-5 μm, with a high porosity and an average fiber diameter of 166 ± 85 nm. Human RPE cells seeded on the RWSF/PCL/Gt membranes showed a higher cell growth rate (p < 0.05), and a typical expression pattern of RPE signature genes, with reduced expression of inflammatory mediators. With long-term cultivation on the substrates, RPE cells exhibited characteristic polygonal morphology and development of apical microvilli. Immunocytochemisty demonstrated RPE-specific expression profiles in cells after 12-weeks of co-culture on RWSF/PCL/Gt membranes. Interestingly, the cells on the RWSF/PCL/Gt membranes functionally secreted polarized PEDF and phagocytosed labeled porcine POS. Furthermore, RWSF/PCL/Gt membranes transplanted subsclerally exhibited excellent biocompatibility without any evidence of inflammation or rejection. In conclusion, we established a novel RWSF-based substrate for growth of RPE cells with excellent cytocompatibility in vitro and biocompatibility in vivo for potential use as a prosthetic Bruch's membrane for RPE transplantation. PMID:25220295

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burke, Thomas G.; Doroshow, James H.

    1989-06-01

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

  8. Nanoporous gold membranes: From morphological control to fuel cell catalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Yi

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

  9. Multiphase transport in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gauthier, Eric D.

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

  10. Quantitative label-free redox proteomics of reversible cysteine oxidation in red blood cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Zaccarin, Mattia; Falda, Marco; Roveri, Antonella; Bosello-Travain, Valentina; Bordin, Luciana; Maiorino, Matilde; Ursini, Fulvio; Toppo, Stefano

    2014-06-01

    Reversible oxidation of cysteine residues is a relevant posttranslational modification of proteins. However, the low activation energy and transitory nature of the redox switch and the intrinsic complexity of the analysis render quite challenging the aim of a rigorous high-throughput screening of the redox status of redox-sensitive cysteine residues. We describe here a quantitative workflow for redox proteomics, where the ratio between the oxidized forms of proteins in the control vs treated samples is determined by a robust label-free approach. We critically present the convenience of the procedure by specifically addressing the following aspects: (i) the accurate ratio, calculated from the whole set of identified peptides rather than just isotope-tagged fragments; (ii) the application of a robust analytical pipeline to frame the most consistent data averaged over the biological variability; (iii) the relevance of using stringent criteria of analysis, even at the cost of losing potentially interesting but statistically uncertain data. The pipeline has been assessed on red blood cell membrane challenged with diamide as a model of a mild oxidative condition. The cluster of identified proteins encompassed components of the cytoskeleton more oxidized. Indirectly, our analysis confirmed the previous observation that oxidized hemoglobin binds to membranes while oxidized peroxiredoxin 2 loses affinity. PMID:24642086

  11. Cell membrane mediated (-)-epicatechin effects on upstream endothelial cell signaling: evidence for a surface receptor.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Ulloa, Aldo; Romero-Perez, Diego; Villarreal, Francisco; Ceballos, Guillermo; Ramirez-Sanchez, Israel

    2014-06-15

    The consumption of cacao-derived products, particularly in the form of dark chocolate is known to provide beneficial cardiovascular effects in normal individuals and in those with vascular dysfunction (reduced nitric oxide [NO] bioavailability and/or synthesis). Upstream mechanisms by which flavonoids exert these effects are poorly understood and may involve the participation of cell membrane receptors. We previously demonstrated that the flavanol (-)-epicatechin (EPI) stimulates NO production via Ca(+2)-independent eNOS activation/phosphorylation. We wished to investigate the plausible participation of a cell surface receptor using a novel cell-membrane impermeable EPI-Dextran conjugate (EPI-Dx). Under Ca(2+)-free conditions, human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC) were treated for 10min with EPI or EPI-Dx at equimolar concentrations (100nM). Results demonstrate that both EPI and EPI-Dx induced the phosphorylation/activation of PI3K, PDK-1, AKT and eNOS. Interestingly, EPI-Dx effects were significantly higher in magnitude than those of EPI alone. The capacity of EPI-Dx to stimulate cell responses supports the existence of an EPI cell membrane receptor mediating eNOS activation. PMID:24794111

  12. Phosphatidylethanolamine Is a Key Regulator of Membrane Fluidity in Eukaryotic Cells.

    PubMed

    Dawaliby, Rosie; Trubbia, Cataldo; Delporte, Cédric; Noyon, Caroline; Ruysschaert, Jean-Marie; Van Antwerpen, Pierre; Govaerts, Cédric

    2016-02-12

    Adequate membrane fluidity is required for a variety of key cellular processes and in particular for proper function of membrane proteins. In most eukaryotic cells, membrane fluidity is known to be regulated by fatty acid desaturation and cholesterol, although some cells, such as insect cells, are almost devoid of sterol synthesis. We show here that insect and mammalian cells present similar microviscosity at their respective physiological temperature. To investigate how both sterols and phospholipids control fluidity homeostasis, we quantified the lipidic composition of insect SF9 and mammalian HEK 293T cells under normal or sterol-modified condition. As expected, insect cells show minimal sterols compared with mammalian cells. A major difference is also observed in phospholipid content as the ratio of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) to phosphatidylcholine (PC) is inverted (4 times higher in SF9 cells). In vitro studies in liposomes confirm that both cholesterol and PE can increase rigidity of the bilayer, suggesting that both can be used by cells to maintain membrane fluidity. We then show that exogenously increasing the cholesterol amount in SF9 membranes leads to a significant decrease in PE:PC ratio whereas decreasing cholesterol in HEK 293T cells using statin treatment leads to an increase in the PE:PC ratio. In all cases, the membrane fluidity is maintained, indicating that both cell types combine regulation by sterols and phospholipids to control proper membrane fluidity. PMID:26663081

  13. Development of analytical cell support for vitrification at the West Valley Demonstration Project. Topical report

    SciTech Connect

    Barber, F.H.; Borek, T.T.; Christopher, J.Z.

    1997-12-01

    Analytical and Process Chemistry (A&PC) support is essential to the high-level waste vitrification campaign at the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP). A&PC characterizes the waste, providing information necessary to formulate the recipe for the target radioactive glass product. High-level waste (HLW) samples are prepared and analyzed in the analytical cells (ACs) and Sample Storage Cell (SSC) on the third floor of the main plant. The high levels of radioactivity in the samples require handling them in the shielded cells with remote manipulators. The analytical hot cells and third floor laboratories were refurbished to ensure optimal uninterrupted operation during the vitrification campaign. New and modified instrumentation, tools, sample preparation and analysis techniques, and equipment and training were required for A&PC to support vitrification. Analytical Cell Mockup Units (ACMUs) were designed to facilitate method development, scientist and technician training, and planning for analytical process flow. The ACMUs were fabricated and installed to simulate the analytical cell environment and dimensions. New techniques, equipment, and tools could be evaluated m in the ACMUs without the consequences of generating or handling radioactive waste. Tools were fabricated, handling and disposal of wastes was addressed, and spatial arrangements for equipment were refined. As a result of the work at the ACMUs the remote preparation and analysis methods and the equipment and tools were ready for installation into the ACs and SSC m in July 1995. Before use m in the hot cells, all remote methods had been validated and four to eight technicians were trained on each. Fine tuning of the procedures has been ongoing at the ACs based on input from A&PC technicians. Working at the ACs presents greater challenges than had development at the ACMUs. The ACMU work and further refinements m in the ACs have resulted m in a reduction m in analysis turnaround time (TAT).

  14. Single cell analytic tools for drug discovery and development

    PubMed Central

    Heath, James R.; Ribas, Antoni; Mischel, Paul S.

    2016-01-01

    The genetic, functional, or compositional heterogeneity of healthy and diseased tissues presents major challenges in drug discovery and development.1-3 In cancers, heterogeneity may be essential for tumor stability,4 but its precise role in tumor biology is poorly resolved. This challenges the design of accurate disease models for use in drug development, and can confound the interpretation of biomarker levels, and of patient responses to specific therapies. The complex nature of heterogeneous tissues has motivated the development of tools for single cell genomic, transcriptomic, and multiplex proteomic analysis. We review these tools, assess their advantages and limitations, and explore their potential applications in drug discovery and development. PMID:26669673

  15. Tuning nano electric field to affect restrictive membrane area on localized single cell nano-electroporation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santra, Tuhin Subhra; Wang, Pen-Cheng; Chang, Hwan-You; Tseng, Fan-Gang

    2013-12-01

    Interaction of electric field with biological cells is an important phenomenon for field induced drug delivery system. We demonstrate a selective and localized single cell nano-electroporation (LSCNEP) by applying an intense electric field on a submicron region of the single cell membrane, which can effectively allow high efficient molecular delivery but low cell damage. The delivery rate is controlled by adjusting transmembrane potential and manipulating membrane status. Thermal and ionic influences are deteriorated from the cell membrane by dielectric passivation. Either reversible or irreversible by LSCNEP can fully controlled with potential applications in medical diagnostics and biological studies.

  16. New target for laser-hypocrellin A photosensitization: cell membrane DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, En-Hua; Wang, Long-gui; Xin, Shu-min

    1993-03-01

    Hypocrellin A (HC-A) isolated from Hypocrella Membrane Sacc, a derivative of 3,10-dihydroxy-4, 9-peryleneguinone, is a new effective photosensitizer. Treatment of the CESS cell with 20 (mu) g per ml of HC-A plus laser (532 nm) radiation led to the formation of DNA single strand break. The number of single strand breaks for cell membrane DNA was approximately 2.5 times that of nuclear DNA. Treatment of the CESS cell with HC-A plus laser radiation reduced the cell DNA binding capacity by 59%. It is shown that cell membrane DNA is also a target for HC-A photosensitization.

  17. Time Series Analysis of Particle Tracking Data for Molecular Motion on the Cell Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Ying, Wenxia; Huerta, Gabriel; Steinberg, Stanly; Zúñiga, Martha

    2013-01-01

    Biophysicists use single particle tracking (SPT) methods to probe the dynamic behavior of individual proteins and lipids in cell membranes. The mean squared displacement (MSD) has proven to be a powerful tool for analyzing the data and drawing conclusions about membrane organization, including features like lipid rafts, protein islands, and confinement zones defined by cytoskeletal barriers. Here, we implement time series analysis as a new analytic tool to analyze further the motion of membrane proteins. The experimental data track the motion of 40 nm gold particles bound to Class I major histocompatibility complex (MHCI) molecules on the membranes of mouse hepatoma cells. Our first novel result is that the tracks are significantly autocorrelated. Because of this, we developed linear autoregressive models to elucidate the autocorrelations. Estimates of the signal to noise ratio for the models show that the autocorrelated part of the motion is significant. Next, we fit the probability distributions of jump sizes with four different models. The first model is a general Weibull distribution that shows that the motion is characterized by an excess of short jumps as compared to a normal random walk. We also fit the data with a chi distribution which provides a natural estimate of the dimension d of the space in which a random walk is occurring. For the biological data, the estimates satisfy 1 < d < 2, implying that particle motion is not confined to a line, but also does not occur freely in the plane. The dimension gives a quantitative estimate of the amount of nanometer scale obstruction met by a diffusing molecule. We introduce a new distribution and use the generalized extreme value distribution to show that the biological data also have an excess of long jumps as compared to normal diffusion. These fits provide novel estimates of the microscopic diffusion constant. Previous MSD analyses of SPT data have provided evidence for nanometer-scale confinement zones that

  18. Increased phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) receptor function associated with sickle red cell membrane ghosts

    SciTech Connect

    Ramachandran, M.; Nair, C.N.; Abraham, E.C.

    1987-05-01

    The biological receptor for tumor-promoting phorbol esters has been identified as the CaS /phospholipid dependent enzyme, protein kinase C. In the red cell, this enzyme is mainly cytosolic but becomes translocated to the membrane if the cellular CaS is allowed to rise. Since cellular CaS in sickle red cells is high, it was reasoned that this enzyme may become more membrane-bound. In fact, the authors noticed a four-fold increase in the binding of TH-PDBu by membrane ghosts isolated from sickle red cells compared to normal red cells (pmoles PDBu bound/mg protein; normal = 0.3 vs sickle cell = 1.4). Attempts to assay the enzyme directly as phospholipid-activated TSP incorporation into the acid-precipitable membrane proteins also indicated a two-fold increase in the radiolabelling of sickle cell membrane ghosts. Autophosphorylation of membrane proteins and analysis of the phosphorylation profile by SDS-PAGE and autoradiography revealed phosphorylation predominantly of bands 3, 4.1 and 4.9 which are known protein kinase C substrates for the red cell enzyme. The increased membrane-associated protein kinase C in sickle red cells may have a bearing on the altered membrane properties reported in this condition.

  19. Plasma membrane microorganization of LR73 multidrug-resistant cells revealed by FCS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winckler, Pascale; Jaffiol, Rodolphe; Cailler, Aurélie; Morjani, Hamid; Jeannesson, Pierre; Deturche, Régis

    2011-03-01

    Tumoral cells could present a multidrug resistance (MDR) to chemotherapeutic treatments. This drug resistance would be associated to biomechanisms occurring at the plasma membrane level, involving modification of membrane fluidity, drug permeability, presence of microdomains (rafts, caveolae...), and membrane proteins overexpression such as Pglycoprotein. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) is the relevant method to investigate locally the fluidity of biological membranes through the lateral diffusion of a fluorescent membrane probe. Thus, we use FCS to monitor the plasma membrane local organization of LR73 carcinoma cells and three derived multidrug-resistant cancer cells lines. Measurements were conducted at the single cell level, which enabled us to get a detailed overview of the plasma membrane microviscosity distribution of each cell line studied. Moreover, we propose 2D diffusion simulation based on a Monte Carlo model to investigate the membrane organisation in terms of microdomains. This simulation allows us to relate the differences in the fluidity distributions with microorganization changes in plasma membrane of MDR cells.

  20. Flagellar membrane fusion and protein exchange in trypanosomes; a new form of cell-cell communication?

    PubMed Central

    Imhof, Simon; Fragoso, Cristina; Hemphill, Andrew; von Schubert, Conrad; Li, Dong; Legant, Wesley; Betzig, Eric; Roditi, Isabel

    2016-01-01

    Diverse structures facilitate direct exchange of proteins between cells, including plasmadesmata in plants and tunnelling nanotubes in bacteria and higher eukaryotes.  Here we describe a new mechanism of protein transfer, flagellar membrane fusion, in the unicellular parasite Trypanosoma brucei. When fluorescently tagged trypanosomes were co-cultured, a small proportion of double-positive cells were observed. The formation of double-positive cells was dependent on the presence of extracellular calcium and was enhanced by placing cells in medium supplemented with fresh bovine serum. Time-lapse microscopy revealed that double-positive cells arose by bidirectional protein exchange in the absence of nuclear transfer.  Furthermore, super-resolution microscopy showed that this process occurred in ≤1 minute, the limit of temporal resolution in these experiments. Both cytoplasmic and membrane proteins could be transferred provided they gained access to the flagellum. Intriguingly, a component of the RNAi machinery (Argonaute) was able to move between cells, raising the possibility that small interfering RNAs are transported as cargo. Transmission electron microscopy showed that shared flagella contained two axonemes and two paraflagellar rods bounded by a single membrane. In some cases flagellar fusion was partial and interactions between cells were transient. In other cases fusion occurred along the entire length of the flagellum, was stable for several hours and might be irreversible. Fusion did not appear to be deleterious for cell function: paired cells were motile and could give rise to progeny while fused. The motile flagella of unicellular organisms are related to the sensory cilia of higher eukaryotes, raising the possibility that protein transfer between cells via cilia or flagella occurs more widely in nature. PMID:27239276

  1. A monolayer graphene - Nafion sandwich membrane for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, X. H.; Wu, Ruizhe; Xu, J. B.; Luo, Zhengtang; Zhao, T. S.

    2016-04-01

    Methanol crossover due to the low selectivity of proton exchange membranes is a long-standing issue in direct methanol fuel cell technology. Here we attempt to address this issue by designing a composite membrane fabricated by sandwiching a monolayer graphene between two thin Nafion membranes to take advantage of monolayer graphene's selective permeability to only protons. The methanol permeability of the present membrane is demonstrated to have a 68.6% decrease in comparison to that of the pristine Nafion membrane. The test in a passive direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) shows that the designed membrane retains high proton conductivity while substantially suppressing methanol crossover. As a result, the present membrane enables the passive DMFC to exhibit a decent performance even at a methanol concentration as high as 10.0 M.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

    The fluctuation spectra and the intermembrane interaction of two membranes at a fixed average distance are investigated. Each membrane can either be a fluid or a solid membrane, and in isolation, its fluctuations are described by a bare or a wave-vector-dependent bending modulus, respectively. The membranes interact via their excluded-volume interaction; the average distance is maintained by an external, homogeneous pressure. For strong coupling, the fluctuations can be described by a single, effective membrane that combines the elastic properties. For weak coupling, the fluctuations of the individual, noninteracting membranes are recovered. The case of a composite membrane consisting of one fluid and one solid membrane can serve as a microscopic model for the plasma membrane and cytoskeleton of the red blood cell. We find that, despite the complex microstructure of bilayers and cytoskeletons in a real cell, the fluctuations with wavelengths lambda greater, similar 400 nm are well described by the fluctuations of a single, polymerized membrane (provided that there are no inhomogeneities of the microstructure). The model is applied to the fluctuation data of discocytes ("normal" red blood cells), a stomatocyte, and an echinocyte. The elastic parameters of the membrane and an effective temperature that quantifies active, metabolically driven fluctuations are extracted from the experiments. PMID:18233690

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  4. Role of membrane biophysics in Alzheimer's–related cell pathways

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Donghui; Bungart, Brittani L.; Yang, Xiaoguang; Zhumadilov, Zhaxybay; Lee, James C-M.; Askarova, Sholpan

    2015-01-01

    Cellular membrane alterations are commonly observed in many diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Membrane biophysical properties, such as membrane molecular order, membrane fluidity, organization of lipid rafts, and adhesion between membrane and cytoskeleton, play an important role in various cellular activities and functions. While membrane biophysics impacts a broad range of cellular pathways, this review addresses the role of membrane biophysics in amyloid-β peptide aggregation, Aβ-induced oxidative pathways, amyloid precursor protein processing, and cerebral endothelial functions in AD. Understanding the mechanism(s) underlying the effects of cell membrane properties on cellular processes should shed light on the development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies for this devastating disease. PMID:26074758

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

    "Membrane regulation" of stress responses in various systems is widely studied. In poikilotherms, membrane rigidification could be the first reaction to cold perception: reducing membrane fluidity of membranes at physiological temperatures is coupled with enhanced cold inducibility of a number of genes, including desaturases (see J.L. Harwood's article in this Proceedings volume). A similar role of changes in membrane physical state in heat (oxidative stress, etc.) sensing- and signaling gained support recently from prokaryotes to mammalian cells. Stress-induced remodeling of membrane lipids could influence generation, transduction, and deactivation of stress signals, either through global effects on the fluidity of the membrane matrix, or by specific interactions of boundary (or raft) lipids with receptor proteins, lipases, ion channels, etc. Our data point to membranes not only as targets of stress, but also as sensors in activating a stress response. PMID:17656573

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    Insufficient drug delivery into tumor cells limits the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapy. Co-delivery of liposome-encapsulated drug and synthetic short-chain glycosphingolipids (SC-GSLs) significantly improved drug bioavailability by enhancing intracellular drug uptake. Investigating the mechanisms underlying this SC-GSL-mediated drug uptake enhancement is the aim of this study. Fluorescence microscopy was used to visualize the cell membrane lipid transfer intracellular fate of fluorescently labeled C6-NBD-GalCer incorporated in liposomes in tumor and non-tumor cells. Additionally click chemistry was applied to image and quantify native SC-GSLs in tumor and non-tumor cell membranes. SC-GSL-mediated flip-flop was investigated in model membranes to confirm membrane-incorporation of SC-GSL and its effect on membrane remodeling. SC-GSL enriched liposomes containing doxorubicin (Dox) were incubated at 4°C and 37°C and intracellular drug uptake was studied in comparison to standard liposomes and free Dox. SC-GSL transfer to the cell membrane was independent of liposomal uptake and the majority of the transferred lipid remained in the plasma membrane. The transfer of SC-GSL was tumor cell-specific and induced membrane rearrangement as evidenced by a transbilayer flip-flop of pyrene-SM. However, pore formation was measured, as leakage of hydrophilic fluorescent probes was not observed. Moreover, drug uptake appeared to be mediated by SC-GSLs. SC-GSLs enhanced the interaction of doxorubicin (Dox) with the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane of tumor cells at 4°C. Our results demonstrate that SC-GSLs preferentially insert into tumor cell plasma membranes enhancing cell intrinsic capacity to translocate amphiphilic drugs such as Dox across the membrane via a biophysical process. PMID:25917957

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

    PubMed

    Boes, Marianne; Cuvillier, Armelle; Ploegh, Hidde

    2004-04-01

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

  8. Physical effects underlying the transition from primitive to modern cell membranes

    PubMed Central

    Budin, Itay; Szostak, Jack W.

    2011-01-01

    To understand the emergence of Darwinian evolution, it is necessary to identify physical mechanisms that enabled primitive cells to compete with one another. Whereas all modern cell membranes are composed primarily of diacyl or dialkyl glycerol phospholipids, the first cell membranes are thought to have self-assembled from simple, single-chain lipids synthesized in the environment. We asked what selective advantage could have driven the transition from primitive to modern membranes, especially during early stages characterized by low levels of membrane phospholipid. Here we demonstrate that surprisingly low levels of phospholipids can drive protocell membrane growth during competition for single-chain lipids. Growth results from the decreasing fatty acid efflux from membranes with increasing phospholipid content. The ability to synthesize phospholipids from single-chain substrates would have therefore been highly advantageous for early cells competing for a limited supply of lipids. We show that the resulting increase in membrane phospholipid content would have led to a cascade of new selective pressures for the evolution of metabolic and transport machinery to overcome the reduced membrane permeability of diacyl lipid membranes. The evolution of phospholipid membranes could thus have been a deterministic outcome of intrinsic physical processes and a key driving force for early cellular evolution. PMID:21402937

  9. Physical effects underlying the transition from primitive to modern cell membranes.

    PubMed

    Budin, Itay; Szostak, Jack W

    2011-03-29

    To understand the emergence of Darwinian evolution, it is necessary to identify physical mechanisms that enabled primitive cells to compete with one another. Whereas all modern cell membranes are composed primarily of diacyl or dialkyl glycerol phospholipids, the first cell membranes are thought to have self-assembled from simple, single-chain lipids synthesized in the environment. We asked what selective advantage could have driven the transition from primitive to modern membranes, especially during early stages characterized by low levels of membrane phospholipid. Here we demonstrate that surprisingly low levels of phospholipids can drive protocell membrane growth during competition for single-chain lipids. Growth results from the decreasing fatty acid efflux from membranes with increasing phospholipid content. The ability to synthesize phospholipids from single-chain substrates would have therefore been highly advantageous for early cells competing for a limited supply of lipids. We show that the resulting increase in membrane phospholipid content would have led to a cascade of new selective pressures for the evolution of metabolic and transport machinery to overcome the reduced membrane permeability of diacyl lipid membranes. The evolution of phospholipid membranes could thus have been a deterministic outcome of intrinsic physical processes and a key driving force for early cellular evolution. PMID:21402937

  10. Novel pore-filled polyelectrolyte composite membranes for cathodic microbial fuel cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gohil, J. M.; Karamanev, D. G.

    2013-12-01

    Novel pore-filled polyelectrolyte membrane (PEM) was produced using track etched polycarbonate (PC) as porous substrate and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as pore filling material. PVA in PC pores was stabilized through cross-linking of PVA matrix with glutaraldehyde (GA). Cross-link time was varied from 24 h to 96 h while keeping the membranes in GA solution. Pore sizes of substrate PC membrane tested were 0.01, 0.1 and 0.2 μm. The membranes were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Ionic conductivity, water uptake, contact angle and gel content have been measured to determine membranes performance. The ionic crossover (iron ions and protons) through membranes was studied in a complete fuel cell. The single-cell performance of membrane was tested in a cathodic microbial fuel cell (MFC, Biogenerator). The physiochemical properties and membranes fuel cell performance were highly depended on the cross-link density of PVA matrices. Membranes cross-liked with GA for 72 h showed maximum gel content and their peak power density has reached 110 mW cm-2 at current density of 378 mA cm-2. Among all, membrane cross-linked for 72 h was studied for continuous long-term stability, which showed consistency for application in MFC.

  11. Photogeneration of membrane potential hyperpolarization and depolarization in non-excitable cells.

    PubMed

    Ando, Jun; Smith, Nicholas I; Fujita, Katsumasa; Kawata, Satoshi

    2009-02-01

    We monitored femtosecond laser induced membrane potential changes in non-excitable cells using patchclamp analysis. Membrane potential hyperpolarization of HeLa cells was evoked by 780 nm, 80 fs laser pulses focused in the cellular cytoplasm at average powers of 30-60 mW. Simultaneous detection of intracellular Ca2+ concentration and membrane potential revealed coincident photogeneration of Ca2+ waves and membrane potential hyperpolarization. By using non-excitable cells, the cell dynamics are slow enough that we can calculate the membrane potential using the steady-state approximation for ion gradients and permeabilities, as formulated in the GHK equations. The calculations predict hyperpolarization that matches the experimental measurements and indicates that the cellular response to laser irradiation is biological, and occurs via laser triggered Ca2+ which acts on Ca2+ activated K+ channels, causing hyperpolarization. Furthermore, by irradiating the cellular plasma membrane, we observed membrane potential depolarization in combination with a drop in membrane resistance that was consistent with a transient laser-induced membrane perforation. These results entail the first quantitative analysis of location-dependent laser-induced membrane potential modification and will help to clarify cellular biological responses under exposure to high intensity ultrashort laser pulses. PMID:19137284

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-06-01

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

  13. Kinetics of small molecule interactions with membrane proteins in single cells measured with mechanical amplification

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Yan; Shan, Xiaonan; Zhang, Fenni; Wang, Shaopeng; Chen, Hong-Yuan; Tao, Nongjian

    2015-01-01

    Measuring small molecule interactions with membrane proteins in single cells is critical for understanding many cellular processes and for screening drugs. However, developing such a capability has been a difficult challenge. We show that molecular interactions with membrane proteins induce a mechanical deformation in the cellular membrane, and real-time monitoring of the deformation with subnanometer resolution allows quantitative analysis of small molecule–membrane protein interaction kinetics in single cells. This new strategy provides mechanical amplification of small binding signals, making it possible to detect small molecule interactions with membrane proteins. This capability, together with spatial resolution, also allows the study of the heterogeneous nature of cells by analyzing the interaction kinetics variability between different cells and between different regions of a single cell. PMID:26601298

  14. Effect of ingested titanium dioxide nanoparticles on the digestive gland cell membrane of terrestrial isopods.

    PubMed

    Valant, Janez; Drobne, Damjana; Novak, Sara

    2012-03-01

    The aim of this study was to find out whether ingested titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nano-TiO(2)) cause cell membrane damage by direct contact or by lipid peroxidation. We assessed lipid peroxidation and digestive gland cell membrane stability of animals fed on food dosed with nano-TiO(2). Conventional toxicity measures were completed to determine if cellular effects are propagated to higher levels of biological complexity. An invertebrate model organism (Porcellio scaber, Isopoda, Crustacea) was fed with food containing nanosized TiO(2) and the result confirmed that at higher exposure concentrations after 3 d exposure, nano-TiO(2) destabilized cell membranes but lipid peroxidation was not detected. Oxidative stress as evidenced by lipid peroxidation was observed at longer exposure durations and high exposure doses. These data suggest that cell membranes are destabilized by direct interactions between nanoparticles and cell membrane, not solely via oxidative stress. PMID:22189379

  15. Daptomycin-mediated reorganization of membrane architecture causes mislocalization of essential cell division proteins.

    PubMed

    Pogliano, Joe; Pogliano, Nicolas; Silverman, Jared A

    2012-09-01

    Daptomycin is a lipopeptide antibiotic used clinically for the treatment of certain types of Gram-positive infections, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Details of the mechanism of action of daptomycin continue to be elucidated, particularly the question of whether daptomycin acts on the cell membrane, the cell wall, or both. Here, we use fluorescence microscopy to directly visualize the interaction of daptomycin with the model Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. We show that the first observable cellular effects are the formation of membrane distortions (patches of membrane) that precede cell death by more than 30 min. Membrane patches are able to recruit the essential cell division protein DivIVA. Recruitment of DivIVA correlates with membrane defects and changes in cell morphology, suggesting a localized alteration in the activity of enzymes involved in cell wall synthesis that could account for previously described effects of daptomycin on cell wall morphology and septation. Membrane defects colocalize with fluorescently labeled daptomycin, DivIVA, and fluorescent reporters of peptidoglycan biogenesis (Bocillin FL and BODIPY FL-vancomycin), suggesting that daptomycin plays a direct role in these events. Our results support a mechanism for daptomycin with a primary effect on cell membranes that in turn redirects the localization of proteins involved in cell division and cell wall synthesis, causing dramatic cell wall and membrane defects, which may ultimately lead to a breach in the cell membrane and cell death. These results help resolve the longstanding questions regarding the mechanism of action of this important class of antibiotics. PMID:22661688

  16. Daptomycin-Mediated Reorganization of Membrane Architecture Causes Mislocalization of Essential Cell Division Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Pogliano, Nicolas; Silverman, Jared A.

    2012-01-01

    Daptomycin is a lipopeptide antibiotic used clinically for the treatment of certain types of Gram-positive infections, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Details of the mechanism of action of daptomycin continue to be elucidated, particularly the question of whether daptomycin acts on the cell membrane, the cell wall, or both. Here, we use fluorescence microscopy to directly visualize the interaction of daptomycin with the model Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. We show that the first observable cellular effects are the formation of membrane distortions (patches of membrane) that precede cell death by more than 30 min. Membrane patches are able to recruit the essential cell division protein DivIVA. Recruitment of DivIVA correlates with membrane defects and changes in cell morphology, suggesting a localized alteration in the activity of enzymes involved in cell wall synthesis that could account for previously described effects of daptomycin on cell wall morphology and septation. Membrane defects colocalize with fluorescently labeled daptomycin, DivIVA, and fluorescent reporters of peptidoglycan biogenesis (Bocillin FL and BODIPY FL-vancomycin), suggesting that daptomycin plays a direct role in these events. Our results support a mechanism for daptomycin with a primary effect on cell membranes that in turn redirects the localization of proteins involved in cell division and cell wall synthesis, causing dramatic cell wall and membrane defects, which may ultimately lead to a breach in the cell membrane and cell death. These results help resolve the longstanding questions regarding the mechanism of action of this important class of antibiotics. PMID:22661688

  17. Water Permeability of Chlorella Cell Membranes by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

    PubMed Central

    Stout, Darryl G.; Steponkus, Peter L.; Bustard, Larry D.; Cotts, Robert M.

    1978-01-01

    Measurement by two nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques of the mean residence time τa of water molecules inside Chlorella vulgaris (Beijerinck) var. “viridis” (Chodot) is reported. The first is the Conlon and Outhred (1972 Biochim Biophys Acta 288: 354-361) technique in which extracellular water is doped with paramagnetic Mn2+ ions. Some complications in application of this technique are identified as being caused by the affinity of Chlorella cell walls for Mn2+ ions which shortens the NMR relaxation times of intra- and extracellular water. The second is based upon observations of effects of diffusion on the spin echo of intra- and extracellular water. Echo attenuation of intracellular water is distinguished from that of extracellular water by the extent to which diffusive motion is restricted. Intracellular water, being restricted to the cell volume, suffers less echo attenuation. From the dependence of echo amplitude upon gradient strength at several values of echo time, the mean residence time of intracellular water can be determined. From the mean residence time of intracellular water, the diffusional water permeability coefficient of the Chlorella membrane is calculated to be 2.1 ± 0.4 × 10−3 cm sec−1. PMID:16660456

  18. High power density proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, Oliver J.; Hitchens, G. Duncan; Manko, David J.

    1993-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells use a perfluorosulfonic acid solid polymer film as an electrolyte which simplifies water and electrolyte management. Their thin electrolyte layers give efficient systems of low weight, and their materials of construction show extremely long laboratory lifetimes. Their high reliability and their suitability for use in a microgravity environment makes them particularly attractive as a substitute for batteries in satellites utilizing high-power, high energy-density electrochemical energy storage systems. In this investigation, the Dow experimental PEM (XUS-13204.10) and unsupported high platinum loading electrodes yielded very high power densities, of the order of 2.5 W cm(exp -2). A platinum black loading of 5 mg per cm(exp 2) was found to be optimum. On extending the three-dimensional reaction zone of fuel cell electrodes by impregnating solid polymer electrolyte into the electrode structures, Nafion was found to give better performance than the Dow experimental PEM. The depth of penetration of the solid polymer electrolyte into electrode structures was 50-70 percent of the thickness of the platinum-catalyzed active layer. However, the degree of platinum utilization was only 16.6 percent and the roughness factor of a typical electrode was 274.

  19. Cholesterol prevents interaction of the cell-penetrating peptide transportan with model lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Arsov, Zoran; Nemec, Marjana; Schara, Milan; Johansson, Henrik; Langel, Ulo; Zorko, Matjaz

    2008-12-01

    Interaction of the cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) cysteine-transportan (Cys-TP) with model lipid membranes was examined by spin-label electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). Membranes were labeled with lipophilic spin probes and the influence of Cys-TP on membrane structure was studied. The influence of Cys-TP on membrane permeability was monitored by the reduction of a liposome-trapped water-soluble spin probe. Cys-TP caused lipid ordering in membranes prepared from pure dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and in DMPC membranes with moderate cholesterol concentration. In addition, Cys-TP caused a large increase in permeation of DMPC membranes. In contrast, with high cholesterol content, at which model lipid membranes are in the so-called liquid-ordered phase, no effect of Cys-TP was observed, either on the membrane structure or on the membrane permeability. The interaction between Cys-TP and the lipid membrane therefore depends on the lipid phase. This could be of great importance for understanding of the CPP-lipid interaction in laterally heterogeneous membranes, while it implies that the CPP-lipid interaction can be different at different points along the membrane. PMID:18683276

  20. Membrane lipid heterogeneity associated with acetylcholine receptor particle aggregates in Xenopus embryonic muscle cells.

    PubMed Central

    Bridgman, P C; Nakajima, Y

    1981-01-01

    Filipin, digitonin, and saponin react with membrane cholesterol to produce unique membrane alterations (sterol-specific complexes) that are easily discernible in freeze-fracture replicas. We have treated both noninnervated and innervated Xenopus embryonic muscle cells in culture with these agents. Freeze-fracture of these treated muscle cells showed that most areas of the muscle plasma membrane contain sterol-specific complexes (19- to 40-nm protuberances and dimples with filipin, a scalloped appearance with digitonin, or an irregular, rough appearance with saponin). However, these complexes were virtually absent from membrane areas of junctional and nonjunctional aggregates of acetylcholine receptor particles. This result suggests that the membrane matrix of these aggregates is low in cholesterol and that this membrane lipid heterogeneity may be linked to the mechanisms involved in their formation and stabilization on muscle cells in culture. Images PMID:6940140

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  2. Cell volume and plasma membrane osmotic water permeability in epithelial cell layers measured by interferometry.

    PubMed Central

    Farinas, J; Verkman, A S

    1996-01-01

    The development of strategies to measure plasma membrane osmotic water permeability (Pf) in epithelial cells has been motivated by the identification of a family of molecular water channels. A general approach utilizing interferometry to measure cell shape and volume was developed and applied to measure Pf in cell layers. The method is based on the cell volume dependence of optical path length (OPL) for a light beam passing through the cell. The small changes in OPL were measured by interferometry. A mathematical model was developed to relate the interference signal to cell volume changes for cells of arbitrary shape and size. To validate the model, a Mach-Zehnder interference microscope was used to image OPL in an Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cell layer and to reconstruct the three-dimensional cell shape (OPL resolution < lambda/25). As predicted by the model, a doubling of cell volume resulted in a change in OPL that was proportional to the difference in refractive indices between water and the extracellular medium. The time course of relative cell volume in response to an osmotic gradient was computed from serial interference images. To measure cell volume without microscopy and image analysis, a Mach-Zehnder interferometer was constructed in which one of two interfering laser beams passed through a flow chamber containing the cell layer. The interference signal in response to an osmotic gradient was analyzed to quantify the time course of relative cell volume. The calculated MDCK cell plasma membrane Pf of 6.1 x 10(-4) cm/s at 24 degrees C agreed with that obtained by interference microscopy and by a total internal reflection fluorescence method. Interferometry was also applied to measure the apical plasma membrane water permeability of intact toad urinary bladder; Pf increased fivefold after forskolin stimulation to 0.04 cm/s at 23 degrees C. These results establish and validate the application of interferometry to quantify cell volume and osmotic water

  3. Mechanisms regulating cell membrane localization of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 in human hepatocarcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Cepeda, Edgar B; Dediulia, Tatjana; Fernando, Joan; Bertran, Esther; Egea, Gustavo; Navarro, Estanislao; Fabregat, Isabel

    2015-05-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells with a mesenchymal phenotype show an asymmetric subcellular distribution of the chemokine receptor CXCR4, which is required for cell migration and invasion. In this work we examine the mechanisms that regulate the intracellular trafficking of CXCR4 in HCC cells. Results indicate that HCC cells present CXCR4 at the cell surface, but most of this protein is in endomembranes colocalizing with markers of the Golgi apparatus and recycling endosomes. The presence of high protein levels of CXCR4 present at the cell surface correlates with a mesenchymal-like phenotype and a high autocrine activation of the Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-β) pathway. CXCR4 traffics along the Golgi/exocyst/plasma membrane pathway and requires EXOC4 (Sec8) component of the exocyst complex. HCC cells use distinct mechanisms for the CXCR4 internalization such as dynamin-dependent endocytosis and macropinocytosis. Regardless of the endocytic mechanisms, colocalization of CXCR4 and Rab11 is observed, which could be involved not only in receptor recycling but also in its post-Golgi transport. In summary, this work highlights membrane trafficking pathways whose pharmacological targeting could subsequently result in the inactivation of one of the main guiding mechanisms used by metastatic cells to colonize secondary organs and tissues. PMID:25704914

  4. High heterogeneity of plasma membrane microfluidity in multidrug-resistant cancer cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutin, Céline; Roche, Yann; Millot, Christine; Deturche, Régis; Royer, Pascal; Manfait, Michel; Plain, Jérôme; Jeannesson, Pierre; Millot, Jean-Marc; Jaffiol, Rodolphe

    2009-05-01

    Diffusion-time distribution analysis (DDA) has been used to explore the plasma membrane fluidity of multidrug-resistant cancer cells (LR73 carcinoma cells) and also to characterize the influence of various membrane agents present in the extracellular medium. DDA is a recent single-molecule technique, based on fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), well suited to retrieve local organization of cell membrane. The method was conducted on a large number of living cells, which enabled us to get a detailed overview of plasma membrane microviscosity, and plasma membrane micro-organization, between the cells of the same line. Thus, we clearly reveal the higher heterogeneity of plasma membrane in multidrug-resistant cancer cells in comparison with the nonresistant ones (denoted sensitive cells). We also display distinct modifications related to a membrane fluidity modulator, benzyl alcohol, and two revertants of multidrug resistance, verapamil and cyclosporin-A. A relation between the distribution of the diffusion-time values and the modification of membrane lateral heterogeneities is proposed.

  5. Red Blood Cell Susceptibility to Pneumolysin: CORRELATION WITH MEMBRANE BIOCHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    This study investigated the effect of the biochemical and biophysical properties of the plasma membrane as well as membrane morphology on the susceptibility of human red blood cells to the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin pneumolysin, a key virulence factor of Streptococcus pneumoniae, using single cell studies. We show a correlation between the physical properties of the membrane (bending rigidity and surface and dipole electrostatic potentials) and the susceptibility of red blood cells to pneumolysin-induced hemolysis. We demonstrate that biochemical modifications of the membrane induced by oxidative stress, lipid scrambling, and artificial cell aging modulate the cell response to the toxin. We provide evidence that the diversity of response to pneumolysin in diabetic red blood cells correlates with levels of glycated hemoglobin and that the mechanical properties of the red blood cell plasma membrane are altered in diabetes. Finally, we show that diabetic red blood cells are more resistant to pneumolysin and the related toxin perfringolysin O relative to healthy red blood cells. Taken together, these studies indicate that the diversity of cell response to pneumolysin within a population of human red blood cells is influenced by the biophysical and biochemical status of the plasma membrane and the chemical and/or oxidative stress pre-history of the cell. PMID:26984406

  6. Increased Membrane Cholesterol in Lymphocytes Diverts T-Cells toward an Inflammatory Response

    PubMed Central

    Surls, Jacqueline; Nazarov-Stoica, Cristina; Kehl, Margaret; Olsen, Cara; Casares, Sofia; Brumeanu, Teodor-D.

    2012-01-01

    Cell signaling for T-cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis is initiated in the cholesterol-rich microdomains of the plasma membrane known as lipid rafts. Herein, we investigated whether enrichment of membrane cholesterol in lipid rafts affects antigen-specific CD4 T-helper cell functions. Enrichment of membrane cholesterol by 40–50% following squalene administration in mice was paralleled by an increased number of resting CD4 T helper cells in periphery. We also observed sensitization of the Th1 differentiation machinery through co-localization of IL-2Rα, IL-4Rα, and IL-12Rβ2 subunits with GM1 positive lipid rafts, and increased STAT-4 and STAT-5 phosphorylation following membrane cholesterol enrichment. Antigen stimulation or CD3/CD28 polyclonal stimulation of membrane cholesterol-enriched, resting CD4 T-cells followed a path of Th1 differentiation, which was more vigorous in the presence of increased IL-12 secretion by APCs enriched in membrane cholesterol. Enrichment of membrane cholesterol in antigen-specific, autoimmune Th1 cells fostered their organ-specific reactivity, as confirmed in an autoimmune mouse model for diabetes. However, membrane cholesterol enrichment in CD4+ Foxp3+ T-reg cells did not alter their suppressogenic function. These findings revealed a differential regulatory effect of membrane cholesterol on the function of CD4 T-cell subsets. This first suggests that membrane cholesterol could be a new therapeutic target to modulate the immune functions, and second that increased membrane cholesterol in various physiopathological conditions may bias the immune system toward an inflammatory Th1 type response. PMID:22723880

  7. Mitigation of chemical membrane degradation in fuel cells: understanding the effect of cell voltage and iron ion redox cycle.

    PubMed

    Wong, Ka Hung; Kjeang, Erik

    2015-03-01

    Chemical membrane degradation through the Fenton's reaction is one of the main lifetime-limiting factors for polymer-electrolyte fuel cells. In this work, a comprehensive, transient membrane degradation model is developed to capture and elucidate the complex in situ degradation mechanism. A redox cycle of iron ions is discovered within the membrane electrolyte assembly, which sustains the Fe(II) concentration and results in the most severe chemical degradation at open circuit voltage. The cycle strength is critically reduced at lower cell voltages, which leads