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Sample records for abundant natural biopolymer

  1. Quercetin as natural stabilizing agent for bio-polymer

    SciTech Connect

    Morici, Elisabetta; Arrigo, Rossella; Dintcheva, Nadka Tzankova

    2014-05-15

    The introduction of antioxidants in polymers is the main way to prevent or delay the degradation process. In particular natural antioxidants receive attention in the food industry also because of their presumed safety. In this work bio-polymers, i.e. a commercial starch-based polymer (Mater-Bi®) and a bio-polyester (PLA), and a bio-polyether (PEO) were additivated with quercetin, a natural flavonoid antioxidants, in order to formulate bio-based films for ecosustainable packaging and outdoor applications. The photo-oxidation behavior of unstabilized and quercetin stabilized films was analyzed and compared with the behavior of films additivated with a commercial synthetic light stabilizer. The quercetin is able to slow down the photo-degradation rate of all bio-polymeric films investigated in similar way to the synthetic stabilizer.

  2. Quercetin as natural stabilizing agent for bio-polymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morici, Elisabetta; Arrigo, Rossella; Dintcheva, Nadka Tzankova

    2014-05-01

    The introduction of antioxidants in polymers is the main way to prevent or delay the degradation process. In particular natural antioxidants receive attention in the food industry also because of their presumed safety. In this work bio-polymers, i.e. a commercial starch-based polymer (Mater-Bi®) and a bio-polyester (PLA), and a bio-polyether (PEO) were additivated with quercetin, a natural flavonoid antioxidants, in order to formulate bio-based films for ecosustainable packaging and outdoor applications. The photo-oxidation behavior of unstabilized and quercetin stabilized films was analyzed and compared with the behavior of films additivated with a commercial synthetic light stabilizer. The quercetin is able to slow down the photo-degradation rate of all bio-polymeric films investigated in similar way to the synthetic stabilizer.

  3. Carbohydrate nanotechnology: hierarchical assembly using nature's other information carrying biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Han, Xu; Zheng, Yeting; Munro, Catherine J; Ji, Yiwen; Braunschweig, Adam B

    2015-08-01

    Despite their central role in directing some of the most complex biological processes, carbohydrates--nature's other information carrying biopolymer--have been largely ignored as building blocks for synthetic hierarchical assemblies. The non-stoichiometric binding and astronomical diversity characteristic of carbohydrates could lead to tantalizingly complex assembly algorithms, but these attributes simultaneously increase the difficulty of preparing carbohydrate assemblies and anticipating their behavior. Convergences in biotechnology, nanotechnology, polymer chemistry, surface science, and supramolecular chemistry have led to many recent important breakthroughs in glycan microarrays and synthetic carbohydrate receptors, where the idiosyncrasies of carbohydrate structure and binding are increasingly considered. We hope to inspire more researchers to consider carbohydrate structure, diversity, and binding as attractive tools for constructing synthetic hierarchical assemblies.

  4. Clinical applications of naturally derived biopolymer-based scaffolds for regenerative medicine.

    PubMed

    Stoppel, Whitney L; Ghezzi, Chiara E; McNamara, Stephanie L; Black, Lauren D; Kaplan, David L

    2015-03-01

    Naturally derived polymeric biomaterials, such as collagens, silks, elastins, alginates, and fibrins are utilized in tissue engineering due to their biocompatibility, bioactivity, and tunable mechanical and degradation kinetics. The use of these natural biopolymers in biomedical applications is advantageous because they do not release cytotoxic degradation products, are often processed using environmentally-friendly aqueous-based methods, and their degradation rates within biological systems can be manipulated by modifying the starting formulation or processing conditions. For these reasons, many recent in vivo investigations and FDA-approval of new biomaterials for clinical use have utilized natural biopolymers as matrices for cell delivery and as scaffolds for cell-free support of native tissues. This review highlights biopolymer-based scaffolds used in clinical applications for the regeneration and repair of native tissues, with a focus on bone, skeletal muscle, peripheral nerve, cardiac muscle, and cornea substitutes.

  5. Layer-by-layer micromolding of natural biopolymer scaffolds with intrinsic microfluidic networks.

    PubMed

    He, Jiankang; Wang, Ye; Liu, Yaxiong; Li, Dichen; Jin, Zhongmin

    2013-06-01

    A three-dimensional (3D) microfluidic network plays an important role in engineering thick organs. However, most of the existing methods are limited to mechanically robust synthetic biomaterials and only planar or simple microfluidic networks have been incorporated into soft natural biopolymers. Here we presented an automatic layer-by-layer micromolding strategy to reproducibly fabricate 3D microfluidic porous scaffolds directly from the aqueous solution of soft natural biopolymers. Process parameters such as the liquid volume for each layer and contact displacement were investigated to produce a structurally stable 3D microfluidic scaffold. Microscopic characterization demonstrated that the microfluidic channels were interconnected in 3D and successfully functioned as a convective pathway to transport a polymer solution. Endothelial cells grew relatively well in the porous microfluidic channels. It is envisioned that this method could provide an alternative way to reproducibly build complex 3D microfluidic networks into extracellular matrix-like scaffolds for the fabrication of soft vascularized organs. PMID:23443621

  6. Helium isotopic abundance variation in nature

    SciTech Connect

    Holden, N.E.

    1993-08-01

    The isotopic abundance of helium in nature has been reviewed. This atomic weight value is based on the value of helium in the atmosphere, which is invariant around the world and up to a distance of 100,000 feet. Helium does vary in natural gas, volcanic rocks and gases, ocean floor sediments, waters of various types and in radioactive minerals and ores due to {alpha} particle decay of radioactive nuclides.

  7. Microtubule-based nanomaterials: Exploiting nature's dynamic biopolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Bachand, George D.; Stevens, Mark J.; Spoerke, Erik David

    2015-04-09

    For more than a decade now, biomolecular systems have served as an inspiration for the development of synthetic nanomaterials and systems that are capable of reproducing many of unique and emergent behaviors of living systems. In addition, one intriguing element of such systems may be found in a specialized class of proteins known as biomolecular motors that are capable of performing useful work across multiple length scales through the efficient conversion of chemical energy. Microtubule (MT) filaments may be considered within this context as their dynamic assembly and disassembly dissipate energy, and perform work within the cell. MTs are one of three cytoskeletal filaments in eukaryotic cells, and play critical roles in a range of cellular processes including mitosis and vesicular trafficking. Based on their function, physical attributes, and unique dynamics, MTs also serve as a powerful archetype of a supramolecular filament that underlies and drives multiscale emergent behaviors. In this review, we briefly summarize recent efforts to generate hybrid and composite nanomaterials using MTs as biomolecular scaffolds, as well as computational and synthetic approaches to develop synthetic one-dimensional nanostructures that display the enviable attributes of the natural filaments.

  8. Microtubule-based nanomaterials: Exploiting nature's dynamic biopolymers

    DOE PAGES

    Bachand, George D.; Stevens, Mark J.; Spoerke, Erik David

    2015-04-09

    For more than a decade now, biomolecular systems have served as an inspiration for the development of synthetic nanomaterials and systems that are capable of reproducing many of unique and emergent behaviors of living systems. In addition, one intriguing element of such systems may be found in a specialized class of proteins known as biomolecular motors that are capable of performing useful work across multiple length scales through the efficient conversion of chemical energy. Microtubule (MT) filaments may be considered within this context as their dynamic assembly and disassembly dissipate energy, and perform work within the cell. MTs are onemore » of three cytoskeletal filaments in eukaryotic cells, and play critical roles in a range of cellular processes including mitosis and vesicular trafficking. Based on their function, physical attributes, and unique dynamics, MTs also serve as a powerful archetype of a supramolecular filament that underlies and drives multiscale emergent behaviors. In this review, we briefly summarize recent efforts to generate hybrid and composite nanomaterials using MTs as biomolecular scaffolds, as well as computational and synthetic approaches to develop synthetic one-dimensional nanostructures that display the enviable attributes of the natural filaments.« less

  9. Microtubule-based nanomaterials: Exploiting nature's dynamic biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Bachand, George D; Spoerke, Erik D; Stevens, Mark J

    2015-06-01

    For more than a decade now, biomolecular systems have served as an inspiration for the development of synthetic nanomaterials and systems that are capable of reproducing many of unique and emergent behaviors of living systems. One intriguing element of such systems may be found in a specialized class of proteins known as biomolecular motors that are capable of performing useful work across multiple length scales through the efficient conversion of chemical energy. Microtubule (MT) filaments may be considered within this context as their dynamic assembly and disassembly dissipate energy, and perform work within the cell. MTs are one of three cytoskeletal filaments in eukaryotic cells, and play critical roles in a range of cellular processes including mitosis and vesicular trafficking. Based on their function, physical attributes, and unique dynamics, MTs also serve as a powerful archetype of a supramolecular filament that underlies and drives multiscale emergent behaviors. In this review, we briefly summarize recent efforts to generate hybrid and composite nanomaterials using MTs as biomolecular scaffolds, as well as computational and synthetic approaches to develop synthetic one-dimensional nanostructures that display the enviable attributes of the natural filaments.

  10. Microtubule-based nanomaterials: Exploiting nature's dynamic biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Bachand, George D; Spoerke, Erik D; Stevens, Mark J

    2015-06-01

    For more than a decade now, biomolecular systems have served as an inspiration for the development of synthetic nanomaterials and systems that are capable of reproducing many of unique and emergent behaviors of living systems. One intriguing element of such systems may be found in a specialized class of proteins known as biomolecular motors that are capable of performing useful work across multiple length scales through the efficient conversion of chemical energy. Microtubule (MT) filaments may be considered within this context as their dynamic assembly and disassembly dissipate energy, and perform work within the cell. MTs are one of three cytoskeletal filaments in eukaryotic cells, and play critical roles in a range of cellular processes including mitosis and vesicular trafficking. Based on their function, physical attributes, and unique dynamics, MTs also serve as a powerful archetype of a supramolecular filament that underlies and drives multiscale emergent behaviors. In this review, we briefly summarize recent efforts to generate hybrid and composite nanomaterials using MTs as biomolecular scaffolds, as well as computational and synthetic approaches to develop synthetic one-dimensional nanostructures that display the enviable attributes of the natural filaments. PMID:25728349

  11. Soft Tissue Regeneration under the Effect of Wound Coating Based on Chitosan (Natural Biopolymer).

    PubMed

    Gladkova, E V; Babushkina, I V; Norkin, I A; Mamonova, I A; Puchin'yan, D M; Konyuchenko, E A

    2016-03-01

    We developed wound coating based on natural biopolymer chitosan with additional components (ceruloplasmin, L-asparaginic acid, and glycerol). Experiments on albino male rats demonstrated its regeneratory, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects on wounds involving all layers of the skin. Due to chemical composition and buffer component, the biodegraded wound coating optimizes all phases of the wound process, accelerates by 22-28% the reparative regeneration, and leads to anatomic and functional restoration of injured sites. High absorption capacity recommends its use in the treatment of wounds with profuse exudation.

  12. Will Abundant Natural Gas Solve Climate Change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McJeon, H. C.; Edmonds, J.; Bauer, N.; Leon, C.; Fisher, B.; Flannery, B.; Hilaire, J.; Krey, V.; Marangoni, G.; Mi, R.; Riahi, K.; Rogner, H.; Tavoni, M.

    2015-12-01

    The rapid deployment of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies enabled the production of previously uneconomic shale gas resources in North America. Global deployment of these advanced gas production technologies could bring large influx of economically competitive unconventional gas resources to the energy system. It has been hoped that abundant natural gas substituting for coal could reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which in turn could reduce climate forcing. Other researchers countered that the non-CO2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with shale gas production make its lifecycle emissions higher than those of coal. In this study, we employ five state-of-the-art integrated assessment models (IAMs) of energy-economy-climate systems to assess the full impact of abundant gas on climate change. The models show large additional natural gas consumption up to +170% by 2050. The impact on CO2 emissions, however, is found to be much smaller (from -2% to +11%), and a majority of the models reported a small increase in climate forcing (from -0.3% to +7%) associated with the increased use of abundant gas. Our results show that while globally abundant gas may substantially change the future energy market equilibrium, it will not significantly mitigate climate change on its own in the absence of climate policies.

  13. Facile fabrication processes for hydrogel-based microfluidic devices made of natural biopolymers

    PubMed Central

    Yajima, Yuya; Yamada, Masumi; Yamada, Emi; Iwase, Masaki; Seki, Minoru

    2014-01-01

    We present facile strategies for the fabrication of two types of microfluidic devices made of hydrogels using the natural biopolymers, alginate, and gelatin as substrates. The processes presented include the molding-based preparation of hydrogel plates and their chemical bonding. To prepare calcium-alginate hydrogel microdevices, we suppressed the volume shrinkage of the alginate solution during gelation using propylene glycol alginate in the precursor solution along with sodium alginate. In addition, a chemical bonding method was developed using a polyelectrolyte membrane of poly-L-lysine as the electrostatic glue. To prepare gelatin-based microdevices, we used microbial transglutaminase to bond hydrogel plates chemically and to cross-link and stabilize the hydrogel matrix. As an application, mammalian cells (fibroblasts and vascular endothelial cells) were cultivated on the microchannel surface to form three-dimensional capillary-embedding tissue models for biological research and tissue engineering. PMID:24803964

  14. Natural additives and agricultural wastes in biopolymer formulations for food packaging.

    PubMed

    Valdés, Arantzazu; Mellinas, Ana Cristina; Ramos, Marina; Garrigós, María Carmen; Jiménez, Alfonso

    2014-01-01

    The main directions in food packaging research are targeted toward improvements in food quality and food safety. For this purpose, food packaging providing longer product shelf-life, as well as the monitoring of safety and quality based upon international standards, is desirable. New active packaging strategies represent a key area of development in new multifunctional materials where the use of natural additives and/or agricultural wastes is getting increasing interest. The development of new materials, and particularly innovative biopolymer formulations, can help to address these requirements and also with other packaging functions such as: food protection and preservation, marketing and smart communication to consumers. The use of biocomposites for active food packaging is one of the most studied approaches in the last years on materials in contact with food. Applications of these innovative biocomposites could help to provide new food packaging materials with improved mechanical, barrier, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. From the food industry standpoint, concerns such as the safety and risk associated with these new additives, migration properties and possible human ingestion and regulations need to be considered. The latest innovations in the use of these innovative formulations to obtain biocomposites are reported in this review. Legislative issues related to the use of natural additives and agricultural wastes in food packaging systems are also discussed.

  15. Natural additives and agricultural wastes in biopolymer formulations for food packaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valdés, Arantzazu; Mellinas, Ana Cristina; Ramos, Marina; Garrigós, María Carmen; Jiménez, Alfonso

    2014-02-01

    The main directions in food packaging research are targeted towards improvements in food quality and food safety. For this purpose, food packaging providing longer product shelf-life, as well as the monitoring of safety and quality based upon international standards, is desirable. New active packaging strategies represent a key area of development in new multifunctional materials where the use of natural additives and/or agricultural wastes is getting increasing interest. The development of new materials, and particularly innovative biopolymer formulations, can help to address these requirements and also with other packaging functions such as: food protection and preservation, marketing and smart communication to consumers. The use of biocomposites for active food packaging is one of the most studied approaches in the last years on materials in contact with food. Applications of these innovative biocomposites could help to provide new food packaging materials with improved mechanical, barrier, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. From the food industry standpoint, concerns such as the safety and risk associated with these new additives, migration properties and possible human ingestion and regulations need to be considered. The latest innovations in the use of these innovative formulations to obtain biocomposites are reported in this review. Legislative issues related to the use of natural additives and agricultural wastes in food packaging systems are also discussed.

  16. Remarkable shape memory effect of a natural biopolymer in aqueous environment.

    PubMed

    Liu, Z Q; Jiao, D; Zhang, Z F

    2015-10-01

    Remarkable water-stimulated shape memory effect was revealed in a natural biopolymer of peacock's tail covert feathers of which the innate shape can almost be fully recovered after severe deformation by a short hydration step. The shape memory effect manifests a good stability of high recovery rate and ratio during cycles of deformation and subsequent recovery. Both strength and energy absorption efficiency of medullary foam can be recovered despite the apparent decrease in the first deformation stroke caused by structural damage. A kinetic model developed from non-equilibrium thermodynamic fluctuation theory was adopted to describe the shape recovery process by considering the viscoelastic relaxation. The effects of hydration on mechanical properties, recovery kinetics, activation process and dynamic mechanical behaviors were also evaluated. Mechanisms were explored based on the lubrication, swelling effect and structural changes of macromolecular chains or segments in terms of their mobility. This study is expected to aid in understanding the responses of natural biological materials to environmental stimuli and to provide useful information for synthetic shape memory materials from the bio-inspiration perspective.

  17. Natural additives and agricultural wastes in biopolymer formulations for food packaging

    PubMed Central

    Valdés, Arantzazu; Mellinas, Ana Cristina; Ramos, Marina; Garrigós, María Carmen; Jiménez, Alfonso

    2014-01-01

    The main directions in food packaging research are targeted toward improvements in food quality and food safety. For this purpose, food packaging providing longer product shelf-life, as well as the monitoring of safety and quality based upon international standards, is desirable. New active packaging strategies represent a key area of development in new multifunctional materials where the use of natural additives and/or agricultural wastes is getting increasing interest. The development of new materials, and particularly innovative biopolymer formulations, can help to address these requirements and also with other packaging functions such as: food protection and preservation, marketing and smart communication to consumers. The use of biocomposites for active food packaging is one of the most studied approaches in the last years on materials in contact with food. Applications of these innovative biocomposites could help to provide new food packaging materials with improved mechanical, barrier, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. From the food industry standpoint, concerns such as the safety and risk associated with these new additives, migration properties and possible human ingestion and regulations need to be considered. The latest innovations in the use of these innovative formulations to obtain biocomposites are reported in this review. Legislative issues related to the use of natural additives and agricultural wastes in food packaging systems are also discussed. PMID:24790975

  18. Physical-biopolymer characterization of polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV) blended with natural rubber latex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuntanoo, K.; Promkotra, S.; Kaewkannetra, P.

    2015-03-01

    A biopolymer of polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV) is blended with bio-based materials, natural rubber latex, to improve their microstructures. The various ratios between PHBV and natural rubber latex are examined to develop their mechanical properties. In general, physical properties of PHBV are hard, brittle and low flexible while natural rubber (NR) is presented itself as high elastic materials. Concentrations of the PHBV solution are constituted at 1%, 2% and 3% (w/v). The mixtures of their PHBV solutions to natural rubber latex are produced the blended films in three different ratios of 4:6, 5:5 and 6:4, respectively. They are characterized by appearance analyses which are the scanning electron microscope (SEM), universal testing machine (UTM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The SEM photomicrographs of the blended films and the controlled PHBV can provide the void distribution in the range of 12-14% and 19-21%, respectively. For mechanical properties of the blended films, the various elastic moduli of 1%, 2% and 3% (w/v) PHBV are the average of 773, 956 and 1,007 kPa, respectively. The tensile strengths of the blends increase with the increased concentrations of PHBV, similarly trend to the elastic modulus. The crystallization and melting behavior of unmixed PHBV and the blends are determined by DSC. Melting transition temperatures (Tm) of the unmixed PHBV are stated two melting peak at 154°C and 173°C. Besides, the melting peaks of the blends alter in the range of 152-156°C and 168-171°C, respectively. According to morphology of the blends, the void distribution decreases twice compared to the unmixed PHBV. The results of mechanical properties and thermal analysis indicate that the blended PHBV can be developed their properties by more resilient and wide range of temperature than usual.

  19. Physical-biopolymer characterization of polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV) blended with natural rubber latex

    SciTech Connect

    Kuntanoo, K.; Promkotra, S.; Kaewkannetra, P.

    2015-03-30

    A biopolymer of polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV) is blended with bio-based materials, natural rubber latex, to improve their microstructures. The various ratios between PHBV and natural rubber latex are examined to develop their mechanical properties. In general, physical properties of PHBV are hard, brittle and low flexible while natural rubber (NR) is presented itself as high elastic materials. Concentrations of the PHBV solution are constituted at 1%, 2% and 3% (w/v). The mixtures of their PHBV solutions to natural rubber latex are produced the blended films in three different ratios of 4:6, 5:5 and 6:4, respectively. They are characterized by appearance analyses which are the scanning electron microscope (SEM), universal testing machine (UTM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The SEM photomicrographs of the blended films and the controlled PHBV can provide the void distribution in the range of 12-14% and 19-21%, respectively. For mechanical properties of the blended films, the various elastic moduli of 1%, 2% and 3% (w/v) PHBV are the average of 773, 956 and 1,007 kPa, respectively. The tensile strengths of the blends increase with the increased concentrations of PHBV, similarly trend to the elastic modulus. The crystallization and melting behavior of unmixed PHBV and the blends are determined by DSC. Melting transition temperatures (T{sub m}) of the unmixed PHBV are stated two melting peak at 154°C and 173°C. Besides, the melting peaks of the blends alter in the range of 152-156°C and 168-171°C, respectively. According to morphology of the blends, the void distribution decreases twice compared to the unmixed PHBV. The results of mechanical properties and thermal analysis indicate that the blended PHBV can be developed their properties by more resilient and wide range of temperature than usual.

  20. Facile synthesis of palladium nanocatalyst using gum kondagogu (Cochlospermum gossypium): a natural biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Rastogi, Lori; Beedu, Sashidhar Rao; Kora, Aruna Jyothi

    2015-12-01

    Palladium nanoparticles (Pd NPs) were synthesised by using gum kondagogu (GK), a non-toxic ecofriendly biopolymer. GK acted as both reducing and stabilising agent for the synthesis of Pd NPs. Various reaction parameters, such as concentration of gum, Pd chloride and reaction pH were standardised for the stable synthesis of GK reduced stabilised Pd NPs (GK-Pd NPs). The nanoparticles have been characterised using ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Physical characterisation revealed that the gum synthesised Pd NPs were in the size range of 6.5 ± 2.3 nm and crystallised in face centred cubic (FCC) symmetry. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy implicated the role of carboxyl, amine and hydroxyl groups in the synthesis. The synthesised Pd NPs were found to be highly stable in nature. The synthesised nanoparticles were found to function as an effective green catalyst (k = 0.182 min⁻¹) in the reduction of 4-nitrophenol by sodium borohydride, which was evident from the colour change of bright yellow (nitrophenolate; λ(max) - 400 nm) to colourless (4-AP; λ(max) - 294 nm) solution. The overall objectives of the current communication were: (i) to synthesize the Pd NPs using a green reducing/capping agent; GK and (ii) to determine the catalytic performance of the synthesised Pd NPs. PMID:26647812

  1. Remediation studies of trace metals in natural and treated water using surface modified biopolymer nanofibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musyoka, Stephen Makali; Ngila, Jane Catherine; Mamba, Bhekie B.

    In this study, remediation results of trace metals in natural water and treated water using three functionalized nanofiber mats of cellulose and chitosan are reported. The nanofiber materials, packed in mini-columns, were employed for the remediation of five toxic trace metals (Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr and Ni) from natural water samples. Trace metals in real water samples were undetectable as the concentrations were lower than the instrument’s detection limits of 0.27 × 10-3 (Cd) and 4.2 × 10-2 (Pb) μg mL-1, respectively. However, after percolation through the functionalised biosorbents in cartridges, detectability of the metal ions was enhanced. The starting volume of the natural water sample was 100 mL, which was passed through a column containing the nanofibers sorbent and the retained metals eluted with 5 mL of 2.0 M nitric acid. The eluate was analyzed for metals concentrations. An enrichment factor of 20 for the metals was realized as a result of the pre-concentration procedure applied to handle the determination of the metals at trace levels. The order of remediation of the studied metals using the nanofibers was as follows: chitosan/PAM-g-furan-2,5-dione < cellulose-g-furan-2,5-dione < cellulose-g-oxolane-2,5-dione. The modified biopolymer nanofibers were able to adsorb trace metals from the river water and treated water, thereby confirming their capability of water purification. These materials are proposed as useful tools and innovative approach for improving the quality of drinking for those consumers in small scale households.

  2. Formation and stabilization of nanoemulsion-based vitamin E delivery systems using natural biopolymers: Whey protein isolate and gum arabic.

    PubMed

    Ozturk, Bengu; Argin, Sanem; Ozilgen, Mustafa; McClements, David Julian

    2015-12-01

    Natural biopolymers, whey protein isolate (WPI) and gum arabic (GA), were used to fabricate emulsion-based delivery systems for vitamin E-acetate. Stable delivery systems could be formed when vitamin E-acetate was mixed with sufficient orange oil prior to high pressure homogenization. WPI (d32=0.11 μm, 1% emulsifier) was better than GA (d32=0.38 μm, 10% emulsifier) at producing small droplets at low emulsifier concentrations. However, WPI-stabilized nanoemulsions were unstable to flocculation near the protein isoelectric point (pH 5.0), at high ionic strength (>100mM), and at elevated temperatures (>60 °C), whereas GA-stabilized emulsions were stable. This difference was attributed to differences in emulsifier stabilization mechanisms: WPI by electrostatic repulsion; GA by steric repulsion. These results provide useful information about the emulsifying and stabilizing capacities of natural biopolymers for forming food-grade vitamin-enriched delivery systems. PMID:26041190

  3. Formation and stabilization of nanoemulsion-based vitamin E delivery systems using natural biopolymers: Whey protein isolate and gum arabic.

    PubMed

    Ozturk, Bengu; Argin, Sanem; Ozilgen, Mustafa; McClements, David Julian

    2015-12-01

    Natural biopolymers, whey protein isolate (WPI) and gum arabic (GA), were used to fabricate emulsion-based delivery systems for vitamin E-acetate. Stable delivery systems could be formed when vitamin E-acetate was mixed with sufficient orange oil prior to high pressure homogenization. WPI (d32=0.11 μm, 1% emulsifier) was better than GA (d32=0.38 μm, 10% emulsifier) at producing small droplets at low emulsifier concentrations. However, WPI-stabilized nanoemulsions were unstable to flocculation near the protein isoelectric point (pH 5.0), at high ionic strength (>100mM), and at elevated temperatures (>60 °C), whereas GA-stabilized emulsions were stable. This difference was attributed to differences in emulsifier stabilization mechanisms: WPI by electrostatic repulsion; GA by steric repulsion. These results provide useful information about the emulsifying and stabilizing capacities of natural biopolymers for forming food-grade vitamin-enriched delivery systems.

  4. Cationic inulin: a plant based natural biopolymer for algal biomass harvesting.

    PubMed

    Rahul, Rahul; Kumar, Sunil; Jha, Usha; Sen, Gautam

    2015-01-01

    The synthesis of cationic inulin (CI) and its application in algal biomass harvesting have been investigated. (3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl) trimethylammonium chloride (CHPTAC) was used as the etherifying reagent to introduce quaternary amine groups onto the backbone of the biopolymer. The resulting cationized adduct was characterized by various physicochemical techniques such as intrinsic viscosity measurement, elemental analysis (C, H, N and O), FTIR spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies. The algal flocculation efficacy of the synthesized product was studied through standard jar test procedure. High removal efficiency of 88.61% within 15 min was achieved at the optimal flocculant dosage (60 mg/L), for fresh water green algae, viz., Botryococcus sp.

  5. Biopolymers as a flexible resource for nanochemistry.

    PubMed

    Schnepp, Zoe

    2013-01-21

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

  6. Biopolymers as a flexible resource for nanochemistry.

    PubMed

    Schnepp, Zoe

    2013-01-21

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

  7. Chlorine-36 abundance in natural and synthetic perchlorate

    SciTech Connect

    Heikoop, Jeffrey M; Dale, M; Sturchio, Neil C; Caffee, M; Belosa, A D; Heraty, Jr., L J; Bohike, J K; Hatzinger, P B; Jackson, W A; Gu, B

    2009-01-01

    Perchlorate (ClO{sub 4}{sup -}) is ubiquitous in the environment. It occurs naturally as a product of atmospheric photochemical reactions, and is synthesized for military, aerospace, and industrial applications. Nitrate-enriched soils of the Atacama Desert (Chile) contain high concentrations of natural ClO{sub 4}{sup -}; nitrate produced from these soils has been exported worldwide since the mid-1800's for use in agriculture. The widespread introduction of synthetic and agricultural ClO{sub 4}{sup -} into the environment has complicated attempts to understand the geochemical cycle of ClO{sub 4}{sup -}. Natural ClO{sub 4}{sup -} samples from the southwestern United States have relatively high {sup 36}Cl abundances ({sup 36}Cl/Cl = 3,100 x 10{sup -15} to 28,800 x 10{sup -15}), compared with samples of synthetic ({sup 36}Cl/Cl = 0.0 x 10{sup -15} to 40 x 10{sup -15}) and Atacama Desert ({sup 36}Cl/Cl = 0.9 x 10{sup -15} to 590 x 10{sup -15}) ClO{sub 4}{sup -}. These data give a lower limit for the initial {sup 36}Cl abundance of natural ClO{sub 4}{sup -} and provide temporal and other constraints on its geochemical cycle.

  8. Natural emulsifiers - Biosurfactants, phospholipids, biopolymers, and colloidal particles: Molecular and physicochemical basis of functional performance.

    PubMed

    McClements, David Julian; Gumus, Cansu Ekin

    2016-08-01

    There is increasing consumer pressure for commercial products that are more natural, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, including foods, cosmetics, detergents, and personal care products. Industry has responded by trying to identify natural alternatives to synthetic functional ingredients within these products. The focus of this review article is on the replacement of synthetic surfactants with natural emulsifiers, such as amphiphilic proteins, polysaccharides, biosurfactants, phospholipids, and bioparticles. In particular, the physicochemical basis of emulsion formation and stabilization by natural emulsifiers is discussed, and the benefits and limitations of different natural emulsifiers are compared. Surface-active polysaccharides typically have to be used at relatively high levels to produce small droplets, but the droplets formed are highly resistant to environmental changes. Conversely, surface-active proteins are typically utilized at low levels, but the droplets formed are highly sensitive to changes in pH, ionic strength, and temperature. Certain phospholipids are capable of producing small oil droplets during homogenization, but again the droplets formed are highly sensitive to changes in environmental conditions. Biosurfactants (saponins) can be utilized at low levels to form fine oil droplets that remain stable over a range of environmental conditions. Some nature-derived nanoparticles (e.g., cellulose, chitosan, and starch) are effective at stabilizing emulsions containing relatively large oil droplets. Future research is encouraged to identify, isolate, purify, and characterize new types of natural emulsifier, and to test their efficacy in food, cosmetic, detergent, personal care, and other products.

  9. Natural emulsifiers - Biosurfactants, phospholipids, biopolymers, and colloidal particles: Molecular and physicochemical basis of functional performance.

    PubMed

    McClements, David Julian; Gumus, Cansu Ekin

    2016-08-01

    There is increasing consumer pressure for commercial products that are more natural, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, including foods, cosmetics, detergents, and personal care products. Industry has responded by trying to identify natural alternatives to synthetic functional ingredients within these products. The focus of this review article is on the replacement of synthetic surfactants with natural emulsifiers, such as amphiphilic proteins, polysaccharides, biosurfactants, phospholipids, and bioparticles. In particular, the physicochemical basis of emulsion formation and stabilization by natural emulsifiers is discussed, and the benefits and limitations of different natural emulsifiers are compared. Surface-active polysaccharides typically have to be used at relatively high levels to produce small droplets, but the droplets formed are highly resistant to environmental changes. Conversely, surface-active proteins are typically utilized at low levels, but the droplets formed are highly sensitive to changes in pH, ionic strength, and temperature. Certain phospholipids are capable of producing small oil droplets during homogenization, but again the droplets formed are highly sensitive to changes in environmental conditions. Biosurfactants (saponins) can be utilized at low levels to form fine oil droplets that remain stable over a range of environmental conditions. Some nature-derived nanoparticles (e.g., cellulose, chitosan, and starch) are effective at stabilizing emulsions containing relatively large oil droplets. Future research is encouraged to identify, isolate, purify, and characterize new types of natural emulsifier, and to test their efficacy in food, cosmetic, detergent, personal care, and other products. PMID:27181392

  10. Paper Thermoelectrics: Merging Nanotechnology with Naturally Abundant Fibrous Material.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chengjun; Goharpey, Amir Hossein; Rai, Ayush; Zhang, Teng; Ko, Dong-Kyun

    2016-08-31

    The development of paper-based sensors, antennas, and energy-harvesting devices can transform the way electronic devices are manufactured and used. Herein we describe an approach to fabricate paper thermoelectric generators for the first time by directly impregnating naturally abundant cellulose materials with p- or n-type colloidal semiconductor quantum dots. We investigate Seebeck coefficients and electrical conductivities as a function of temperature between 300 and 400 K as well as in-plane thermal conductivities using Angstrom's method. We further demonstrate equipment-free fabrication of flexible thermoelectric modules using p- and n-type paper strips. Leveraged by paper's inherently low thermal conductivity and high flexibility, these paper modules have the potential to efficiently utilize heat available in natural and man-made environments by maximizing the thermal contact to heat sources of arbitrary geometry. PMID:27505304

  11. Paper Thermoelectrics: Merging Nanotechnology with Naturally Abundant Fibrous Material.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chengjun; Goharpey, Amir Hossein; Rai, Ayush; Zhang, Teng; Ko, Dong-Kyun

    2016-08-31

    The development of paper-based sensors, antennas, and energy-harvesting devices can transform the way electronic devices are manufactured and used. Herein we describe an approach to fabricate paper thermoelectric generators for the first time by directly impregnating naturally abundant cellulose materials with p- or n-type colloidal semiconductor quantum dots. We investigate Seebeck coefficients and electrical conductivities as a function of temperature between 300 and 400 K as well as in-plane thermal conductivities using Angstrom's method. We further demonstrate equipment-free fabrication of flexible thermoelectric modules using p- and n-type paper strips. Leveraged by paper's inherently low thermal conductivity and high flexibility, these paper modules have the potential to efficiently utilize heat available in natural and man-made environments by maximizing the thermal contact to heat sources of arbitrary geometry.

  12. Biopolymer nano-particles and natural nano-carriers for nano-encapsulation of phenolic compounds.

    PubMed

    Faridi Esfanjani, Afshin; Jafari, Seid Mahdi

    2016-10-01

    Phenolic compounds are major micronutrients in our diet,(1) and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer, inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases is emerging. The easily destruction against environment stresses and low bioavailability of phenolics are main limitations of their application. Therefore, nano-encapsulated phenolics as a fine delivery system can solve their restrictions. Polymeric nanoparticles and natural nano-carriers are one of the most effective and industrial techniques which can be used for protection and delivery of phenolics. In this review, preparation, application and characterization of polymeric based nano-capsules and natural nano-carriers for phenolics have been considered and discussed including polymeric nanoparticles, polymeric complex nanoparticles, cyclodextrins, nano-caseins, nanocrystals, electrospun nano-fibers, electro-sprayed nano-particles, and nano-spray dried particles. Our main goal was to cover the relevant recent studies in the past few years. Although a number of different types of polymeric and natural based nano-scale delivery systems have been developed, there are relatively poor quantitative understanding of their in vivo absorption, permeation and release. Also, performing toxicity experiments, residual solvent analysis and studying their biological fate during digestion, absorption, and excretion of polymeric nanoparticle and natural nano-carriers containing phenolics should be considered in future researches. In addition, future investigations could focus on application of phenolic nano-scale delivery systems in pharmaceuticals and functional foods. PMID:27419648

  13. Biopolymer nano-particles and natural nano-carriers for nano-encapsulation of phenolic compounds.

    PubMed

    Faridi Esfanjani, Afshin; Jafari, Seid Mahdi

    2016-10-01

    Phenolic compounds are major micronutrients in our diet,(1) and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer, inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases is emerging. The easily destruction against environment stresses and low bioavailability of phenolics are main limitations of their application. Therefore, nano-encapsulated phenolics as a fine delivery system can solve their restrictions. Polymeric nanoparticles and natural nano-carriers are one of the most effective and industrial techniques which can be used for protection and delivery of phenolics. In this review, preparation, application and characterization of polymeric based nano-capsules and natural nano-carriers for phenolics have been considered and discussed including polymeric nanoparticles, polymeric complex nanoparticles, cyclodextrins, nano-caseins, nanocrystals, electrospun nano-fibers, electro-sprayed nano-particles, and nano-spray dried particles. Our main goal was to cover the relevant recent studies in the past few years. Although a number of different types of polymeric and natural based nano-scale delivery systems have been developed, there are relatively poor quantitative understanding of their in vivo absorption, permeation and release. Also, performing toxicity experiments, residual solvent analysis and studying their biological fate during digestion, absorption, and excretion of polymeric nanoparticle and natural nano-carriers containing phenolics should be considered in future researches. In addition, future investigations could focus on application of phenolic nano-scale delivery systems in pharmaceuticals and functional foods.

  14. Carbon Microfibers with Hierarchical Porous Structure from Electrospun Fiber-Like Natural Biopolymer

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Yeru; Wu, Dingcai; Fu, Ruowen

    2013-01-01

    Electrospinning offers a powerful route for building one-dimensional (1D) micro/nanostructures, but a common requirement for toxic or corrosive organic solvents during the preparation of precursor solution has limited their large scale synthesis and broad applications. Here we report a facile and low-cost way to prepare 1D porous carbon microfibers by using an electrospun fiber-like natural product, i.e., silk cocoon, as precursor. We surprisingly found that by utilizing a simple carbonization treatment, the cocoon microfiber can be directly transformed into 1D carbon microfiber of ca. 6 μm diameter with a unique three-dimensional porous network structure composed of interconnected carbon nanoparticles of 10~40 nm diameter. We further showed that the as-prepared carbon product presents superior electrochemical performance as binder-free electrodes of supercapacitors and good adsorption property toward organic vapor. PMID:23350027

  15. Carbon microfibers with hierarchical porous structure from electrospun fiber-like natural biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Liang, Yeru; Wu, Dingcai; Fu, Ruowen

    2013-01-01

    Electrospinning offers a powerful route for building one-dimensional (1D) micro/nanostructures, but a common requirement for toxic or corrosive organic solvents during the preparation of precursor solution has limited their large scale synthesis and broad applications. Here we report a facile and low-cost way to prepare 1D porous carbon microfibers by using an electrospun fiber-like natural product, i.e., silk cocoon, as precursor. We surprisingly found that by utilizing a simple carbonization treatment, the cocoon microfiber can be directly transformed into 1D carbon microfiber of ca. 6 μm diameter with a unique three-dimensional porous network structure composed of interconnected carbon nanoparticles of 10~40 nm diameter. We further showed that the as-prepared carbon product presents superior electrochemical performance as binder-free electrodes of supercapacitors and good adsorption property toward organic vapor. PMID:23350027

  16. Use of Natural Antimicrobial Peptides and Bacterial Biopolymers for Cultured Pearl Production.

    PubMed

    Simon-Colin, Christelle; Gueguen, Yannick; Bachere, Evelyne; Kouzayha, Achraf; Saulnier, Denis; Gayet, Nicolas; Guezennec, Jean

    2015-06-01

    Cultured pearls are the product of grafting and rearing of Pinctada margaritifera pearl oysters in their natural environment. Nucleus rejections and oyster mortality appear to result from bacterial infections or from an inappropriate grafting practice. To reduce the impact of bacterial infections, synthetic antibiotics have been applied during the grafting practice. However, the use of such antibiotics presents a number of problems associated with their incomplete biodegradability, limited efficacy in some cases, and an increased risk of selecting for antimicrobial resistant bacteria. We investigated the application of a marine antimicrobial peptide, tachyplesin, which is present in the Japanese horseshoe crab Tachypleus tridentatus, in combination with two marine bacterial exopolymers as alternative treatment agents. In field studies, the combination treatment resulted in a significant reduction in graft failures vs. untreated controls. The combination of tachyplesin (73 mg/L) with two bacterial exopolysaccharides (0.5% w/w) acting as filming agents, reduces graft-associated bacterial contamination. The survival data were similar to that reported for antibiotic treatments. These data suggest that non-antibiotic treatments of pearl oysters may provide an effective means of improving oyster survival following grafting procedures. PMID:26110895

  17. Use of Natural Antimicrobial Peptides and Bacterial Biopolymers for Cultured Pearl Production

    PubMed Central

    Simon-Colin, Christelle; Gueguen, Yannick; Bachere, Evelyne; Kouzayha, Achraf; Saulnier, Denis; Gayet, Nicolas; Guezennec, Jean

    2015-01-01

    Cultured pearls are the product of grafting and rearing of Pinctada margaritifera pearl oysters in their natural environment. Nucleus rejections and oyster mortality appear to result from bacterial infections or from an inappropriate grafting practice. To reduce the impact of bacterial infections, synthetic antibiotics have been applied during the grafting practice. However, the use of such antibiotics presents a number of problems associated with their incomplete biodegradability, limited efficacy in some cases, and an increased risk of selecting for antimicrobial resistant bacteria. We investigated the application of a marine antimicrobial peptide, tachyplesin, which is present in the Japanese horseshoe crab Tachypleus tridentatus, in combination with two marine bacterial exopolymers as alternative treatment agents. In field studies, the combination treatment resulted in a significant reduction in graft failures vs. untreated controls. The combination of tachyplesin (73 mg/L) with two bacterial exopolysaccharides (0.5% w/w) acting as filming agents, reduces graft-associated bacterial contamination. The survival data were similar to that reported for antibiotic treatments. These data suggest that non-antibiotic treatments of pearl oysters may provide an effective means of improving oyster survival following grafting procedures. PMID:26110895

  18. Use of Natural Antimicrobial Peptides and Bacterial Biopolymers for Cultured Pearl Production.

    PubMed

    Simon-Colin, Christelle; Gueguen, Yannick; Bachere, Evelyne; Kouzayha, Achraf; Saulnier, Denis; Gayet, Nicolas; Guezennec, Jean

    2015-06-01

    Cultured pearls are the product of grafting and rearing of Pinctada margaritifera pearl oysters in their natural environment. Nucleus rejections and oyster mortality appear to result from bacterial infections or from an inappropriate grafting practice. To reduce the impact of bacterial infections, synthetic antibiotics have been applied during the grafting practice. However, the use of such antibiotics presents a number of problems associated with their incomplete biodegradability, limited efficacy in some cases, and an increased risk of selecting for antimicrobial resistant bacteria. We investigated the application of a marine antimicrobial peptide, tachyplesin, which is present in the Japanese horseshoe crab Tachypleus tridentatus, in combination with two marine bacterial exopolymers as alternative treatment agents. In field studies, the combination treatment resulted in a significant reduction in graft failures vs. untreated controls. The combination of tachyplesin (73 mg/L) with two bacterial exopolysaccharides (0.5% w/w) acting as filming agents, reduces graft-associated bacterial contamination. The survival data were similar to that reported for antibiotic treatments. These data suggest that non-antibiotic treatments of pearl oysters may provide an effective means of improving oyster survival following grafting procedures.

  19. Natural-abundance 17O NMR of monosaccharides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerothanassis, Ioannis P.; Lauterwein, Jürgen; Sheppard, Norman

    Natural-abundance "high-resolution" 17O NMR spectra of D-glucose, D-mannose, D-galactose, and some methoxy derivatives of D-glucose were recorded in aqueous solution. The sensitivity and spectral resolution was improved by optimizing the accumulation and manipulation of data. The water solvent peak was suppressed through use of 17O-depleted water or displaced by addition of paramagnetic shift reagents. With Dy 3+ the 17O NMR spectrum of D-glucose remained unaltered; however, the water peak was shifted outside the carbohydrate spectral region. The 17O NMR resonances were assigned from earlier data for some specifically 17O-enriched monosaccharide derivatives. The anomeric hydroxyl resonances could also be located because of their exchange with the 17O-depleted water. Although the chemical shifts of the monosacharides generally parallel the sequence of chemical shifts for simple primary and secondary alcohols and substituted ethers, several exceptions were found and discussed in terms of steric and electrostatic repulsive forces between oxygens.

  20. Antimicrobial assays of natural extracts and their inhibitory effect against Listeria innocua and fish spoilage bacteria, after incorporation into biopolymer edible films.

    PubMed

    Iturriaga, L; Olabarrieta, I; de Marañón, I Martínez

    2012-08-01

    The antimicrobial activity of twelve natural extracts was tested against two fish spoilage bacteria (Pseudomonas fluorescens and Aeromonas hydrophila/caviae) and Listeria innocua, in order to assess their potential utilization in the preservation and safety of minimally processed fish products. After a screening of the active extracts by agar diffusion and vapour diffusion methods, oregano and thyme essential oils and citrus extract were selected. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the selected extracts was determined by disc diffusion method against target bacteria and at two temperatures: bacteria's optimal growth temperature (30 °C or 37 °C) and refrigeration temperature (4 °C). Due to its better solubility, lack of odour and greater inhibitory effect obtained against L. innocua at refrigerated temperature, citrus extract was selected and incorporated at 1% (v/v) into different biopolymer film forming solutions (gelatin, methyl cellulose and their blend 50:50 w/w). The antimicrobial activity of the developed films was then evaluated, just after preparation of the films and after one month of storage at 43±3% relative humidity and 24±3 °C. Regardless of the biopolymer matrix, all the developed films showed antimicrobial activity against the target bacteria. The most sensitive bacterium towards active films was L. innocua while P. fluorescens appeared as the most resistant one, in accordance with the previously performed antimicrobial tests for pure extracts. The differences in activity of the films between the tested two temperatures were not significant except for L. innocua, for which three times higher inhibition diameters were observed at refrigerated temperature. The inhibitory effectiveness of the films against the tested strains was maintained regardless of the biopolymer matrix for at least one month. Therefore, these edible films show potential for their future use in fresh fish fillets preservation. PMID:22824340

  1. Preparation of Biopolymer Aerogels Using Green Solvents

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Although the first reports on aerogels made by Kistler1 in the 1930s dealt with aerogels from both inorganic oxides (silica and others) and biopolymers (gelatin, agar, cellulose), only recently have biomasses been recognized as an abundant source of chemically diverse macromolecules for functional aerogel materials. Biopolymer aerogels (pectin, alginate, chitosan, cellulose, etc.) exhibit both specific inheritable functions of starting biopolymers and distinctive features of aerogels (80-99% porosity and specific surface up to 800 m2/g). This synergy of properties makes biopolymer aerogels promising candidates for a wide gamut of applications such as thermal insulation, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, drug delivery systems, functional foods, catalysts, adsorbents and sensors. This work demonstrates the use of pressurized carbon dioxide (5 MPa) for the ionic cross linking of amidated pectin into hydrogels. Initially a biopolymer/salt dispersion is prepared in water. Under pressurized CO2 conditions, the pH of the biopolymer solution is lowered to 3 which releases the crosslinking cations from the salt to bind with the biopolymer yielding hydrogels. Solvent exchange to ethanol and further supercritical CO2 drying (10 - 12 MPa) yield aerogels. Obtained aerogels are ultra-porous with low density (as low as 0.02 g/cm3), high specific surface area (350 - 500 m2/g) and pore volume (3 - 7 cm3/g for pore sizes less than 150 nm). PMID:27403649

  2. Preparation of Biopolymer Aerogels Using Green Solvents.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Nanoparticles based on naturally-occurring biopolymers as versatile delivery platforms for delicate bioactive molecules: an application for ocular gene silencing.

    PubMed

    Parraga, Jenny E; Zorzi, Giovanni K; Diebold, Yolanda; Seijo, Begoña; Sanchez, Alejandro

    2014-12-30

    Nanoparticles based on naturally-occurring biopolymers, most of them endogenous macromolecules, were designed as a versatile generation of delivery platforms for delicate bioactive molecules. The design of these nanosystems was specifically based on our recent finding about the ability of endogenous polyamine spermine (SPM) to interact with anionic biopolymers (ABs) generating ionically cross-linked nanosystems. The initial first generation of these delivery platforms, based on glycosaminoglycans and other polysaccharides, showed a very high association capacity for some delicate bioactive proteins such as growth factors, but a limited capacity to associate negatively charged molecules, such as pDNA and siRNA. However, the versatility of these nanosystems in terms of composition allowed us to customise the association of active ingredients and their physicochemical characteristics. Concretely, we prepared and incorporated gelatine cationized with spermine (CGsp) to their composition. The resulting modified formulations were characterised by a nanometric size (150-340 nm) and offer the possibility to modulate their zeta potential (from -35 to 28 mV), providing an efficient association of nucleic acids. The biological evaluation of these optimised nanosystems revealed that they are able to be internalised in vivo into corneal and conjunctival tissues and also to provide a significant siRNA gene silencing effect.

  4. Biopolymer colloids for controlling and templating inorganic synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Preiss, Laura C; Landfester, Katharina

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Natural Abundance 14C Content of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) from Three Marine Algae

    PubMed Central

    Namikoshi, Michio; Fujiwara, Takeshi; Nishikawa, Teruaki; Ukai, Kazuyo

    2006-01-01

    Analysis of the natural abundance 14C content of dibutyl phthalate (DBP) from two edible brown algae, Undaria pinnatifida and Laminaria japonica, and a green alga, Ulva sp., revealed that the DBP was naturally produced. The natural abundance 14C content of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) obtained from the same algae was about 50–80% of the standard sample and the 14C content of the petrochemical (industrial) products of DBP and DEHP were below the detection limit.

  6. Natural variability in abundance of prevalent soybean proteins.

    PubMed

    Natarajan, Savithiry S

    2010-12-01

    Soybean is an inexpensive source of protein for humans and animals. Genetic modifications (GMO) to soybean have become inevitable on two fronts, both quality and yield will need to improve to meet increasing global demand. To ensure the safety of the crop for consumers it is important to determine the natural variation in seed protein constituents as well as any unintended changes that may occur in the GMO as a result of genetic modification. Understanding the natural variation of seed proteins in wild and cultivated soybeans that have been used in conventional soybean breeding programs is critical for determining unintended protein expression in GMO soybeans. In recent years, proteomic technologies have been used as an effective analytical tool for examining modifications of protein profiles. We have standardized and applied these technologies to determine and quantify the spectrum of proteins present in soybean seed. We used two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for the separation, quantification, and identification of different classes of soybean seed proteins. We have observed significant variations in different classes of proteins, including storage, allergen and anti-nutritional protein profiles, between non-GMO cultivated and wild soybean varieties. This information is useful for scientists and regulatory agencies to determine whether the unintended expression of proteins found in transgenic soybean is within the range of natural variation. PMID:20709130

  7. Natural variability in abundance of prevalent soybean proteins.

    PubMed

    Natarajan, Savithiry S

    2010-12-01

    Soybean is an inexpensive source of protein for humans and animals. Genetic modifications (GMO) to soybean have become inevitable on two fronts, both quality and yield will need to improve to meet increasing global demand. To ensure the safety of the crop for consumers it is important to determine the natural variation in seed protein constituents as well as any unintended changes that may occur in the GMO as a result of genetic modification. Understanding the natural variation of seed proteins in wild and cultivated soybeans that have been used in conventional soybean breeding programs is critical for determining unintended protein expression in GMO soybeans. In recent years, proteomic technologies have been used as an effective analytical tool for examining modifications of protein profiles. We have standardized and applied these technologies to determine and quantify the spectrum of proteins present in soybean seed. We used two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for the separation, quantification, and identification of different classes of soybean seed proteins. We have observed significant variations in different classes of proteins, including storage, allergen and anti-nutritional protein profiles, between non-GMO cultivated and wild soybean varieties. This information is useful for scientists and regulatory agencies to determine whether the unintended expression of proteins found in transgenic soybean is within the range of natural variation.

  8. Plantation vs. natural forest: Matrix quality determines pollinator abundance in crop fields

    PubMed Central

    Taki, Hisatomo; Yamaura, Yuichi; Okabe, Kimiko; Maeto, Kaoru

    2011-01-01

    In terrestrial ecosystems, ecological processes and patterns within focal patches frequently depend on their matrix. Crop fields (focal patches) are often surrounded by a mosaic of other land-use types (matrix), which may act as habitats for organisms and differ in terms of the immigration activities of organisms to the fields. We examined whether matrix quality affects wild pollinator abundance in crop fields, given that the species (Apis cerana) generally nest in the cavities of natural trees. We examined fields of a pollination-dependent crop surrounded by plantations and natural forests, which comprised the matrix. Our analysis revealed a clear positive effect of the natural forest on the pollinator abundance, but the plantation forest had little effects. These indicate that agricultural patches are influenced by their matrix quality and the resulting crop pollinator abundance, suggesting the importance of matrix management initiatives such as forest restoration surrounding agricultural fields to improve crop production. PMID:22355649

  9. Plantation vs. natural forest: matrix quality determines pollinator abundance in crop fields.

    PubMed

    Taki, Hisatomo; Yamaura, Yuichi; Okabe, Kimiko; Maeto, Kaoru

    2011-01-01

    In terrestrial ecosystems, ecological processes and patterns within focal patches frequently depend on their matrix. Crop fields (focal patches) are often surrounded by a mosaic of other land-use types (matrix), which may act as habitats for organisms and differ in terms of the immigration activities of organisms to the fields. We examined whether matrix quality affects wild pollinator abundance in crop fields, given that the species (Apis cerana) generally nest in the cavities of natural trees. We examined fields of a pollination-dependent crop surrounded by plantations and natural forests, which comprised the matrix. Our analysis revealed a clear positive effect of the natural forest on the pollinator abundance, but the plantation forest had little effects. These indicate that agricultural patches are influenced by their matrix quality and the resulting crop pollinator abundance, suggesting the importance of matrix management initiatives such as forest restoration surrounding agricultural fields to improve crop production.

  10. APPLICATION OF FLUORESCENCE SPECTROSCOPIC TECHNIQUES AND PROBES TO THE DETECTION OF BIOPOLYMER DEGRADATION IN NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS. (R825159)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The activities and substrate specificities of extracellular enzymes in natural systems are not well understood, despite their critical role in microbial remineralization of organic carbon. These enzymes initiate organic carbon degradation by selectively hydrolyzing high molecular...

  11. Hyperpolarized NMR of plant and cancer cell extracts at natural abundance.

    PubMed

    Dumez, Jean-Nicolas; Milani, Jonas; Vuichoud, Basile; Bornet, Aurélien; Lalande-Martin, Julie; Tea, Illa; Yon, Maxime; Maucourt, Mickaël; Deborde, Catherine; Moing, Annick; Frydman, Lucio; Bodenhausen, Geoffrey; Jannin, Sami; Giraudeau, Patrick

    2015-09-01

    Natural abundance (13)C NMR spectra of biological extracts are recorded in a single scan provided that the samples are hyperpolarized by dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization combined with cross polarization. Heteronuclear 2D correlation spectra of hyperpolarized breast cancer cell extracts can also be obtained in a single scan. Hyperpolarized NMR of extracts opens many perspectives for metabolomics. PMID:26215673

  12. The potential of silk and silk-like proteins as natural mucoadhesive biopolymers for controlled drug delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, Amanda

    2015-11-01

    Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1) deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2) promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3) prolong the drug’s local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery.

  13. The Potential of Silk and Silk-Like Proteins as Natural Mucoadhesive Biopolymers for Controlled Drug Delivery.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Amanda E

    2015-01-01

    Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1) deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2) promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3) prolong the drug's local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery. PMID:26636069

  14. The Potential of Silk and Silk-Like Proteins as Natural Mucoadhesive Biopolymers for Controlled Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, Amanda E.

    2015-01-01

    Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1) deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2) promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3) prolong the drug's local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery. PMID:26636069

  15. Natural abundance 17O DNP two-dimensional and surface-enhanced NMR spectroscopy

    DOE PAGES

    Perras, Frédéric A.; Kobayashi, Takeshi; Pruski, Marek

    2015-06-22

    Due to its extremely low natural abundance and quadrupolar nature, the 17O nuclide is very rarely used for spectroscopic investigation of solids by NMR without isotope enrichment. Additionally, the applicability of dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), which leads to sensitivity enhancements of 2 orders of magnitude, to 17O is wrought with challenges due to the lack of spin diffusion and low polarization transfer efficiency from 1H. Here, we demonstrate new DNP-based measurements that extend 17O solid-state NMR beyond its current capabilities. The use of the PRESTO technique instead of conventional 1H–17O cross-polarization greatly improves the sensitivity and enables the facile measurementmore » of undistorted line shapes and two-dimensional 1H–17O HETCOR NMR spectra as well as accurate internuclear distance measurements at natural abundance. This was applied for distinguishing hydrogen-bonded and lone 17O sites on the surface of silica gel; the one-dimensional spectrum of which could not be used to extract such detail. As a result, this greatly enhanced sensitivity has enabled, for the first time, the detection of surface hydroxyl sites on mesoporous silica at natural abundance, thereby extending the concept of DNP surface-enhanced NMR spectroscopy to the 17O nuclide.« less

  16. Natural Genetic Variation Influences Protein Abundances in C. elegans Developmental Signalling Pathways.

    PubMed

    Singh, Kapil Dev; Roschitzki, Bernd; Snoek, L Basten; Grossmann, Jonas; Zheng, Xue; Elvin, Mark; Kamkina, Polina; Schrimpf, Sabine P; Poulin, Gino B; Kammenga, Jan E; Hengartner, Michael O

    2016-01-01

    Complex traits, including common disease-related traits, are affected by many different genes that function in multiple pathways and networks. The apoptosis, MAPK, Notch, and Wnt signalling pathways play important roles in development and disease progression. At the moment we have a poor understanding of how allelic variation affects gene expression in these pathways at the level of translation. Here we report the effect of natural genetic variation on transcript and protein abundance involved in developmental signalling pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans. We used selected reaction monitoring to analyse proteins from the abovementioned four pathways in a set of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) generated from the wild-type strains N2 (Bristol) and CB4856 (Hawaii) to enable quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. About half of the cases from the 44 genes tested showed a statistically significant change in protein abundance between various strains, most of these were however very weak (below 1.3-fold change). We detected a distant QTL on the left arm of chromosome II that affected protein abundance of the phosphatidylserine receptor protein PSR-1, and two separate QTLs that influenced embryonic and ionizing radiation-induced apoptosis on chromosome IV. Our results demonstrate that natural variation in C. elegans is sufficient to cause significant changes in signalling pathways both at the gene expression (transcript and protein abundance) and phenotypic levels. PMID:26985669

  17. Species richness and relative abundance of birds in natural and anthropogenic fragments of Brazilian Atlantic forest.

    PubMed

    dos Anjos, Luiz

    2004-06-01

    Bird communities were studied in two types of fragmented habitat of Atlantic forest in the State of Paraná, southern Brazil; one consisted of forest fragments that were created as a result of human activities (forest remnants), the other consisted of a set of naturally occurring forest fragments (forest patches). Using quantitative data obtained by the point counts method in 3 forest patches and 3 forest remnants during one year, species richness and relative abundance were compared in those habitats, considering species groups according to their general feeding habits. Insectivores, omnivores, and frugivores presented similar general tendencies in both habitats (decrease of species number with decreasing size and increasing isolation of forest fragment). However, these tendencies were different, when considering the relative abundance data: the trunk insectivores presented the highest value in the smallest patch while the lowest relative abundance was in the smallest remnant. In the naturally fragmented landscape, time permitted that the loss of some species of trunk insectivores be compensated for the increase in abundance of other species. In contrast, the remnants essentially represented newly formed islands that are not yet at equilibrium and where future species losses would make them similar to the patches.

  18. Coupled biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz, J. M.; Zhang, Tao

    2015-03-01

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

  19. Increased natural mortality at low abundance can generate an Allee effect in a marine fish.

    PubMed

    Kuparinen, Anna; Hutchings, Jeffrey A

    2014-10-01

    Negative density-dependent regulation of population dynamics promotes population growth at low abundance and is therefore vital for recovery following depletion. Inversely, any process that reduces the compensatory density-dependence of population growth can negatively affect recovery. Here, we show that increased adult mortality at low abundance can reverse compensatory population dynamics into its opposite-a demographic Allee effect. Northwest Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) stocks collapsed dramatically in the early 1990s and have since shown little sign of recovery. Many experienced dramatic increases in natural mortality, ostensibly attributable in some populations to increased predation by seals. Our findings show that increased natural mortality of a magnitude observed for overfished cod stocks has been more than sufficient to fundamentally alter the dynamics of density-dependent population regulation. The demographic Allee effect generated by these changes can slow down or even impede the recovery of depleted populations even in the absence of fishing. PMID:26064531

  20. High-resolution NMR of hydrogen in organic solids by DNP enhanced natural abundance deuterium spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Rossini, Aaron J; Schlagnitweit, Judith; Lesage, Anne; Emsley, Lyndon

    2015-10-01

    We demonstrate that high field (9.4 T) dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) at cryogenic (∼100 K) sample temperatures enables the rapid acquisition of natural abundance (1)H-(2)H cross-polarization magic angle spinning (CPMAS) solid-state NMR spectra of organic solids. Spectra were obtained by impregnating substrates with a solution of the stable DNP polarizing agent TEKPol in tetrachloroethane. Tetrachloroethane is a non-solvent for the solids, and the unmodified substrates are then polarized through spin diffusion. High quality natural abundance (2)H CPMAS spectra of histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, glycylglycine and theophylline were acquired in less than 2h, providing direct access to hydrogen chemical shifts and quadrupolar couplings. The spectral resolution of the (2)H solid-state NMR spectra is comparable to that of (1)H spectra obtained with state of the art homonuclear decoupling techniques.

  1. Increased natural mortality at low abundance can generate an Allee effect in a marine fish.

    PubMed

    Kuparinen, Anna; Hutchings, Jeffrey A

    2014-10-01

    Negative density-dependent regulation of population dynamics promotes population growth at low abundance and is therefore vital for recovery following depletion. Inversely, any process that reduces the compensatory density-dependence of population growth can negatively affect recovery. Here, we show that increased adult mortality at low abundance can reverse compensatory population dynamics into its opposite-a demographic Allee effect. Northwest Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) stocks collapsed dramatically in the early 1990s and have since shown little sign of recovery. Many experienced dramatic increases in natural mortality, ostensibly attributable in some populations to increased predation by seals. Our findings show that increased natural mortality of a magnitude observed for overfished cod stocks has been more than sufficient to fundamentally alter the dynamics of density-dependent population regulation. The demographic Allee effect generated by these changes can slow down or even impede the recovery of depleted populations even in the absence of fishing.

  2. High-resolution NMR of hydrogen in organic solids by DNP enhanced natural abundance deuterium spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossini, Aaron J.; Schlagnitweit, Judith; Lesage, Anne; Emsley, Lyndon

    2015-10-01

    We demonstrate that high field (9.4 T) dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) at cryogenic (∼100 K) sample temperatures enables the rapid acquisition of natural abundance 1H-2H cross-polarization magic angle spinning (CPMAS) solid-state NMR spectra of organic solids. Spectra were obtained by impregnating substrates with a solution of the stable DNP polarizing agent TEKPol in tetrachloroethane. Tetrachloroethane is a non-solvent for the solids, and the unmodified substrates are then polarized through spin diffusion. High quality natural abundance 2H CPMAS spectra of histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, glycylglycine and theophylline were acquired in less than 2 h, providing direct access to hydrogen chemical shifts and quadrupolar couplings. The spectral resolution of the 2H solid-state NMR spectra is comparable to that of 1H spectra obtained with state of the art homonuclear decoupling techniques.

  3. Determination of lithium isotopes at natural abundance levels by atomic absorption spectrometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, A.L.

    1982-01-01

    The relationships of the absorption of 6Li and 7Li hollow cathode lamp emissions are used to determine lithium isotopic composition in the natural abundance range of geologic materials. Absorption was found to have a nonlinear dependence upon total lithium concentration and isotopic composition. A method using nonlinear equations to describe the relationship of the absorption of 6Li and 7Li lamp radiation is proposed as a means of calculating isotopic composition that is independent of total lithium concentration.

  4. Natural abundance 2H-ERETIC-NMR authentication of the origin of methyl salicylate.

    PubMed

    Le Grand, Flore; George, Gerard; Akoka, Serge

    2005-06-29

    Methyl salicylate is a compound currently used in the creation of many flavors. It can be obtained by synthesis or from two natural sources: essential oil of wintergreen and essential oil of sweet birch bark. Deuterium site-specific natural isotope abundance (A(i)) determination by NMR spectroscopy with the method of reference ERETIC ((2)H-ERETIC-NMR) has been applied to this compound. A(i) measurements have been performed on 19 samples of methyl salicylate from different origins, natural/synthetic and commercial/extracted. This study demonstrates that appropriate treatment performed on the data allows discrimination between synthetic and natural samples. Moreover, the representation of intramolecular ratios R(6/5) as a function of R(3/2) distinguishes between synthetics, wintergreen oils, and sweet birch bark oils.

  5. Genome-wide Determinants of Proviral Targeting, Clonal Abundance and Expression in Natural HTLV-1 Infection

    PubMed Central

    Melamed, Anat; Laydon, Daniel J.; Gillet, Nicolas A.; Tanaka, Yuetsu; Taylor, Graham P.; Bangham, Charles R. M.

    2013-01-01

    The regulation of proviral latency is a central problem in retrovirology. We postulate that the genomic integration site of human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) determines the pattern of expression of the provirus, which in turn determines the abundance and pathogenic potential of infected T cell clones in vivo. We recently developed a high-throughput method for the genome-wide amplification, identification and quantification of proviral integration sites. Here, we used this protocol to test two hypotheses. First, that binding sites for transcription factors and chromatin remodelling factors in the genome flanking the proviral integration site of HTLV-1 are associated with integration targeting, spontaneous proviral expression, and in vivo clonal abundance. Second, that the transcriptional orientation of the HTLV-1 provirus relative to that of the nearest host gene determines spontaneous proviral expression and in vivo clonal abundance. Integration targeting was strongly associated with the presence of a binding site for specific host transcription factors, especially STAT1 and p53. The presence of the chromatin remodelling factors BRG1 and INI1 and certain host transcription factors either upstream or downstream of the provirus was associated respectively with silencing or spontaneous expression of the provirus. Cells expressing HTLV-1 Tax protein were significantly more frequent in clones of low abundance in vivo. We conclude that transcriptional interference and chromatin remodelling are critical determinants of proviral latency in natural HTLV-1 infection. PMID:23555266

  6. Effect of Environmental Factors on Cyanobacterial Abundance and Cyanotoxins Production in Natural and Drinking Water, Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Affan, Abu; Khomavis, Hisham S; Al-Harbi, Salim Marzoog; Haque, Mahfuzul; Khan, Saleha

    2015-02-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms commonly appear during the summer months in ponds, lakes and reservoirs in Bangladesh. In these areas, fish mortality, odorous water and fish and human skin irritation and eye inflammation have been reported. The influence of physicochemical factors on the occurrence of cyanobacteria and its toxin levels were evaluated in natural and drinking water in Bangladesh. A highly sensitive immunosorbent assay was used to detect microcystins (MCs). Cyanobacteria were found in 22 of 23 samples and the dominant species were Microcystis aeruginosa, followed by Microcystisflosaquae, Anabeana crassa and Aphanizomenon flosaquae. Cyanobacterial abundance varied from 39 to 1315 x 10(3) cells mL(-1) in natural water and 31 to 49 x 10(3) cells mL(-1) in tap water. MC concentrations were 25-82300 pg mL(-1) with the highest value measured in the fish research pond, followed by Ishakha Lake. In tap water, MC concentrations ranged from 30-32 pg mL(-1). The correlation between nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration and cyanobacterial cell abundance was R2 = 0.62 while that between cyanobacterial abundance and MC concentration was R2 = 0.98. The increased NO3-N from fish feed, organic manure, poultry and dairy farm waste and fertilizer from agricultural land eutrophicated the water bodies and triggered cyanobacterial bloom formation. The increased amount of cyanobacteria produced MCs, subsequently reducing the water quality. PMID:26364354

  7. Effect of Environmental Factors on Cyanobacterial Abundance and Cyanotoxins Production in Natural and Drinking Water, Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Affan, Abu; Khomavis, Hisham S; Al-Harbi, Salim Marzoog; Haque, Mahfuzul; Khan, Saleha

    2015-02-01

    Cyanobacterial blooms commonly appear during the summer months in ponds, lakes and reservoirs in Bangladesh. In these areas, fish mortality, odorous water and fish and human skin irritation and eye inflammation have been reported. The influence of physicochemical factors on the occurrence of cyanobacteria and its toxin levels were evaluated in natural and drinking water in Bangladesh. A highly sensitive immunosorbent assay was used to detect microcystins (MCs). Cyanobacteria were found in 22 of 23 samples and the dominant species were Microcystis aeruginosa, followed by Microcystisflosaquae, Anabeana crassa and Aphanizomenon flosaquae. Cyanobacterial abundance varied from 39 to 1315 x 10(3) cells mL(-1) in natural water and 31 to 49 x 10(3) cells mL(-1) in tap water. MC concentrations were 25-82300 pg mL(-1) with the highest value measured in the fish research pond, followed by Ishakha Lake. In tap water, MC concentrations ranged from 30-32 pg mL(-1). The correlation between nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration and cyanobacterial cell abundance was R2 = 0.62 while that between cyanobacterial abundance and MC concentration was R2 = 0.98. The increased NO3-N from fish feed, organic manure, poultry and dairy farm waste and fertilizer from agricultural land eutrophicated the water bodies and triggered cyanobacterial bloom formation. The increased amount of cyanobacteria produced MCs, subsequently reducing the water quality.

  8. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation in an arid ecosystem measured by sup 15 N natural abundance

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, G.V. )

    1990-05-01

    Plants dependent on nitrogen fixation have an {sup 15}N abundance similar to the atmosphere, while non-nitrogen fixing plants usually are enriched in {sup 15}N and are similar to soil nitrogen values. The natural abundance of {sup 15}N in leaf tissues and soils was determined to evaluate symbiotic nitrogen fixation by several legumes and actinorhizal species in the Sevilleta Long-term Ecological Research area in central New Mexico. Comparison of {delta}{sup 15}N values for the legume Prosopis glandulosa (mesquite) to adjacent Atriplex canascens (fourwing saltbush) indicated that P. glandulosa obtained 66% of its nitrogen by fixation. The legume Hoffmanseggia jamesii was found to be utilizing soil nitrogen. The {delta}{sup 15}N values for the actinorhizal plants, Elaeagnus angustifolia and Cercocarpus montanus, while below values for soil nitrogen, did not differ from associated non-fixing plants.

  9. Understanding the Nature of Stellar Chemical Abundance Distributions in Nearby Stellar Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Duane Morris

    Since stars retain signatures of their galactic origins in their chemical compositions, we can exploit the chemical abundance distributions that we observe in stellar systems to put constraints on the nature of their progenitors. In this thesis, I present results from three projects aimed at understanding how high resolution spectroscopic observations of nearby stellar systems might be interpreted. The first project presents one possible explanation for the origin of peculiar abundance distributions observed in ultra-faint dwarf satellites of the Milky Way. The second project explores to what extent the distribution of chemical elements in the stellar halo can be used to trace Galactic accretion history from the birth of the Galaxy to the present day. Finally, a third project focuses on developing an input optimization algorithm for the second project to produce better estimates of halo accretion histories. In conclusion, I propose some other new ways to use statistical models and techniques along with chemical abundance distribution data to uncover galactic histories.

  10. Natural abundances of carbon isotopes in acetate from a coastal marine sediment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blair, N. E.; Martens, C. S.; Des Marais, D. J.

    1987-01-01

    Measurements of the natural abundances of carbon isotopes were made in acetate samples isolated from the anoxic marine sediment of Cape Lookout Bight, North Carolina. The typical value of the total acetate carbon isotope ratio (delta 13C) was -16.1 +/- 0.2 per mil. The methyl and carboxyl groups were determined to be -26.4 +/- 0.3 and -6.0 +/- 0.3 per mil, respectively, for one sample. The isotopic composition of the acetate is thought to have resulted from isotopic discriminations that occurred during the cycling of that molecule. Measurements of this type, which have not been made previously in the natural environment, may provide information about the dominant microbial pathways in anoxic sediments as well as the processes that influence the carbon isotopic composition of biogenic methane from many sources.

  11. Changes in protein abundance are observed in bacterial isolates from a natural host

    PubMed Central

    Rees, Megan A.; Stinear, Timothy P.; Goode, Robert J. A.; Coppel, Ross L.; Smith, Alexander I.; Kleifeld, Oded

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial proteomic studies frequently use strains cultured in synthetic liquid media over many generations. It is uncertain whether bacterial proteins expressed under these conditions will be the same as the repertoire found in natural environments, or when bacteria are infecting a host organism. Thus, genomic and proteomic characterization of bacteria derived from the host environment in comparison to reference strains grown in the lab, should aid understanding of pathogenesis. Isolates of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis were obtained from the lymph nodes of three naturally infected sheep and compared to a laboratory reference strain using bottom-up proteomics, after whole genome sequencing of each of the field isolates. These comparisons were performed following growth in liquid media that allowed us to reach the required protein amount for proteomic analysis. Over 1350 proteins were identified in the isolated strains, from which unique proteome features were revealed. Several of the identified proteins demonstrated a significant abundance difference in the field isolates compared to the reference strain even though there were no obvious differences in the DNA sequence of the corresponding gene or in nearby non-coding DNA. Higher abundance in the field isolates was observed for proteins related to hypoxia and nutrient deficiency responses as well as to thiopeptide biosynthesis. PMID:26528441

  12. Rendered-protein hydrolysates for microbial synthesis of cyanophycin biopolymer

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cyanophycin is a poly(arginyl-aspartate) biopolymer produced and stored intracellularly by bacteria. Cyanophycin has been proposed as a renewable replacement for petrochemical-based industrial products. An abundant source of amino acids and nitrogen such as in the form of protein hydrolysates is n...

  13. Production of novel microbial biopolymers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Biopolymers Containing Unnatural Building Blocks

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, Peter G.

    2013-06-30

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

  15. Abundance and phenology patterns of two pond-breeding salamanders determine species interactions in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Thomas L; Hocking, Daniel J; Conner, Christopher A; Earl, Julia E; Harper, Elizabeth B; Osbourn, Michael S; Peterman, William E; Rittenhouse, Tracy A G; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2015-03-01

    Phenology often determines the outcome of interspecific interactions, where early-arriving species often dominate interactions over those arriving later. The effects of phenology on species interactions are especially pronounced in aquatic systems, but the evidence is largely derived from experimental studies. We examined whether differences in breeding phenology between two pond-breeding salamanders (Ambystoma annulatum and A. maculatum) affected metamorph recruitment and demographic traits within natural populations, with the expectation that the fall-breeding A. annulatum would negatively affect the spring-breeding A. maculatum. We monitored populations of each species at five ponds over 4 years using drift fences. Metamorph abundance and survival of A. annulatum were affected by intra- and interspecific processes, whereas metamorph size and date of emigration were primarily influenced by intraspecific effects. Metamorph abundance, snout-vent length, date of emigration and survival for A. maculatum were all predicted by combinations of intra- and interspecific effects, but often showed negative relationships with A. annulatum metamorph traits and abundance. Size and date of metamorphosis were strongly correlated within each species, but in opposite patterns (negative for A. annulatum and positive for A. maculatum), suggesting that the two species use alternative strategies to enhance terrestrial survival and that these factors may influence their interactions. Our results match predictions from experimental studies that suggest recruitment is influenced by intra- and interspecific processes which are determined by phenological differences between species. Incorporating spatiotemporal variability when modeling population dynamics is necessary to understand the importance of phenology in species interactions, especially as shifts in phenology occur under climate change.

  16. Abundance and phenology patterns of two pond-breeding salamanders determine species interactions in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Thomas L; Hocking, Daniel J; Conner, Christopher A; Earl, Julia E; Harper, Elizabeth B; Osbourn, Michael S; Peterman, William E; Rittenhouse, Tracy A G; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2015-03-01

    Phenology often determines the outcome of interspecific interactions, where early-arriving species often dominate interactions over those arriving later. The effects of phenology on species interactions are especially pronounced in aquatic systems, but the evidence is largely derived from experimental studies. We examined whether differences in breeding phenology between two pond-breeding salamanders (Ambystoma annulatum and A. maculatum) affected metamorph recruitment and demographic traits within natural populations, with the expectation that the fall-breeding A. annulatum would negatively affect the spring-breeding A. maculatum. We monitored populations of each species at five ponds over 4 years using drift fences. Metamorph abundance and survival of A. annulatum were affected by intra- and interspecific processes, whereas metamorph size and date of emigration were primarily influenced by intraspecific effects. Metamorph abundance, snout-vent length, date of emigration and survival for A. maculatum were all predicted by combinations of intra- and interspecific effects, but often showed negative relationships with A. annulatum metamorph traits and abundance. Size and date of metamorphosis were strongly correlated within each species, but in opposite patterns (negative for A. annulatum and positive for A. maculatum), suggesting that the two species use alternative strategies to enhance terrestrial survival and that these factors may influence their interactions. Our results match predictions from experimental studies that suggest recruitment is influenced by intra- and interspecific processes which are determined by phenological differences between species. Incorporating spatiotemporal variability when modeling population dynamics is necessary to understand the importance of phenology in species interactions, especially as shifts in phenology occur under climate change. PMID:25413866

  17. Natural abundant (17) O NMR in a 1.5-T Halbach magnet.

    PubMed

    Sørensen, Morten K; Bakharev, Oleg N; Jensen, Ole; Nielsen, Niels Chr

    2016-06-01

    We present mobile, low-field (17) O NMR as a means for monitoring oxygen in liquids. Whereas oxygen is one of the most important elements, oxygen NMR is limited by a poor sensitivity related to low natural abundance and gyro-magnetic ratio of the NMR active (17) O isotope. Here, we demonstrate (17) O NMR detection at a Larmor frequency of 8.74 MHz in a 1.5-T Halbach neodymium magnet with a home-built digital NMR instrument suitable for large-scale production and in-line monitoring applications. The proposed (17) O NMR sensor may be applied for direct, noninvasive measurements of water content in, for example, oil, manure, or food in automated quality or process control. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:25641664

  18. Measuring long-lived 13C2 state lifetimes at natural abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claytor, Kevin; Theis, Thomas; Feng, Yesu; Warren, Warren

    2014-02-01

    Long-lived disconnected eigenstates (for example, the singlet state in a system with two nearly equivalent carbons, or the singlet-singlet state in a system with two chemically equivalent carbons and two chemically equivalent hydrogens) hold the potential to drastically extend the lifetime of hyperpolarization in molecular tracers for in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, a first-principles calculation of the expected lifetime (and thus selection of potential imaging agents) is made very difficult because of the large variety of relevant intra- and intermolecular relaxation mechanisms. As a result, all previous measurements relied on costly and time consuming syntheses of 13C labeled compounds. Here we show that it is possible to determine 13C singlet state lifetimes by detecting the naturally abundant doubly-labeled species. This approach allows for rapid and low cost screening of potential molecular biomarkers bearing long-lived states.

  19. Natural abundance 14N and 15N solid-state NMR of pharmaceuticals and their polymorphs

    DOE PAGES

    Veinberg, Stanislav L.; Johnston, Karen E.; Jaroszewicz, Michael J.; Kispal, Brianna M.; Mireault, Christopher R.; Kobayashi, Takeshi; Pruski, Marek; Schurko, Robert W.

    2016-06-08

    14N ultra-wideline (UW), 1H{15N} indirectly-detected HETCOR (idHETCOR) and 15N dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) solid-state NMR (SSNMR) experiments, in combination with plane-wave density functional theory (DFT) calculations of 14N EFG tensors, were utilized to characterize a series of nitrogen-containing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), including HCl salts of scopolamine, alprenolol, isoprenaline, acebutolol, dibucaine, nicardipine, and ranitidine. Here, a case study applying these methods for the differentiation of polymorphs of bupivacaine HCl is also presented. All experiments were conducted upon samples with naturally-abundant nitrogen isotopes. For most of the APIs, it was possible to acquire frequency-stepped UW 14N SSNMR spectra of stationarymore » samples, which display powder patterns corresponding to pseudo-tetrahedral (i.e., RR'R"NH+ and RR'NH2+) or other (i.e., RNH2 and RNO2) nitrogen environments.« less

  20. Natural-abundance solid-state 2H NMR spectroscopy at high magnetic field.

    PubMed

    Aliev, Abil E; Mann, Sam E; Iuga, Dinu; Hughes, Colan E; Harris, Kenneth D M

    2011-06-01

    High-resolution solid-state (2)H NMR spectroscopy provides a method for measuring (1)H NMR chemical shifts in solids and is advantageous over the direct measurement of high-resolution solid-state (1)H NMR spectra, as it requires only the application of routine magic angle sample spinning (MAS) and routine (1)H decoupling methods, in contrast to the requirement for complex pulse sequences for homonuclear (1)H decoupling and ultrafast MAS in the case of high-resolution solid-state (1)H NMR. However, a significant obstacle to the routine application of high-resolution solid-state (2)H NMR is the very low natural abundance of (2)H, with the consequent problem of inherently low sensitivity. Here, we explore the feasibility of measuring (2)H MAS NMR spectra of various solids with natural isotopic abundances at high magnetic field (850 MHz), focusing on samples of amino acids, peptides, collagen, and various organic solids. The results show that high-resolution solid-state (2)H NMR can be used successfully to measure isotropic (1)H chemical shifts in favorable cases, particularly for mobile functional groups, such as methyl and -N(+)H(3) groups, and in some cases phenyl groups. Furthermore, we demonstrate that routine (2)H MAS NMR measurements can be exploited for assessing the relative dynamics of different functional groups in a molecule and for assessing whole-molecule motions in the solid state. The magnitude and field-dependence of second-order shifts due to the (2)H quadrupole interaction are also investigated, on the basis of analysis of simulated and experimental (1)H and (2)H MAS NMR spectra of fully deuterated and selectively deuterated samples of the α polymorph of glycine at two different magnetic field strengths.

  1. Conformational changes in biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, Vassili

    2005-12-01

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

  2. Measurement of isotope abundance variations in nature by gravimetric spiking isotope dilution analysis (GS-IDA).

    PubMed

    Chew, Gina; Walczyk, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    Subtle variations in the isotopic composition of elements carry unique information about physical and chemical processes in nature and are now exploited widely in diverse areas of research. Reliable measurement of natural isotope abundance variations is among the biggest challenges in inorganic mass spectrometry as they are highly sensitive to methodological bias. For decades, double spiking of the sample with a mix of two stable isotopes has been considered the reference technique for measuring such variations both by multicollector-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) and multicollector-thermal ionization mass spectrometry (MC-TIMS). However, this technique can only be applied to elements having at least four stable isotopes. Here we present a novel approach that requires measurement of three isotope signals only and which is more robust than the conventional double spiking technique. This became possible by gravimetric mixing of the sample with an isotopic spike in different proportions and by applying principles of isotope dilution for data analysis (GS-IDA). The potential and principle use of the technique is demonstrated for Mg in human urine using MC-TIMS for isotopic analysis. Mg is an element inaccessible to double spiking methods as it consists of three stable isotopes only and shows great potential for metabolically induced isotope effects waiting to be explored.

  3. Abiotic origin of biopolymers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oro, J.; Stephen-Sherwood, E.

    1976-01-01

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

  4. Chemical modeling of acid-base properties of soluble biopolymers derived from municipal waste treatment materials.

    PubMed

    Tabasso, Silvia; Berto, Silvia; Rosato, Roberta; Marinos, Janeth Alicia Tafur; Ginepro, Marco; Zelano, Vincenzo; Daniele, Pier Giuseppe; Montoneri, Enzo

    2015-02-04

    This work reports a study of the proton-binding capacity of biopolymers obtained from different materials supplied by a municipal biowaste treatment plant located in Northern Italy. One material was the anaerobic fermentation digestate of the urban wastes organic humid fraction. The others were the compost of home and public gardening residues and the compost of the mix of the above residues, digestate and sewage sludge. These materials were hydrolyzed under alkaline conditions to yield the biopolymers by saponification. The biopolymers were characterized by 13C NMR spectroscopy, elemental analysis and potentiometric titration. The titration data were elaborated to attain chemical models for interpretation of the proton-binding capacity of the biopolymers obtaining the acidic sites concentrations and their protonation constants. The results obtained with the models and by NMR spectroscopy were elaborated together in order to better characterize the nature of the macromolecules. The chemical nature of the biopolymers was found dependent upon the nature of the sourcing materials.

  5. On the nature of sn stars. I. A detailed abundance study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saffe, C.; Levato, H.

    2014-02-01

    The sn stars were first discoved by Abt & Levato when studying the spectral types in different open clusters. These stars present sharp Balmer lines, sharp metallic lines (C II, Si II, Ca II, Ti II, Fe II), and broad coreless He I lines. Some of the sn stars seem to be related to CP stars. Initially Abt & Levato proposed a shell-like nature to explain the sn stars, although this scenario was subsequently questioned. There is no general agreement about their origin. We aim to derive abundances for a sample of 9 stars, including sn and non-sn stars, to determine the possible relation between sn and CP stars and compare their chemical abundances. That most sn stars belong to open clusters allows us to search for a possible relation with fundamental parameters, including the age and rotation. We also study the possible contribution of different effects to the broad He I lines observed in these stars, such as Stark broadening and the possible He-stratification. Effective temperature and gravity were estimated by Strömgren photometry and then refined by requiring ionization and excitation equilibrium of Fe lines. We derived the abundances by fitting the observed spectra with synthetic spectra using an iterative procedure with the SYNTHE and ATLAS9 codes. We derived metallic abundances of 23 different chemical elements for 9 stars and obtained low projected rotational velocities for the sn stars in our sample (vsini up to 69 km s-1). We also compared 5 stars that belong to the same cluster (NGC 6475) and show that the sn characteristics appear in the 3 stars with the lower rotational velocity. However, the apparent preference of sn stars for objects with the lower vsini values should be taken with caution due to the small number of objects studied here. We analysed the photospheric chemical composition of sn stars and show that approximately ~40% of them display chemical peculiarities (such as He-weak and HgMn stars) within a range of temperature of 10 300 K-14 500 K

  6. Archaeal community diversity and abundance changes along a natural salinity gradient in estuarine sediments

    PubMed Central

    Webster, Gordon; O'Sullivan, Louise A.; Meng, Yiyu; Williams, Angharad S.; Sass, Andrea M.; Watkins, Andrew J.; Parkes, R. John; Weightman, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Archaea are widespread in marine sediments, but their occurrence and relationship with natural salinity gradients in estuarine sediments is not well understood. This study investigated the abundance and diversity of Archaea in sediments at three sites [Brightlingsea (BR), Alresford (AR) and Hythe (HY)] along the Colne Estuary, using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) of 16S rRNA genes, DNA hybridization, Archaea 16S rRNA and mcrA gene phylogenetic analyses. Total archaeal 16S rRNA abundance in sediments were higher in the low-salinity brackish sediments from HY (2–8 × 107 16S rRNA gene copies cm−3) than the high-salinity marine sites from BR and AR (2 × 104–2 × 107 and 4 × 106–2 × 107 16S rRNA gene copies cm−3, respectively), although as a proportion of the total prokaryotes Archaea were higher at BR than at AR or HY. Phylogenetic analysis showed that members of the ‘Bathyarchaeota’ (MCG), Thaumarchaeota and methanogenic Euryarchaeota were the dominant groups of Archaea. The composition of Thaumarchaeota varied with salinity, as only ‘marine’ group I.1a was present in marine sediments (BR). Methanogen 16S rRNA genes from low-salinity sediments at HY were dominated by acetotrophic Methanosaeta and putatively hydrogentrophic Methanomicrobiales, whereas the marine site (BR) was dominated by mcrA genes belonging to methylotrophic Methanococcoides, versatile Methanosarcina and methanotrophic ANME-2a. Overall, the results indicate that salinity and associated factors play a role in controlling diversity and distribution of Archaea in estuarine sediments. PMID:25764553

  7. Archaeal community diversity and abundance changes along a natural salinity gradient in estuarine sediments.

    PubMed

    Webster, Gordon; O'Sullivan, Louise A; Meng, Yiyu; Williams, Angharad S; Sass, Andrea M; Watkins, Andrew J; Parkes, R John; Weightman, Andrew J

    2015-02-01

    Archaea are widespread in marine sediments, but their occurrence and relationship with natural salinity gradients in estuarine sediments is not well understood. This study investigated the abundance and diversity of Archaea in sediments at three sites [Brightlingsea (BR), Alresford (AR) and Hythe (HY)] along the Colne Estuary, using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) of 16S rRNA genes, DNA hybridization, Archaea 16S rRNA and mcrA gene phylogenetic analyses. Total archaeal 16S rRNA abundance in sediments were higher in the low-salinity brackish sediments from HY (2-8 × 10(7) 16S rRNA gene copies cm(-3)) than the high-salinity marine sites from BR and AR (2 × 10(4)-2 × 10(7) and 4 × 10(6)-2 × 10(7) 16S rRNA gene copies cm(-3), respectively), although as a proportion of the total prokaryotes Archaea were higher at BR than at AR or HY. Phylogenetic analysis showed that members of the 'Bathyarchaeota' (MCG), Thaumarchaeota and methanogenic Euryarchaeota were the dominant groups of Archaea. The composition of Thaumarchaeota varied with salinity, as only 'marine' group I.1a was present in marine sediments (BR). Methanogen 16S rRNA genes from low-salinity sediments at HY were dominated by acetotrophic Methanosaeta and putatively hydrogentrophic Methanomicrobiales, whereas the marine site (BR) was dominated by mcrA genes belonging to methylotrophic Methanococcoides, versatile Methanosarcina and methanotrophic ANME-2a. Overall, the results indicate that salinity and associated factors play a role in controlling diversity and distribution of Archaea in estuarine sediments.

  8. Biopolymer/Calcium phosphate scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Li, Jianhua; Baker, Bryan A; Mou, Xiaoning; Ren, Na; Qiu, Jichuan; Boughton, Robert I; Liu, Hong

    2014-04-01

    With nearly 30 years of progress, tissue engineering has shown promise in developing solutions for tissue repair and regeneration. Scaffolds, together with cells and growth factors, are key components of this development. Recently, an increasing number of studies have reported on the design and fabrication of scaffolding materials. In particular, inspired by the nature of bone, polymer/ceramic composite scaffolds have been studied extensively. The purpose of this paper is to review the recent progress of the naturally derived biopolymers and the methods applied to generate biomimetic biopolymer/calcium phosphate composites as well as their biomedical applications in bone tissue engineering.

  9. 13C and 15N natural isotope abundance reflects breast cancer cell metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Tea, Illa; Martineau, Estelle; Antheaume, Ingrid; Lalande, Julie; Mauve, Caroline; Gilard, Francoise; Barillé-Nion, Sophie; Blackburn, Anneke C.; Tcherkez, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Despite the information provided by anatomopathological assessment and molecular markers (such as receptor expression ER, PR, HER2), breast cancer therapies and prognostics depend on the metabolic properties of tumor cells. However, metabolomics have not provided a robust and congruent biomarker yet, likely because individual metabolite contents are insufficient to encapsulate all of the alterations in metabolic fluxes. Here, we took advantage of natural 13C and 15N isotope abundance to show there are isotopic differences between healthy and cancer biopsy tissues or between healthy and malignant cultured cell lines. Isotope mass balance further suggests that these differences are mostly related to lipid metabolism, anaplerosis and urea cycle, three pathways known to be impacted in malignant cells. Our results demonstrate that the isotope signature is a good descriptor of metabolism since it integrates modifications in C partitioning and N excretion altogether. Our present study is thus a starting point to possible clinical applications such as patient screening and biopsy characterization in every cancer that is associated with metabolic changes. PMID:27678172

  10. Natural-abundance sup 13 C NMR study of glycogen repletion in human liver and muscle

    SciTech Connect

    Jue, T.; Rothman, D.L.; Tavitian, B.A.; Shulman, R.G. )

    1989-03-01

    Optimizing the surface-coil design and spectral-acquisition parameters has led to the observation of the {sup 13}C NMR natural abundance glycogen signal in man at 2.1 T. Both the human muscle and hepatic glycogen signals can be detected definitively with a time resolution of {approx}13 min. A {sup 1}H/{sup 13}C concentric surface coil was used. The {sup 1}H outer coil was 11 cm in diameter; the {sup 13}C inner coil was 8 cm in diameter. The coils were tuned to 89.3 MHz and 22.4 MHz, respectively. The {sup 1}H coil was used for optimizing field homogeneity (shimming) the magnet and for single-frequency decoupling of the C{sub 1} glycogen signal. Total power deposition from both the transmitter pulse and the continuous wave decoupling did not exceed the Food and Drug Administration guideline of 8 W/kg of tissue. Experiments were done for which healthy subjects returned to the magnets at different times for {sup 13}C NMR measurement. The spectral difference between experiments was within the noise in the C{sub 1} glycogen region. Because of the spectral reproducibility and the signal sensitivity, hepatic glycogen repletion can be followed. Four hours postprandial, hepatic glycogen increases by 3.8 times from the basal fasted state. The hepatic glycogen data correspond directly to previous biopsy results and support the use of {sup 13}C NMR as a noninvasive probe of human metabolism.

  11. Natural abundance deuterium and 18-oxygen effects on the precision of the doubly labeled water method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horvitz, M. A.; Schoeller, D. A.

    2001-01-01

    The doubly labeled water method for measuring total energy expenditure is subject to error from natural variations in the background 2H and 18O in body water. There is disagreement as to whether the variations in background abundances of the two stable isotopes covary and what relative doses of 2H and 18O minimize the impact of variation on the precision of the method. We have performed two studies to investigate the amount and covariance of the background variations. These were a study of urine collected weekly from eight subjects who remained in the Madison, WI locale for 6 wk and frequent urine samples from 14 subjects during round-trip travel to a locale > or = 500 miles from Madison, WI. Background variation in excess of analytical error was detected in six of the eight nontravelers, and covariance was demonstrated in four subjects. Background variation was detected in all 14 travelers, and covariance was demonstrated in 11 subjects. The median slopes of the regression lines of delta2H vs. delta18O were 6 and 7, respectively. Modeling indicated that 2H and 18O doses yielding a 6:1 ratio of final enrichments should minimize this error introduced to the doubly labeled water method.

  12. Natural Abundance 17O Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Computational Modeling Studies of Lithium Based Liquid Electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Deng, Xuchu; Hu, Mary Y.; Wei, Xiaoliang; Wang, Wei; Chen, Zhong; Liu, Jun; Hu, Jian Z.

    2015-07-01

    Natural abundance 17O NMR measurements were conducted on electrolyte solutions consisting of Li[CF3SO2NSO2CF3] (LiTFSI) dissolved in the solvents of ethylene carbonate (EC), propylene carbonate (PC), ethyl methyl carbonate (EMC), and their mixtures at various concentrations. It was observed that 17O chemical shifts of solvent molecules change with the concentration of LiTFSI. The chemical shift displacements of carbonyl oxygen are evidently greater than those of ethereal oxygen, strongly indicating that Li+ ion is coordinated with carbonyl oxygen rather than ethereal oxygen. To understand the detailed molecular interaction, computational modeling of 17O chemical shifts was carried out on proposed solvation structures. By comparing the predicted chemical shifts with the experimental values, it is found that a Li+ ion is coordinated with four double bond oxygen atoms from EC, PC, EMC and TFSI- anion. In the case of excessive amount of solvents of EC, PC and EMC the Li+ coordinated solvent molecules are undergoing quick exchange with bulk solvent molecules, resulting in average 17O chemical shifts. Several kinds of solvation structures are identified, where the proportion of each structure in the liquid electrolytes investigated depends on the concentration of LiTFSI.

  13. Probing surface hydrogen bonding and dynamics by natural abundance, multidimensional, 17O DNP-NMR spectroscopy

    DOE PAGES

    Perras, Frederic A.; Chaudhary, Umesh; Slowing, Igor I.; Pruski, Marek

    2016-05-06

    Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP)-enhanced solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (SSNMR) spectroscopy is increasingly being used as a tool for the atomic-level characterization of surface sites. DNP surface-enhanced SSNMR spectroscopy of materials has, however, been limited to studying relatively receptive nuclei, and the particularly rare 17O nuclide, which is of great interest for materials science, has not been utilized. We demonstrate that advanced 17O SSNMR experiments can be performed on surface species at natural isotopic abundance using DNP. We use 17O DNP surface-enhanced 2D SSNMR to measure 17O{1H} HETCOR spectra as well as dipolar oscillations on a series of thermally treatedmore » mesoporous silica nanoparticle samples having different pore diameters. These experiments allow for a nonintrusive and unambiguous characterization of hydrogen bonding and dynamics at the surface of the material; no other single experiment can give such details about the interactions at the surface. Lastly, our data show that, upon drying, strongly hydrogen-bonded surface silanols, whose motions are greatly restricted by the interaction when compared to lone silanols, are selectively dehydroxylated.« less

  14. 13C and 15N natural isotope abundance reflects breast cancer cell metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tea, Illa; Martineau, Estelle; Antheaume, Ingrid; Lalande, Julie; Mauve, Caroline; Gilard, Francoise; Barillé-Nion, Sophie; Blackburn, Anneke C.; Tcherkez, Guillaume

    2016-09-01

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Despite the information provided by anatomopathological assessment and molecular markers (such as receptor expression ER, PR, HER2), breast cancer therapies and prognostics depend on the metabolic properties of tumor cells. However, metabolomics have not provided a robust and congruent biomarker yet, likely because individual metabolite contents are insufficient to encapsulate all of the alterations in metabolic fluxes. Here, we took advantage of natural 13C and 15N isotope abundance to show there are isotopic differences between healthy and cancer biopsy tissues or between healthy and malignant cultured cell lines. Isotope mass balance further suggests that these differences are mostly related to lipid metabolism, anaplerosis and urea cycle, three pathways known to be impacted in malignant cells. Our results demonstrate that the isotope signature is a good descriptor of metabolism since it integrates modifications in C partitioning and N excretion altogether. Our present study is thus a starting point to possible clinical applications such as patient screening and biopsy characterization in every cancer that is associated with metabolic changes.

  15. [Humus composition and stable carbon isotope natural abundance in paddy soil under long-term fertilization].

    PubMed

    Ma, Li; Yang, Lin-Zhang; Ci, En; Wang, Yan; Yin, Shi-Xue; Shen, Ming-Xing

    2008-09-01

    Soil samples were collected from an experimental paddy field with long-term (26 years) fertilization in Taihu Lake region of Jiangsu Province to study the effects of different fertilization on the organic carbon distribution and stable carbon isotope natural abundance (delta 13C) in the soil profile, and on the humus composition. The results showed that long-term fertilization increased the organic carbon content in top soil significantly, and there was a significantly negative exponential correlation between soil organic carbon content and soil depth (P < 0.01). The organic carbon content in 10-30 cm soil layer under chemical fertilizations and in 20-40 cm soil layer under organic fertilizations was relatively stable. Soil delta 13C increased gradually with soil depth, its variation range being from -24% per thousand to -28 per thousand, and had a significantly negative linear correlation with soil organic carbon content (P < 0.05). In 0-20 cm soil layer, the delta 13C in treatments organic manure (M), M + NP, M + NPK, M + straw (R) + N, and R + N decreased significantly; while in 30-50 cm soil layer, the delta 13C in all organic fertilization treatments except R + N increased significantly. Tightly combined humus (humin) was the main humus composition in the soil, occupying 50% or more, and the rest were loosely and stably combined humus. Long-term fertilization increased the content of loosely combined humus and the ratio of humic acid (HA) to fulvic acid (FA).

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Sustainably Sourced, Thermally Resistant, Radiation Hard Biopolymer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pugel, Diane

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Relation of desert pupfish abundance to selected environmental variables in natural and manmade habitats in the Salton Sea basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, B.A.; Saiki, M.K.

    2005-01-01

    We assessed the relation between abundance of desert pupfish, Cyprinodon macularius, and selected biological and physicochemical variables in natural and manmade habitats within the Salton Sea Basin. Field sampling in a natural tributary, Salt Creek, and three agricultural drains captured eight species including pupfish (1.1% of the total catch), the only native species encountered. According to Bray-Curtis resemblance functions, fish species assemblages differed mostly between Salt Creek and the drains (i.e., the three drains had relatively similar species assemblages). Pupfish numbers and environmental variables varied among sites and sample periods. Canonical correlation showed that pupfish abundance was positively correlated with abundance of western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, and negatively correlated with abundance of porthole livebearers, Poeciliopsis gracilis, tilapias (Sarotherodon mossambica and Tilapia zillii), longjaw mudsuckers, Gillichthys mirabilis, and mollies (Poecilia latipinnaandPoecilia mexicana). In addition, pupfish abundance was positively correlated with cover, pH, and salinity, and negatively correlated with sediment factor (a measure of sediment grain size) and dissolved oxygen. Pupfish abundance was generally highest in habitats where water quality extremes (especially high pH and salinity, and low dissolved oxygen) seemingly limited the occurrence of nonnative fishes. This study also documented evidence of predation by mudsuckers on pupfish. These findings support the contention of many resource managers that pupfish populations are adversely influenced by ecological interactions with nonnative fishes. ?? Springer 2005.

  20. Solid biopolymer electrolytes came from renewable biopolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ning; Zhang, Xingxiang; Qiao, Zhijun; Liu, Haihui

    2009-07-01

    Solid polymer electrolytes (SPEs) have attracted many attentions as solid state ionic conductors, because of their advantages such as high energy density, electrochemical stability, and easy processing. SPEs obtained from starch have attracted many attentions in recent years because of its abundant, renewable, low price, biodegradable and biocompatible. In addition, the efficient utilization of biodegradable polymers came from renewable sources is becoming increasingly important due to diminishing resources of fossil fuels as well as white pollution caused by undegradable plastics based on petroleum. So N, N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc) with certain concentration ranges of lithium chloride (LiCl) is used as plasticizers of cornstarch. Li+ can complexes with the carbonyl atoms of DMAc molecules to produce a macro-cation and leave the Cl- free to hydrogen bond with the hydroxyl or carbonyl of starch. This competitive hydrogen bond formation serves to disrupt the intra- and intermolecular hydrogen bonding existed in starch. Therefore, melt extrusion process conditions are used to prepare conductive thermoplastic starch (TPS). The improvements of LiCl concentration increase the water absorption and conductance of TPS. The conductance of TPS containing 0.14 mol LiCl achieve to 10-0.5 S cm-1 with 18 wt% water content.

  1. Proton conduction in biopolymer exopolysaccharide succinoglycan

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-07

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

  2. Natural abundance deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy: Study of the biosynthesis of monoterpenes

    SciTech Connect

    Leopold, M.F.

    1990-01-01

    Deuterium NMR spectroscopy at natural abundance (D NMR-na) is a new technique for exploring the biosynthesis of small molecules such as monoterpenes. The analysis of relative site-specific deuterium integration values is an effective means of measuring isotope effects, and examining the regio- and stereochemistry of biosynthetic reactions. The deuterium integration values of linalyl acetate and limonene isolated from the same source were consistent and showed that proton abstraction from the postulated {alpha}-terpinyl cation intermediate to form limonene is regioselective from the methyl derived from the Cs methyl of the precursor, geranyl diphosphate. This regiochemistry was observed in limonene samples from different sources and the measured primary kinetic isotope effect ranged from 0.25 to in excess of 100 (no deuterium was removed within experimental error). Various {alpha}- and {beta}-pinene samples were isolated and D NMR-na analysis showed evidence of isotopically sensitive partitioning of the pinylcation in the formation of these products. This spectral analysis supported published radiolabeling studies but did not require synthesis of substrates or enzyme purification. The formation of 3-carene occurs without isomerization of the double bond which was previously postulated. The olefinic deuterium of the bicyclic compound was traced to the depleted deuterium at C{sub 2} of isopentyl diphosphate by D NMR-na data and this supported unpublished radiolabeling studies. Study of irregular monoterpenes, chrysanthemyl acetate and lyratyl acetate, showed partitioning of dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) by chrysanthemyl cyclase. The {alpha}-secondary kinetic isotope effect of 1.06-1.12, obtained from relative deuterium integration values, suggested that S{sub N}1 ionization of one molecule of DMAPP is the first step in the condensation reaction.

  3. The Determination of the Natural Abundance of the Isotopes of Chlorine: An Introductory Experiment in Mass Spectrometry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Malley, Rebecca M.

    1982-01-01

    Describes a laboratory experiment which introduces basic principles and experimental techniques of mass spectrometry for fourth year undergraduate (B.Sc.) students. Laboratory procedures, background information, and discussion of results are provided for the experiment in which the natural isotopic abundance of chlorine is determined. (Author/JN)

  4. Seasonal variation in natural abundance of 2H and 18O in urine samples from rural Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Dugas, Lara R.; Brieger, William; Tayo, Bamidele O.; Alabi, Tunrayo; Schoeller, Dale A.; Luke, Amy

    2015-01-01

    The doubly labeled water (DLW) method is used to measure free-living energy expenditure in humans. Inherent to this technique is the assumption that natural abundances of stable isotopes 2H and 18O in body water remain constant over the course of the measurement period and after elimination of the loading dose of DLW will return to the same predose level. To determine variability in the natural abundances of 2H and 18O in humans living in a region with seasonal shifts in rain patterns and sources of drinking water, over the course of 12 mo we collected weekly urine samples from four individuals living in southwest Nigeria as well as samples of their drinking water. From ongoing regional studies of hypertension, obesity, and energy expenditure, we estimated average water turnover rate, urine volumes, and sodium and potassium excretion. Results suggest that 2H and 18O in urine, mean concentrations of urinary sodium and potassium, urine volume, and total body turnover differed significantly from dry to rainy season. Additionally, seasonal weather variables (mean monthly maximum temperatures, total monthly rainfall, and minimum relative humidity) were all significantly associated with natural abundances in urine. No seasonal difference was observed in drinking water samples. Findings suggest that natural abundances in urine may not remain constant as assumed, and studies incorporating DLW measurements across the transition of seasons should interpret results with caution unless appropriate doses of the tracers are used. PMID:25977450

  5. Seasonal variation in natural abundance of 2H and 18O in urine samples from rural Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Harbison, Justin E; Dugas, Lara R; Brieger, William; Tayo, Bamidele O; Alabi, Tunrayo; Schoeller, Dale A; Luke, Amy

    2015-07-01

    The doubly labeled water (DLW) method is used to measure free-living energy expenditure in humans. Inherent to this technique is the assumption that natural abundances of stable isotopes (2)H and (18)O in body water remain constant over the course of the measurement period and after elimination of the loading dose of DLW will return to the same predose level. To determine variability in the natural abundances of (2)H and (18)O in humans living in a region with seasonal shifts in rain patterns and sources of drinking water, over the course of 12 mo we collected weekly urine samples from four individuals living in southwest Nigeria as well as samples of their drinking water. From ongoing regional studies of hypertension, obesity, and energy expenditure, we estimated average water turnover rate, urine volumes, and sodium and potassium excretion. Results suggest that (2)H and (18)O in urine, mean concentrations of urinary sodium and potassium, urine volume, and total body turnover differed significantly from dry to rainy season. Additionally, seasonal weather variables (mean monthly maximum temperatures, total monthly rainfall, and minimum relative humidity) were all significantly associated with natural abundances in urine. No seasonal difference was observed in drinking water samples. Findings suggest that natural abundances in urine may not remain constant as assumed, and studies incorporating DLW measurements across the transition of seasons should interpret results with caution unless appropriate doses of the tracers are used.

  6. Precision biopolymers from protein precursors for biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Kuan, Seah Ling; Wu, Yuzhou; Weil, Tanja

    2013-03-12

    The synthesis of biohybrid materials with tailored functional properties represents a topic of emerging interest. Combining proteins as natural, macromolecular building blocks, and synthetic polymers opens access to giant brush-like biopolymers of high structural definition. The properties of these precision polypeptide copolymers can be tailored through various chemical modifications along their polypeptide backbone, which expands the repertoire of known protein-based materials to address biomedical applications. In this article, the synthetic strategies for the design of precision biopolymers from proteins through amino acid specific conjugation reagents are highlighted and the different functionalization strategies, their characterization, and applications are discussed.

  7. Interactions between natural-occurring landscape conditions and land use influencing the abundance of riverine smallmouth bass, micropterus dolomieu

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brewer, S.K.; Rabeni, C.F.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined how interactions between natural landscape features and land use influenced the abundance of smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu, in Missouri, USA, streams. Stream segments were placed into one of four groups based on natural-occurring watershed characteristics (soil texture and soil permeability) predicted to relate to smallmouth bass abundance. Within each group, stream segments were assigned forest (n = 3), pasture (n = 3), or urban (n = 3) designations based on the percentages of land use within each watershed. Analyses of variance indicated smallmouth bass densities differed between land use and natural conditions. Decision tree models indicated abundance was highest in forested stream segments and lowest in urban stream segments, regardless of group designation. Land use explained the most variation in decision tree models, but in-channel features of temperature, flow, and sediment also contributed significantly. These results are unique and indicate the importance of natural-occurring watershed conditions in defining the potential of populations and how finer-scale filters interact with land use to further alter population potential. Smallmouth bass has differing vulnerabilities to land-use attributes, and the better the natural watershed conditions are for population success, the more resilient these populations will be when land conversion occurs.

  8. Microwave dielectric properties of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartsch, Carrie M.; Subramanyam, Guru; Grote, James G.; Hopkins, F. Kenneth; Brott, Lawrence L.; Naik, Rajesh R.

    2006-09-01

    A new capacitive test structure is used to characterize biopolymers at microwave frequencies. The new test structure is comprised of a parallel plate capacitor, combined with coplanar waveguide-based input and output feed lines. This allows microwave measurements to be taken easily under an applied DC electric field. The microwave dielectric properties are characterized for two biopolymer thin films: a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-based film and a bovine serum albumin (BSA)-based film. These bio-dielectric thin-films are compared with a standard commercial polymer thin film, poly[Bisphenol A carbonate-co-4,4'(3,3,5-trimethyl cyclohexylidene) diphenol], or amorphous polycarbonate (APC).

  9. Natural abundance (14)N and (15)N solid-state NMR of pharmaceuticals and their polymorphs.

    PubMed

    Veinberg, Stanislav L; Johnston, Karen E; Jaroszewicz, Michael J; Kispal, Brianna M; Mireault, Christopher R; Kobayashi, Takeshi; Pruski, Marek; Schurko, Robert W

    2016-06-29

    (14)N ultra-wideline (UW), (1)H{(15)N} indirectly-detected HETCOR (idHETCOR) and (15)N dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) solid-state NMR (SSNMR) experiments, in combination with plane-wave density functional theory (DFT) calculations of (14)N EFG tensors, were utilized to characterize a series of nitrogen-containing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), including HCl salts of scopolamine, alprenolol, isoprenaline, acebutolol, dibucaine, nicardipine, and ranitidine. A case study applying these methods for the differentiation of polymorphs of bupivacaine HCl is also presented. All experiments were conducted upon samples with naturally-abundant nitrogen isotopes. For most of the APIs, it was possible to acquire frequency-stepped UW (14)N SSNMR spectra of stationary samples, which display powder patterns corresponding to pseudo-tetrahedral (i.e., RR'R''NH(+) and RR'NH2(+)) or other (i.e., RNH2 and RNO2) nitrogen environments. Directly-excited (14)N NMR spectra were acquired using the WURST-CPMG pulse sequence, which incorporates WURST (wideband, uniform rate, and smooth truncation) pulses and a CPMG (Carr-Purcell Meiboom-Gill) refocusing protocol. In certain cases, spectra were acquired using (1)H → (14)N broadband cross-polarization, via the BRAIN-CP (broadband adiabatic inversion - cross polarization) pulse sequence. These spectra provide (14)N electric field gradient (EFG) tensor parameters and orientations that are particularly sensitive to variations in local structure and intermolecular hydrogen-bonding interactions. The (1)H{(15)N} idHETCOR spectra, acquired under conditions of fast magic-angle spinning (MAS), used CP transfers to provide (1)H-(15)N chemical shift correlations for all nitrogen environments, except for two sites in acebutolol and nicardipine. One of these two sites (RR'NH2(+) in acebutolol) was successfully detected using the DNP-enhanced (15)N{(1)H} CP/MAS measurement, and one (RNO2 in nicardipine) remained elusive due to the absence of

  10. Chemical composition and molecular structure of polysaccharide-protein biopolymer from Durio zibethinus seed: extraction and purification process

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The biological functions of natural biopolymers from plant sources depend on their chemical composition and molecular structure. In addition, the extraction and further processing conditions significantly influence the chemical and molecular structure of the plant biopolymer. The main objective of the present study was to characterize the chemical and molecular structure of a natural biopolymer from Durio zibethinus seed. A size-exclusion chromatography coupled to multi angle laser light-scattering (SEC-MALS) was applied to analyze the molecular weight (Mw), number average molecular weight (Mn), and polydispersity index (Mw/Mn). Results The most abundant monosaccharide in the carbohydrate composition of durian seed gum were galactose (48.6-59.9%), glucose (37.1-45.1%), arabinose (0.58-3.41%), and xylose (0.3-3.21%). The predominant fatty acid of the lipid fraction from the durian seed gum were palmitic acid (C16:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1), stearic acid (C18:0), oleic acid (C18:1), linoleic acid (C18:2), and linolenic acid (C18:2). The most abundant amino acids of durian seed gum were: leucine (30.9-37.3%), lysine (6.04-8.36%), aspartic acid (6.10-7.19%), glycine (6.07-7.42%), alanine (5.24-6.14%), glutamic acid (5.57-7.09%), valine (4.5-5.50%), proline (3.87-4.81%), serine (4.39-5.18%), threonine (3.44-6.50%), isoleucine (3.30-4.07%), and phenylalanine (3.11-9.04%). Conclusion The presence of essential amino acids in the chemical structure of durian seed gum reinforces its nutritional value. PMID:23062269

  11. Is the multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis, the most abundant natural enemy to aphids in agroecosystems?

    PubMed

    Vandereycken, Axel; Durieux, Delphine; Joie, Emilie; Sloggett, John J; Haubruge, Eric; Verheggen, François J

    2013-01-01

    The multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), was introduced into Western Europe in the late 1990s. Since the late 2000s, this species has been commonly considered one of the most abundant aphid predators in most Western European countries. In spite of the large amount of research on H. axyridis, information concerning its relative abundance in agroecosystems is lacking. This study aims to evaluate the abundance of H. axyridis within the aphidophage community in four crops situated in southern Belgium: wheat, Triticum aestivum L. (Poales: Poaceae), corn, Zea mays, potato, Solanum tuberosum (Solanales: Solanaceae), and broad bean Vicia faba (Fabales: Fabaceae). In order to assess the species diversity, the collected data were analyzed by considering (1) the species richness and (2) the evenness according to the Shannon diversity index. Eleven aphidophages were observed in every inventoried agroecosystem, including five abundant species: three coccinellids, the seven-spotted ladybug, Coccinella septempunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), the 14-spotted Ladybird, Propylea quatuordecimpunctata, and H. axyridis; one hoverfly, the marmalade hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus De Geer (Diptera: Syrphidae); and one lacewing, the common green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea Stephens sensu lato (= s.l.) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Harmonia axyridis has been observed to thrive, breed, and reproduce on the four studied crops. Harmonia axyridis is the most abundant predator of aphids in corn followed by C. septempunctata, which is the main aphid predator observed in the three other inventoried crops. In wheat and potato fields, H. axyridis occurs in low numbers compared to other aphidophage. These observations suggest that H. axyridis could be considered an invasive species of agrosystems, and that potato and wheat may intermittently act as refuges for other aphidophages vulnerable to intraguild predation by this invader. Harmonia axyridis

  12. Is the Multicolored Asian Ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis, the Most Abundant Natural Enemy to Aphids in Agroecosystems?

    PubMed Central

    Vandereycken, Axel; Durieux, Delphine; Joie, Emilie; Sloggett, John J.; Haubruge, Eric; Verheggen, François J.

    2013-01-01

    The multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), was introduced into Western Europe in the late 1990s. Since the late 2000s, this species has been commonly considered one of the most abundant aphid predators in most Western European countries. In spite of the large amount of research on H. axyridis, information concerning its relative abundance in agroecosystems is lacking. This study aims to evaluate the abundance of H. axyridis within the aphidophage community in four crops situated in southern Belgium: wheat, Triticum aestivum L. (Poales: Poaceae), corn, Zea mays, potato, Solanum tuberosum (Solanales: Solanaceae), and broad bean Vicia faba (Fabales: Fabaceae). In order to assess the species diversity, the collected data were analyzed by considering (1) the species richness and (2) the evenness according to the Shannon diversity index. Eleven aphidophages were observed in every inventoried agroecosystem, including five abundant species: three coccinellids, the seven-spotted ladybug, Coccinella septempunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), the 14-spotted Ladybird, Propylea quatuordecimpunctata, and H. axyridis; one hoverfly, the marmalade hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus De Geer (Diptera: Syrphidae); and one lacewing, the common green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea Stephens sensu lato (= s.l.) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Harmonia axyridis has been observed to thrive, breed, and reproduce on the four studied crops. Harmonia axyridis is the most abundant predator of aphids in corn followed by C. septempunctata, which is the main aphid predator observed in the three other inventoried crops. In wheat and potato fields, H. axyridis occurs in low numbers compared to other aphidophage. These observations suggest that H. axyridis could be considered an invasive species of agrosystems, and that potato and wheat may intermittently act as refuges for other aphidophages vulnerable to intraguild predation by this invader. Harmonia axyridis

  13. Is the multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis, the most abundant natural enemy to aphids in agroecosystems?

    PubMed

    Vandereycken, Axel; Durieux, Delphine; Joie, Emilie; Sloggett, John J; Haubruge, Eric; Verheggen, François J

    2013-01-01

    The multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), was introduced into Western Europe in the late 1990s. Since the late 2000s, this species has been commonly considered one of the most abundant aphid predators in most Western European countries. In spite of the large amount of research on H. axyridis, information concerning its relative abundance in agroecosystems is lacking. This study aims to evaluate the abundance of H. axyridis within the aphidophage community in four crops situated in southern Belgium: wheat, Triticum aestivum L. (Poales: Poaceae), corn, Zea mays, potato, Solanum tuberosum (Solanales: Solanaceae), and broad bean Vicia faba (Fabales: Fabaceae). In order to assess the species diversity, the collected data were analyzed by considering (1) the species richness and (2) the evenness according to the Shannon diversity index. Eleven aphidophages were observed in every inventoried agroecosystem, including five abundant species: three coccinellids, the seven-spotted ladybug, Coccinella septempunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), the 14-spotted Ladybird, Propylea quatuordecimpunctata, and H. axyridis; one hoverfly, the marmalade hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus De Geer (Diptera: Syrphidae); and one lacewing, the common green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea Stephens sensu lato (= s.l.) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Harmonia axyridis has been observed to thrive, breed, and reproduce on the four studied crops. Harmonia axyridis is the most abundant predator of aphids in corn followed by C. septempunctata, which is the main aphid predator observed in the three other inventoried crops. In wheat and potato fields, H. axyridis occurs in low numbers compared to other aphidophage. These observations suggest that H. axyridis could be considered an invasive species of agrosystems, and that potato and wheat may intermittently act as refuges for other aphidophages vulnerable to intraguild predation by this invader. Harmonia axyridis

  14. Natural abundance 17O DNP two-dimensional and surface-enhanced NMR spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Perras, Frédéric A.; Kobayashi, Takeshi; Pruski, Marek

    2015-06-22

    Due to its extremely low natural abundance and quadrupolar nature, the 17O nuclide is very rarely used for spectroscopic investigation of solids by NMR without isotope enrichment. Additionally, the applicability of dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), which leads to sensitivity enhancements of 2 orders of magnitude, to 17O is wrought with challenges due to the lack of spin diffusion and low polarization transfer efficiency from 1H. Here, we demonstrate new DNP-based measurements that extend 17O solid-state NMR beyond its current capabilities. The use of the PRESTO technique instead of conventional 1H–17O cross-polarization greatly improves the sensitivity and enables the facile measurement of undistorted line shapes and two-dimensional 1H–17O HETCOR NMR spectra as well as accurate internuclear distance measurements at natural abundance. This was applied for distinguishing hydrogen-bonded and lone 17O sites on the surface of silica gel; the one-dimensional spectrum of which could not be used to extract such detail. As a result, this greatly enhanced sensitivity has enabled, for the first time, the detection of surface hydroxyl sites on mesoporous silica at natural abundance, thereby extending the concept of DNP surface-enhanced NMR spectroscopy to the 17O nuclide.

  15. The natural 13C abundance of plasma glucose is a useful biomarker of recent dietary caloric sweetener intake.

    PubMed

    Cook, Chad M; Alvig, Amy L; Liu, Yu Qiu David; Schoeller, Dale A

    2010-02-01

    There is a need for objective biomarkers of dietary intake, because self-reporting is often subject to bias. We tested the validity of a biomarker for the fraction of dietary carbohydrate (CHO) from cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup (C(4) sugars) using natural (13)C abundance of plasma glucose. In a randomized, single-blinded, crossover design, 5 participants consumed 3 weight-maintaining diets for 7 d, with a 2-wk washout between diet periods. Diets differed in the fraction of total CHO energy from C(4) sugars (5, 16, or 32%). During each diet period, blood samples were drawn at hours 0800 and 1600 on d 1, 3, and 5 and at 0800, 1000, 1200, 1400, and 1600 on d 7. The delta(13)C abundance of plasma glucose was analyzed via GC- isotope ratio MS. Within each diet period, delta(13)C abundance of the 0800 fasting glucose did not change from baseline with increasing time during a diet period; however, there was a strong positive correlation (R(2) = 0.89) between delta(13)C abundance of the glucose concentration at 1000 on d 7 and the percent of breakfast CHO from C(4) sugars. Also, delta(13)C abundance of the combined plasma glucose samples on d 7 demonstrated a strong positive correlation (R(2) = 0.90) with the percent of total daily CHO from C(4) sugars. The natural delta(13)C abundance of postprandial plasma glucose relative to dietary C(4) CHO content was a valid biomarker for contributions of C(4) caloric sweeteners from the previous meal. PMID:20018804

  16. The natural 13C abundance of plasma glucose is a useful biomarker of recent dietary caloric sweetener intake.

    PubMed

    Cook, Chad M; Alvig, Amy L; Liu, Yu Qiu David; Schoeller, Dale A

    2010-02-01

    There is a need for objective biomarkers of dietary intake, because self-reporting is often subject to bias. We tested the validity of a biomarker for the fraction of dietary carbohydrate (CHO) from cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup (C(4) sugars) using natural (13)C abundance of plasma glucose. In a randomized, single-blinded, crossover design, 5 participants consumed 3 weight-maintaining diets for 7 d, with a 2-wk washout between diet periods. Diets differed in the fraction of total CHO energy from C(4) sugars (5, 16, or 32%). During each diet period, blood samples were drawn at hours 0800 and 1600 on d 1, 3, and 5 and at 0800, 1000, 1200, 1400, and 1600 on d 7. The delta(13)C abundance of plasma glucose was analyzed via GC- isotope ratio MS. Within each diet period, delta(13)C abundance of the 0800 fasting glucose did not change from baseline with increasing time during a diet period; however, there was a strong positive correlation (R(2) = 0.89) between delta(13)C abundance of the glucose concentration at 1000 on d 7 and the percent of breakfast CHO from C(4) sugars. Also, delta(13)C abundance of the combined plasma glucose samples on d 7 demonstrated a strong positive correlation (R(2) = 0.90) with the percent of total daily CHO from C(4) sugars. The natural delta(13)C abundance of postprandial plasma glucose relative to dietary C(4) CHO content was a valid biomarker for contributions of C(4) caloric sweeteners from the previous meal.

  17. On the suppression of superconducting phase formation in YBCO materials by templated synthesis in the presence of a sulfated biopolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Elliott; Schnepp, Zoe; Wimbush, Stuart C.; Hall, Simon R.

    2008-11-01

    The use of biopolymers as templates to control superconductor crystallization is a recent phenomenon and is generating a lot of interest both from the superconductor community and in materials chemistry circles. This work represents a critical finding in the use of such biopolymers, in particular the contraindicatory nature of sulfur when attempting to affect a morphologically controlled synthesis. Synthesis of superconducting nanoparticles was attempted using carrageenan as a morphological template. Reactive sulfate groups on the biopolymer prevent this, producing instead significant quantities of barium sulfate nanotapes. By substituting the biopolymer for structurally analogous, non-sulfated agar, we show that superconducting nanoparticles could be successfully synthesized.

  18. Increased seawater temperature increases the abundance and alters the structure of natural Vibrio populations associated with the coral Pocillopora damicornis

    PubMed Central

    Tout, Jessica; Siboni, Nachshon; Messer, Lauren F.; Garren, Melissa; Stocker, Roman; Webster, Nicole S.; Ralph, Peter J.; Seymour, Justin R.

    2015-01-01

    Rising seawater temperature associated with global climate change is a significant threat to coral health and is linked to increasing coral disease and pathogen-related bleaching events. We performed heat stress experiments with the coral Pocillopora damicornis, where temperature was increased to 31°C, consistent with the 2–3°C predicted increase in summer sea surface maxima. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing revealed a large shift in the composition of the bacterial community at 31°C, with a notable increase in Vibrio, including known coral pathogens. To investigate the dynamics of the naturally occurring Vibrio community, we performed quantitative PCR targeting (i) the whole Vibrio community and (ii) the coral pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus. At 31°C, Vibrio abundance increased by 2–3 orders of magnitude and V. coralliilyticus abundance increased by four orders of magnitude. Using a Vibrio-specific amplicon sequencing assay, we further demonstrated that the community composition shifted dramatically as a consequence of heat stress, with significant increases in the relative abundance of known coral pathogens. Our findings provide quantitative evidence that the abundance of potential coral pathogens increases within natural communities of coral-associated microbes as a consequence of rising seawater temperature and highlight the potential negative impacts of anthropogenic climate change on coral reef ecosystems. PMID:26042096

  19. Assessment of the natural variation of low abundant metabolic proteins in soybean seeds using proteomics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, we investigated the distribution of the low abundant proteins that are involved in soybean seed development in four wild and twelve cultivated soybean genotypes. We found proteomic variation of these proteins within and...

  20. Flow and habitat effects on juvenile fish abundance in natural and altered flow regimes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Freeman, Mary C.; Bowen, Z.H.; Bovee, K.D.; Irwin, E.R.

    2001-01-01

    Conserving biological resources native to large river systems increasingly depends on how flow-regulated segments of these rivers are managed. Improving management will require a better understanding of linkages between river biota and temporal variability of flow and instream habitat. However, few studies have quantified responses of native fish populations to multiyear (>2 yr) patterns of hydrologic or habitat variability in flow-regulated systems. To provide these data, we quantified young-of-year (YOY) fish abundance during four years in relation to hydrologic and habitat variability in two segments of the Tallapoosa River in the southeastern United States. One segment had an unregulated flow regime, whereas the other was flow-regulated by a peak-load generating hydropower dam. We sampled fishes annually and explored how continuously recorded flow data and physical habitat simulation models (PHABSIM) for spring (April-June) and summer (July-August) preceding each sample explained fish abundances. Patterns of YOY abundance in relation to habitat availability (median area) and habitat persistence (longest period with habitat area continuously above the long-term median area) differed between unregulated and flow-regulated sites. At the unregulated site, YOY abundances were most frequently correlated with availability of shallow-slow habitat in summer (10 species) and persistence of shallow-slow and shallow-fast habitat in spring (nine species). Additionally, abundances were negatively correlated with 1-h maximum flow in summer (five species). At the flow-regulated site, YOY abundances were more frequently correlated with persistence of shallow-water habitats (four species in spring; six species in summer) than with habitat availability or magnitude of flow extremes. The associations of YOY with habitat persistence at the flow-regulated site corresponded to the effects of flow regulation on habitat patterns. Flow regulation reduced median flows during spring and

  1. Partitioning Respiration Between Plant and Microbial Sources Using Natural Abundance Stable Carbon Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, T. E.; Tu, K. P.

    2009-12-01

    Partitioning plant and microbial respiration is important for understanding the mechanistic basis of ecosystem respiration, as each can respond to changes in environmental conditions in different ways and at different timescales. In theory, natural abundance stable C isotopes can allow source partitioning when the isotopic difference between the sources can be resolved. The longstanding notion is that such differences do not exist, yet field measurements to support this conclusion are rare. The question remains as to how much isotopic difference exists between the plant and microbial respiration and whether or not this difference is sufficient for partitioning. We addressed this question by measuring the C isotope ratios (13C/12C) of plant, microbial, and whole ecosystem respiration from three contrasting ecosystems in California. We found significant variation in the 13C/12C ratios between plant and microbial sources. However, isotopic mass balance was not observed in more than half the cases. When isotopic mass balance was observed, the largest isotopic differences were always between CO2 evolved during leaf respiration and SOC decomposition, with leaf respiration more depleted by 1-8 per mil. Within plants, the leaf respiration was more depleted than rhizosphere respiration by 2-6 per mil. Among microbial sources, litter decomposition was more depleted than SOC decomposition by 1-5 per mil. The 13C/12C ratio of bulk C and respired CO2 exhibited similar trends, but bulk C values were clearly not a good surrogate for the 13C/12C ratios of respired CO2. Based on the 13C/12C ratios of respired CO2, belowground respiration accounted for 25% in the redwood forest, 37% in the grassland and 84% in the pine forest. Belowground respiration was further partitioned between rhizosphere, litter and SOC decomposition. Each contributed nearly equal amounts in the redwood forest (30/40/30) whereas litter respiration dominated in the grassland (20/70/10) and pine forest (15

  2. Locust bean gum: a versatile biopolymer.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-15

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

  3. Nature's starships. I. Observed abundances and relative frequencies of amino acids in meteorites

    SciTech Connect

    Cobb, Alyssa K.; Pudritz, Ralph E. E-mail: pudritz@physics.mcmaster.ca

    2014-03-10

    The class of meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites are examples of material from the solar system which have been relatively unchanged from the time of their initial formation. These meteorites have been classified according to the temperatures and physical conditions of their parent planetesimals. We collate available data on amino acid abundance in these meteorites and plot the concentrations of different amino acids for each meteorite within various meteorite subclasses. We plot average concentrations for various amino acids across meteorites separated by subclass and petrologic type. We see a predominance in the abundance and variety of amino acids in CM2 and CR2 meteorites. The range in temperature corresponding to these subclasses indicates high degrees of aqueous alteration, suggesting aqueous synthesis of amino acids. Within the CM2 and CR2 subclasses, we identify trends in relative frequencies of amino acids to investigate how common amino acids are as a function of their chemical complexity. These two trends (total abundance and relative frequencies) can be used to constrain formation parameters of amino acids within planetesimals. Our organization of the data supports an onion shell model for the temperature structure of planetesimals. The least altered meteorites (type 3) and their amino acids originated near cooler surface regions. The most active amino acid synthesis likely took place at intermediate depths (type 2). The most altered materials (type 1) originated furthest toward parent body cores. This region is likely too hot to either favor amino acid synthesis or for amino acids to be retained after synthesis.

  4. Natural and synthetic poly(malic acid)-based derivates: a family of versatile biopolymers for the design of drug nanocarriers.

    PubMed

    Loyer, Pascal; Cammas-Marion, Sandrine

    2014-08-01

    The field of specific drug delivery is an expanding research domain. Besides the use of liposomes formed from various lipids, natural and synthetic polymers have been developed to prepare more efficient drug delivery systems either under macromolecular prodrugs or under particulate nanovectors. To ameliorate the biocompatibility of such nanocarriers, degradable natural or synthetic polymers have attracted the interest of many researchers. In this context, poly(malic acid) (PMLA) extracted from microorganisms or synthesized from malic or aspartic acid was used to prepare water-soluble drug carriers or nanoparticles. Within this review, both the preparation and the applications of PMLA derivatives are described emphasizing the in vitro and in vivo assays. The results obtained by several groups highlight the interest of such polyesters in the field of drug delivery.

  5. Crosslinking biopolymers for biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Narendra; Reddy, Roopa; Jiang, Qiuran

    2015-06-01

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

  6. Biocompatibility of plasma nanostructured biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  7. Nitrate dynamics in natural plants: insights based on the concentration and natural isotope abundances of tissue nitrate

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xue-Yan; Koba, Keisuke; Makabe, Akiko; Liu, Cong-Qiang

    2014-01-01

    The dynamics of nitrate (NO−3), a major nitrogen (N) source for natural plants, has been studied mostly through experimental N addition, enzymatic assay, isotope labeling, and genetic expression. However, artificial N supply may not reasonably reflect the N strategies in natural plants because NO−3 uptake and reduction may vary with external N availability. Due to abrupt application and short operation time, field N addition, and isotopic labeling hinder the elucidation of in situ NO−3-use mechanisms. The concentration and natural isotopes of tissue NO−3 can offer insights into the plant NO−3 sources and dynamics in a natural context. Furthermore, they facilitate the exploration of plant NO−3 utilization and its interaction with N pollution and ecosystem N cycles without disturbing the N pools. The present study was conducted to review the application of the denitrifier method for concentration and isotope analyses of NO−3 in plants. Moreover, this study highlights the utility and advantages of these parameters in interpreting NO−3 sources and dynamics in natural plants. We summarize the major sources and reduction processes of NO−3 in plants, and discuss the implications of NO−3 concentration in plant tissues based on existing data. Particular emphasis was laid on the regulation of soil NO−3 and plant ecophysiological functions in interspecific and intra-plant NO−3 variations. We introduce N and O isotope systematics of NO−3 in plants and discuss the principles and feasibilities of using isotopic enrichment and fractionation factors; the correlation between concentration and isotopes (N and O isotopes: δ18O and Δ17O); and isotope mass-balance calculations to constrain sources and reduction of NO−3 in possible scenarios for natural plants are deliberated. Finally, we offer a preliminary framework of intraplant δ18O-NO−3 variation, and summarize the uncertainties in using tissue NO−3 parameters to interpret plant NO−3 utilization

  8. Natural expansion and experimental manipulation of seagrass ( Zostera spp.) abundance and the response of infaunal invertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, Paul G.

    1987-06-01

    A study of an expanding seagrass bed on the south-west coast of British Columbia, Canada involved documentation and explanation of the pattern of expansion of the vegetation as well as documentation and experimental investigation of the accompanying changes in the distribution of infaunal invertebrates. Expansion followed a major environmental change, improved water clarity initiated in 1969 when a causeway blocked access to the site for silty Fraser River water. The original eelgrass ( Zostera marina) bed expanded landward over 30 m year -1, probably causing more and more water to be retained in the bed at low tide and thus improving its own habitat. More rapid expansion occurred from 1979-1983 after Z.japonica colonized at the landward edge of the eelgrass bed and in a separate intertidal area. Expansion ceased around 1983 coincident with, but probably independent of, further construction. Burrowing shrimp ( Callianassa californiensis) decreased in abundance between 1977 and 1984 in areas where the two seagrasses colonized. Short-term experiment over one summer and fall showed that removal of all shoots allowed adult shrimp and tube worms to colonize the sediment while addition of shoots of Z. japonica by transplanting caused temporary decreases in shrimp abundance. After a few weeks an established shrimp population destroyed the transplants. Among reasonable alternate hypotheses for the decline in Callianassa, the effect of sediment texture can be eliminated, but either direct negative effects of seagrass, i.e. inhibition of the burrowing of adult shrimp or of settlement of juveniles, or indirect effects, i.e. the harboring of more predators of shrimp in seagrass beds, deserve further study.

  9. Biopolymers from Composted Biowaste as Stabilizers for the Synthesis of Spherical and Homogeneously Sized Silver Nanoparticles for Textile Applications on Natural Fibers.

    PubMed

    Nisticò, Roberto; Barrasso, Marco; Carrillo Le Roux, Galo Antonio; Seckler, Marcelo Martins; Sousa, Walter; Malandrino, Mery; Magnacca, Giuliana

    2015-12-21

    The use of bio-based substances (BBS) obtained from composted biowaste as stabilizers for the production of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in substitution to citrate is investigated herein, evaluating the functionalization of natural fibers for textile antibacterial applications. The results obtained evidenced that BBS can substitute citrate as reducing/stabilizing agent in the synthesis, inducing a geometrical control (in shape and size) of the AgNPs. Two different substrates were selected (wool and cotton) and two dip-coating deposition techniques investigated. The release of AgNPs from the supports in water was evaluated under two different experimental conditions: 1) soaking (static conditions) for 7 and 15 days, simulating the contact with sweat, and 2) centrifugation (dynamic conditions), simulating a washing machine treatment. A wide physicochemical characterization was carried out to evaluate the effects of BBS on the morphology and stability of AgNPs suspensions as well as the functionalization effectiveness.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  11. Dual production of biopolymers from bacteria.

    PubMed

    Sukan, Artun; Roy, Ipsita; Keshavarz, Tajalli

    2015-08-01

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

  12. New method for estimating bacterial cell abundances in natural samples by use of sublimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Cleaves, H. James; Schubert, Michael; Aubrey, Andrew; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    2004-01-01

    We have developed a new method based on the sublimation of adenine from Escherichia coli to estimate bacterial cell counts in natural samples. To demonstrate this technique, several types of natural samples, including beach sand, seawater, deep-sea sediment, and two soil samples from the Atacama Desert, were heated to a temperature of 500 degrees C for several seconds under reduced pressure. The sublimate was collected on a cold finger, and the amount of adenine released from the samples was then determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with UV absorbance detection. Based on the total amount of adenine recovered from DNA and RNA in these samples, we estimated bacterial cell counts ranging from approximately 10(5) to 10(9) E. coli cell equivalents per gram. For most of these samples, the sublimation-based cell counts were in agreement with total bacterial counts obtained by traditional DAPI (4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) staining.

  13. New method for estimating bacterial cell abundances in natural samples by use of sublimation.

    PubMed

    Glavin, Daniel P; Cleaves, H James; Schubert, Michael; Aubrey, Andrew; Bada, Jeffrey L

    2004-10-01

    We have developed a new method based on the sublimation of adenine from Escherichia coli to estimate bacterial cell counts in natural samples. To demonstrate this technique, several types of natural samples, including beach sand, seawater, deep-sea sediment, and two soil samples from the Atacama Desert, were heated to a temperature of 500 degrees C for several seconds under reduced pressure. The sublimate was collected on a cold finger, and the amount of adenine released from the samples was then determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with UV absorbance detection. Based on the total amount of adenine recovered from DNA and RNA in these samples, we estimated bacterial cell counts ranging from approximately 10(5) to 10(9) E. coli cell equivalents per gram. For most of these samples, the sublimation-based cell counts were in agreement with total bacterial counts obtained by traditional DAPI (4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) staining.

  14. Interaction between polymer constituents and the structure of biopolymers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rein, R.

    1974-01-01

    The paper reviews the current status of methods for calculating intermolecular interactions between biopolymer units. The nature of forces contributing to the various domains of intermolecular separations is investigated, and various approximations applicable in the respective regions are examined. The predictive value of current theory is tested by establishing a connection with macroscopic properties and comparing the theoretical predicted values with those derived from experimental data. This has led to the introduction of a statistical model describing DNA.

  15. Inferring the nature of anthropogenic threats from long-term abundance records.

    PubMed

    Shoemaker, Kevin T; Akçakaya, H Resit

    2015-02-01

    Diagnosing the processes that threaten species persistence is critical for recovery planning and risk forecasting. Dominant threats are typically inferred by experts on the basis of a patchwork of informal methods. Transparent, quantitative diagnostic tools would contribute much-needed consistency, objectivity, and rigor to the process of diagnosing anthropogenic threats. Long-term census records, available for an increasingly large and diverse set of taxa, may exhibit characteristic signatures of specific threatening processes and thereby provide information for threat diagnosis. We developed a flexible Bayesian framework for diagnosing threats on the basis of long-term census records and diverse ancillary sources of information. We tested this framework with simulated data from artificial populations subjected to varying degrees of exploitation and habitat loss and several real-world abundance time series for which threatening processes are relatively well understood: bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) (exploitation) and Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica) and Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis) (habitat loss). Our method correctly identified the process driving population decline for over 90% of time series simulated under moderate to severe threat scenarios. Successful identification of threats approached 100% for severe exploitation and habitat loss scenarios. Our method identified threats less successfully when threatening processes were weak and when populations were simultaneously affected by multiple threats. Our method selected the presumed true threat model for all real-world case studies, although results were somewhat ambiguous in the case of the Eurasian Skylark. In the latter case, incorporation of an ancillary source of information (records of land-use change) increased the weight assigned to the presumed true model from 70% to 92%, illustrating the value of the proposed framework in bringing diverse sources of

  16. Inferring the nature of anthropogenic threats from long-term abundance records.

    PubMed

    Shoemaker, Kevin T; Akçakaya, H Resit

    2015-02-01

    Diagnosing the processes that threaten species persistence is critical for recovery planning and risk forecasting. Dominant threats are typically inferred by experts on the basis of a patchwork of informal methods. Transparent, quantitative diagnostic tools would contribute much-needed consistency, objectivity, and rigor to the process of diagnosing anthropogenic threats. Long-term census records, available for an increasingly large and diverse set of taxa, may exhibit characteristic signatures of specific threatening processes and thereby provide information for threat diagnosis. We developed a flexible Bayesian framework for diagnosing threats on the basis of long-term census records and diverse ancillary sources of information. We tested this framework with simulated data from artificial populations subjected to varying degrees of exploitation and habitat loss and several real-world abundance time series for which threatening processes are relatively well understood: bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) (exploitation) and Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica) and Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis) (habitat loss). Our method correctly identified the process driving population decline for over 90% of time series simulated under moderate to severe threat scenarios. Successful identification of threats approached 100% for severe exploitation and habitat loss scenarios. Our method identified threats less successfully when threatening processes were weak and when populations were simultaneously affected by multiple threats. Our method selected the presumed true threat model for all real-world case studies, although results were somewhat ambiguous in the case of the Eurasian Skylark. In the latter case, incorporation of an ancillary source of information (records of land-use change) increased the weight assigned to the presumed true model from 70% to 92%, illustrating the value of the proposed framework in bringing diverse sources of

  17. Determination of the natural abundance δ15N of taurine by gas chromatography-isotope ratio measurement mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Tea, Illa; Antheaume, Ingrid; Besnard, Jorick; Robins, Richard J

    2010-12-15

    The measurement of the nitrogen isotope ratio of taurine (2-aminoethanesulphonic acid) in biological samples has a large number of potential applications. Taurine is a small water-soluble molecule which is notoriously difficult to analyze due to its polarity and functionality. A method is described which allows the determination of the natural abundance δ(15)N values of taurine and structural analogues, such as 3-amino-1-propanesulphonic acid (APSA), by isotope ratio mass spectrometry interfaced to gas chromatography (GC-irm-MS). The one-step protocol exploits the simultaneous derivatization of both functionalities of these aminosulphonic acids by reaction with triethylorthoacetate (TEOA). Conditions have been established which ensure quantitative reaction thus avoiding any nitrogen isotope fractionation during derivatization and workup. The differences in the δ(15)N values of derivatized and non-derivatized taurine and APSA all fall within the working range of 0.4‰ (-0.02 to 0.39‰). When applied to four sources of taurine with various δ(15)N values, the method achieved excellent reproducibility and accuracy. The optimized method enables the determination of the natural abundance δ(15)N values of taurine over the concentration range 1.5-7.84 µmol.mL(-1) in samples of biological origin.

  18. Afforestation impacts microbial biomass and its natural (13)C and (15)N abundance in soil aggregates in central China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Junjun; Zhang, Qian; Yang, Fan; Lei, Yao; Zhang, Quanfa; Cheng, Xiaoli

    2016-10-15

    We investigated soil microbial biomass and its natural abundance of δ(13)C and δ(15)N in aggregates (>2000μm, 250-2000μm, 53-250μm and <53μm) of afforested (implementing woodland and shrubland plantations) soils, adjacent croplands and open area (i.e., control) in the Danjiangkou Reservoir area of central China. The afforested soils averaged higher microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN) levels in all aggregates than in open area and cropland, with higher microbial biomass in micro-aggregates (<250μm) than in macro-aggregates (>2000μm). The δ(13)C of soil microbial biomass was more enriched in woodland soils than in other land use types, while δ(15)N of soil microbial biomass was more enriched compared with that of organic soil in all land use types. The δ(13)C and δ(15)N of microbial biomass were positively correlated with the δ(13)C and δ(15)N of organic soil across aggregates and land use types, whereas the (13)C and (15)N enrichment of microbial biomass exhibited linear decreases with the corresponding C:N ratio of organic soil. Our results suggest that shifts in the natural (13)C and (15)N abundance of microbial biomass reflect changes in the stabilization and turnover of soil organic matter (SOM) and thereby imply that afforestation can greatly impact SOM accumulation over the long-term.

  19. Natural 15N- and 13C-abundance as indicators of forest nitrogen status and soil carbon dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Garten Jr, Charles T; Hanson, Paul J; Todd Jr, Donald E; Lu, Benwhea Bonnie; Brice, Deanne Jane

    2007-09-01

    This book highlights new and emerging uses of stable isotope analysis in a variety of ecological disciplines. While the use of natural abundance isotopes in ecological research is now relatively standard, new techniques and ways of interpreting patterns are developing rapidly. The second edition of this book provides a thorough, up-to-date examination of these methods of research. As part of the Ecological Methods and Concepts series which provides the latest information on experimental techniques in ecology, this book looks at a wide range of techniques that use natural abundance isotopes to: {sm_bullet} follow whole ecosystem element cycling {sm_bullet} understand processes of soil organic matter formation {sm_bullet} follow the movement of water in whole watersheds {sm_bullet} understand the effects of pollution in both terrestrial and aquatic environments {sm_bullet} study extreme systems such as hydrothermal vents {sm_bullet}follow migrating organisms In each case, the book explains the background to the methodology, looks at the underlying principles and assumptions, and outlines the potential limitations and pitfalls. Stable Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Science is an ideal resource for both ecologists who are new to isotopic analysis, and more experienced isotope ecologists interested in innovative techniques and pioneering new uses.

  20. A thalium-doped sodium iodide well counter for radioactive tracer applications with naturally-abundant 40K

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, Andrew J.; Boxall, Colin; Joyce, Malcolm J.; Schotanus, Paul

    2013-09-01

    The use of a thallium-doped sodium-iodide well-type scintillation detector for the assay of the low-activity radioisotope 40K, in open-source potassium chloride aqueous solutions, is described. The hazards, safety concerns and radiowaste generation associated with using open-source radioactive isotopes can present significant difficulties, the use of hot cells and escalated costs in radioanalytical laboratory research. A solution to this is the use of low-hazard alternatives that mimic the migration and dispersion characteristics of notable fission products (in this case 137Cs). The use of NaI(Tl) as a detection medium for naturally-abundant levels of 40K in a range of media is widespread, but the use of 40K as a radioactive tracer has not been reported. The use of such low-activity sources is often complicated by the ability to detect them efficiently. In this paper a scintillator detector designed to detect the naturally-abundant 40K present in potassium chloride in tracer applications is described. Examples of the use of potassium chloride as a tracer are given in the context of ion exchange and electrochemical migration studies, and comparisons in performance are drawn from literature with hyper pure germanium semiconductor detectors, which are more commonly utilised detectors in high-resolution counting applications.

  1. MICROBIAL FERMENTATION OF ABUNDANT BIOPOLYMERS: CELLULOSE AND CHITIN

    SciTech Connect

    Leschine, Susan

    2009-10-31

    Our research has dealt with seven major areas of investigation: i) characterization of cellulolytic members of microbial consortia, with special attention recently given to Clostridium phytofermentans, a bacterium that decomposes cellulose and produces uncommonly large amounts of ethanol, ii) investigations of the chitinase system of Cellulomonas uda; including the purification and characterization of ChiA, the major component of this enzyme system, iii) molecular cloning, sequence and structural analysis of the gene that encodes ChiA in C. uda, iv) biofilm formation by C. uda on nutritive surfaces, v) investigations of the effects of humic substances on cellulose degradation by anaerobic cellulolytic microbes, vi) studies of nitrogen metabolism in cellulolytic anaerobes, and vii) understanding the molecular architecture of the multicomplex cellulase-xylanase system of Clostridium papyrosolvens. Also, progress toward completing the research of more recent projects is briefly summarized. Major accomplishments include: 1. Characterization of Clostridium phytofermentans, a cellulose-fermenting, ethanol-producing bacterium from forest soil. The characterization of a new cellulolytic species isolated from a cellulose-decomposing microbial consortium from forest soil was completed. This bacterium is remarkable for the high concentrations of ethanol produced during cellulose fermentation, typically more than twice the concentration produced by other species of cellulolytic clostridia. 2. Examination of the use of chitin as a source of carbon and nitrogen by cellulolytic microbes. We discovered that many cellulolytic anaerobes and facultative aerobes are able to use chitin as a source of both carbon and nitrogen. This major discovery expands our understanding of the biology of cellulose-fermenting bacteria and may lead to new applications for these microbes. 3. Comparative studies of the cellulase and chitinase systems of Cellulomonas uda. Results of these studies indicate that the chitinase and cellulase systems of this bacterium are distinct in terms of the proteins involved and the regulation of their production. 4. Characterization of the chitinase system of C. uda. A 70,000-Mr endochitinase, designated ChiA, was purified from C. uda culture supernatant fluids and characterized. 5. Analysis of chiA, which codes for the major enzymatic component of the chitinase system of C. uda. The gene encoding the endochitinase ChiA in C. uda was cloned, its complete nucleotide sequence was determined and its implications were investigated. 6. Formation of biofilms by C. uda on cellulose and chitin. Microscopic observations indicated that, under conditions of nitrogen limitation, C. uda cells grew as a biofilm attached tightly to the surface of cellulose or chitin. 7. Development of tools for a genetic approach to studies of cellulose fermentation by cellulolytic clostridia. We have explored the potential of various techniques, and obtained evidence indicating that Tn916 mutagenesis may be particularly effective in this regard. As part of this research, we identified the presence of a plasmid in one strain, which was cloned, sequenced, and analyzed for its utility in the development of vectors for genetic studies. 8. Effects of humic substances on cellulose degradation by anaerobic cellulolytic microbes. We determined that humic substances play an important role in the anaerobic cellulose decomposition and in the physiology of cellulose-fermenting soil bacteria. 9. Nitrogenases of cellulolytic clostridia. We described a nitrogenase gene from a cellulolytic clostridium and presented evidence, based on sequence analyses and conserved gene order, for lateral gene transfer between this bacterium and a methanogenic archaeon. 10. Characterization of Clostridium hungatei, a new N2-fixing cellulolytic species isolated from a methanogenic consortium from soil. 11. Understanding the molecular architecture of the multicomplex cellulase-xylanase system of Clostridium papyrosolvens. We discovered that C. papyrosolvens produces a multiprotein, multicomplex cellulase-xylanase enzyme system that hydrolyzes crystalline cellulose, and we have described this system in detail.

  2. A New Method for Estimating Bacterial Abundances in Natural Samples using Sublimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Cleaves, H. James; Schubert, Michael; Aubrey, Andrew; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    2004-01-01

    We have developed a new method based on the sublimation of adenine from Escherichia coli to estimate bacterial cell counts in natural samples. To demonstrate this technique, several types of natural samples including beach sand, seawater, deep-sea sediment, and two soil samples from the Atacama Desert were heated to a temperature of 500 C for several seconds under reduced pressure. The sublimate was collected on a cold finger and the amount of adenine released from the samples then determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with UV absorbance detection. Based on the total amount of adenine recovered from DNA and RNA in these samples, we estimated bacterial cell counts ranging from approx. l0(exp 5) to l0(exp 9) E. coli cell equivalents per gram. For most of these samples, the sublimation based cell counts were in agreement with total bacterial counts obtained by traditional DAPI staining. The simplicity and robustness of the sublimation technique compared to the DAPI staining method makes this approach particularly attractive for use by spacecraft instrumentation. NASA is currently planning to send a lander to Mars in 2009 in order to assess whether or not organic compounds, especially those that might be associated with life, are present in Martian surface samples. Based on our analyses of the Atacama Desert soil samples, several million bacterial cells per gam of Martian soil should be detectable using this sublimation technique.

  3. [Magnetic nanoparticles and intracellular delivery of biopolymers].

    PubMed

    Kornev, A A; Dubina, M V

    2014-03-01

    The basic methods of intracellular delivery of biopolymers are present in this review. The structure and synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles, their stabilizing surfactants are described. The examples of the interaction of nanoparticles with biopolymers such as nucleic acids and proteins are considered. The final part of the review is devoted to problems physiology and biocompatibility of magnetic nanoparticles.

  4. Squalene: a naturally abundant mammalian skin secretion and long distance tick-attractant (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Yoder, J A; Stevens, B W; Crouch, K C

    1999-07-01

    Squalene is a naturally occurring lipid on mammalian skin and is an attractant to the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.). In this study, we compared squalene to the standard tick-attractants, benzaldehyde, isobutyric acid, methyl salicylate, nonanoic acid, and o-nitrophenol identified as active ingredients of tick aggregation-attachment pheromones and determined its effectiveness in field and laboratory settings at varying distances. Squalene was detected from 1/4 m greater than the standard tick attractants, attracted a greater percentage of ticks (75 compared with 0-43%) and featured a rapid response time (< 30 min). Thus, squalene contributes more to the tick's ability to locate hosts at greater distances than aggregation-attachment pheromones. These results have important implications for improving tick monitoring and control programs by adding squalene as a supplement to existing attractant baits. PMID:10467784

  5. Shape-memory biopolymers based on β-sheet structures of polyalanine segments inspired by spider silks.

    PubMed

    Huang, Huahua; Hu, Jinlian; Zhu, Yong

    2013-02-01

    The molecular structural design learned from natural materials enables synthetic polymers with desirable and unique features to be fabricated. Inspired by spider silks, short-chain polyalanine (PA) is introduced into multiblock biopolymers with poly(ε-caprolactone) segments via a coupling reaction. As a result, PA segments in biopolymers form similar β-sheet crystals to that of natural spidroins. These new biopolymers are found to exhibit nearly complete shape recovery and high shape fixity, along with significantly improved thermal stability due to the strong β-sheet structures as netpoints. This work provides new insight for the design of novel shape-memory polymers with potential use in biomedical applications.

  6. δ15N natural abundance in permafrost soil indicates impact of fire on nitrogen cycle.

    PubMed

    Conen, Franz; Yakutin, Mikhail V; Puchnin, Alexander N; Leifeld, Jens; Alewell, Christine

    2011-03-15

    The impact of fire on the nitrogen (N) cycle of natural ecosystems is arguable. Here we report and interpret an observation from boreal ecosystems in the Lena River basin, Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russian Federation. Different types of permafrost soil (0-30 cm depth) were sampled along transects (60-150 m length) from the forest edge towards the centre of four separate thermokarst depressions under grassland. The average values of δ(15)N were remarkably similar within three transects, but differed systematically between them. Three findings point towards fire being the cause of the observed pattern. First, the spatial extent of systematic differences in soil δ(15)N coincides with the extent of typical fire scars in the region. Second, soil enrichment in (15)N is larger in the proximity of settlements, where fire is generally more frequent than in more remote places. Third, there is a significant positive correlation between δ(15)N values and the ratio of black C to total N. These findings point towards fire having a marked impact on soil δ(15)N and, accordingly, on the N cycle of this cold and dry ecosystem. PMID:21290453

  7. Natural landscape and stream segment attributes influencing the distribution and relative abundance of riverine smallmouth bass in Missouri

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brewer, S.K.; Rabeni, C.F.; Sowa, S.P.; Annis, G.

    2007-01-01

    Protecting and restoring fish populations on a regional basis are most effective if the multiscale factors responsible for the relative quality of a fishery are known. We spatially linked Missouri's statewide historical fish collections to environmental features in a geographic information system, which was used as a basis for modeling the importance of landscape and stream segment features in supporting a population of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu. Decision tree analyses were used to develop probability-based models to predict statewide occurrence and within-range relative abundances. We were able to identify the range of smallmouth bass throughout Missouri and the probability of occurrence within that range by using a few broad landscape variables: the percentage of coarse-textured soils in the watershed, watershed relief, and the percentage of soils with low permeability in the watershed. The within-range relative abundance model included both landscape and stream segment variables. As with the statewide probability of occurrence model, soil permeability was particularly significant. The predicted relative abundance of smallmouth bass in stream segments containing low percentages of permeable soils was further influenced by channel gradient, stream size, spring-flow volume, and local slope. Assessment of model accuracy with an independent data set showed good concordance. A conceptual framework involving naturally occurring factors that affect smallmouth bass potential is presented as a comparative model for assessing transferability to other geographic areas and for studying potential land use and biotic effects. We also identify the benefits, caveats, and data requirements necessary to improve predictions and promote ecological understanding. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2007.

  8. Time-dependent extinction rate and species abundance in a tangled-nature model of biological evolution.

    PubMed

    Hall, Matt; Christensen, Kim; di Collobiano, Simone A; Jensen, Henrik Jeldtoft

    2002-07-01

    We present a model of evolutionary ecology consisting of a web of interacting individuals, a tangle-nature model. The reproduction rate of individuals characterized by their genome depends on the composition of the population in genotype space. Ecological features such as the taxonomy and the macroevolutionary mode of the dynamics are emergent properties. The macrodynamics exhibit intermittent two-mode switching with a gradually decreasing extinction rate. The generated ecologies become gradually better adapted as well as more complex in a collective sense. The form of the species abundance curve compares well with observed functional forms. The model's error threshold can be understood in terms of the characteristics of the two dynamical modes of the system.

  9. Equilibrium & Nonequilibrium Fluctuation Effects in Biopolymer Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kachan, Devin Michael

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

  10. Effects of weed cover composition on insect pest and natural enemy abundance in a field of Dracaena marginata (Asparagales: Asparagaceae) in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Sadof, Clifford S; Linkimer, Mildred; Hidalgo, Eduardo; Casanoves, Fernando; Gibson, Kevin; Benjamin, Tamara J

    2014-04-01

    Weeds and their influence on pest and natural enemy populations were studied on a commercial ornamental farm during 2009 in the Atlantic Zone of Costa Rica. A baseline survey of the entire production plot was conducted in February, along a 5 by 5 m grid to characterize and map initial weed communities of plants, cicadellids, katydids, and armored scales. In total, 50 plant species from 21 families were found. Seven weed treatments were established to determine how weed manipulations would affect communities of our targeted pests and natural enemies. These treatments were selected based on reported effects of specific weed cover on herbivorous insects and natural enemies, or by their use by growers as a cover crop. Treatments ranged from weed-free to being completely covered with endemic species of weeds. Although some weed treatments changed pest abundances, responses differed among arthropod pests, with the strongest effects observed for Caldwelliola and Empoasca leafhoppers. Removal of all weeds increased the abundance of Empoasca, whereas leaving mostly cyperacaeous weeds increased the abundance of Caldwelliola. Weed manipulations had no effect on the abundance of katydid and scale populations. No weed treatment reduced the abundance of all three of the target pests. Differential responses of the two leafhopper species to the same weed treatments support hypotheses, suggesting that noncrop plants can alter the abundance of pests through their effects on arthropod host finding and acceptance, as well as their impacts on natural enemies.

  11. Effects of weed cover composition on insect pest and natural enemy abundance in a field of Dracaena marginata (Asparagales: Asparagaceae) in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Sadof, Clifford S; Linkimer, Mildred; Hidalgo, Eduardo; Casanoves, Fernando; Gibson, Kevin; Benjamin, Tamara J

    2014-04-01

    Weeds and their influence on pest and natural enemy populations were studied on a commercial ornamental farm during 2009 in the Atlantic Zone of Costa Rica. A baseline survey of the entire production plot was conducted in February, along a 5 by 5 m grid to characterize and map initial weed communities of plants, cicadellids, katydids, and armored scales. In total, 50 plant species from 21 families were found. Seven weed treatments were established to determine how weed manipulations would affect communities of our targeted pests and natural enemies. These treatments were selected based on reported effects of specific weed cover on herbivorous insects and natural enemies, or by their use by growers as a cover crop. Treatments ranged from weed-free to being completely covered with endemic species of weeds. Although some weed treatments changed pest abundances, responses differed among arthropod pests, with the strongest effects observed for Caldwelliola and Empoasca leafhoppers. Removal of all weeds increased the abundance of Empoasca, whereas leaving mostly cyperacaeous weeds increased the abundance of Caldwelliola. Weed manipulations had no effect on the abundance of katydid and scale populations. No weed treatment reduced the abundance of all three of the target pests. Differential responses of the two leafhopper species to the same weed treatments support hypotheses, suggesting that noncrop plants can alter the abundance of pests through their effects on arthropod host finding and acceptance, as well as their impacts on natural enemies. PMID:24517852

  12. Female offspring desertion and male-only care increase with natural and experimental increase in food abundance

    PubMed Central

    Eldegard, Katrine; Sonerud, Geir A.

    2009-01-01

    In species with biparental care, one parent may escape the costs of parental care by deserting and leaving the partner to care for the offspring alone. A number of theoretical papers have suggested a link between uniparental offspring desertion and ecological factors, but empirical evidence is scarce. We investigated the relationship between uniparental desertion and food abundance in a natural population of Tengmalm's owl Aegolius funereus, both by means of a 5-year observational study and a 1-year experimental study. Parents and offspring were fitted with radio-transmitters in order to reveal the parental care strategy (i.e. care or desert) of individual parents, and to keep track of the broods post-fledging. We found that 70 per cent of the females from non-experimental nests deserted, while their partner continued to care for their joint offspring alone. Desertion rate was positively related to natural prey population densities and body reserves of the male partner. In response to food supplementation, a larger proportion of the females deserted, and females deserted the offspring at an earlier age. Offspring survival during the post-fledging period tended to be lower in deserted than in non-deserted broods. We argue that the most important benefit of deserting may be remating (sequential polyandry). PMID:19324835

  13. Female offspring desertion and male-only care increase with natural and experimental increase in food abundance.

    PubMed

    Eldegard, Katrine; Sonerud, Geir A

    2009-05-01

    In species with biparental care, one parent may escape the costs of parental care by deserting and leaving the partner to care for the offspring alone. A number of theoretical papers have suggested a link between uniparental offspring desertion and ecological factors, but empirical evidence is scarce. We investigated the relationship between uniparental desertion and food abundance in a natural population of Tengmalm's owl Aegolius funereus, both by means of a 5-year observational study and a 1-year experimental study. Parents and offspring were fitted with radio-transmitters in order to reveal the parental care strategy (i.e. care or desert) of individual parents, and to keep track of the broods post-fledging. We found that 70 per cent of the females from non-experimental nests deserted, while their partner continued to care for their joint offspring alone. Desertion rate was positively related to natural prey population densities and body reserves of the male partner. In response to food supplementation, a larger proportion of the females deserted, and females deserted the offspring at an earlier age. Offspring survival during the post-fledging period tended to be lower in deserted than in non-deserted broods. We argue that the most important benefit of deserting may be remating (sequential polyandry). PMID:19324835

  14. Chemical Modeling of Acid-Base Properties of Soluble Biopolymers Derived from Municipal Waste Treatment Materials

    PubMed Central

    Tabasso, Silvia; Berto, Silvia; Rosato, Roberta; Tafur Marinos, Janeth Alicia; Ginepro, Marco; Zelano, Vincenzo; Daniele, Pier Giuseppe; Montoneri, Enzo

    2015-01-01

    This work reports a study of the proton-binding capacity of biopolymers obtained from different materials supplied by a municipal biowaste treatment plant located in Northern Italy. One material was the anaerobic fermentation digestate of the urban wastes organic humid fraction. The others were the compost of home and public gardening residues and the compost of the mix of the above residues, digestate and sewage sludge. These materials were hydrolyzed under alkaline conditions to yield the biopolymers by saponification. The biopolymers were characterized by 13C NMR spectroscopy, elemental analysis and potentiometric titration. The titration data were elaborated to attain chemical models for interpretation of the proton-binding capacity of the biopolymers obtaining the acidic sites concentrations and their protonation constants. The results obtained with the models and by NMR spectroscopy were elaborated together in order to better characterize the nature of the macromolecules. The chemical nature of the biopolymers was found dependent upon the nature of the sourcing materials. PMID:25658795

  15. Chemical modeling of acid-base properties of soluble biopolymers derived from municipal waste treatment materials.

    PubMed

    Tabasso, Silvia; Berto, Silvia; Rosato, Roberta; Marinos, Janeth Alicia Tafur; Ginepro, Marco; Zelano, Vincenzo; Daniele, Pier Giuseppe; Montoneri, Enzo

    2015-01-01

    This work reports a study of the proton-binding capacity of biopolymers obtained from different materials supplied by a municipal biowaste treatment plant located in Northern Italy. One material was the anaerobic fermentation digestate of the urban wastes organic humid fraction. The others were the compost of home and public gardening residues and the compost of the mix of the above residues, digestate and sewage sludge. These materials were hydrolyzed under alkaline conditions to yield the biopolymers by saponification. The biopolymers were characterized by 13C NMR spectroscopy, elemental analysis and potentiometric titration. The titration data were elaborated to attain chemical models for interpretation of the proton-binding capacity of the biopolymers obtaining the acidic sites concentrations and their protonation constants. The results obtained with the models and by NMR spectroscopy were elaborated together in order to better characterize the nature of the macromolecules. The chemical nature of the biopolymers was found dependent upon the nature of the sourcing materials. PMID:25658795

  16. Factors Driving the Abundance of Ixodes ricinus Ticks and the Prevalence of Zoonotic I. ricinus-Borne Pathogens in Natural Foci

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-de-Mera, Isabel G.; Acevedo, Pelayo; Gortázar, Christian; de la Fuente, José

    2012-01-01

    Environmental factors may drive tick ecology and therefore tick-borne pathogen (TBP) epidemiology, which determines the risk to animals and humans of becoming infected by TBPs. For this reason, the aim of this study was to analyze the influence of environmental factors on the abundance of immature-stage Ixodes ricinus ticks and on the prevalence of two zoonotic I. ricinus-borne pathogens in natural foci of endemicity. I. ricinus abundance was measured at nine sites in the northern Iberian Peninsula by dragging the vegetation with a cotton flannelette, and ungulate abundance was measured by means of dung counts. In addition to ungulate abundance, data on variables related to spatial location, climate, and soil were gathered from the study sites. I. ricinus adults, nymphs, and larvae were collected from the vegetation, and a representative subsample of I. ricinus nymphs from each study site was analyzed by PCR for the detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Anaplasma phagocytophilum DNA. Mean prevalences of these pathogens were 4.0% ± 1.8% and 20.5% ± 3.7%, respectively. Statistical analyses confirmed the influence of spatial factors, climate, and ungulate abundance on I. ricinus larva abundance, while nymph abundance was related only to climate. Interestingly, cattle abundance rather than deer abundance was the main driver of B. burgdorferi sensu lato and A. phagocytophilum prevalence in I. ricinus nymphs in the study sites, where both domestic and wild ungulates coexist. The increasing abundance of cattle seems to increase the risk of other hosts becoming infected by A. phagocytophilum, while reducing the risk of being infected by B. burgdorferi sensu lato. Controlling ticks in cattle in areas where they coexist with wild ungulates would be more effective for TBP control than reducing ungulate abundance. PMID:22286986

  17. Abundance of non-native crabs in intertidal habitats of New England with natural and artificial structure.

    PubMed

    Lovely, Christina M; O'Connor, Nancy J; Judge, Michael L

    2015-01-01

    Marine habitats containing complex physical structure (e.g., crevices) can provide shelter from predation for benthic invertebrates. To examine effects of natural and artificial structure on the abundance of intertidal juvenile crabs, 2 experiments were conducted in Kingston Bay, Massachusetts, USA, from July to September, 2012. In the first experiment, structure was manipulated in a two-factor design that was placed in the high intertidal for 3 one-week periods to test for both substrate type (sand vs. rock) and the presence or absence of artificial structure (mesh grow-out bags used in aquaculture, ∼0.5 m(2) with 62 mm(2) mesh openings). The Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, and small individuals of the green crab, Carcinus maenas, were observed only in the treatments of rocks and mesh bag plus rocks. Most green crabs were small (<6 mm in carapace width) whereas H. sanguineus occurred in a wide range of sizes. In the second experiment, 3 levels of oyster-shell treatments were established using grow-out bags placed on a muddy sand substrate in the low intertidal zone: mesh grow-out bags without shells, grow-out bags with oyster shells, and grow-out bags containing live oysters. Replicate bags were deployed weekly for 7 weeks in a randomized complete block design. All crabs collected in the bags were juvenile C. maenas (1-15 mm carapace width), and numbers of crabs differed 6-fold among treatments, with most crabs present in bags with live oysters (29.5 ± 10.6 m(-2) [mean ± S.D.]) and fewest in bags without shells (4.9 ± 3.7 m(-2)). Both C. maenas and H. sanguineus occurred in habitats with natural structure (cobble rocks). The attraction of juvenile C. maenas to artificial structure consisting of plastic mesh bags containing both oyster shells and living oysters could potentially impact oyster aquaculture operations.

  18. Abundance of non-native crabs in intertidal habitats of New England with natural and artificial structure.

    PubMed

    Lovely, Christina M; O'Connor, Nancy J; Judge, Michael L

    2015-01-01

    Marine habitats containing complex physical structure (e.g., crevices) can provide shelter from predation for benthic invertebrates. To examine effects of natural and artificial structure on the abundance of intertidal juvenile crabs, 2 experiments were conducted in Kingston Bay, Massachusetts, USA, from July to September, 2012. In the first experiment, structure was manipulated in a two-factor design that was placed in the high intertidal for 3 one-week periods to test for both substrate type (sand vs. rock) and the presence or absence of artificial structure (mesh grow-out bags used in aquaculture, ∼0.5 m(2) with 62 mm(2) mesh openings). The Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, and small individuals of the green crab, Carcinus maenas, were observed only in the treatments of rocks and mesh bag plus rocks. Most green crabs were small (<6 mm in carapace width) whereas H. sanguineus occurred in a wide range of sizes. In the second experiment, 3 levels of oyster-shell treatments were established using grow-out bags placed on a muddy sand substrate in the low intertidal zone: mesh grow-out bags without shells, grow-out bags with oyster shells, and grow-out bags containing live oysters. Replicate bags were deployed weekly for 7 weeks in a randomized complete block design. All crabs collected in the bags were juvenile C. maenas (1-15 mm carapace width), and numbers of crabs differed 6-fold among treatments, with most crabs present in bags with live oysters (29.5 ± 10.6 m(-2) [mean ± S.D.]) and fewest in bags without shells (4.9 ± 3.7 m(-2)). Both C. maenas and H. sanguineus occurred in habitats with natural structure (cobble rocks). The attraction of juvenile C. maenas to artificial structure consisting of plastic mesh bags containing both oyster shells and living oysters could potentially impact oyster aquaculture operations. PMID:26401456

  19. Abundance of non-native crabs in intertidal habitats of New England with natural and artificial structure

    PubMed Central

    Lovely, Christina M.; Judge, Michael L.

    2015-01-01

    Marine habitats containing complex physical structure (e.g., crevices) can provide shelter from predation for benthic invertebrates. To examine effects of natural and artificial structure on the abundance of intertidal juvenile crabs, 2 experiments were conducted in Kingston Bay, Massachusetts, USA, from July to September, 2012. In the first experiment, structure was manipulated in a two-factor design that was placed in the high intertidal for 3 one-week periods to test for both substrate type (sand vs. rock) and the presence or absence of artificial structure (mesh grow-out bags used in aquaculture, ∼0.5 m2 with 62 mm2 mesh openings). The Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, and small individuals of the green crab, Carcinus maenas, were observed only in the treatments of rocks and mesh bag plus rocks. Most green crabs were small (<6 mm in carapace width) whereas H. sanguineus occurred in a wide range of sizes. In the second experiment, 3 levels of oyster-shell treatments were established using grow-out bags placed on a muddy sand substrate in the low intertidal zone: mesh grow-out bags without shells, grow-out bags with oyster shells, and grow-out bags containing live oysters. Replicate bags were deployed weekly for 7 weeks in a randomized complete block design. All crabs collected in the bags were juvenile C. maenas (1–15 mm carapace width), and numbers of crabs differed 6-fold among treatments, with most crabs present in bags with live oysters (29.5 ± 10.6 m−2 [mean ± S.D.]) and fewest in bags without shells (4.9 ± 3.7 m−2). Both C. maenas and H. sanguineus occurred in habitats with natural structure (cobble rocks). The attraction of juvenile C. maenas to artificial structure consisting of plastic mesh bags containing both oyster shells and living oysters could potentially impact oyster aquaculture operations. PMID:26401456

  20. Molecular identification and relative abundance of cryptic Lophodermium species in natural populations of Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris L.

    PubMed

    Reignoux, Sabrina N A; Green, Sarah; Ennos, Richard A

    2014-01-01

    The multi-locus phylogenetic species recognition approach and population genetic analysis of Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers were used to delineate Lophodermium taxa inhabiting needles of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in native pinewoods within Scotland. These analyses revealed three major lineages corresponding to the morphological species Lophodermium seditiosum and Lophodermium conigenum, fruiting on broken branches, and Lophodermium pinastri, fruiting on naturally fallen needles. Within L. pinastri three well supported sister clades were found representing cryptic taxa designated L. pinastri I, L. pinastri II, and L. pinastri III. Significant differences in mean growth rate in culture were found among the cryptic taxa. Taxon-specific primers based on ITS sequences were designed and used to classify over 500 Lophodermium isolates, derived from fallen needles of P. sylvestris in three Scottish and one French pinewood site, into the three L. pinastri cryptic taxa. Highly significant differences in the relative abundance of the three taxa were found among the Scottish pinewood sites, and between the French and all of the Scottish sites.

  1. Studies of minute quantities of natural abundance molecules using 2D heteronuclear correlation spectroscopy under 100kHz MAS

    SciTech Connect

    Nishiyama, Y.; Kobayashi, T.; Malon, M.; Singappuli-Arachchige, D.; Slowing, I. I.; Pruski, M.

    2015-02-16

    Two-dimensional 1H{13C} heteronuclear correlation solid-state NMR spectra of naturally abundant solid materials are presented, acquired using the 0.75-mm magic angle spinning (MAS) probe at spinning rates up to 100 kHz. In spite of the miniscule sample volume (290 nL), high-quality HSQC-type spectra of bulk samples as well as surface-bound molecules can be obtained within hours of experimental time. The experiments are compared with those carried out at 40 kHz MAS using a 1.6-mm probe, which offered higher overall sensitivity due to a larger rotor volume. The benefits of ultrafast MAS in such experiments include superior resolution in 1H dimension without resorting to 1H–1H homonuclear RF decoupling, easy optimization, and applicability to mass-limited samples. As a result, the HMQC spectra of surface-bound species can be also acquired under 100 kHz MAS, although the dephasing of transverse magnetization has significant effect on the efficiency transfer under MAS alone.

  2. Natural Abundance 43Ca NMR as a Tool for Exploring Calcium Biomineralization: Renal Stone Formation and Growth

    SciTech Connect

    Bowers, Geoffrey M.; Kirkpatrick, Robert J.

    2011-12-07

    Renal stone diseases are a global health issue with little effective therapeutic recourse aside from surgery and shock-wave lithotripsy, primarily because the fundamental chemical mechanisms behind calcium biomineralization are poorly understood. In this work, we show that natural abundance 43Ca NMR at 21.1 T is an effective means to probe the molecular-level Ca2+ structure in oxalate-based kidney stones. We find that the 43Ca NMR resonance of an authentic oxalate-based kidney stone cannot be explained by a single pure phase of any common Ca2+-bearing stone mineral. Combined with XRD results, our findings suggest an altered calcium oxalate monohydrate-like Ca2+ coordination environment for some fraction of Ca2+ in our sample. The evidence is consistent with existing literature hypothesizing that nonoxalate organic material interacts directly with Ca2+ at stone surfaces and is the primary driver of renal stone aggregation and growth. Our findings show that 43Ca NMR spectroscopy may provide unique and crucial insight into the fundamental chemistry of kidney stone formation, growth, and the role organic molecules play in these processes.

  3. Studies of minute quantities of natural abundance molecules using 2D heteronuclear correlation spectroscopy under 100kHz MAS

    DOE PAGES

    Nishiyama, Y.; Kobayashi, T.; Malon, M.; Singappuli-Arachchige, D.; Slowing, I. I.; Pruski, M.

    2015-02-16

    Two-dimensional 1H{13C} heteronuclear correlation solid-state NMR spectra of naturally abundant solid materials are presented, acquired using the 0.75-mm magic angle spinning (MAS) probe at spinning rates up to 100 kHz. In spite of the miniscule sample volume (290 nL), high-quality HSQC-type spectra of bulk samples as well as surface-bound molecules can be obtained within hours of experimental time. The experiments are compared with those carried out at 40 kHz MAS using a 1.6-mm probe, which offered higher overall sensitivity due to a larger rotor volume. The benefits of ultrafast MAS in such experiments include superior resolution in 1H dimensionmore » without resorting to 1H–1H homonuclear RF decoupling, easy optimization, and applicability to mass-limited samples. As a result, the HMQC spectra of surface-bound species can be also acquired under 100 kHz MAS, although the dephasing of transverse magnetization has significant effect on the efficiency transfer under MAS alone.« less

  4. Molecular characterization of dissolved organic matter in glacial ice: coupling natural abundance 1H NMR and fluorescence spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Pautler, Brent G; Woods, Gwen C; Dubnick, Ashley; Simpson, André J; Sharp, Martin J; Fitzsimons, Sean J; Simpson, Myrna J

    2012-04-01

    Glaciers and ice sheets are the second largest freshwater reservoir in the global hydrologic cycle, and the onset of global climate warming has necessitated an assessment of their contributions to sea-level rise and the potential release of nutrients to nearby aquatic environments. In particular, the release of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from glacier melt could stimulate microbial activity in both glacial ecosystems and adjacent watersheds, but this would largely depend on the composition of the material released. Using fluorescence and (1)H NMR spectroscopy, we characterize DOM at its natural abundance in unaltered samples from a number of glaciers that differ in geographic location, thermal regime, and sample depth. Parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) modeling of DOM fluorophores identifies components in the ice that are predominantly proteinaceous in character, while (1)H NMR spectroscopy reveals a mixture of small molecules that likely originate from native microbes. Spectrofluorescence also reveals a terrestrial contribution that was below the detection limits of NMR; however, (1)H nuclei from levoglucosan was identified in Arctic glacier ice samples. This study suggests that the bulk of the DOM from these glaciers is a mixture of biologically labile molecules derived from microbes.

  5. Nonlinear Mechanics of Athermal Branched Biopolymer Networks.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  6. Dynamic Elasticity Model of Resilin Biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao; Duki, Solomon

    2013-03-01

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

  7. Equilibrium & Nonequilibrium Fluctuation Effects in Biopolymer Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kachan, Devin Michael

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

  8. Cell patterning with mucin biopolymers

    PubMed Central

    Crouzier, T.; Jang, H.; Ahn, J.; Stocker, R.; Ribbeck, K.

    2014-01-01

    The precise spatial control of cell adhesion to surfaces is an endeavor that has enabled discoveries in cell biology and new possibilities in tissue engineering. The generation of cell-repellent surfaces currently requires advanced chemistry techniques and could be simplified. Here we show that mucins, glycoproteins of high structural and chemical complexity, spontaneously adsorb on hydrophobic substrates to form coatings that prevent the surface adhesion of mammalian epithelial cells, fibroblasts, and myoblasts. These mucin coatings can be patterned with micrometer precision using a microfluidic device, and are stable enough to support myoblast differentiation over seven days. Moreover, our data indicate that the cell-repellent effect is dependent on mucin-associated glycans because their removal results in a loss of effective cell-repulsion. Last, we show that a critical surface density of mucins, which is required to achieve cell-repulsion, is efficiently obtained on hydrophobic surfaces, but not on hydrophilic glass surfaces. However, this limitation can be overcome by coating glass with hydrophobic fluorosilane. We conclude that mucin biopolymers are attractive candidates to control cell adhesion on surfaces. PMID:23980712

  9. Natural-abundance stable carbon isotopes of small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) from Guaymas Basin (Mexico)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacGregor, B. J.; Mendlovitz, H.; Albert, D.; Teske, A. P.

    2012-12-01

    Small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) is a phylogenetically informative molecule found in all species. Because it is poorly preserved in most environments, it is a useful marker for active microbial populations. We are using the natural-abundance stable carbon isotopic composition of specific microbial groups to help identify the carbon substrates contributing to microbial biomass in a variety of marine environments. At Guaymas Basin, hydrothermal fluids interact with abundant sedimentary organic carbon to produce natural gas and petroleum. Where this reaches the sediment surface, it can support dense patches of seafloor life, including Beggiatoa mats. We report here on the stable carbon isotopic composition of SSU rRNA from a Beggiatoa mat transect, a cold background site, a warm site with high oil concentration, and a second Beggiatoa mat. The central part of the transect mat overlay the steepest temperature gradient, and was visually dominated by orange Beggiatoa. This was fringed by white Beggiatoa mat and bare, but still warm, sediment. Methane concentrations were saturating beneath the orange and white mats and at the oily site, lower beneath bare sediment, and below detection at the background site. Our initial hypotheses were that rRNA isotopic composition would be strongly influenced by methane supply, and that archaeal rRNA might be lighter than bacterial due to contributions from methanogens and anaerobic methane oxidizers. We used biotin-labeled oligonucleotides to capture Bacterial and Archaeal SSU rRNA for isotopic determination. Background-site rRNA was isotopically heaviest, and bacterial RNA from below 2 cm at the oily site was lightest, consistent with control by methane. Within the transect mat, however, the pattern was more complicated; at some sediment depths, rRNA from the mat periphery was isotopically lightest. Part of this may be due to the spatially and temporally variable paths followed by hydrothermal fluid, which can include horizontal

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

    SciTech Connect

    Davison, Brian H.; Kurtiz,Tanya

    1999-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Davison, Brian H.

    2002-04-30

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Davison, Brian H.; Kuritz, Tanya

    2000-06-01

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

  13. Synthetic- and bio-polymer use for runoff water quality management in irrigated agriculture.

    PubMed

    Sojka, R E; Entry, J A; Orts, W J; Morishita, D W; Ross, C W; Horne, D J

    2005-01-01

    Low concentrations of synthetic- or bio-polymers in irrigation water can nearly eliminate sediment, N, ortho- and total-P, DOM, pesticides, micro-organisms, and weed seed from runoff. These environmentally safe polymers are employed in various sensitive uses including food processing, animal feeds, and potable water purification. The most common synthetic polymer is anionic, high purity polyacrylamide (PAM), which typically provides 70-90% contaminant elimination. Excellent results are achieved adding only 10 ppm PAM to irrigation water, applying 1-2 kg ha(-1) per irrigation, costing 4 dollars - 12 dollars kg(-1). Biopolymers are less effective. Using twice or higher concentrations, existing biopolymers are approximately 60% effective as PAM, at 2-3 times the cost. A half million ha of US irrigated land use PAM for erosion control and runoff protection. The practice is spreading rapidly in the US and worldwide. Interest in development of biopolymer surrogates for PAM is high. If the supply of cheap natural gas (raw material for PAM synthesis) diminishes, industries may seek alternative polymers. Also "green" perceptions and preferences favor biopolymers for certain applications. PMID:15850180

  14. Measurement of Cadmium Ion in the Presence of Metal-Binding Biopolymers in Aqueous Sample

    PubMed Central

    Pu, Jian; Fukushi, Kensuke

    2013-01-01

    In aqueous environment, water-soluble polymers are effectively used to separate free metal ions from metal-polymer complexes. The feasibilities of four different analytical techniques, cadmium ion-selective electrode, dialysis sack, chelate disk cartridge, and ultrafiltration, in distinguishing biopolymer-bound and nonbound cadmium in aqueous samples were investigated. And two different biopolymers were used, including bovine serum albumin (BSA) and biopolymer solution extracted from cultivated activated sludge (ASBP). The ISE method requires relatively large amount of sample and contaminates sample during the pretreatment. After the long reaction time of dialysis, the equilibrium of cadmium in the dialysis sack would be shifted. Due to the sample nature, chelate disk cartridge could not filter within recommended time, which makes it unavailable for biopolymer use. Ultrafiltration method would not experience the difficulties mentioned above. Ultrafiltration method measuring both weakly and strongly bound cadmium was included in nominally biopolymer-cadmium complex. It had significant correlation with the Ion-selective electrode (ISE) method (R2 = 0.989 for BSA, 0.985 for ASBP). PMID:24194678

  15. Acceleration of Natural-Abundance Solid-State MAS NMR Measurements on Bone by Paramagnetic Relaxation from Gadolinium-DTPA

    PubMed Central

    Mroue, Kamal H.; Zhang, Rongchun; Zhu, Peizhi; McNerny, Erin; Kohn, David H.; Morris, Michael D.; Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy

    2014-01-01

    Reducing the data collection time without affecting the signal intensity and spectral resolution is one of the major challenges for the widespread application of multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, especially in experiments conducted on complex heterogeneous biological systems such as bone. In most of these experiments, the NMR data collection time is ultimately governed by the proton spin-lattice relaxation times (T1). For over two decades, gadolinium(III)-DTPA (Gd-DTPA, DTPA = Diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid) has been one of the most widely used contrast-enhancement agents in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this study, we demonstrate that Gd-DTPA can also be effectively used to enhance the longitudinal relaxation rates of protons in solid-state NMR experiments conducted on bone without significant line-broadening and chemical-shift-perturbation side effects. Using bovine cortical bone samples incubated in different concentrations of Gd-DTPA complex, the 1H T1 values were calculated from data collected by 1H spin-inversion recovery method detected in natural-abundance 13C cross-polarization magic angle spinning (CPMAS) NMR experiments. Our results reveal that the 1H T1 values can be successfully reduced by a factor of 3.5 using as low as 10 mM Gd-DTPA without reducing the spectral resolution and thus enabling faster data acquisition of the 13C CPMAS spectra. These results obtained from 13C-detected CPMAS experiments were further confirmed using 1H-detected ultrafast MAS experiments on Gd-DTPA doped bone samples. This approach considerably improves the signal-to-noise ratio per unit time of NMR experiments applied to bone samples by reducing the experimental time required to acquire the same number of scans. PMID:24881032

  16. Using natural abundance radiocarbon to trace the flux of petrocarbon to the seafloor following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Chanton, Jeffrey; Zhao, Tingting; Rosenheim, Brad E; Joye, Samantha; Bosman, Samantha; Brunner, Charlotte; Yeager, Kevin M; Diercks, Arne R; Hollander, David

    2015-01-20

    In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon accident released 4.6–6.0 × 10(11) grams or 4.1 to 4.6 million barrels of fossil petroleum derived carbon (petrocarbon) as oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Natural abundance radiocarbon measurements on surface sediment organic matter in a 2.4 × 10(10) m(2) deep-water region surrounding the spill site indicate the deposition of a fossil-carbon containing layer that included 1.6 to 2.6 × 10(10) grams of oil-derived carbon. This quantity represents between 0.5 to 9.1% of the released petrocarbon, with a best estimate of 3.0–4.9%. These values may be lower limit estimates of the fraction of the oil that was deposited on the seafloor because they focus on a limited mostly deep-water area of the Gulf, include a conservative estimate of thickness of the depositional layer, and use an average background or prespill radiocarbon value for sedimentary organic carbon that produces a conservative value. A similar approach using hopane tracer estimated that 4–31% of 2 million barrels of oil that stayed in the deep sea settled on the bottom. Converting that to a percentage of the total oil that entered into the environment (to which we normalized our estimate) converts this range to 1.8 to 14.4%. Although extrapolated over a larger area, our independent estimate produced similar values.

  17. Plant and Soil Natural Abundance delta-15N: Indicators of Nitrogen Cycling in the Catskill Mountains, New York, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Templer, P. H.; Lovett, G. M.; Weathers, K.; Arthur, M. A.

    2002-12-01

    We examined the potential use of natural abundance 15N of plants and soils as an indicator of forest nitrogen (N) cycling rates within the Catskill Mountains, NY. These watersheds receive among the highest rates of N deposition in the northeastern United States and are beginning to show signs of N saturation. Many studies have shown a link between increased N cycling rates and 15N enrichment of soil and plant pools. Faster rates of N cycling processes, especially nitrification, lead to fractionation of 14/15N, creating N products that are relatively depleted in 15N. This can lead to enrichment of soil pools, as lighter 14N is lost from the system via leaching or denitrification. Plant N pools can become increasingly enriched as they take up 15N-enriched soil N. Despite similar amounts of N deposition across the Catskill Mountains, forests dominated by different tree species appear to vary in the amount of N retained or lost to nearby streams. To determine if plant and soil 15N could be used as indicators of N cycling rates, we collected foliage, wood, litterfall, organic and mineral soil, and fine roots from single species stands of American beech (Fagus grandifolia), eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), red oak (Quercus rubra), and sugar maple (Acer saccharum). Fine roots and soil 15N were highest within sugar maple stands (p<0.05). Sugar maple soils also had the highest rates of net nitrification and N leaching. Therefore, soil 15N appears to correlate with forest N retention and loss. However, 15N enrichment was highest within foliage, litterfall and wood of beech trees (p<0.05). The decoupling between foliage 15N and N cycling, as well as between 15N of foliage and fine roots, illustrates that it may not be possible to use a single plant pool as an indicator of N cycling rates.

  18. Using natural abundance radiocarbon to trace the flux of petrocarbon to the seafloor following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Chanton, Jeffrey; Zhao, Tingting; Rosenheim, Brad E; Joye, Samantha; Bosman, Samantha; Brunner, Charlotte; Yeager, Kevin M; Diercks, Arne R; Hollander, David

    2015-01-20

    In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon accident released 4.6–6.0 × 10(11) grams or 4.1 to 4.6 million barrels of fossil petroleum derived carbon (petrocarbon) as oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Natural abundance radiocarbon measurements on surface sediment organic matter in a 2.4 × 10(10) m(2) deep-water region surrounding the spill site indicate the deposition of a fossil-carbon containing layer that included 1.6 to 2.6 × 10(10) grams of oil-derived carbon. This quantity represents between 0.5 to 9.1% of the released petrocarbon, with a best estimate of 3.0–4.9%. These values may be lower limit estimates of the fraction of the oil that was deposited on the seafloor because they focus on a limited mostly deep-water area of the Gulf, include a conservative estimate of thickness of the depositional layer, and use an average background or prespill radiocarbon value for sedimentary organic carbon that produces a conservative value. A similar approach using hopane tracer estimated that 4–31% of 2 million barrels of oil that stayed in the deep sea settled on the bottom. Converting that to a percentage of the total oil that entered into the environment (to which we normalized our estimate) converts this range to 1.8 to 14.4%. Although extrapolated over a larger area, our independent estimate produced similar values. PMID:25494527

  19. Cumulative fission yields of short-lived isotopes under natural-abundance-boron-carbide-moderated neutron spectrum

    SciTech Connect

    Finn, Erin C.; Metz, Lori A.; Greenwood, Lawrence R.; Pierson, Bruce; Wittman, Richard S.; Friese, Judah I.; Kephart, Rosara F.

    2015-04-09

    The availability of gamma spectroscopy data on samples containing mixed fission products at short times after irradiation is limited. Due to this limitation, data interpretation methods for gamma spectra of mixed fission product samples, where the individual fission products have not been chemically isolated from interferences, are not well-developed. The limitation is particularly pronounced for fast pooled neutron spectra because of the lack of available fast reactors in the United States. Samples containing the actinide isotopes 233, 235, 238U, 237Np, and 239Pu individually were subjected to a 2$ pulse in the Washington State University 1 MW TRIGA reactor. To achieve a fission-energy neutron spectrum, the spectrum was tailored using a natural abundance boron carbide capsule to absorb neutrons in the thermal and epithermal region of the spectrum. Our tailored neutron spectrum is unique to the WSU reactor facility, consisting of a soft fission spectrum that contains some measurable flux in the resonance region. This results in a neutron spectrum at greater than 0.1 keV with an average energy of 70 keV, similar to fast reactor spectra and approaching that of 235U fission. Unique fission product gamma spectra were collected from 4 minutes to 1 week after fission using single-crystal high purity germanium detectors. Cumulative fission product yields measured in the current work generally agree with published fast pooled fission product yield values from ENDF/B-VII, though a bias was noted for 239Pu. The present work contributes to the compilation of energy-resolved fission product yield nuclear data for nuclear forensic purposes.

  20. Evaluating microbial carbon sources in Athabasca oil sands tailings ponds using natural abundance stable and radiocarbon isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahad, J. M.; Pakdel, H.

    2013-12-01

    Natural abundance stable (δ13C) and radiocarbon (Δ14C) isotopes of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) were used to evaluate the carbon sources utilized by the active microbial populations in surface sediments from Athabasca oil sands tailings ponds. The absence of algal-specific PLFAs at three of the four sites investigated, in conjunction with δ13C signatures for PLFAs that were generally within ~3‰ of that reported for oil sands bitumen (~ -30‰), indicated that the microbial communities growing on petroleum constituents were dominated by aerobic heterotrophs. The Δ14C values of PLFAs ranged from -906 to -586‰ and pointed to a significant uptake of fossil carbon (up to ~90% of microbial carbon derived from petroleum), particularly in PLFAs (e.g., cy17:0 and cy19:0) often associated with petroleum hydrocarbon degrading bacteria. The comparatively higher levels of 14C in other, less specific PLFAs (e.g., 16:0) indicated the preferential uptake of younger organic matter by the general microbial population (~50-80% of microbial carbon derived from petroleum). Since the main carbon pools in tailings sediment were essentially 'radiocarbon dead' (i.e., no detectable 14C), the principal source for this modern carbon is considered to be the Athabasca River, which provides the bulk of the water used in the bitumen extraction process. The preferential uptake of the minor amount of young and presumably more biodegradable material present in systems otherwise dominated by recalcitrant petroleum constituents has important implications for remediation strategies. On the one hand, it implies that mining-related organic contaminants could persist in the environment long after tailings pond reclamation has begun. Alternatively, it may be that the young, labile organic matter provided by the Athabasca River plays an important role in stimulating or supporting the microbial utilization of petroleum carbon in oil sands tailings ponds via co-metabolism or priming processes

  1. A review of experimental and modeling techniques to determine properties of biopolymer-based nanocomposites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The nonbiodegradable and nonrenewable nature of plastic packaging has led to a renewed interest in packaging materials based on bio-nanocomposites (biopolymer matrix reinforced with nanoparticles such as layered silicates). One of the reasons for unique properties of bio-nanocomposites is the differ...

  2. TOPICAL REVIEW: Biopolymer organization upon confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marenduzzo, D.; Micheletti, C.; Orlandini, E.

    2010-07-01

    Biopolymers in vivo are typically subject to spatial restraints, either as a result of molecular crowding in the cellular medium or of direct spatial confinement. DNA in living organisms provides a prototypical example of a confined biopolymer. Confinement prompts a number of biophysics questions. For instance, how can the high level of packing be compatible with the necessity to access and process the genomic material? What mechanisms can be adopted in vivo to avoid the excessive geometrical and topological entanglement of dense phases of biopolymers? These and other fundamental questions have been addressed in recent years by both experimental and theoretical means. A review of the results, particularly of those obtained by numerical studies, is presented here. The review is mostly devoted to DNA packaging inside bacteriophages, which is the best studied example both experimentally and theoretically. Recent selected biophysical studies of the bacterial genome organization and of chromosome segregation in eukaryotes are also covered.

  3. Molecular entanglement and electrospinnability of biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Kong, Lingyan; Ziegler, Gregory R

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Stable isotope natural abundance of nitrous oxide emitted from Antarctic tundra soils: effects of sea animal excrement depositions.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Renbin; Liu, Yashu; Li, Xianglan; Sun, Jianjun; Xu, Hua; Sun, Liguang

    2008-11-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas, is mainly emitted from soils during the nitrification and denitrification processes. N2O stable isotope investigations can help to characterize the N2O sources and N2O production mechanisms. N2O isotope measurements have been conducted for different types of global terrestrial ecosystems. However, no isotopic data of N2O emitted from Antarctic tundra ecosystems have been reported although the coastal ice-free tundra around Antarctic continent is the largest sea animal colony on the global scale. Here, we report for the first time stable isotope composition of N2O emitted from Antarctic sea animal colonies (including penguin, seal and skua colonies) and normal tundra soils using in situ field observations and laboratory incubations, and we have analyzed the effects of sea animal excrement depositions on stable isotope natural abundance of N2O. For all the field sites, the soil-emitted N2O was 15N- and 18O-depleted compared with N2O in local ambient air. The mean delta values of the soil-emitted N2O were delta15N = -13.5 +/- 3.2 per thousand and delta18O = 26.2 +/- 1.4 per thousand for the penguin colony, delta15N = -11.5 +/- 5.1 per thousand and delta18O = 26.4 +/- 3.5 per thousand for the skua colony and delta15N = -18.9 +/- 0.7 per thousand and delta18O = 28.8 +/- 1.3 per thousand for the seal colony. In the soil incubations, the isotopic composition of N2O was measured under N2 and under ambient air conditions. The soils incubated under the ambient air emitted very little N2O (2.93 microg N2O--N kg(-1)). Under N2 conditions, much more N2O was formed (9.74 microg N2O--N kg(-1)), and the mean delta15N and delta18O values of N2O were -19.1 +/- 8.0 per thousand and 21.3 +/- 4.3 per thousand, respectively, from penguin colony soils, and -17.0 +/- 4.2 per thousand and 20.6 +/- 3.5 per thousand, respectively, from seal colony soils. The data from in situ field observations and laboratory experiments point to denitrification as the

  5. Microrheology of Biopolymer-Membrane Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfer, E.; Harlepp, S.; Bourdieu, L.; Robert, J.; Mackintosh, F. C.; Chatenay, D.

    2000-07-01

    We create tailored microstructures, consisting of complexes of lipid membranes with self-assembled biopolymer shells, to study the fundamental properties and interactions of these basic components of living cells. We measure the mechanical response of these artificial structures at the micrometer scale, using optical tweezers and single-particle tracking. These systems exhibit rich dynamics that illustrate the viscoelastic character of the quasi-two-dimensional biopolymer network. We present a theoretical model relating the rheological properties of these membranes to the observed dynamics.

  6. Microrheology of biopolymer-membrane complexes.

    PubMed

    Helfer, E; Harlepp, S; Bourdieu, L; Robert, J; MacKintosh, F C; Chatenay, D

    2000-07-10

    We create tailored microstructures, consisting of complexes of lipid membranes with self-assembled biopolymer shells, to study the fundamental properties and interactions of these basic components of living cells. We measure the mechanical response of these artificial structures at the micrometer scale, using optical tweezers and single-particle tracking. These systems exhibit rich dynamics that illustrate the viscoelastic character of the quasi-two-dimensional biopolymer network. We present a theoretical model relating the rheological properties of these membranes to the observed dynamics.

  7. How the first biopolymers could have evolved.

    PubMed Central

    Abkevich, V I; Gutin, A M; Shakhnovich, E I

    1996-01-01

    In this work, we discuss a possible origin of the first biopolymers with stable unique structures. We suggest that at the prebiotic stage of evolution, long organic polymers had to be compact to avoid hydrolysis and had to be soluble and thus must not be exceedingly hydrophobic. We present an algorithm that generates such sequences for model proteins. The evolved sequences turn out to have a stable unique structure, into which they quickly fold. This result illustrates the idea that the unique three-dimensional native structures of first biopolymers could have evolved as a side effect of nonspecific physicochemical factors acting at the prebiotic stage of evolution. PMID:8570645

  8. N-15 NMR spectra of naturally abundant nitrogen in soil and aquatic natural organic matter samples of the International Humic Substances Society

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thorn, K.A.; Cox, L.G.

    2009-01-01

    The naturally abundant nitrogen in soil and aquatic NOM samples from the International Humic Substances Society has been characterized by solid state CP/MAS 15N NMR. Soil samples include humic and fulvic acids from the Elliot soil, Minnesota Waskish peat and Florida Pahokee peat, as well as the Summit Hill soil humic acid and the Leonardite humic acid. Aquatic samples include Suwannee River humic, fulvic and reverse osmosis isolates, Nordic humic and fulvic acids and Pony Lake fulvic acid. Additionally, Nordic and Suwannee River XAD-4 acids and Suwannee River hydrophobic neutral fractions were analyzed. Similar to literature reports, amide/aminoquinone nitrogens comprised the major peaks in the solid state spectra of the soil humic and fulvic acids, along with heterocyclic and amino sugar/terminal amino acid nitrogens. Spectra of aquatic samples, including the XAD-4 acids, contain resolved heterocyclic nitrogen peaks in addition to the amide nitrogens. The spectrum of the nitrogen enriched, microbially derived Pony Lake, Antarctica fulvic acid, appeared to contain resonances in the region of pyrazine, imine and/or pyridine nitrogens, which have not been observed previously in soil or aquatic humic substances by 15N NMR. Liquid state 15N NMR experiments were also recorded on the Elliot soil humic acid and Pony Lake fulvic acid, both to examine the feasibility of the techniques, and to determine whether improvements in resolution over the solid state could be realized. For both samples, polarization transfer (DEPT) and indirect detection (1H-15N gHSQC) spectra revealed greater resolution among nitrogens directly bonded to protons. The amide/aminoquinone nitrogens could also be observed by direct detection experiments.

  9. N-15 NMR spectra of naturally abundant nitrogen in soil and aquatic natural organic matter samples of the International Humic Substances Society

    SciTech Connect

    Thorn, Kevin A.; Cox, Larry G.

    2009-02-28

    The naturally abundant nitrogen in soil and aquatic NOM samples from the International Humic Substances Society has been characterized by solid state CP/MAS ¹⁵N NMR. Soil samples include humic and fulvic acids from the Elliot soil, Minnesota Waskish peat and Florida Pahokee peat, as well as the Summit Hill soil humic acid and the Leonardite humic acid. Aquatic samples include Suwannee River humic, fulvic and reverse osmosis isolates, Nordic humic and fulvic acids and Pony Lake fulvic acid. Additionally, Nordic and Suwannee River XAD-4 acids and Suwannee River hydrophobic neutral fractions were analyzed. Similar to literature reports, amide/aminoquinone nitrogens comprised the major peaks in the solid state spectra of the soil humic and fulvic acids, along with heterocyclic and amino sugar/terminal amino acid nitrogens. Spectra of aquatic samples, including the XAD-4 acids, contain resolved heterocyclic nitrogen peaks in addition to the amide nitrogens. The spectrum of the nitrogen enriched, microbially derived Pony Lake, Antarctica fulvic acid, appeared to contain resonances in the region of pyrazine, imine and/or pyridine nitrogens, which have not been observed previously in soil or aquatic humic substances by ¹⁵N NMR. Liquid state ¹⁵N NMR experiments were also recorded on the Elliot soil humic acid and Pony Lake fulvic acid, both to examine the feasibility of the techniques, and to determine whether improvements in resolution over the solid state could be realized. For both samples, polarization transfer (DEPT) and indirect detection (¹H–¹⁵N gHSQC) spectra revealed greater resolution among nitrogens directly bonded to protons. The amide/aminoquinone nitrogens could also be observed by direct detection experiments.

  10. Bacterial abundance and aerobic microbial activity across natural and oyster aquaculture habitats during summer conditions in a northeastern Pacific estuary.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We measured sediment properties and the abundance and functional diversity of microbes in Willapa Bay, Washington, USA, to test the response of sediment microbes to oyster aquaculture. Sites spanned the estuary gradient (salinity 24-30) and six different habitat types: eelgrass (Zostera marina), uns...

  11. [Conformation theory of polymers and biopolymers].

    PubMed

    Volkenstein, M V

    1977-01-01

    A short review is given of the Soviet investigations in the field of physics of polymers and biopolymers based on the concept of conformational motility of macromolecules. It is shown that the ideas originally used for the treatment of the properties of the synthetic polymers and, in particular, of the rubber elasticity, have found broad applications in molecular biophysics.

  12. Exploring Modifications of Cotton with Biopolymers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. Using PLFA Biomarkers and Natural Abundance Stable and Radiocarbon Isotopes to Characterize the Microbial Ecology and Metabolism of Methane Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, C. T.; Mandernack, K. W.; Slater, G. F.; Dias, R. F.

    2008-12-01

    Methane generated in the subsurface is a major source of atmospheric CH4, but its release is mitigated by CH4-oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs). Therefore, it is important to understand the ecology of methanotroph communities in various environments. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analyses are a particularly useful method for characterizing these communities for two reasons: (1) Many type I and II methanotrophs produce specific PLFA biomarkers that can be used to estimate their populations, and (2) because CH4 is often very depleted in 13C and sometimes 14C, natural abundance δ13CPLFA and Δ14CPLFA values can be used to trace the flow of CH4- derived carbon through microbial ecosystems. We used these tools to evaluate the role of methanotrophs in carbon flow in three different environments: (1) a soil column overlying a coal bed methane (CBM) seep in southwest CO, and pristine, oligotrophic groundwaters within (2) sedimentary and (3) granitic host rocks in Japan. In the soil column impacted by CBM seepage, concentrations of the biomarker PLFAs for type I (16:1ω8cis) and type II (18:1ω8cis) methanotrophs were as high as 13 and 18 nmoles (g dry soil)-1, respectively. Depth profiles of methanotroph PLFA concentrations varied over different sampling dates indicating dynamic populations. δ13CPLFA values of the CBM soils (-25.1 to - 66.9‰) were substantially more negative than those for the control soil (-14.5 to -32.5‰) indicating that CBM is an important carbon source for the CBM-impacted soil microbial community. Δ14CPLFA values (-351 to -936‰) indicate the importance of 14C-dead CBM as a carbon source to the microbial communities, contributing 32 to 66% of total carbon in PLFA structures isolated from shallow soils and 67 to 97% for those isolated from deeper soils. The biomarker for type II methanotrophs, comprised 3 and 18% of total PLFAs in sedimentary and granitic groundwaters, respectively. The Δ14C values determined for type II methanotroph PLFAs

  14. Overview of biopolymers as carriers of antiphlogistic agents for treatment of diverse ocular inflammations.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Anil Kumar; Arya, Amit; Sahoo, Pravat Kumar; Majumdar, Dipak Kanti

    2016-10-01

    Inflammation of the eye is a usual clinical condition that can implicate any part of the eye. The nomenclature of variety of such inflammations is based on the ocular part involved. These diseases may jeopardize normal functioning of the eye on progression. In general, corticosteroids, antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to treat inflammatory diseases/disorders of the eye. There have been several attempts via different approaches of drug delivery to overcome the low ocular bioavailability resulting from shorter ocular residence time. The features like safety, ease of elimination and ability to sustain drug release have led to application of biopolymers in ocular therapeutics. Numerous polymers of natural origin such as gelatin, collagen, chitosan, albumin, hyaluronic acid, alginates etc. have been successfully employed for preparation of different ocular dosage forms. Chitosan is the most explored biopolymer amongst natural biopolymers because of its inherent characteristics. The emergence of synthetic biopolymers (like PVP, PACA, PCL, POE, polyanhydrides, PLA, PGA and PLGA) has also added new dimensions to the drug delivery strategies meant for treatment of ophthalmic inflammations. The current review is an endeavor to describe the utility of a variety of biomaterials/polymers based drug delivery systems as carrier for anti-inflammatory drugs in ophthalmic therapeutics.

  15. Overview of biopolymers as carriers of antiphlogistic agents for treatment of diverse ocular inflammations.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Anil Kumar; Arya, Amit; Sahoo, Pravat Kumar; Majumdar, Dipak Kanti

    2016-10-01

    Inflammation of the eye is a usual clinical condition that can implicate any part of the eye. The nomenclature of variety of such inflammations is based on the ocular part involved. These diseases may jeopardize normal functioning of the eye on progression. In general, corticosteroids, antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to treat inflammatory diseases/disorders of the eye. There have been several attempts via different approaches of drug delivery to overcome the low ocular bioavailability resulting from shorter ocular residence time. The features like safety, ease of elimination and ability to sustain drug release have led to application of biopolymers in ocular therapeutics. Numerous polymers of natural origin such as gelatin, collagen, chitosan, albumin, hyaluronic acid, alginates etc. have been successfully employed for preparation of different ocular dosage forms. Chitosan is the most explored biopolymer amongst natural biopolymers because of its inherent characteristics. The emergence of synthetic biopolymers (like PVP, PACA, PCL, POE, polyanhydrides, PLA, PGA and PLGA) has also added new dimensions to the drug delivery strategies meant for treatment of ophthalmic inflammations. The current review is an endeavor to describe the utility of a variety of biomaterials/polymers based drug delivery systems as carrier for anti-inflammatory drugs in ophthalmic therapeutics. PMID:27287177

  16. Understanding anisotropy and architecture in ice-templated biopolymer scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Pawelec, K M; Husmann, A; Best, S M; Cameron, R E

    2014-04-01

    Biopolymer scaffolds have great therapeutic potential within tissue engineering due to their large interconnected porosity and biocompatibility. Using an ice-templated technique, where collagen is concentrated into a porous network by ice nucleation and growth, scaffolds with anisotropic pore architecture can be created, mimicking natural tissues like cardiac muscle and bone. This paper describes a systematic set of experiments undertaken to understand the effect of local temperatures on architecture in ice-templated biopolymer scaffolds. The scaffolds within this study were at least 10mm in all dimensions, making them applicable to critical sized defects for biomedical applications. It was found that monitoring the local freezing behavior within the slurry was critical to predicting scaffold structure. Aligned porosity was produced only in parts of the slurry volume which were above the equilibrium freezing temperature (0°C) at the time when nucleation first occurs in the sample as a whole. Thus, to create anisotropic scaffolds, local slurry cooling rates must be sufficiently different to ensure that the equilibrium freezing temperature is not reached throughout the slurry at nucleation. This principal was valid over a range of collagen slurries, demonstrating that by monitoring the temperature within slurry during freezing, scaffold anisotropy with ice-templated scaffolds can be predicted.

  17. Synthesis of 9-oxononanoic acid, a precursor for biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Otte, Konrad B; Kirtz, Marko; Nestl, Bettina M; Hauer, Bernhard

    2013-11-01

    Polymers based on renewable resources have become increasingly important. The natural functionalization of fats and oils enables an easy access to interesting monomeric building blocks, which in turn transform the derivative biopolymers into high-performance materials. Unfortunately, interesting building blocks of medium-chain length are difficult to obtain by traditional chemical means. Herein, a biotechnological pathway is established that could provide an environmentally suitable and sustainable alternative. A multiple enzyme two-step one-pot process efficiently catalyzed by a coupled 9S-lipoxygenase (St-LOX1, Solanum tuberosum) and 9/13-hydroperoxide lyase (Cm-9/13HPL, Cucumis melo) cascade reaction is proposed as a potential route for the conversion of linoleic acid into 9-oxononanoic acid, which is a precursor for biopolymers. Lipoxygenase catalyzes the insertion of oxygen into linoleic acid through a radical mechanism to give 9S-hydroperoxy-octadecadienoic acid (9S-HPODE) as a cascade intermediate, which is subsequently cleaved by the action of Cm-9/13HPL. This one-pot process afforded a yield of 73 % combined with high selectivity. The best reaction performance was achieved when lipoxygenase and hydroperoxide lyase were applied in a successive rather than a simultaneous manner. Green leaf volatiles, which are desired flavor and fragrance products, are formed as by-products in this reaction cascade. Furthermore, we have investigated the enantioselectivity of 9/13-HPLs, which exhibited a strong preference for 9S-HPODE over 9R-HPODE.

  18. Comparison of pollinators and natural enemies: a meta-analysis of landscape and local effects on abundance and richness in crops.

    PubMed

    Shackelford, Gorm; Steward, Peter R; Benton, Tim G; Kunin, William E; Potts, Simon G; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Sait, Steven M

    2013-11-01

    To manage agroecosystems for multiple ecosystem services, we need to know whether the management of one service has positive, negative, or no effects on other services. We do not yet have data on the interactions between pollination and pest-control services. However, we do have data on the distributions of pollinators and natural enemies in agroecosystems. Therefore, we compared these two groups of ecosystem service providers, to see if the management of farms and agricultural landscapes might have similar effects on the abundance and richness of both. In a meta-analysis, we compared 46 studies that sampled bees, predatory beetles, parasitic wasps, and spiders in fields, orchards, or vineyards of food crops. These studies used the proximity or proportion of non-crop or natural habitats in the landscapes surrounding these crops (a measure of landscape complexity), or the proximity or diversity of non-crop plants in the margins of these crops (a measure of local complexity), to explain the abundance or richness of these beneficial arthropods. Compositional complexity at both landscape and local scales had positive effects on both pollinators and natural enemies, but different effects on different taxa. Effects on bees and spiders were significantly positive, but effects on parasitoids and predatory beetles (mostly Carabidae and Staphylinidae) were inconclusive. Landscape complexity had significantly stronger effects on bees than it did on predatory beetles and significantly stronger effects in non-woody rather than in woody crops. Effects on richness were significantly stronger than effects on abundance, but possibly only for spiders. This abundance-richness difference might be caused by differences between generalists and specialists, or between arthropods that depend on non-crop habitats (ecotone species and dispersers) and those that do not (cultural species). We call this the 'specialist-generalist' or 'cultural difference' mechanism. If complexity has stronger

  19. Food Resources of Stream Macronivertebrates Determined by Natural-Abundance stable C and N Isotopes and a 15N Tracer Addition

    SciTech Connect

    Mulholland, P. J.

    2000-01-01

    Trophic relationships were examined using natural-abundance {sup 13}C and {sup 15}N analyses and a {sup 15}N-tracer addition experiment in Walker Branch, a 1st-order forested stream in eastern Tennessee. In the {sup 15}N-tracer addition experiment, we added {sup 15}NH{sub 4} to stream water over a 6-wk period in early spring, and measured {sup 15}N:{sup 14}N ratios in different taxa and biomass compartments over distance and time. Samples collected from a station upstream from the {sup 15}N addition provided data on natural-abundance {sup 13}C:{sup 12}C and {sup 15}N:{sup 14}N ratios. The natural-abundance {sup 15}N analysis proved to be of limited value in identifying food resources of macroinvertebrates because {sup 15}N values were not greatly different among food resources. In general, the natural-abundance stable isotope approach was most useful for determining whether epilithon or detritus were important food resources for organisms that may use both (e.g., the snail Elimia clavaeformis), and to provide corroborative evidence of food resources of taxa for which the {sup 15}N tracer results were not definitive. The {sup 15}N tracer results showed that the mayflies Stenonema spp. and Baetis spp. assimilated primarily epilithon, although Baetis appeared to assimilate a portion of the epilithon (e.g., algal cells) with more rapid N turnover than the bulk pool sampled. Although Elimia did not reach isotopic equilibrium during the tracer experiment, application of a N-turnover model to the field data suggested that it assimilated a combination of epilithon and detritus. The amphipod Gammarus minus appeared to depend mostly on fine benthic organic matter (FBOM), and the coleopteran Anchytarsus bicolor on epixylon. The caddisfly Diplectrona modesta appeared to assimilate primarily a fast N-turnover portion of the FBOM pool, and Simuliidae a fast N-turnover component of the suspended particulate organic matter pool rather than the bulk pool sampled. Together, the

  20. Monte Carlo studies of the mechanical properties of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadeghi, Sara

    Biopolymers are one of the main components of living systems. Their sequence dictates their structure that ultimately determines their function. Many factors play key mechanical roles in the cell and one of the most abundant biopolymers that is involved in such tasks is the class of coiled-coil proteins. Various theoretical and experimental studies have been done to explore the mechanical properties of these proteins and there are now a number of single molecule measurements that measure their force response characteristics, making coiled-coils an excellent model system to test folding models connecting sequence to structure to function. In this thesis we have developed a coarse-grained atomistic model to study coiled-coil formation and explore both mechanical and thermal properties. Our model is able to reproduce known coiled-coil structures using only a simple hydrophobic-polar (HP) representation of their sequence and is able to explain the observed mechanical response measured in single molecule experiments. To address how common coiled-coil formation is with respect to all possible helix packs, we have evaluated the designability of the space of possible helical folds, defined as the number of sequences that can fold into a particular structure. We find that left-handed coils emerge as one of the most highly designable structures. From the designability calculation we can identify sequence patterns that design particular coiled-coil folds and mutations that lead to their instability. We also predict that designable coiled-coil structures are more mechanically stable than less designable helical packs. Keywords: Monte Carlo; coiled-coils; alpha-helices; transition force; transition temperature; designability

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Biopolymer-Based Nanoparticles for Drug/Gene Delivery and Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Nitta, Sachiko Kaihara; Numata, Keiji

    2013-01-01

    There has been a great interest in application of nanoparticles as biomaterials for delivery of therapeutic molecules such as drugs and genes, and for tissue engineering. In particular, biopolymers are suitable materials as nanoparticles for clinical application due to their versatile traits, including biocompatibility, biodegradability and low immunogenicity. Biopolymers are polymers that are produced from living organisms, which are classified in three groups: polysaccharides, proteins and nucleic acids. It is important to control particle size, charge, morphology of surface and release rate of loaded molecules to use biopolymer-based nanoparticles as drug/gene delivery carriers. To obtain a nano-carrier for therapeutic purposes, a variety of materials and preparation process has been attempted. This review focuses on fabrication of biocompatible nanoparticles consisting of biopolymers such as protein (silk, collagen, gelatin, β-casein, zein and albumin), protein-mimicked polypeptides and polysaccharides (chitosan, alginate, pullulan, starch and heparin). The effects of the nature of the materials and the fabrication process on the characteristics of the nanoparticles are described. In addition, their application as delivery carriers of therapeutic drugs and genes and biomaterials for tissue engineering are also reviewed. PMID:23344060

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Shape-memory biopolymers based on β-sheet structures of polyalanine segments inspired by spider silks.

    PubMed

    Huang, Huahua; Hu, Jinlian; Zhu, Yong

    2013-02-01

    The molecular structural design learned from natural materials enables synthetic polymers with desirable and unique features to be fabricated. Inspired by spider silks, short-chain polyalanine (PA) is introduced into multiblock biopolymers with poly(ε-caprolactone) segments via a coupling reaction. As a result, PA segments in biopolymers form similar β-sheet crystals to that of natural spidroins. These new biopolymers are found to exhibit nearly complete shape recovery and high shape fixity, along with significantly improved thermal stability due to the strong β-sheet structures as netpoints. This work provides new insight for the design of novel shape-memory polymers with potential use in biomedical applications. PMID:23213001

  6. Dielectric and electrical transport properties of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartsch, Carrie M.; Subramanyam, Guru; Grote, James G.; Hopkins, F. Kenneth; Brott, Lawrence L.; Naik, Rajesh R.

    2007-02-01

    A new capacitive test structure is used to characterize biopolymers at microwave frequencies. The new test structure is comprised of a parallel plate capacitor, combined with coplanar waveguide-based input and output feed lines. This allows electrical measurements to be taken easily under an applied DC electric field and at various temperatures. The dielectric properties are characterized for two biopolymer thin films: a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-based film and a bovine serum albumin (BSA)-based film. These bio-dielectric thin films are compared with a standard commercial polymer thin film, poly[Bisphenol A carbonate-co-4,4'(3,3,5-trimethyl cyclohexylidene) diphenol], also known as amorphous polycarbonate (APC).

  7. The glass transition process in humid biopolymers. DSC study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grunina, N. A.; Belopolskaya, T. V.; Tsereteli, G. I.

    2006-05-01

    Thermal properties of native and denatured biopolymers with quite different chemical and steric structure (globular and fibrillar proteins, DNA, starches) were studied by means of differential scanning calorimetry in a wide range of temperatures and concentrations of water. It was shown that both native and denatured humid biopolymers are glassy systems. The glass transition temperature of these systems strongly depends on percentage of water, with water being simultaneously an intrinsic element of systems' ordered structure and a plasticizer of its amorphous state. On the base of the absolute values of heat capacities for biopolymer-water systems as a whole, heat capacities for biopolymers themselves were calculated as functions on water concentration at fixed temperatures. The S-shaped change of heat capacity observed on diagrams of state both for native and denatured biopolymers is the manifestation of biopolymers' passing through the vitrification region, as it occurs for denatured samples at heating.

  8. Binding capacity: cooperativity and buffering in biopolymers.

    PubMed Central

    Di Cera, E; Gill, S J; Wyman, J

    1988-01-01

    The group of linkage potentials resulting from the energy of a physicochemical system expressed per mol of a reference component, say a polyfunctional macromolecule, leads to the concept of binding capacity. This concept applies equally to both chemical and physical ligands and opens the way to consideration of higher-order linkage relationships. It provides a means of exploring the consequences of thermodynamic stability on generalized binding phenomena in biopolymers. PMID:3422436

  9. Molecular Entanglement and Electrospinnability of Biopolymers

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Lingyan; Ziegler, Gregory R.

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Constraints on abundance, composition, and nature of X-ray amorphous components of soils and rocks at Gale crater, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dehouck, Erwin; McLennan, Scott M.; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Cousin, Agnès.

    2014-12-01

    X-ray diffraction patterns of the three samples analyzed by Curiosity's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument during the first year of the Mars Science Laboratory mission—the Rocknest sand, and the John Klein and Cumberland drill fines, both extracted from the Sheepbed mudstone—show evidence for a significant amorphous component of unclear origin. We developed a mass balance calculation program that determines the range of possible chemical compositions of the crystalline and amorphous components of these samples within the uncertainties of mineral abundances derived from CheMin data. In turn, the chemistry constrains the minimum abundance of amorphous component required to have realistic compositions (all oxides ≥ 0 wt %): 21-22 wt % for Rocknest and 15-20 wt % for Cumberland, in good agreement with estimates derived from the diffraction patterns (~27 and ~31 wt %, respectively). Despite obvious differences between the Rocknest sand and the Sheepbed mudstone, the amorphous components of the two sites are chemically very similar, having comparable concentrations of SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, Cr2O3, FeOT, CaO, Na2O, K2O, and P2O5. MgO tends to be lower in Rocknest, although it may also be comparable between the two samples depending on the exact composition of the smectite in Sheepbed. The only unambiguous difference is the SO3 content, which is always higher in Rocknest. The observed similarity suggests that the two amorphous components share a common origin or formation process. The individual phases possibly present within the amorphous components include: volcanic (or impact) glass, hisingerite (or silica + ferrihydrite), amorphous sulfates (or adsorbed SO42-), and nanophase ferric oxides.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. House and Stable Fly Seasonal Abundance, Larval Development Substrates, and Natural Parasitism on Small Equine Farms in Florida.

    PubMed

    Machtinger, E T; Leppla, N C; Hogsette, J A

    2016-08-01

    House flies, Musca domestica Linnaeus, and stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae), are common pests on horse farms. The successful use of pupal parasitoids for management of these pests requires knowledge of seasonal fluctuations and biology of the flies as well as natural parasitism levels. However, these dynamics have not been investigated on small equine farms. A 1-year field study began in July 2010, in north central Florida, to determine adult fly population levels and breeding areas on four small equine farms. Weekly surveillance showed that pest flies were present year-round, though there were differences in adult population levels among farms and seasons. Fly development was not confirmed on two of the four small farms, suggesting that subtle differences in husbandry may adversely affect the development of immature flies. In six substrates previously identified as the most common among the farms, stable fly puparia were found overwhelmingly in hay mixed with equine manure and house fly puparia were found in fresh pine shavings mixed with equine manure. Natural parasitism was minimal as expected, but greatest numbers of natural parasitoids collected were of the genus Spalangia. Differences in adult and immature fly numbers recovered emphasizes the need for farm owners to confirm on-site fly development prior to purchase and release of biological control agents. Additionally, due to the low natural parasitism levels and domination of parasitism by Spalangia cameroni, augmentative releases using this species may be the most effective.

  13. Seasonal variation in species composition and abundance of demersal fish and invertebrates in a Seagrass Natural Reserve on the eastern coast of the Shandong Peninsula, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Qiang; Guo, Dong; Zhang, Peidong; Zhang, Xiumei; Li, Wentao; Wu, Zhongxin

    2016-03-01

    Seagrass habitats are structurally complex ecosystems, which support high productivity and biodiversity. In temperate systems the density of seagrass may change seasonally, and this may influence the associated fish and invertebrate community. Little is known about the role of seagrass beds as possible nursery areas for fish and invertebrates in China. To study the functioning of a seagrass habitat in northern China, demersal fish and invertebrates were collected monthly using traps, from February 2009 to January 2010. The density, leaf length and biomass of the dominant seagrass Zostera marina and water temperature were also measured. The study was conducted in a Seagrass Natural Reserve (SNR) on the eastern coast of the Shandong Peninsula, China. A total of 22 fish species and five invertebrate species were recorded over the year. The dominant fish species were Synechogobius ommaturus, Sebastes schlegelii, Pholis fangi, Pagrus major and Hexagrammos otakii and these species accounted for 87% of the total number of fish. The dominant invertebrate species were Charybdis japonica and Octopus variabilis and these accounted for 98% of the total abundance of invertebrates. There was high temporal variation in species composition and abundance. The peak number of fish species occurred in August-October 2009, while the number of individual fish and biomass was highest during November 2009. Invertebrate numbers and biomass was highest in March, April, July and September 2009. Temporal changes in species abundance of fishes and invertebrates corresponded with changes in the shoot density and leaf length of the seagrass, Zostera marina.

  14. Rheological and Tribological Properties of Complex Biopolymer Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klossner, Rebecca Reese

    2011-12-01

    little impact on the actual aggregation process. Additionally, the relationship between the rheology and tribology of the SFM was studied through a series of nanoscratch tests using a Hysitron nanoindenter. The nanoindenter has the ability to measure both normal and lateral forces simultaneously, which gives an indication of the lubricity of the solution. The coefficient of friction values for solutions of varying protein concentrations were determined by dividing the lateral force by the normal force. Tribological testing of the synovial fluid model and modified solutions were carried out on spin-cast polyethylene and ultra high molecular weight polyethylene sheets. At lower molecular weight substrates, the film thickness limited the validity of the generated data, and with higher molecular weight surfaces, surface roughness effects were found to dominate the tribological response. Finally, the addition of HCQ does not have a large impact on the tribological data, indicating that the anti-inflammatory drug does not significantly impact the lubrication properties within the synovial fluid model. Finally, additional rheological studies of biopolymer solutions were conducted in which solutions containing chitosan, a natural, bioactive polymer, were characterized to determine their fitness for the electropsinning process. Chitosan fibers are difficult to electrospin, and through these studies, the entanglement concentration, a critical parameter for electrospinning, was determined. The generated rheological data provided a means to predict the morphology of the resulting nanofibers, and aspects of the difficulty in electrospinning chitosan were revealed.

  15. Final Technical Report for 'Investigations of the Role of Protozoa in Transformations of Marine Biopolymers using Phaeocytis Polymer Gels as a Model'

    SciTech Connect

    Lessard, Evelyn

    2003-04-01

    protists are able to use the polymer for nutrition and growth. This is the first demonstration of the ingestion and utilization of a natural marine biopolymer by protists. We also isolated three bacterial strains from our Phaeocystis cultures. All three bacterial strains were capable of growing solely on the polymer gels produced by Phaeocystis without added inorganic nitrogen sources. We used the bacterial and protist strains to investigate degradation and alterations (size, chemical composition) of Phaeocystis polymer gels by bacteria alone and in the presence of protists. In a typical experiment, bacterial abundance in the presence of protists was reduced to one third of that in the control due to grazing, but the degradation rate was about the same. This indicates either that grazing by the protist somehow enhanced the per cell rate of bacterial degradation and/or the protist was ingesting polymer directly. Residual polymer remained after weeks, but the mean the mean diameter of the polymers were shortened considerably to ca. 200 nm. These results, along with other lines of evidence, suggest that it may be the length of polymer that limits degradation, which has important implications for the large pool of refractory DOM in the oceans. Chemical analyses indicated that the polymers are carbohydrate-rich and that the nitrogen is not proteinaceous, but most likely in the form of low molecular weight compounds such as amino sugars or sialic acid, and that they had a surprisingly low C:N ratios (<9). Extracellular polymers may therefore provide a nutritional substrate for bacteria and protists without the need for other sources of nitrogen in nature.

  16. Plant diversity moderates drought stress in grasslands: Implications from a large real-world study on (13)C natural abundances.

    PubMed

    Klaus, Valentin H; Hölzel, Norbert; Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily F; Hänsel, Falk; Fischer, Markus; Kleinebecker, Till

    2016-10-01

    Land-use change and intensification play a key role in the current biodiversity crisis. The resulting species loss can have severe effects on ecosystem functions and services, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. We explored whether land-use intensification (i.e. fertilization intensity), plant diversity and other potentially confounding environmental factors may be significantly related to water use (i.e. drought stress) of grassland plants. Drought stress was assessed using δ(13)C abundances in aboveground plant biomass of 150 grassland plots across a gradient of land-use intensity. Under water shortage, plants are forced to increasingly take up the heavier (13)C due to closing stomata leading to an enrichment of (13)C in biomass. Plants were sampled at the community level and for single species, which belong to three different functional groups (one grass, one herb, two legumes). Results show that plant diversity was significantly related to the δ(13)C signal in community, grass and legume biomass indicating that drought stress was lower under higher diversity, although this relation was not significant for the herb species under study. Fertilization, in turn, mostly increased drought stress as indicated by more positive δ(13)C values. This effect was mostly indirect by decreasing plant diversity. In line with these results, we found similar patterns in the δ(13)C signal of the organic matter in the topsoil, indicating a long history of these processes. Our study provided strong indication for a positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship with reduced drought stress at higher plant diversity. However, it also underlined a negative reinforcing situation: as land-use intensification decreases plant diversity in grasslands, this might subsequently increases drought sensitivity. Vice-versa, enhancing plant diversity in species-poor agricultural grasslands may moderate negative effects of future climate change.

  17. Natural abundance stable carbon isotope evidence for the routing and de novo synthesis of bone FA and cholesterol.

    PubMed

    Jim, Susan; Ambrose, Stanley H; Evershed, Richard P

    2003-02-01

    This research reported in this paper investigated the relationship between diet and bone FA and cholesterol in rats raised on a variety of isotopically controlled diets comprising 20% C3 or C4 protein (casein) and C3 and/or C4 nonprotein or energy (sucrose, starch, and oil) macronutrients. Compound-specific stable carbon isotope analysis (delta13C) was performed on the FA (16:0, 18:0, 18:1, and 18:2) and cholesterol isolated from the diet (n = 4) and bone (n = 8) of these animals. The dietary signals reflected by the bone lipids were investigated using linear regression analysis. delta13C values of bone cholesterol and stearic (18:0) acid were shown to reflect whole-diet delta13C values, whereas the delta13C values of bone palmitic (16:0), oleic (18:1), and linoleic (18:2) acids reflected dietary FA delta13C values. Dietary signal differences are a result of the balance between direct incorporation (or routing) and de novo synthesis of each of these bone lipids. Estimates of the degree of routing of these bone lipids gleaned from correlations between delta13C(dlipid-wdiet) (= delta13C(diet lipid) - delta13C(whole diet)) spacings and delta13C(blipid-wdiet) (= delta13C(bone lipid) - delta13C(whole diet)) fractionations demonstrated that the extent of routing, where 18:2 > 16:0 > 18:1 > 18:0 > cholesterol, reflected the relative abundances of these lipids in the diet. These findings provide the basis for more accurate insights into diet when the delta13C analysis of bone fatty FA or cholesterol is employed.

  18. Plant diversity moderates drought stress in grasslands: Implications from a large real-world study on (13)C natural abundances.

    PubMed

    Klaus, Valentin H; Hölzel, Norbert; Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily F; Hänsel, Falk; Fischer, Markus; Kleinebecker, Till

    2016-10-01

    Land-use change and intensification play a key role in the current biodiversity crisis. The resulting species loss can have severe effects on ecosystem functions and services, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. We explored whether land-use intensification (i.e. fertilization intensity), plant diversity and other potentially confounding environmental factors may be significantly related to water use (i.e. drought stress) of grassland plants. Drought stress was assessed using δ(13)C abundances in aboveground plant biomass of 150 grassland plots across a gradient of land-use intensity. Under water shortage, plants are forced to increasingly take up the heavier (13)C due to closing stomata leading to an enrichment of (13)C in biomass. Plants were sampled at the community level and for single species, which belong to three different functional groups (one grass, one herb, two legumes). Results show that plant diversity was significantly related to the δ(13)C signal in community, grass and legume biomass indicating that drought stress was lower under higher diversity, although this relation was not significant for the herb species under study. Fertilization, in turn, mostly increased drought stress as indicated by more positive δ(13)C values. This effect was mostly indirect by decreasing plant diversity. In line with these results, we found similar patterns in the δ(13)C signal of the organic matter in the topsoil, indicating a long history of these processes. Our study provided strong indication for a positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship with reduced drought stress at higher plant diversity. However, it also underlined a negative reinforcing situation: as land-use intensification decreases plant diversity in grasslands, this might subsequently increases drought sensitivity. Vice-versa, enhancing plant diversity in species-poor agricultural grasslands may moderate negative effects of future climate change. PMID:27220098

  19. Soil Microbial 15N-Natural Abundance is Enriched Relative to Other Soil N Pools and Indicates Microbial C-Limitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dijkstra, P.; Doucett, R.; Hart, S. C.; Boring, L. L.; Schwartz, E.; Hungate, B. A.

    2004-12-01

    Soil microbial biomass is responsible for many of the nitrogen (N) transformations that occur between different soil organic matter pools, plants and atmosphere. For this reason, it is important to learn more about the 15N natural abundance of these organisms. The microbial biomass takes up organic carbon (C) and N and inorganic N for assimilation and respiration. Under C-limited conditions, organic N compounds are mainly utilized as C-source, and excess N leaves the cell (mineralization). The processes of N assimilation, N dissimilation, and export discriminate against the heavier 15N isotope. This leaves the cells 15N enriched compared to their supposed substrates, or total soil N. Selective uptake of enriched ammonium (as a result of nitrification) may contribute to the higher \\delta15N of the micro-organisms. We measured 15N natural abundances of the microbial biomass, using the chloroform-fumigation-extraction method, in grassland soils along an elevation gradient, a fire-disturbance gradient in Florida, a ponderosa forest restoration study, and a dung-gradient near a water source in desert grassland and found 0-12\\permil difference between the soil extractable N and the microbial biomass. We also found that the enrichment is quantitatively dependent on C availability. We speculate that, in addition to an indicator for C availability to the microbes, microbial transformations may explain the 15N-enrichment of soil organic matter with depth.

  20. Sensitivity enhancement in natural-abundance solid-state 33S MAS NMR spectroscopy employing adiabatic inversion pulses to the satellite transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Michael Ryan; Brorson, Michael; Bildsøe, Henrik; Skibsted, Jørgen; Jakobsen, Hans J.

    2008-02-01

    The WURST (wideband uniform rate smooth truncation) and hyperbolic secant (HS) pulse elements have each been employed as pairs of inversion pulses to induce population transfer (PT) between the four energy levels in natural abundance solid-state 33S (spin I = 3/2) MAS NMR, thereby leading to a significant gain in intensity for the central transition (CT). The pair of inversion pulses are applied to the satellite transitions for a series of inorganic sulfates, the sulfate ions in the two cementitious materials ettringite and thaumasite, and the two tetrathiometallates (NH 4) 2WS 4 and (NH 4) 2MoS 4. These materials all exhibit 33S quadrupole coupling constants ( CQ) in the range 0.1-1.0 MHz, with precise CQ values being determined from analysis of the PT enhanced 33S MAS NMR spectra. The enhancement factors for the WURST and HS elements are quite similar and are all in the range 1.74-2.25 for the studied samples, in excellent agreement with earlier reports on HS enhancement factors (1.6-2.4) observed for other spin I = 3/2 nuclei with similar CQ values (0.3-1.2 MHz). Thus, a time saving in instrument time by a factor up to five has been achieved in natural abundance 33S MAS NMR, a time saving which is extremely welcome for this important low-γ nucleus.

  1. Sensitivity enhancement in natural-abundance solid-state 33S MAS NMR spectroscopy employing adiabatic inversion pulses to the satellite transitions.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Michael Ryan; Brorson, Michael; Bildsøe, Henrik; Skibsted, Jørgen; Jakobsen, Hans J

    2008-02-01

    The WURST (wideband uniform rate smooth truncation) and hyperbolic secant (HS) pulse elements have each been employed as pairs of inversion pulses to induce population transfer (PT) between the four energy levels in natural abundance solid-state (33)S (spin I=3/2) MAS NMR, thereby leading to a significant gain in intensity for the central transition (CT). The pair of inversion pulses are applied to the satellite transitions for a series of inorganic sulfates, the sulfate ions in the two cementitious materials ettringite and thaumasite, and the two tetrathiometallates (NH(4))(2)WS(4) and (NH(4))(2)MoS(4). These materials all exhibit (33)S quadrupole coupling constants (C(Q)) in the range 0.1-1.0 MHz, with precise C(Q) values being determined from analysis of the PT enhanced (33)S MAS NMR spectra. The enhancement factors for the WURST and HS elements are quite similar and are all in the range 1.74-2.25 for the studied samples, in excellent agreement with earlier reports on HS enhancement factors (1.6-2.4) observed for other spin I=3/2 nuclei with similar C(Q) values (0.3-1.2 MHz). Thus, a time saving in instrument time by a factor up to five has been achieved in natural abundance (33)S MAS NMR, a time saving which is extremely welcome for this important low-gamma nucleus. PMID:18082436

  2. Seasonal Abundance and Natural Inoculativity of Insect Vectors of Xylella fastidiosa in Oklahoma Tree Nurseries and Vineyards.

    PubMed

    Overall, Lisa M; Rebek, Eric J

    2015-12-01

    Xylella fastidiosa is the causative agent of diseases of perennial plants including peach, plum, elm, oak, pecan, and grape. This bacterial pathogen is transmitted by xylem-feeding insects. In recent years, Pierce's disease of grape has been detected in 10 counties in central and northeastern Oklahoma, prompting further investigation of the disease epidemiology in this state. We surveyed vineyards and tree nurseries in Oklahoma for potential insect vectors to determine species composition, infectivity, and natural inoculativity of commonly captured insect vectors. Yellow sticky cards were used to sample insect fauna at each location. Insects were removed from sticky cards and screened for X. fastidiosa using immunocapture-PCR to determine their infectivity. A second objective was to test the natural inoculativity of insect vectors that are found in vineyards. Graphocephala versuta (Say), Graphocephala coccinea (Forster), Paraulacizes irrorata (F.), Oncometopia orbona (F.), Cuerna costalis (F.), and Entylia carinata Germar were collected from vineyards and taken back to the lab to determine their natural inoculativity. Immunocapture-PCR was used to test plant and insect samples for presence of X. fastidiosa. The three most frequently captured species from vineyards and tree nurseries were G. versuta, Clastoptera xanthocephala Germar, and O. orbona. Of those insects screened for X. fastidiosa, 2.4% tested positive for the bacterium. Field-collected G. versuta were inoculative to both ragweed and alfalfa. Following a 7-d inoculation access period, a higher percentage of alfalfa became infected than ragweed. Results from this study provide insight into the epidemiology of X. fastidiosa in Oklahoma. PMID:26331482

  3. Seasonal Abundance and Natural Inoculativity of Insect Vectors of Xylella fastidiosa in Oklahoma Tree Nurseries and Vineyards.

    PubMed

    Overall, Lisa M; Rebek, Eric J

    2015-12-01

    Xylella fastidiosa is the causative agent of diseases of perennial plants including peach, plum, elm, oak, pecan, and grape. This bacterial pathogen is transmitted by xylem-feeding insects. In recent years, Pierce's disease of grape has been detected in 10 counties in central and northeastern Oklahoma, prompting further investigation of the disease epidemiology in this state. We surveyed vineyards and tree nurseries in Oklahoma for potential insect vectors to determine species composition, infectivity, and natural inoculativity of commonly captured insect vectors. Yellow sticky cards were used to sample insect fauna at each location. Insects were removed from sticky cards and screened for X. fastidiosa using immunocapture-PCR to determine their infectivity. A second objective was to test the natural inoculativity of insect vectors that are found in vineyards. Graphocephala versuta (Say), Graphocephala coccinea (Forster), Paraulacizes irrorata (F.), Oncometopia orbona (F.), Cuerna costalis (F.), and Entylia carinata Germar were collected from vineyards and taken back to the lab to determine their natural inoculativity. Immunocapture-PCR was used to test plant and insect samples for presence of X. fastidiosa. The three most frequently captured species from vineyards and tree nurseries were G. versuta, Clastoptera xanthocephala Germar, and O. orbona. Of those insects screened for X. fastidiosa, 2.4% tested positive for the bacterium. Field-collected G. versuta were inoculative to both ragweed and alfalfa. Following a 7-d inoculation access period, a higher percentage of alfalfa became infected than ragweed. Results from this study provide insight into the epidemiology of X. fastidiosa in Oklahoma.

  4. What's on the menu? Assessing microbial carbon sources and cycling in soils using natural abundance radiocarbon analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmoudi, N.; Burns, L.; Mancini, S.; Fulthorpe, R.; Slater, G. F.

    2011-12-01

    Organic matter in soils is composed of diverse materials in various stages of decomposition. Soil organic matter is not in a single pool but rather in multiple carbon pools with different intrinsic turnover times that can be on annual to decadal and even millennial timescales. Microorganisms can influence the total amount of carbon stored in soils and the turnover rates of these different pools. However, the links between microbes and their ability to utilize these various carbon pools are not well understood. Moreover, microbes have been shown to co-utilize a number of available carbon sources rather than a single carbon source under soil conditions which creates difficulties in identifying microbial carbon sources in the natural environment. Compound-specific radiocarbon analysis of microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) has become a useful tool in elucidating microbial carbon sources in complex environments with multiple carbon sources. We investigated microbial carbon cycling at an industrial site in Ontario which included a variety of carbon sources including vegetation, PAHs and natural organic matter (NOM). Using this approach, the 14C content of microbial membrane lipids (which reflects their carbon source) can be compared to surrounding carbon sources in order to assess which carbon source they are metabolizing and incorporating into their lipids. In addition, we assessed microbial community structure and diversity by analyzing amplified bacterial, eukaryotic and archaeal rDNA fragments with denaturing gel gradient electrophoresis (DGGE). The Δ14C value for PLFAs ranged from +54 to -697% which indicates that microbial carbon sources across soils differ. The Δ14CPLFA for some soils is consistent with modern carbon sources while Δ14CPLFA for other soils is consistent with natural organic matter including older pools of carbon. The microbial communities at this site are not metabolizing PAHs but rather they are utilizing various pools of natural organic

  5. A biopolymer-like metal enabled hybrid material with exceptional mechanical prowess

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Junsong; Cui, Lishan; Jiang, Daqiang; Liu, Yinong; Hao, Shijie; Ren, Yang; Han, Xiaodong; Liu, Zhenyang; Wang, Yunzhi; Yu, Cun; Huan, Yong; Zhao, Xinqing; Zheng, Yanjun; Xu, Huibin; Ren, Xiaobing; Li, Xiaodong

    2015-01-01

    The design principles for naturally occurring biological materials have inspired us to develop next-generation engineering materials with remarkable performance. Nacre, commonly referred to as nature's armor, is renowned for its unusual combination of strength and toughness. Nature's wisdom in nacre resides in its elaborate structural design and the judicious placement of a unique organic biopolymer with intelligent deformation features. However, up to now, it is still a challenge to transcribe the biopolymer's deformation attributes into a stronger substitute in the design of new materials. In this study, we propose a new design strategy that employs shape memory alloy to transcribe the “J-curve” mechanical response and uniform molecular/atomic level deformation of the organic biopolymer in the design of high-performance hybrid materials. This design strategy is verified in a TiNi-Ti3Sn model material system. The model material demonstrates an exceptional combination of mechanical properties that are superior to other high-performance metal-based lamellar composites known to date. Our design strategy creates new opportunities for the development of high-performance bio-inspired materials. PMID:25665501

  6. A biopolymer-like metal enabled hybrid material with exceptional mechanical prowess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Junsong; Cui, Lishan; Jiang, Daqiang; Liu, Yinong; Hao, Shijie; Ren, Yang; Han, Xiaodong; Liu, Zhenyang; Wang, Yunzhi; Yu, Cun; Huan, Yong; Zhao, Xinqing; Zheng, Yanjun; Xu, Huibin; Ren, Xiaobing; Li, Xiaodong

    2015-02-01

    The design principles for naturally occurring biological materials have inspired us to develop next-generation engineering materials with remarkable performance. Nacre, commonly referred to as nature's armor, is renowned for its unusual combination of strength and toughness. Nature's wisdom in nacre resides in its elaborate structural design and the judicious placement of a unique organic biopolymer with intelligent deformation features. However, up to now, it is still a challenge to transcribe the biopolymer's deformation attributes into a stronger substitute in the design of new materials. In this study, we propose a new design strategy that employs shape memory alloy to transcribe the ``J-curve'' mechanical response and uniform molecular/atomic level deformation of the organic biopolymer in the design of high-performance hybrid materials. This design strategy is verified in a TiNi-Ti3Sn model material system. The model material demonstrates an exceptional combination of mechanical properties that are superior to other high-performance metal-based lamellar composites known to date. Our design strategy creates new opportunities for the development of high-performance bio-inspired materials.

  7. Determination of Natural 14C Abundances in Dissolved Organic Carbon in Organic-Rich Marine Sediment Porewaters by Thermal Sulfate Reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, L.; Komada, T.

    2010-12-01

    The abundances of natural 14C in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the marine environment hold clues regarding the processes that influence the biogeochemical cycling of this large carbon reservoir. At present, UV irradiation is the widely accepted method for oxidizing seawater DOC for determination of their 14C abundances. This technique yields precise and accurate values with low blanks, but it requires a dedicated vacuum line, and hence can be difficult to implement. As an alternative technique that can be conducted on a standard preparatory vacuum line, we modified and tested a thermal sulfate reduction method that was previously developed to determine δ13C values of marine DOC (Fry B. et al., 1996. Analysis of marine DOC using a dry combustion method. Mar. Chem., 54: 191-201.) to determine the 14C abundances of DOC in marine sediment porewaters. In this method, the sample is dried in a 100 ml round-bottom Pyrex flask in the presence of excess oxidant (K2SO4) and acid (H3PO4), and combusted at 550 deg.C. The combustion products are cryogenically processed to collect and quantify CO2 using standard procedures. Materials we have oxidized to date range from 6-24 ml in volume, and 95-1500 μgC in size. The oxidation efficiency of this method was tested by processing known amounts of reagent-grade dextrose and sucrose (as examples of labile organic matter), tannic acid and humic acid (as examples of complex natural organic matter), and porewater DOC extracted from organic-rich nearshore sediments. The carbon yields for all of these materials averaged 99±4% (n=18). The 14C abundances of standard materials IAEA C-6 and IAEA C-5 processed by this method using >1mgC aliquots were within error of certified values. The size and the isotopic value of the blank were determined by a standard dilution technique using IAEA C-6 and IAEA C-5 that ranged in size from 150 to 1500 μgC (n=4 and 2, respectively). This yielded a blank size of 6.7±0.7 μgC, and a blank isotopic

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

    SciTech Connect

    Krishnamurthy, S.; Frederick, R.M.

    1993-11-19

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

  9. Load sharing in the growth of bundled biopolymers

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ruizhe; Carlsson, A. E.

    2014-01-01

    To elucidate the nature of load sharing in the growth of multiple biopolymers, we perform stochastic simulations of the growth of biopolymer bundles against obstacles under a broad range of conditions and varying assumptions. The obstacle motion due to thermal fluctuations is treated explicitly. We assume the “Perfect Brownian Ratchet” (PBR) model, in which the polymerization rate equals the free-filament rate as soon as the filament-obstacle distance exceeds the monomer size. Accurate closed-form formulas are obtained for the case of a rapidly moving obstacle. We find the following: (1) load sharing is usually sub-perfect in the sense that polymerization is slower than for a single filament carrying the same average force; (2) the sub-perfect behavior becomes significant at a total force proportional to the logarithm or the square root of the number of filaments, depending on the alignment of the filaments; (3) for the special case of slow barrier diffusion and low opposing force, an enhanced obstacle velocity for an increasing number of filaments is possible; (4) the obstacle velocity is very sensitive to the alignment of the filaments in the bundle, with a staggered alignment being an order of magnitude faster than an unstaggered one at forces of only 0.5 pN per filament for 20 filaments; (5) for large numbers of filaments, the power is maximized at a force well below 1 pN per filament; (6) for intermediate values of the obstacle diffusion coefficient, the shape of the force velocity relation is very similar to that for rapid obstacle diffusion. PMID:25489273

  10. Biopolymer-supported ionic-liquid-phase ruthenium catalysts for olefin metathesis.

    PubMed

    Clousier, Nathalie; Filippi, Alexandra; Borré, Etienne; Guibal, Eric; Crévisy, Christophe; Caijo, Fréderic; Mauduit, Marc; Dez, Isabelle; Gaumont, Annie-Claude

    2014-04-01

    Original ruthenium supported ionic liquid phase (SILP) catalysts based on alginates as supports were developed for olefin metathesis reactions. The marine biopolymer, which fulfills most of the requisite properties for a support such as widespread abundance, insolubility in the majority of organic solvents, a high affinity for ionic liquids, high chemical stability, biodegradability, low cost, and easy processing, was impregnated by [bmim][PF6 ] containing an ionically tagged ruthenium catalyst. These biosourced catalysts show promising performances in ring-closing metathesis (RCM) and cross-metathesis (CM) reactions, with a high level of recyclability and reusability combined with a good reactivity. PMID:24616203

  11. Biopolymer-supported ionic-liquid-phase ruthenium catalysts for olefin metathesis.

    PubMed

    Clousier, Nathalie; Filippi, Alexandra; Borré, Etienne; Guibal, Eric; Crévisy, Christophe; Caijo, Fréderic; Mauduit, Marc; Dez, Isabelle; Gaumont, Annie-Claude

    2014-04-01

    Original ruthenium supported ionic liquid phase (SILP) catalysts based on alginates as supports were developed for olefin metathesis reactions. The marine biopolymer, which fulfills most of the requisite properties for a support such as widespread abundance, insolubility in the majority of organic solvents, a high affinity for ionic liquids, high chemical stability, biodegradability, low cost, and easy processing, was impregnated by [bmim][PF6 ] containing an ionically tagged ruthenium catalyst. These biosourced catalysts show promising performances in ring-closing metathesis (RCM) and cross-metathesis (CM) reactions, with a high level of recyclability and reusability combined with a good reactivity.

  12. Monitoring Biopolymer Degradation by Taylor Dispersion Analysis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-14

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

  13. Chitosan biopolymer for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jia; Sahai, Yogeshwar

    2013-02-15

    Fuel cell is an electrochemical device which converts chemical energy stored in a fuel into electrical energy. Fuel cells have been receiving attention due to its potential applicability as a good alternative power source. Recently, cost-effective and eco-friendly biopolymer chitosan has been extensively studied as a material for membrane electrolytes and electrodes in low to intermediate temperature hydrogen polymer electrolyte fuel cell, direct methanol fuel cell, alkaline fuel cell, and biofuel cell. This paper reviews structure and property of chitosan with respect to its applications in fuel cells. Recent achievements and prospect of its applications have also been included.

  14. Recent advances in extracellular biopolymer flocculants.

    PubMed

    Salehizadeh, Hossein; Yan, Ning

    2014-12-01

    Extracellular biopolymer flocculants (EBFs) are flocculating substances, consisting of polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids, which are secreted in the culture broth by many microorganisms. Some of EBFs have attracted much attention as biodegradable and nontoxic substitutes for conventional chemical flocculants. This paper reviews the recent development of EBFs. Aspects discussed include an introduction to conventional chemical flocculants and EBFs, isolation of novel bioflocculant-producing microorganisms, culture conditions, chemical structure and molecular weight of EBFs, the physico-chemical factors affecting flocculating activity, fermentation process design and recent and emerging application fields of EBFs. PMID:25316671

  15. Biopolymer based nanocomposites reinforced with graphene nanoplatelets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  16. Biopolymer-Based Delivery Systems: Challenges and Opportunities.

    PubMed

    Joye, Iris J; McClements, D Julian

    2016-01-01

    Biopolymer-based nanostructures or microstructures can be fabricated with different compositions, structures, and properties so that colloidal delivery systems can be tailored for specific applications. These structures can be assembled using various approaches, including electrospinning, coacervation, nanoprecipitation, injection, layer-by-layer deposition, and/or gelation. A major application of biopolymer-based particles is to encapsulate, protect, and release active molecules in the agricultural, food, supplements, personal care, and pharmaceutical sectors. The inherent variability and complexity of biopolymers (proteins and polysaccharides) often makes it challenging to produce particles with well-defined physicochemical and functional attributes. In this review, we discuss the properties of biopolymers, common particle fabrication methods, and some of the major challenges and opportunities associated with developing biopolymer-based particles for application as food-grade delivery systems.

  17. Analysis of the structure of synthetic and natural melanins by solid-phase

    SciTech Connect

    Duff, G.A.; Roberts, J.E.; Foster, N.

    1988-09-06

    The structures of one synthetic and two natural melanins are examined by solid-state NMR using cross polarization, magic angle sample spinning, and high-power proton decoupling. The structural features of synthetic dopa malanin are compared to those of melanin from malignant melanoma cells grown in culture and sepia melanin from squid ink. Natural abundance /sup 13/C and /sup 15/N spectra show resonances consistent with known pyrrolic and indolic structures within the heterogeneous biopolymer; /sup 13/C spectra indicate the presence of aliphatic residues in all three materials. These solid-phase experiments illustrate the promise of solid-phase NMR for elucidating structural from insoluble biomaterials.

  18. The perils and promises of microbial abundance: novel natures and model ecosystems, from artisanal cheese to alien seas.

    PubMed

    Paxson, Heather; Helmreich, Stefan

    2014-04-01

    Microbial life has been much in the news. From outbreaks of Escherichia coli to discussions of the benefits of raw and fermented foods to recent reports of life forms capable of living in extreme environments, the modest microbe has become a figure for thinking through the presents and possible futures of nature, writ large as well as small. Noting that dominant representations of microbial life have shifted from an idiom of peril to one of promise, we argue that microbes--especially when thriving as microbial communities--are being upheld as model ecosystems in a prescriptive sense, as tokens of how organisms and human ecological relations with them could, should, or might be. We do so in reference to two case studies: the regulatory politics of artisanal cheese and the speculative research of astrobiology. To think of and with microbial communities as model ecosystems offers a corrective to the scientific determinisms we detect in some recent calls to attend to the materiality of scientific objects.

  19. Abundance and diversity of biofilms in natural and artificial aquifers of the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Sweden.

    PubMed

    Jägevall, Sara; Rabe, Lisa; Pedersen, Karsten

    2011-02-01

    Six cores were drilled and retrieved from 186-m depth in the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory (HRL) tunnel to investigate whether indigenous biofilms develop on fracture surfaces in groundwater-conducting aquifers in granitic rock. A clone library was constructed from fracture surface material (FSM), for community composition analysis. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was applied to quantify gene copies using the 16S rRNA gene for domain Bacteria and the adenosine-phosphosulfate reductase gene (apsA) for sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Results were compared with three groundwater systems with biofilms in laminar flow reactors (LFRs) at 450-m depth in the Äspö HRL. The total number of cells, counted microscopically, was approximately 2 × 10(5) cells cm(-2) in the LFR systems, consistent with the obtained qPCR 16S rRNA gene copies. qPCR analysis reported ∼1 × 10(2) up to ∼1 × 10(4) gene copies cm(-2) on the FSM from the drill cores. In the FSM biofilms, 33% of the sequenced clones were related to the iron-reducing bacterium Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, while in the LFR biofilms, 41% of the sequenced clones were affiliated with the genera Desulfovibrio, Desulforhopalus, Desulfomicrobium, and Desulfobulbus. The community composition of the FSM biofilms differed from the drill water community, excluding drill water contamination. This work reports significant numbers of microorganisms on natural hard rock aquifer fracture surfaces with site-specific community compositions. The probability that biofilms are generally present in groundwater-conducting aquifers in deep granitic rock is consequently great.

  20. Effect of petroleum products on the decomposition of soil organic matter as assessed by 13C natural abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stelmach, Wioleta; Szarlip, Paweł; Trembaczowski, Andrzej; Bieganowski, Andrzej

    2016-04-01

    Petroleum products are common contaminants in soils due to human activities. They are toxic for microorganisms and threat their functions, including decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM). The direct estimation of altered SOM decomposition - based on the CO2 emission - is impossible after oil contamination, because oil decomposition also contributes to the CO2 release. We used the natural differences in the isotopic signature (δ13C) of SOM and of oil products to partition the total CO2 for both sources and to analyze the suppression of SOM decomposition. The dynamics of 13C fractionation during the mineralization of gasoline and diesel was measured during 42 days. The 13C fractionation varied between -8.8‰ and +3.6‰ within the first 10 days, and stabilized thereafter at about -5.3‰ for gasoline and +3.2‰ for diesel. These 13C fractionations and δ13C values of CO2 emitted from the soil were used for correct partitioning of the total CO2. Contamination with gasoline reduced the CO2 efflux from SOM decomposition by a factor of 25 (from 151 to 6 mg C-CO2 kg-1 soil during 42 days). The negative effect of diesel was much lower: the CO2 efflux from SOM was decreased by less than a factor of 2. The strong effect of gasoline versus diesel reflects the lower absorption of gasoline to mineral particles and the development of a thin film on water surfaces, leading to toxicity for microorganisms. We conclude that the small differences of 13C of SOM and of organic pollutants can be used to partition CO2 fluxes and analyze pollutant effects on SOM decomposition.

  1. Effect of petroleum products on the decomposition of soil organic matter as assessed by 13C natural abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stelmach, Wioleta; Szarlip, Paweł; Trembaczowski, Andrzej; Bieganowski, Andrzej

    2016-04-01

    Petroleum products are common contaminants in soils due to human activities. They are toxic for microorganisms and threat their functions, including decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM). The direct estimation of altered SOM decomposition - based on the CO2 emission - is impossible after oil contamination, because oil decomposition also contributes to the CO2 release. We used the natural differences in the isotopic signature (δ13C) of SOM and of oil products to partition the total CO2 for both sources and to analyze the suppression of SOM decomposition. The dynamics of 13C fractionation during the mineralization of gasoline and diesel was measured during 42 days. The 13C fractionation varied between -8.8‰ and +3.6‰ within the first 10 days, and stabilized thereafter at about -5.3‰ for gasoline and +3.2‰ for diesel. These 13C fractionations and δ13C values of CO2 emitted from the soil were used for correct partitioning of the total CO2. Contamination with gasoline reduced the CO2 efflux from SOM decomposition by a factor of 25 (from 151 to 6 mg C-CO2 kg‑1 soil during 42 days). The negative effect of diesel was much lower: the CO2 efflux from SOM was decreased by less than a factor of 2. The strong effect of gasoline versus diesel reflects the lower absorption of gasoline to mineral particles and the development of a thin film on water surfaces, leading to toxicity for microorganisms. We conclude that the small differences of 13C of SOM and of organic pollutants can be used to partition CO2 fluxes and analyze pollutant effects on SOM decomposition.

  2. Keratin Protein-Catalyzed Nitroaldol (Henry) Reaction and Comparison with Other Biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Häring, Marleen; Pettignano, Asja; Quignard, Françoise; Tanchoux, Nathalie; Díaz Díaz, David

    2016-01-01

    Here we describe a preliminary investigation on the ability of natural keratin to catalyze the nitroaldol (Henry) reaction between aldehydes and nitroalkanes. Both aromatic and heteroaromatic aldehydes bearing strong or moderate electron-withdrawing groups were converted into the corresponding β-nitroalcohol products in both DMSO and in water in the presence of tetrabutylammonium bromide (TBAB) as a phase transfer catalyst. Negligible background reactions (i.e., negative control experiment in the absence of keratin protein) were observed in these solvent systems. Aromatic aldehydes bearing electron-donating groups and aliphatic aldehydes showed poor or no conversion, respectively. In general, the reactions in water/TBAB required twice the amount of time than in DMSO to achieve similar conversions. Moreover, comparison of the kinetics of the keratin-mediated nitroaldol (Henry) reaction with other biopolymers revealed slower rates for the former and the possibility of fine-tuning the kinetics by appropriate selection of the biopolymer and solvent. PMID:27571051

  3. Keratin Protein-Catalyzed Nitroaldol (Henry) Reaction and Comparison with Other Biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Häring, Marleen; Pettignano, Asja; Quignard, Françoise; Tanchoux, Nathalie; Díaz Díaz, David

    2016-08-25

    Here we describe a preliminary investigation on the ability of natural keratin to catalyze the nitroaldol (Henry) reaction between aldehydes and nitroalkanes. Both aromatic and heteroaromatic aldehydes bearing strong or moderate electron-withdrawing groups were converted into the corresponding β-nitroalcohol products in both DMSO and in water in the presence of tetrabutylammonium bromide (TBAB) as a phase transfer catalyst. Negligible background reactions (i.e., negative control experiment in the absence of keratin protein) were observed in these solvent systems. Aromatic aldehydes bearing electron-donating groups and aliphatic aldehydes showed poor or no conversion, respectively. In general, the reactions in water/TBAB required twice the amount of time than in DMSO to achieve similar conversions. Moreover, comparison of the kinetics of the keratin-mediated nitroaldol (Henry) reaction with other biopolymers revealed slower rates for the former and the possibility of fine-tuning the kinetics by appropriate selection of the biopolymer and solvent.

  4. Biopolymer from microbial assisted in situ hydrolysis of triglycerides and dimerization of fatty acids.

    PubMed

    Kavitha, V; Radhakrishnan, N; Madhavacharyulu, E; Sailakshmi, G; Sekaran, G; Reddy, B S R; Rajkumar, G Suseela; Gnanamani, Arumugam

    2010-01-01

    The present study demonstrates biopolymer production by in situ bio-based dimerization of fatty acids by microorganism isolated from marine sediments. Microbial isolate grown in Zobell medium in the presence of triglycerides for the period of 24-240 h at 37 degrees C, hydrolyze the applied triglycerides and sequentially dimerized the hydrolyzed products and subsequently polymerized and transformed to a biopolymer having appreciable adhesive properties. Physical (nature, odour, stickyness and tensile strength), chemical (instrumentation) and biochemical (cell free broth) methods of analyses carried out provided the hypotheses involved in the formation of the product as well as the nature of the product formed. Results revealed, lipolytic enzymes released during initial period of growth and the biosurfactant production during later period, respectively, hydrolyze the applied triglycerides and initiate the dimerization and further accelerated when the incubation period extended. The existence and the non-existence of in situ hydrolysis of various triglycerides followed by dimerization and polymerization and the mechanism of transformation of triglycerides to biopolymer are discussed in detail.

  5. Earthworm eco-physiological characteristics and quantification of earthworm feeding in vermifiltration system for sewage sludge stabilization using stable isotopic natural abundance.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaowei; Xing, Meiyan; Yang, Jian; Dai, Xiaohu

    2014-07-15

    Previous studies showed that the presence of earthworm improves treatment performance of vermifilter (VF) for sewage sludge stabilization, but earthworm eco-physiological characteristics and effects in VF were not fully investigated. In this study, earthworm population, enzymatic activity, gut microbial community and stable isotopic abundance were investigated in the VF. Results showed that biomass, average weight, number and alkaline phosphatase activity of the earthworms tended to decrease, while protein content and activities of peroxidase and catalase had an increasing tendency as the VF depth. Earthworm gut microbial communities were dominated by Gammaproteobacteria, and the percentages arrived to 76-92% of the microbial species detected. (15)N and (13)C natural abundance of the earthworms decreased with operation time, and increased as the VF depth. Quantitative analysis using δ(15)N showed that earthworm feeding and earthworm-microorganism interaction were responsible for approximately 21% and 79%, respectively, of the enhanced volatile suspended solid reduction due to the presence of earthworm. The finding provides a quantitative insight into how earthworms influence on sewage sludge stabilization in vermifiltration system.

  6. Predicting fluorescence lifetimes and spectra of biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Callis, Patrik R

    2011-01-01

    Use of fluorescence in biology and biochemistry for imaging and characterizing equilibrium and dynamic processes is growing exponentially. Much progress has been made in the last few years on the microscopic understanding of the underlying principles of what controls the wavelength and quenching of fluorescence in biopolymers, both of which are central to the utility of fluorescent probes. This chapter is concerned with the quantitative microscopic understanding and prediction of the fluorescence wavelength and/or intensity of a fluorescent probe molecule attached to a biopolymer as revealed by hybrid quantum and classical mechanical computation procedures. The aim is not only to provide a recipe, but also even more importantly, to communicate the qualitative basic concepts of interpretation of fluorescence. These are surprisingly simple, although not broadly appreciated at this time. In addition, an effort has been made to show how these techniques have led to an emerging understanding of the relation between time-dependent wavelengths shifts due to solvent relaxation and population decay of conformational sub-ensembles.

  7. Carbon kinetic isotope effects at natural abundances during iron-catalyzed photolytic cleavage of Csbnd C bonds in aqueous phase α,ω-dicarboxylic acids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irei, Satoshi

    2016-09-01

    Carbon kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) at natural abundances during photolysis of Fe3+-oxalato, malonato, and succinato complexes in aqueous solution were studied to identify the Csbnd C bond cleaving mechanism of Fe3+-oxalato complexes under sunlight irradiation. Observed overall KIEs were 5.9‰, 11.5‰, and 8.4‰, respectively. This variation is inconsistent with secondary carbon KIEs for the Fesbnd O bond cleavage, but consistent with primary carbon KIEs for sequential cleavage of Fesbnd O and Csbnd C bonds. Position-specific probability of 13C content estimated KIEs of 5.9‰, 17.2‰, and 17‰ for 12Csbnd 13C bond cleavage, respectively, indicating the different KIEs for carboxyl-carboxyl and methyl-carboxyl cleavage.

  8. Visualization of enantiomers using natural abundant (13)C-filtered single and double quantum selective refocusing experiments: Application to small chiral molecules.

    PubMed

    Nath, Nilamoni; Baishya, Bikash; Suryaprakash, N

    2009-09-01

    The routine use of proton NMR for the visualization of enantiomers, aligned in the chiral liquid crystal solvent poly-gamma-benzyl-l-glutamate (PBLG), is restricted due to severe loss of resolution arising from large number of pair wise interaction of nuclear spins. In the present study, we have designed two experimental techniques for their visualization utilizing the natural abundance (13)C edited selective refocusing of single quantum (CH-SERF) and double quantum (CH-DQSERF) coherences. The methods achieve chiral discrimination and aid in the simultaneous determination of homonuclear couplings between active and passive spins and heteronuclear couplings between the excited protons and the participating (13)C spin. The CH-SERF also overcomes the problem of overlap of central transitions of the methyl selective refocusing (SERF) experiment resulting in better chiral discrimination. Theoretical description of the evolution of magnetization in both the sequences has been discussed using polarization operator formalism.

  9. Changes in Natural Abundance Carbon Stable isotopes of Human Blood and Saliva After 24 Days of Controlled Carbohydrate Supplementation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraft, R. A.; Jahren, A. H.; Baer, D. J.; Caballero, B.

    2008-12-01

    the δ13C value of their blood and saliva relative to baseline: blood clot was enriched by 0.27‰; blood serum by 0.50‰ and saliva by 1.12‰. We believe this overall enrichment resulted from a 13C-enriched bulk diet (δ13C = - 20.42‰) relative to the subjects free-living diet. Evidence for this derives from inspection of foods within the bulk diet provided, compared to published profiles of the typical American diet. We will discuss possible complicating factors, such as differential absorption and metabolism of the supplements according to solubility and caloric value. These results are encouraging for the development of a δ13C blood serum biomarker that, in the company of other tests, could be used to indicate a change in carbohydrate intake. Bray, G.A., Nielsen, S.J. and Popkin, B.M., 2004. Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 79: 537-543. Havel, P.J., 2005. Dietary fructose: Implications for dysregulation of energy homeostasis and lipid/carbohydrate metabolism. Nutrition Reviews, 63(5): 133-157. Tilman D., 1998. The greening of the green revolution. Nature, 396:211-212.

  10. Combustion influences on natural abundance nitrogen isotope ratio in soil and plants following a wildfire in a sub-alpine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Huber, Edith; Bell, Tina L; Adams, Mark A

    2013-11-01

    This before-and-after-impact study uses the natural abundance N isotope ratio (δ(15)N) to investigate the effects of a wildfire on sub-alpine ecosystem properties and processes. We measured the (15)N signatures of soil, charred organic material, ash and foliage in three sub-alpine plant communities (grassland, heathland and woodland) in south-eastern Australia. Surface bulk soil was temporarily enriched in (15)N immediately after wildfire compared to charred organic material and ash in all plant communities. We associated the enrichment of bulk soil with fractionation of N during combustion and volatilization of N, a process that also explains the sequential enrichment of (15)N of unburnt leaves > ash > charred organic material in relation to duration and intensity of heating. The rapid decline in (15)N of bulk soil to pre-fire values indicates that depleted ash, containing considerable amounts of total N, was readily incorporated into the soil. Foliar δ(15)N also increased with values peaking 1 year post-fire. Foliar enrichment was foremost coupled with the release of enriched NH4(+) into the soil owing to isotopic discrimination during volatilization of soluble N and combustion of organic material. The mode of post-fire regeneration influenced foliar (15)N enrichment in two species indicating use of different sources of N following fire. The use of natural abundance of (15)N in soil, ash and foliage as a means of tracing transformation of N during wildfire has established the importance of combustion products as an important, albeit temporary source of inorganic N for plants regenerating after wildfire. PMID:23649752

  11. Combustion influences on natural abundance nitrogen isotope ratio in soil and plants following a wildfire in a sub-alpine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Huber, Edith; Bell, Tina L; Adams, Mark A

    2013-11-01

    This before-and-after-impact study uses the natural abundance N isotope ratio (δ(15)N) to investigate the effects of a wildfire on sub-alpine ecosystem properties and processes. We measured the (15)N signatures of soil, charred organic material, ash and foliage in three sub-alpine plant communities (grassland, heathland and woodland) in south-eastern Australia. Surface bulk soil was temporarily enriched in (15)N immediately after wildfire compared to charred organic material and ash in all plant communities. We associated the enrichment of bulk soil with fractionation of N during combustion and volatilization of N, a process that also explains the sequential enrichment of (15)N of unburnt leaves > ash > charred organic material in relation to duration and intensity of heating. The rapid decline in (15)N of bulk soil to pre-fire values indicates that depleted ash, containing considerable amounts of total N, was readily incorporated into the soil. Foliar δ(15)N also increased with values peaking 1 year post-fire. Foliar enrichment was foremost coupled with the release of enriched NH4(+) into the soil owing to isotopic discrimination during volatilization of soluble N and combustion of organic material. The mode of post-fire regeneration influenced foliar (15)N enrichment in two species indicating use of different sources of N following fire. The use of natural abundance of (15)N in soil, ash and foliage as a means of tracing transformation of N during wildfire has established the importance of combustion products as an important, albeit temporary source of inorganic N for plants regenerating after wildfire.

  12. Position-Specific Isotope Analysis of Xanthines: A (13)C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Method to Determine the (13)C Intramolecular Composition at Natural Abundance.

    PubMed

    Diomande, Didier G; Martineau, Estelle; Gilbert, Alexis; Nun, Pierrick; Murata, Ariaki; Yamada, Keita; Watanabe, Naoharu; Tea, Illa; Robins, Richard J; Yoshida, Naohiro; Remaud, Gérald S

    2015-07-01

    The natural xanthines caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline are of major commercial importance as flavor constituents in coffee, cocoa, tea, and a number of other beverages. However, their exploitation for authenticity, a requirement in these commodities that have a large origin-based price-range, by the standard method of isotope ratio monitoring by mass spectrometry (irm-MS) is limited. We have now developed a methodology that overcomes this deficit that exploits the power of isotopic quantitative (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry combined with chemical modification of the xanthines to enable the determination of positional intramolecular (13)C/(12)C ratios (δ(13)Ci) with high precision. However, only caffeine is amenable to analysis: theobromine and theophylline present substantial difficulties due to their poor solubility. However, their N-methylation to caffeine makes spectral acquisition feasible. The method is confirmed as robust, with good repeatability of the δ(13)Ci values in caffeine appropriate for isotope fractionation measurements at natural abundance. It is shown that there is negligible isotope fractionation during the chemical N-methylation procedure. Thus, the method preserves the original positional δ(13)Ci values. The method has been applied to measure the position-specific variation of the (13)C/(12)C distribution in caffeine. Not only is a clear difference between caffeine isolated from different sources observed, but theobromine from cocoa is found to show a (13)C pattern distinct from that of caffeine. PMID:26067163

  13. Its preferential interactions with biopolymers account for diverse observed effects of trehalose.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jiang; Gierasch, Lila M; Liu, Zhicheng

    2015-07-01

    Biopolymer homeostasis underlies the health of organisms, and protective osmolytes have emerged as one strategy used by Nature to preserve biopolymer homeostasis. However, a great deal remains unknown about the mechanism of action of osmolytes. Trehalose, as a prominent example, stabilizes proteins against denaturation by extreme temperature and denaturants, preserves membrane integrity upon freezing or in dry conditions, inhibits polyQ-mediated protein aggregation, and suppresses the aggregation of denatured proteins. The underlying thermodynamic mechanisms of such diverse effects of trehalose remain unclear or controversial. In this study, we applied the surface-additive method developed in the Record laboratory to attack this issue. We characterized the key features of trehalose-biopolymer preferential interactions and found that trehalose has strong unfavorable interactions with aliphatic carbon and significant favorable interactions with amide/anionic oxygen. This dissection has allowed us to elucidate the diverse effects of trehalose and to identify the crucial functional group(s) responsible for its effects. With (semi)quantitative thermodynamic analysis, we discovered that 1) the unfavorable interaction of trehalose with hydrophobic surfaces is the dominant factor in its effect on protein stability, 2) the favorable interaction of trehalose with polar amides enables it to inhibit polyQ-mediated protein aggregation and the aggregation of denatured protein in general, and 3) the favorable interaction of trehalose with phosphate oxygens, together with its unfavorable interaction with aliphatic carbons, enables trehalose to preserve membrane integrity in aqueous solution. These results provide a basis for a full understanding of the role of trehalose in biopolymer homeostasis and the reason behind its evolutionary selection as an osmolyte, as well as for a better application of trehalose as a chemical chaperone.

  14. Its Preferential Interactions with Biopolymers Account for Diverse Observed Effects of Trehalose

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Jiang; Gierasch, Lila M.; Liu, Zhicheng

    2015-01-01

    Biopolymer homeostasis underlies the health of organisms, and protective osmolytes have emerged as one strategy used by Nature to preserve biopolymer homeostasis. However, a great deal remains unknown about the mechanism of action of osmolytes. Trehalose, as a prominent example, stabilizes proteins against denaturation by extreme temperature and denaturants, preserves membrane integrity upon freezing or in dry conditions, inhibits polyQ-mediated protein aggregation, and suppresses the aggregation of denatured proteins. The underlying thermodynamic mechanisms of such diverse effects of trehalose remain unclear or controversial. In this study, we applied the surface-additive method developed in the Record laboratory to attack this issue. We characterized the key features of trehalose-biopolymer preferential interactions and found that trehalose has strong unfavorable interactions with aliphatic carbon and significant favorable interactions with amide/anionic oxygen. This dissection has allowed us to elucidate the diverse effects of trehalose and to identify the crucial functional group(s) responsible for its effects. With (semi)quantitative thermodynamic analysis, we discovered that 1) the unfavorable interaction of trehalose with hydrophobic surfaces is the dominant factor in its effect on protein stability, 2) the favorable interaction of trehalose with polar amides enables it to inhibit polyQ-mediated protein aggregation and the aggregation of denatured protein in general, and 3) the favorable interaction of trehalose with phosphate oxygens, together with its unfavorable interaction with aliphatic carbons, enables trehalose to preserve membrane integrity in aqueous solution. These results provide a basis for a full understanding of the role of trehalose in biopolymer homeostasis and the reason behind its evolutionary selection as an osmolyte, as well as for a better application of trehalose as a chemical chaperone. PMID:26153711

  15. Clay nanotube-biopolymer composite scaffolds for tissue engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naumenko, Ekaterina A.; Guryanov, Ivan D.; Yendluri, Raghuvara; Lvov, Yuri M.; Fakhrullin, Rawil F.

    2016-03-01

    Porous biopolymer hydrogels doped at 3-6 wt% with 50 nm diameter/0.8 μm long natural clay nanotubes were produced without any cross-linkers using the freeze-drying method. The enhancement of mechanical strength (doubled pick load), higher water uptake and thermal properties in chitosan-gelatine-agarose hydrogels doped with halloysite was demonstrated. SEM and AFM imaging has shown the even distribution of nanotubes within the scaffolds. We used enhanced dark-field microscopy to visualise the distribution of halloysite nanotubes in the implantation area. In vitro cell adhesion and proliferation on the nanocomposites occur without changes in viability and cytoskeleton formation. In vivo biocompatibility and biodegradability evaluation in rats has confirmed that the scaffolds promote the formation of novel blood vessels around the implantation sites. The scaffolds show excellent resorption within six weeks after implantation in rats. Neo-vascularization observed in newly formed connective tissue placed near the scaffold allows for the complete restoration of blood flow. These phenomena indicate that the halloysite-doped scaffolds are biocompatible as demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo. The chitosan-gelatine-agarose doped clay nanotube nanocomposite scaffolds fabricated in this work are promising candidates for tissue engineering applications.Porous biopolymer hydrogels doped at 3-6 wt% with 50 nm diameter/0.8 μm long natural clay nanotubes were produced without any cross-linkers using the freeze-drying method. The enhancement of mechanical strength (doubled pick load), higher water uptake and thermal properties in chitosan-gelatine-agarose hydrogels doped with halloysite was demonstrated. SEM and AFM imaging has shown the even distribution of nanotubes within the scaffolds. We used enhanced dark-field microscopy to visualise the distribution of halloysite nanotubes in the implantation area. In vitro cell adhesion and proliferation on the nanocomposites occur

  16. Measurement of nitrogen fixation by soybean in the field using the ureide and natural sup 15 N abundance methods. [Glycine max (L. )

    SciTech Connect

    Herridge, D.F. ); Bergersen, F.J.; Peoples, M.B. )

    1990-06-01

    Nitrogen fixation by field-grown soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) was assessed by the natural {sup 15}N abundance and ureide methods. The field sites (five) and genotypes (six, plus two levels of inoculation on Bragg) were chosen to provide a range of proportions of plant N derived from nitrogen fixation (P). Genotypes K466, K468, nts 1007, and nts 1116 and Davis were included on the basis of their reported tolerance of the suppressive effects of nitrate on nodulation and nitrogen fixation. Bragg was included as a nitrate-sensitive genotype. Seeds of all genotypes were inoculated at sowing with Bradyrhizobium japonicum CB1809 (USDA 136). Amounts of nitrate in the soil profile (0-1.2 meter depth) at sowing ranged from 70 (site 3) to 278 kilograms per hectare (site 5), resulting in large effects on plant nodulation, on the {delta}{sup 15}N values of nodulated plants, on the relative abundance of ureide-N in vacuum-extracted sap (VES) and stem extracts, and finally on the estimates of P. There was no relationship between amount of soil nitrate at sowing and the {delta}{sup 15}N of the plant-available soil N. Correlation matrices of the measured and calculated parameters indicated generally weak correlations between crop growth (dry matter and N) and the parameters of symbiotic activity (nodule weight, {delta}{sup 15}N, relative ureide-N); correlations were strong and highly significant between nodulation and the measures of nitrogen fixation. Estimates of P ranged between 0 and 68% ({delta}{sup 15}N) and between 6 and 56% (ureide) and were highly correlated.

  17. Fast and high-resolution stereochemical analysis by nonuniform sampling and covariance processing of anisotropic natural abundance 2D 2H NMR datasets.

    PubMed

    Lafon, Olivier; Hu, Bingwen; Amoureux, Jean-Paul; Lesot, Philippe

    2011-06-01

    Natural abundance deuterium (NAD) 2D NMR spectroscopy using chiral or achiral liquid crystals is an efficient analytical tool for the stereochemical analysis of enantio- or diastereomers by the virtue of proton-to-deuterium substitution. In particular, it allows the measurement of enantiopurity of organic synthetic molecules or the determination of the natural isotopic (1)H/(2)H fractionation in biological molecules, such as fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). So far, the NAD 2D spectra of solutes were acquired by using uniform sampling (US) and processed by conventional 2D Fourier transform (FT), which could result in long measurement times for medium-sized analytes or low solute concentrations. Herein, we demonstrate that this conventional approach can be advantageously replaced by nonuniform sampling (NUS) processed by covariance (Cov) transform. This original spectral reconstruction provides a significant enhancement of spectral resolution, as well as a reduction of measurement times. The application of Cov to NUS data has required the introduction of a regularization procedure in the time domain for the indirect dimension. The analytical potential of combining Cov and NUS is demonstrated by measuring the enantiomeric excess of a scalemic mixture of 2-ethyloxirane and by determining the diastereomeric excess of methyl vernoleate, a natural FAME. These two organic compounds were aligned in a polypeptide (poly(γ-benzyl-L-glutamate)) mesophase. In the case of NAD 2D NMR spectroscopy, we show that Cov and NUS methods allow a decrease in measurement time by a factor of two compared with Cov applied to US data and a factor of four compared with FT applied to US data.

  18. Molecular Investigation of the Short-term Sequestration of Natural Abundance 13C -labelled Cow Dung in the Surface Horizons of a Temperate Grassland Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dungait, J.; Bol, R.; Evershed, R. P.

    2004-12-01

    An adequate understanding of the carbon (C) sequestration potential of grasslands requires that the quantity and residence times of C inputs be measured. Herbivore dung is largely comprised of plant cell wall material, a significant source of stable C in intensively grazed temperate grassland ecosystems that contributes to the soil carbon budget. Our work uses compound-specific isotope analysis to identify the pattern of input of dung-derived compounds from natural abundance 13C/-labelled cow dung into the surface horizons of a temperate grassland soil over one year. C4 dung (δ 13C \\-12.6 ‰ ) from maize fed cows was applied to a temperate grassland surface (δ 13C \\-29.95 ‰ ) at IGER-North Wyke (Devon, UK), and dung remains and soil cores beneath the treatments collected at ŧ = 7, 14, 28, 56, 112, 224 and 372 days. Bulk dung carbon present in the 0\\-1 cm and 1\\-5 cm surface horizons of a grassland soil over one year was estimated using Δ 13C between C4 dung and C3 dung, after Bol {\\et al.} (2000). The major biochemical components of dung were quantified using proximate forage fibre analyses, after Goering and Van Soest (1970) and identified using `wet' chemical and GC-MS methods. Plant cell wall polysaccharides and lignin were found to account for up to 67 {%} of dung dry matter. Hydrolysed polysaccharides were prepared as alditol acetates for analyses (after Docherty {\\et al.}, 2001), and a novel application of an off-line pyrolysis method applied to measure lignin-derived phenolic compounds (after Poole & van Bergen, 2002). This paper focuses on major events in the incorporation of dung carbon, estimated using natural abundance 13C&-slash;labelling technique. This revealed a major bulk input of dung carbon after a period of significant rainfall with a consequent decline in bulk soil δ 13C values until the end of the experiment (Dungait {\\et al.}, submitted). Findings will be presented revealing contribution of plant cell wall polysaccharides and

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Adsorption of lead ions on composite biopolymer adsorbent

    SciTech Connect

    Seki, Hideshi; Suzuki, Akira

    1996-04-01

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

  2. Single Molecule Science for Personalized Nanomedicine: Atomic Force Microscopy of Biopolymer-Protein Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsueh, Carlin

    Nanotechnology has a unique and relatively untapped utility in the fields of medicine and dentistry at the level of single-biopolymer and -molecule diagnostics. In recent years atomic force microscopy (AFM) has garnered much interest due to its ability to obtain atomic-resolution of molecular structures and probe biophysical behaviors of biopolymers and proteins in a variety of biologically significant environments. The work presented in this thesis focuses on the nanoscale manipulation and observation of biopolymers to develop an innovative technology for personalized medicine while understanding complex biological systems. These studies described here primarily use AFM to observe biopolymer interactions with proteins and its surroundings with unprecedented resolution, providing a better understanding of these systems and interactions at the nanoscale. Transcriptional profiling, the measure of messenger RNA (mRNA) abundance in a single cell, is a powerful technique that detects "behavior" or "symptoms" at the tissue and cellular level. We have sought to develop an alternative approach, using our expertise in AFM and single molecule nanotechnology, to achieve a cost-effective high throughput method for sensitive detection and profiling of subtle changes in transcript abundance. The technique does not require amplification of the mRNA sample because the AFM provides three-dimensional views of molecules with unprecedented resolution, requires minimal sample preparation, and utilizes a simple tagging chemistry on cDNA molecules. AFM images showed collagen polymers in teeth and of Drebrin-A remodeling of filamentous actin structure and mechanics. AFM was used to image collagen on exposed dentine tubules and confirmed tubule occlusion with a desensitizing prophylaxis paste by Colgate-Palmolive. The AFM also superseded other microscopy tools in resolving F-actin helix remodeling and possible cooperative binding by a neuronal actin binding protein---Drebrin-A, an

  3. Role of Native and Exotic Earthworms in Plant Biopolymer Dynamics in Forest Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filley, Timothy

    2010-05-01

    Many forests within northern North America are experiencing the introduction of earthworms for the first time, presumably since before the last major glaciation. Forest dynamics are undergoing substantial changes because of the activity of the mainly European lumbricid species. Documented losses in litter layers, expansion of A-horizons, loss of the organic horizon, changes in fine root density, and shifts in microbial populations have all been documented in invaded zones. Two free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) forest experiments (aspen FACE at Rhinelander, Wisconsin and sweet gum FACE at Oak Ridge National Lab, Tennessee) lie within the zones of invasion and exhibit differences in amounts of exotic and native species as well as endogeic (predominantly mineral soil dwelling) and epigeic (litter and organic matter horizon dwelling) types. Considerations of carbon accrual dynamics and relative input of above vs. below ground plant input in these young successional systems do not consider the potential impact of these ecosystem engineers. We investigated the impact of earthworm activity by tracking the relative abundance and stable carbon isotope compositions of lignin and substituted fatty acids extracted from isolated earthworms and their fecal pellets and from host soils. Indications of root vs leaf input to earthworm casts and fecal matter were derived from differences in the chemical composition of cutin, suberin, and lignin. The isotopically depleted CO2 used in FACE and the resulting isotopically depleted plant organic matter afford an excellent opportunity to assess biopolymer-specific turnover dynamics. We find that endogeic species are proportionately more responsible for fine root cycling while some epigeic species are responsible for microaggregation of foliar cutin. CSIA of fecal pellet lignin and SFA indicates how these biopolymer pools can be derived from variable sources, roots, background soil, foliar tissue within one earthworm. Additionally, CSIA

  4. Importance of structural makeup of biopolymers for organic contaminant sorption.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xilong; Xing, Baoshan

    2007-05-15

    Sorption of pyrene, phenanthrene, naphthalene, and 1-naphthol by original (lignin, chitin, and cellulose) and coated biopolymers was examined. Organic carbon normalized distribution coefficients (Koc) of all compounds by the original biopolymers followed the order lignin > chitin > cellulose, in line with the order of their hydrophobicity. Hydrophobicity of structurally similar organic compounds is the main factor determining their ability to occupy sorption sites in biopolymers. Specific interactions (e.g., H-bonding) between 1-naphthol and chitin or cellulose increased its ability to occupy sorption sites. Lignin coating resulted in an increased Koc for phenanthrene (13.6 times for chitin and 6.9 times for cellulose) and 1-naphthol (6.0 times for chitin and 3.7 times for cellulose) relative to the acetone-treated chitin and cellulose. Also, these coated biopolymers had increased isotherm nonlinearity, due to the newly formed condensed domains. An increase in phenanthrene and 1-naphthol sorption by lignin-coated biopolymers as compared to chitin and cellulose was contributed by the newly created high-energy sites in condensed domains and coated lignin. Results of this study highlight the importance of the structural makeup of biopolymers in controlling the sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds.

  5. Effect of ozone on biopolymers in biofiltration and ultrafiltration processes.

    PubMed

    Siembida-Lösch, Barbara; Anderson, William B; Wang, Yulang Michael; Bonsteel, Jane; Huck, Peter M

    2015-03-01

    The focus of this full-scale study was to determine the effect of ozone on biopolymer concentrations in biofiltration and ultrafiltration (UF) processes treating surface water from Lake Ontario. Ozonation was out of service for maintenance for 9 months, hence, it was possible to investigate ozone's action on biologically active carbon contactors (BACCs) and UF, in terms of biopolymer removal. Given the importance of biopolymers for fouling, this fraction was quantified using a chromatographic technique. Ozone pre-treatment was observed to positively impact the active biomass in biofilters. However, since an increase of the active biomass did not result in higher biopolymer removal, active biomass concentration cannot be a surrogate for biofiltration performance. It was evident that increasing empty bed contact time (EBCT) from 4 to 19 min only had a positive effect on biopolymer removal through BACCs when ozone was out of service. However, as a mass balance experiment showed, ozone-free operation resulted in higher deposition of biopolymers on a UF membrane and slight deterioration in its performance. PMID:25540836

  6. Effect of ozone on biopolymers in biofiltration and ultrafiltration processes.

    PubMed

    Siembida-Lösch, Barbara; Anderson, William B; Wang, Yulang Michael; Bonsteel, Jane; Huck, Peter M

    2015-03-01

    The focus of this full-scale study was to determine the effect of ozone on biopolymer concentrations in biofiltration and ultrafiltration (UF) processes treating surface water from Lake Ontario. Ozonation was out of service for maintenance for 9 months, hence, it was possible to investigate ozone's action on biologically active carbon contactors (BACCs) and UF, in terms of biopolymer removal. Given the importance of biopolymers for fouling, this fraction was quantified using a chromatographic technique. Ozone pre-treatment was observed to positively impact the active biomass in biofilters. However, since an increase of the active biomass did not result in higher biopolymer removal, active biomass concentration cannot be a surrogate for biofiltration performance. It was evident that increasing empty bed contact time (EBCT) from 4 to 19 min only had a positive effect on biopolymer removal through BACCs when ozone was out of service. However, as a mass balance experiment showed, ozone-free operation resulted in higher deposition of biopolymers on a UF membrane and slight deterioration in its performance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  9. Chain packing in glassy polymers by natural-abundance 13C-13C spin diffusion using 2D centerband-only detection of exchange.

    PubMed

    Singh, Manmilan; Schaefer, Jacob

    2011-03-01

    The proximities of specific subgroups of nearest-neighbor chains in glassy polymers are revealed by distance-dependent (13)C-(13)C dipolar couplings and spin diffusion. The measurement of such proximities is practical even with natural-abundance levels of (13)C using a 2D version of centerband-only detection of exchange (CODEX). Two-dimensional CODEX is a relaxation-compensated experiment that avoids the problems associated with variations in T(1)(C)'s due to dynamic site heterogeneity in the glass. Isotropic chemical shifts are encoded in the t(1) preparation times before and after mixing, and variations in T(2)'s are compensated by an S(0) reference (no mixing). Data acquisition involves acquisition of an S(0) reference signal on alternate scans, and the active control of power amplifiers, to achieve stability and accuracy over long accumulation times. The model system to calibrate spin diffusion is the polymer itself. For a mixing time of 200 ms, only (13)C-(13)C pairs separated by one or two bonds (2.5 Å) show cross peaks, which therefore identify reference intrachain proximities. For a mixing time of 1200 ms, 5 Å interchain proximities appear. The resulting cross peaks are used in a simple and direct way to compare nonrandom chain packing for two commercial polycarbonates with decidedly different mechanical properties.

  10. The use of natural abundance carbon-13 to identify and quantify sources of emitted carbon dioxide in a calcareous southern Ontario Luvisolic soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilton, Meaghan

    Three studies Were conducted at the Elora Research Station (ERS) on a Luvisolic soil to investigate the soil inorganic carbon (SIC) and soil organic carbon (SOC) components contributing to the CO2 flux (FC) using natural 13C abundance. SIC contributed to the FC in intact soil incubations. Soil disruption exacerbated the release of CO2 from both pedogenic and lithogenic carbonates. Field and laboratory techniques to obtain the delta13C of respired CO2 (delta13CR) were compared. Short-term deployment of non flow-through non steady-state chambers and the use of the simple two-ended mass balance approach to derive delta 13CR were found acceptable to apply to the ERS site. The delta13CR from a corn field at ERS with a history of multiple C4 and C3 crop rotations was partitioned into SIC and SOC components using two approaches. Root respiration contributed 2% - 64% and carbonates contribute up to 20% to the FC.

  11. Nitrogen input 15N-signatures are reflected in plant 15N natural abundances of N-rich tropical forest in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdisa Gurmesa, Geshere; Lu, Xiankai; Gundersen, Per; Yunting, Fang; Mo, Jiangming

    2016-04-01

    In this study, we tested the measurement of natural abundance of 15N (δ15N) for its ability to assess changes in N cycling due to increased N deposition in two forest types; namely, an old-growth broadleaved forest and a pine forest, in southern China. We measured δ15N values of inorganic N in input and output fluxes under ambient N deposition, and N concentration and δ15N of major ecosystem compartments under ambient and increased N deposition. Our results showed that N deposition to the forests was 15N-depleted, and was dominated by NH4-N. Plants were 15N-depleted due to imprint from the 15N-depleted atmospheric N deposition. The old-growth forest had larger N concentration and was more 15N-enriched than the pine forest. Nitrogen addition did not significantly affect N concentration, but it significantly increased δ15N values of plants, and slightly more so in the pine forest, toward the 15N signature of the added N in both forests. The result indicates that the pine forest may rely more on the 15N-depleted deposition N. Soil δ15N values were slightly decreased by the N addition. Our result suggests that ecosystem δ15N is more sensitive to the changes in ecosystem N status and N cycling than N concentration in N-saturated sub-tropical forests.

  12. Natural (15)N Abundance in Key Amino Acids from Lamb Muscle: Exploring a New Horizon in Diet Authentication and Assessment of Feed Efficiency in Ruminants.

    PubMed

    Cantalapiedra-Hijar, Gonzalo; Ortigues-Marty, Isabelle; Schiphorst, Anne-Marie; Robins, Richard J; Tea, Illa; Prache, Sophie

    2016-05-25

    Natural (15)N abundance (δ(15)N) varies between individual amino acids (AAs). We hypothesized that δ(15)N of nontransaminating and essential AAs ("source" AAs, such as phenylalanine) present in animal tissues could be used as a marker of dietary origin, whereas δ(15)N of transaminating AAs ("trophic" AAs, such as glutamic acid) could give more detailed insights into animal feed efficiency. Two diets based on dehydrated Lucerne pellets were tested in growing lambs, which promoted different feed efficiencies. No dietary effects were noted on δ(15)N of any AAs analyzed in lamb muscle. In addition, δ(15)N of phenylalanine was unexpectedly similar to that of glutamic acid, suggesting that δ(15)N of AAs is significantly derived from the metabolism of the rumen microbiota and, thus, are not suited for diet authentication in ruminants. In contrast, the δ(15)N of transaminating AAs facilitates an improved prediction of animal feed efficiency compared to the classical isotopic bulk N analysis. PMID:27148901

  13. Fast magic-angle sample spinning solid-state NMR at 60-100kHz for natural abundance samples.

    PubMed

    Nishiyama, Yusuke

    2016-09-01

    In spite of tremendous progress made in pulse sequence designs and sophisticated hardware developments, methods to improve sensitivity and resolution in solid-state NMR (ssNMR) are still emerging. The rate at which sample is spun at magic angle determines the extent to which sensitivity and resolution of NMR spectra are improved. To this end, the prime objective of this article is to give a comprehensive theoretical and experimental framework of fast magic angle spinning (MAS) technique. The engineering design of fast MAS rotors based on spinning rate, sample volume, and sensitivity is presented in detail. Besides, the benefits of fast MAS citing the recent progress in methodology, especially for natural abundance samples are also highlighted. The effect of the MAS rate on (1)H resolution, which is a key to the success of the (1)H inverse detection methods, is described by a simple mathematical factor named as the homogeneity factor k. A comparison between various (1)H inverse detection methods is also presented. Moreover, methods to reduce the number of spinning sidebands (SSBs) for the systems with huge anisotropies in combination with (1)H inverse detection at fast MAS are discussed.

  14. Sensitive measurement of NH4+ 15N/14N (delta 15NH4+) at natural abundance levels in fresh and saltwaters.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lin; Altabet, Mark A; Wu, Taixing; Hadas, Ora

    2007-07-15

    We report a new method for determining the 15N/14N of NH4+ at natural abundance level in both freshwater and seawater. NH4+ is first quantitatively oxidized to NO2- by hypobromite (BrO-) at pH approximately 12. After the addition of sodium arsenite to consume excess BrO-, yield is verified by colorimetric NO2- determination. NO2- is further reduced to N2O using a 1:1 sodium azide and acetic acid buffer solution using previously established procedures. The product N2O is then analyzed for isotopic composition using a continuous flow purge and cryogenic trap system coupled to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Reliable delta 15N values (standard deviation is 0.3 per thousand or better) are obtained over an NH4+ concentration range of 0.5-10 microM using 20 mL volumes of either freshwater or seawater samples. Higher concentration samples are readily diluted to lower concentration. Preexisting NO2- is removed by treatment with sulfanilic acid. There is no interference from any of the nitrogen-containing compounds tested except short-chain aliphatic amino acids (i.e., glycine) which typically are present at very low environmental concentrations. As compared to published methods, our approach is more robust, readily applicable at low concentrations and small sample volumes, and requires less time for preparation and analysis.

  15. Nitrogen content, 15N natural abundance and biomass of the two pleurocarpous mosses Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt. and Scleropodium purum (Hedw.) Limpr. in relation to atmospheric nitrogen deposition.

    PubMed

    Solga, A; Burkhardt, J; Zechmeister, H G; Frahm, J-P

    2005-04-01

    The suitability of the two pleurocarpous mosses Pleurozium schreberi and Scleropodium purum for assessing spatial variation in nitrogen deposition was investigated. Sampling was carried out at eight sites in the western part of Germany with bulk deposition rates ranging between 6.5 and 18.5 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). In addition to the effect of deposition on the nitrogen content of the two species, its influence on 15N natural abundance (delta15N values) and on productivity was examined. Annual increases of the mosses were used for all analyses. Significant relationships between bulk N deposition and nitrogen content were obtained for both species; delta15N-values reflected the ratio of NH4-N to NO3-N in deposition. A negative effect of nitrogen input on productivity, i.e. decreasing biomass per area with increasing N deposition due to a reduction of stem density, was particularly evident with P. schreberi. Monitoring of N deposition by means of mosses is considered an important supplement to existing monitoring programs. It makes possible an improved spatial resolution, and thus those areas that receive high loads of nitrogen are more easily discernible. PMID:15620592

  16. Characterizing the changes in biopolymer composition in roots of photosynthetically divergent grasses exposed to future climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suseela, V.; Tharayil, N.; Pendall, E.

    2014-12-01

    A majority of carbon in soil is derived from plant roots, yet roots remain remarkably less explored. Root tissues are abundant in heteropolymers such as suberin, lignin and tannins which are energetically demanding to depolymerize, thus facilitating the accrual of carbon in soil. Most biopolymers are operationally/functionally defined and their function is regulated by the identity of monomers and the linkages connecting these monomers. The structural chemistry of these biopolymers could vary with the environmental conditions experienced during their formative stage thus altering the potential for soil carbon sequestration. We examined the biopolymer composition in the roots of a C3 (Hesperostipa comata) and a C4 (Bouteloua gracilis) grass species exposed to a factorial combination of warming and elevated CO2 at the Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment (PHACE) experiment, Wyoming, USA. The grass roots were subjected to a sequential solvent extraction and base hydrolysis to delineate various operational fractions within the polydisperse matrix. The extracted fractions were analyzed using various chromatography mass spectrometry platforms. Warming and elevated CO2 increased the total suberin content and the amount of ω-hydroxy acids in C4 grass species while in C3 species there was a trend of increasing concentration of α,ω-dioic acids in roots exposed to elevated CO2 compared to ambient CO2 treatment. Our results highlight the effect of warming and elevated CO2 on the chemical composition of heteropolymers in roots that may potentially alter root function and rate of decomposition leading to changes in soil carbon in a future warmer world.

  17. Natural biopolymer for preservation of microorganisms during sampling and storage.

    PubMed

    Sorokulova, Iryna; Watt, James; Olsen, Eric; Globa, Ludmila; Moore, Timothy; Barbaree, James; Vodyanoy, Vitaly

    2012-01-01

    Stability of microbial cultures during sampling and storage is a vital issue in various fields of medicine, biotechnology, food science, and forensics. We have developed a unique bacterial preservation process involving a non-toxic, water-soluble acacia gum polymer that eliminates the need for refrigerated storage of samples. The main goal of this study is to characterize the efficacy of acacia gum polymer for preservation of pathogenic bacteria (Bacillus anthracis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-MRSA) on different materials, used for swabbing and filtration: cotton, wool, polyester, rayon, charcoal cloth, and Whatman paper. Acacia gum polymer used for preservation of two pathogens has been shown to significantly protect bacteria during dehydration and storage in all tested samples at the range of temperatures (5-45°C for MRSA and 40-90°C for B. anthracis). Our results showed higher recovery as well as higher viability during the storage of both bacteria in all materials with acacia gum. Addition of acacia gum polymer to swabbing materials or filters will increase efficacy of sample collection and identification of pathogenic bacteria from locations such as hospitals or the environment. Proposed approach can also be used for long-term storage of culture collections, since acacia gum contributes to viability and stability of bacterial cultures.

  18. Sporopollenin, the least known yet toughest natural biopolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackenzie, Grahame; Boa, Andrew; Taboada, Alberto; Atkin, Stephen; Sathyapalan, Thozhukat

    2015-10-01

    Sporopollenin is highly cross-linked polymer composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen that is extraordinarily stable and has been found chemically intact in sedimentary rocks some 500 million year old. It is the outer shell (exine) of plant spores and pollen and when extracted it is in the form of an empty exine or microcapsule. The exines resemble the spores and pollen from which they are extracted, in size and morphology. Also, from any one plant such characteristics are incredible uniform. The exines can be used is microcapsules or simply as micron-sized particles due to the variety of functional groups on their surfaces. The loading of the exine microcapsules into their cavities is via multi-directional nano-diameter sized channels. The exines can be filled with a variety of polar and non-polar materials. Such as enzymes can be encapsulated within the shells and still remain active. In vivo studies in humans have shown that an encapsulated active substance can have a substantially increased bioavailability than if it is taken alone. The sporopollenin exine surface possesses phenolic, alkane, alkene, ketone, lactone and carboxylic acid groups. Therefore it can be derivatised in a number of ways, which has given rise to its having been used for, such as, solid supported for peptide synthesis, catalysis and ion-exchange chromatography. Also, the presence of the phenolic groups on sporopollenin endows it with antioxidant activity.

  19. Flow behaviour of a POSS biopolymer solution.

    PubMed

    Kidane, Asmeret G; Edirisinghe, Mohan J; Bonhoeffer, Philipp; Seifalian, Alexander M

    2007-01-01

    A non-biodegradable polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) nanocomposite biopolymer has been developed for fabrication of medical devices and for tissue engineering human organs. The polymer in solution, containing 2 wt% of POSS, has been synthesized, characterized and investigated to determine its key rheological properties. Thus, the variation of shear stress and viscosity as a function of shear rate has been determined at ambient temperature to estimate yield stress and the index of pseudoplasticity, respectively. The temperature dependence of viscosity and the effect of ageing on the viscosity of the polymer have also been investigated. Results are compared with those of a conventional polycarbonate urethane (PCU) polymer solution. The POSS-PCU polymer solution shows near-Newtonian behaviour in the shear rate range to 1000 s(-1), having an apparent viscosity of approximately 3000 mPa s and a pseudoplasticity index of 0.90, decreasing slightly as the polymer solution is aged over 9 months. The temperature dependence of viscosity of the POSS polymer is extremely low and does not change with ageing but the yield strength increases from 2.7 Pa to 8.3 Pa.

  20. Formatting and ligating biopolymers using adjustable nanoconfinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  1. Rotational molding of bio-polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greco, Antonio; Maffezzoli, Alfonso; Forleo, Stefania

    2014-05-01

    This paper is aimed to study the suitability of bio-polymers, including poly-lactic acid (PLLA) and Mater-Bi, for the production of hollow components by rotational molding. In order to reduce the brittleness of PLLA, the material was mixed with two different plasticizers, bis-ethyl-hexyl-phthalate (DEHP) and poly-ethylene-glycol (PEG). The materials were characterized in terms of sinterability. To this purpose, thermomechanical (TMA) analysis was performed at different heating rates, in order to identify the endset temperatures of densification and the onset temperatures of degradation. Results obtained indicated that the materials are characterized by a very fast sintering process, occurring just above the melting temperature, and an adequately high onset of degradation. The difference between the onset of degradation and the endset of sintering, defined as the processing window of the polymer, is sufficiently wide, indicating that the polymers can be efficiently processed by rotational molding. Therefore, a laboratory scale apparatus was used for the production of PLLA and Mater-Bi prototypes. The materials were processed using very similar conditions to those used for LLDPE. The production of void-free samples of uniform wall thickness was considered as an indication of the potentiality of the process for the production of biodegradable containers.

  2. The effect of drought and interspecific interactions on depth of water uptake in deep- and shallow-rooting grassland species as determined by δ18O natural abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoekstra, N. J.; Finn, J. A.; Hofer, D.; Lüscher, A.

    2014-08-01

    Increased incidence of drought, as predicted under climate change, has the potential to negatively affect grassland production. Compared to monocultures, vertical belowground niche complementarity between shallow- and deep-rooting species may be an important mechanism resulting in higher yields and higher resistance to drought in grassland mixtures. However, very little is known about the belowground responses in grassland systems and increased insight into these processes may yield important information both to predict the effect of future climate change and better design agricultural systems to cope with this. This study assessed the effect of a 9-week experimental summer drought on the depth of water uptake of two shallow-rooting species (Lolium perenne L. and Trifolium repens L.) and two deep-rooting species (Cichorium intybus L. and Trifolium pratense L.) in grassland monocultures and four-species mixtures by using the natural abundance δ18O isotope method. We tested the following three hypotheses: (1) drought results in a shift of water uptake to deeper soil layers, (2) deep-rooting species take up a higher proportion of water from deeper soil layers relative to shallow-rooting species, and (3) as a result of interspecific interactions in mixtures, the water uptake of shallow-rooting species becomes shallower when grown together with deep-rooting species and vice versa, resulting in reduced niche overlap. The natural abundance δ18O technique provided novel insights into the depth of water uptake of deep- and shallow- rooting grassland species and revealed large shifts in depth of water uptake in response to drought and interspecific interactions. Compared to control conditions, drought reduced the proportional water uptake from 0-10 cm soil depth (PCWU0-10) of L. perenne, T. repens and C. intybus in monocultures by on average 54%. In contrast, the PCWU0-10 of T. pratense in monoculture increased by 44%, and only when grown in mixture did the PCWU0-10 of T

  3. Carbon-13 natural abundance signatures of long-chain fatty acids to determinate sediment origin: A case study in northeast Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mabit, Lionel; Gibbs, Max; Meusburger, Katrin; Toloza, Arsenio; Resch, Christian; Klik, Andreas; Swales, Andrew; Alewell, Christine

    2016-04-01

    - Several recently published information from scientific research have highlighted that compound-specific stable isotope (CSSI) signatures of fatty acids (FAs) based on the measurement of carbon-13 natural abundance signatures showed great promises to identify sediment origin. The authors have used this innovative isotopic approach to investigate the sources of sediment in a three hectares Austrian sub-watershed (i.e. Mistelbach). Through a previous study using the Cs-137 technique, Mabit et al. (Geoderma, 2009) reported a local maximum sedimentation rate reaching 20 to 50 t/ha/yr in the lowest part of this watershed. However, this study did not identify the sources. Subsequently, the deposited sediment at its outlet (i.e. the sediment mixture) and representative soil samples from the four main agricultural fields - expected to be the source soils - of the site were investigated. The bulk delta carbon-13 of the samples and two long-chain FAs (i.e. C22:0 and C24:0) allowed the best statistical discrimination. Using two different mixing models (i.e. IsoSource and CSSIAR v1.00) and the organic carbon content of the soil sources and sediment mixture, the contribution of each source has been established. Results suggested that the grassed waterway contributed to at least 50% of the sediment deposited at the watershed outlet. This study, that will require further validation, highlights that CSSI and Cs-137 techniques are complementary as fingerprints and tracers for establishing land sediment redistribution and could provide meaningful information for optimized decision-making by land managers.

  4. Natural abundances of 15N and 13C in leaves of some N2-fixing and non-N2-fixing trees and shrubs in Syria.

    PubMed

    Kurdali, F; Al-Shamma'a, M

    2009-09-01

    A survey study was conducted on man-made plantations located at two different areas in the arid region of Syria to determine the variations in natural abundances of the (15)N and (13)C isotopes in leaves of several woody legume and non-legume species, and to better understand the consequence of such variations on nitrogen fixation and carbon assimilation. In the first study area (non-saline soil), the delta(15)N values in four legume species (Acacia cyanophylla,-1.73 per thousand Acacia farnesiana,-0.55 per thousand Prosopis juliflora,-1.64 per thousand; and Medicago arborea,+1.6 \\textperthousand) and one actinorhizal plant (Elaeagnus angustifolia,-0.46 to-2.1 per thousand) were found to be close to that of the atmospheric value pointing to a major contribution of N(2) fixing in these species; whereas, delta(15)N values of the non-fixing plant species were highly positive. delta(13)C per thousand; in leaves of the C3 plants were found to be affected by plant species, ranging from a minimum of-28.67 per thousand; to a maximum of-23 per thousand. However, they were relatively similar within each plant species although they were grown at different sites. In the second study area (salt affected soil), a higher carbon discrimination value (Delta(13)C per thousand) was exhibited by P. juliflora, indicating that the latter is a salt tolerant species; however, its delta(15)N was highly positive (+7.03 per thousand) suggesting a negligible contribution of the fixed N(2). Hence, it was concluded that the enhancement of N(2) fixation might be achieved by selection of salt-tolerant Rhizobium strains.

  5. [Distribution characteristics of soil humus fractions stable carbon isotope natural abundance (delta 13C) in paddy field under long-term ridge culture].

    PubMed

    Tang, Xiao-hong; Luo, You-jin; Ren, Zhen-jiang; Lü, Jia-ke; Wei, Chao-fu

    2011-04-01

    A 16-year field experiment was conducted in a ridge culture paddy field in the hilly region of Sichuan Basin, aimed to investigate the distribution characteristics of stable carbon isotope natural abundance (delta 13C) in soil humus fractions. The soil organic carbon (SOC) content in the paddy field under different cultivation modes ranked in the order of wide ridge culture > ridge culture > paddy and upland rotation. In soil humus substances (HS), humin (HU) was the main composition, occupying 21% - 30% of the total SOC. In the extracted soil carbon, humic acid (HA) dominated, occupying 17% - 21% of SOC and 38% - 65% of HS. The delta 13C value of SOC ranged from -27.9 per thousand to -25.6 per thousand, and the difference of the delta 13C value between 0-5 cm and 20-40 cm soil layers was about 1.9 per thousand. The delta 13C value of HA under different cultivation modes was 1 per thousand - 2 per thousand lower than that of SOC, and more approached to the delta 13C value of rapeseed and rice residues. As for fulvic acid (FA), its delta 13C value was about 2 per thousand and 4 per thousand higher than that of SOC and HA, respectively. The delta 13C value of HU in plough layer (0-20 cm) and plow layer (20-40 cm) ranged from -23.7 per thousand - -24.9 per thousand and -22.6 per thousand - -24.2 per thousand, respectively, reflecting the admixture of young and old HS. The delta 13C value in various organic carbon fractions was HU>FA>SOC>rapeseed and rice residues>HA. Long-term rice planting benefited the increase of SOC content, and cultivation mode played an important role in affecting the distribution patterns of soil humus delta 13C in plough layer and plow layer. PMID:21774322

  6. A critical size and period hypothesis to explain natural regulation of salmon abundance and the linkage to climate and climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beamish, R. J.; Mahnken, Conrad

    We hypothesise that salmon year class strength is determined in two stages during the first year in the ocean. There is an early natural mortality that is mostly related to predation, which is followed by a physiologically-based mortality. Juvenile salmon that fail to reach a critical size by the end of their first marine summer do not survive the following winter. In this study we describe our initial tests of this critical size and critical period hypothesis using data from ocean surveys of juvenile salmon and from experimental feeding studies on coho. Conservative swept volume abundance estimates for juvenile coho, and possibly chinook, indicate that there is high mortality in fall and winter during their first year in the sea. Studies of otolith weight show that the length and otolith-weight relationship for young coho changes in the early fall of their first ocean year. Studies of growth and associated hormone levels in feeding studies show that slow growing juvenile coho are stunted and deficient in an insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). Juvenile coho sampled in September had low IGF-I values, indicative of poor growth. The results of these studies provide evidence for the general hypothesis that growth-related mortality occurs late in the first marine year and may be important in determining the strength of the year class (brood year). The link between total mortality and climate could be operating via the availability of nutrients regulating the food supply and hence competition for food (i.e. bottom-up regulation).

  7. [Distribution characteristics of soil humus fractions stable carbon isotope natural abundance (delta 13C) in paddy field under long-term ridge culture].

    PubMed

    Tang, Xiao-hong; Luo, You-jin; Ren, Zhen-jiang; Lü, Jia-ke; Wei, Chao-fu

    2011-04-01

    A 16-year field experiment was conducted in a ridge culture paddy field in the hilly region of Sichuan Basin, aimed to investigate the distribution characteristics of stable carbon isotope natural abundance (delta 13C) in soil humus fractions. The soil organic carbon (SOC) content in the paddy field under different cultivation modes ranked in the order of wide ridge culture > ridge culture > paddy and upland rotation. In soil humus substances (HS), humin (HU) was the main composition, occupying 21% - 30% of the total SOC. In the extracted soil carbon, humic acid (HA) dominated, occupying 17% - 21% of SOC and 38% - 65% of HS. The delta 13C value of SOC ranged from -27.9 per thousand to -25.6 per thousand, and the difference of the delta 13C value between 0-5 cm and 20-40 cm soil layers was about 1.9 per thousand. The delta 13C value of HA under different cultivation modes was 1 per thousand - 2 per thousand lower than that of SOC, and more approached to the delta 13C value of rapeseed and rice residues. As for fulvic acid (FA), its delta 13C value was about 2 per thousand and 4 per thousand higher than that of SOC and HA, respectively. The delta 13C value of HU in plough layer (0-20 cm) and plow layer (20-40 cm) ranged from -23.7 per thousand - -24.9 per thousand and -22.6 per thousand - -24.2 per thousand, respectively, reflecting the admixture of young and old HS. The delta 13C value in various organic carbon fractions was HU>FA>SOC>rapeseed and rice residues>HA. Long-term rice planting benefited the increase of SOC content, and cultivation mode played an important role in affecting the distribution patterns of soil humus delta 13C in plough layer and plow layer.

  8. A comparative study of biopolymers and alum in the separation and recovery of pulp fibres from paper mill effluent by flocculation.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Sumona; Mukhopadhyay, Soumyadeep; Pariatamby, Agamuthu; Ali Hashim, Mohd; Sahu, Jaya Narayan; Sen Gupta, Bhaskar

    2014-09-01

    Recovery of cellulose fibres from paper mill effluent has been studied using common polysaccharides or biopolymers such as Guar gum, Xanthan gum and Locust bean gum as flocculent. Guar gum is commonly used in sizing paper and routinely used in paper making. The results have been compared with the performance of alum, which is a common coagulant and a key ingredient of the paper industry. Guar gum recovered about 3.86mg/L of fibre and was most effective among the biopolymers. Settling velocity distribution curves demonstrated that Guar gum was able to settle the fibres faster than the other biopolymers; however, alum displayed the highest particle removal rate than all the biopolymers at any of the settling velocities. Alum, Guar gum, Xanthan gum and Locust bean gum removed 97.46%, 94.68%, 92.39% and 92.46% turbidity of raw effluent at a settling velocity of 0.5cm/min, respectively. The conditions for obtaining the lowest sludge volume index such as pH, dose and mixing speed were optimised for guar gum which was the most effective among the biopolymers. Response surface methodology was used to design all experiments, and an optimum operational setting was proposed. The test results indicate similar performance of alum and Guar gum in terms of floc settling velocities and sludge volume index. Since Guar gum is a plant derived natural substance, it is environmentally benign and offers a green treatment option to the paper mills for pulp recycling.

  9. A comparative study of biopolymers and alum in the separation and recovery of pulp fibres from paper mill effluent by flocculation.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Sumona; Mukhopadhyay, Soumyadeep; Pariatamby, Agamuthu; Ali Hashim, Mohd; Sahu, Jaya Narayan; Sen Gupta, Bhaskar

    2014-09-01

    Recovery of cellulose fibres from paper mill effluent has been studied using common polysaccharides or biopolymers such as Guar gum, Xanthan gum and Locust bean gum as flocculent. Guar gum is commonly used in sizing paper and routinely used in paper making. The results have been compared with the performance of alum, which is a common coagulant and a key ingredient of the paper industry. Guar gum recovered about 3.86mg/L of fibre and was most effective among the biopolymers. Settling velocity distribution curves demonstrated that Guar gum was able to settle the fibres faster than the other biopolymers; however, alum displayed the highest particle removal rate than all the biopolymers at any of the settling velocities. Alum, Guar gum, Xanthan gum and Locust bean gum removed 97.46%, 94.68%, 92.39% and 92.46% turbidity of raw effluent at a settling velocity of 0.5cm/min, respectively. The conditions for obtaining the lowest sludge volume index such as pH, dose and mixing speed were optimised for guar gum which was the most effective among the biopolymers. Response surface methodology was used to design all experiments, and an optimum operational setting was proposed. The test results indicate similar performance of alum and Guar gum in terms of floc settling velocities and sludge volume index. Since Guar gum is a plant derived natural substance, it is environmentally benign and offers a green treatment option to the paper mills for pulp recycling. PMID:25193834

  10. Abundance of Ixodes ricinus and prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. in the nature reserve Siebengebirge, Germany, in comparison to three former studies from 1978 onwards

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background During the last decades, population densities of Ixodes ricinus and prevalences of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. have increased in different regions in Europe. In the present study, we determined tick abundance and the prevalence of different Borrelia genospecies in ticks from three sites in the Siebengebirge, Germany, which were already examined in the years 1987, 1989, 2001 and 2003. Data from all investigations were compared. Methods In 2007 and 2008, host-seeking I. ricinus were collected by monthly blanket dragging at three distinct vegetation sites in the Siebengebirge, a nature reserve and a well visited local recreation area near Bonn, Germany. In both years, 702 ticks were tested for B. burgdorferi s.l. DNA by nested PCR, and 249 tick samples positive for Borrelia were further genotyped by reverse line blotting. Results A total of 1046 and 1591 I. ricinus were collected in 2007 and 2008, respectively. In comparison to previous studies at these sites, the densities at all sites increased from 1987/89 and/or from 2003 until 2008. Tick densities and Borrelia prevalences in 2007 and 2008, respectively, were not correlated for all sites and both years. Overall, Borrelia prevalence of all ticks decreased significantly from 2007 (19.5%) to 2008 (16.5%), thus reaching the same level as in 2001 two times higher than in 1987/89 (7.6%). Since 2001, single infections with a Borrelia genospecies predominated in all collections, but the number of multiple infections increased, and in 2007, for the first time, triple Borrelia infections occurred. Prevalences of Borrelia genospecies differed considerably between the three sites, but B. garinii or B. afzelii were always the most dominant genospecies. B. lusitaniae was detected for the first time in the Siebengebirge, also in co-infections with B. garinii or B. valaisiana. Conclusions Over the last two centuries tick densities have changed in the Siebengebirge at sites that remained unchanged by human activity since

  11. Permeability Modification Using a Reactive Alkaline-Soluble Biopolymer

    SciTech Connect

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

    2003-10-01

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

  12. ''Green'' Biopolymers for Improved Decontamination of Metals from Surfaces: Sorptive Characterization and Coating Properties.. Annual report to be submitted to DOE Program Managers for posting on web page.

    SciTech Connect

    Davison, BH

    2001-06-15

    The proposed research aims to develop a fundamental understanding of important biological and physical chemical parameters for effective decontamination of metal surfaces using environmentally benign aqueous-based biopolymer solutions. Understanding how heavy metal-chelating biopolymers coat and interact with contaminated surfaces will benefit the development of novel, safe, easy-to-apply decontamination methodologies for removal of radionuclides and heavy metals. The benefits of these methodologies will include the following: decreased exposure hazards for workers; decreased secondary waste generation; increased efficiency of decontamination; positive public appeal and development of novel, nature-friendly business opportunities; and lower cost of cleanup to the government.

  13. Imperfection sensitivity of pressured buckling of biopolymer spherical shells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Lei; Ru, C. Q.

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Force spectroscopy of complex biopolymers with heterogeneous elasticity.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-21

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

  15. Energetics of cell-cell and cell-biopolymer interactions.

    PubMed

    van Oss, C J

    1989-02-01

    The energy vs distance balance of cell suspensions (in the presence and in the absence of extracellular biopolymer solutions) is studied, not only in the light of the classical Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory (which considered just the electrostatic (EL) and Lifshitz-van der Waals (LW) interactions), but also by taking electron-acceptor/electron-donor, or Lewis acid-base (AB) and osmotic (OS) interactions into account. Since cell surfaces, as well as many biopolymers tend to have strong monopolar electron-donor properties, they are able to engage in a strong mutual AB repulsion when immersed in a polar liquid such as water. The effects of that repulsion have been observed earlier in the guise of hydration pressure. The AB repulsion is, at close range, typically one or two orders of magnitude stronger than the EL repulsion, but its rate of decay is much steeper. In most cases, AB interactions are quantitatively the dominant factor in cell stability (when repulsive) and in "hydrophobic interactions" (when attractive). OS interactions exerted by extracellularly dissolved biopolymers are weak, but their rate of decay is very gradual, so OS repulsions engendered by biopolymer solutions may be of importance in certain long-range interactions. OS interactions exerted by biopolymers attached to cells or particles (e.g., by glycocalix glycoproteins), are very short-ranged and usually are negligibly small in comparison with the other interaction forces, in aqueous media.

  16. Force spectroscopy of complex biopolymers with heterogeneous elasticity

    PubMed Central

    Valdman, David; Lopez, Benjamin J.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Monomers of cutin biopolymer: sorption and esterification on montmorillonite surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olshansky, Yaniv; Polubesova, Tamara; Chefetz, Benny

    2013-04-01

    One of the important precursors for soil organic matter is plant cuticle, a thin layer of predominantly lipids that cover all primary aerial surfaces of vascular plants. In most plant species cutin biopolymer is the major component of the cuticle (30-85% weight). Therefore cutin is the third most abundant plant biopolymer (after lignin and cellulose). Cutin is an insoluble, high molecular weight bio-polyester, which is constructed of inter-esterified cross linked hydroxy-fatty acids and hydroxyepoxy-fatty acids. The most common building blocks of the cutin are derivatives of palmitic acid, among them 9(10),16 dihydroxy palmitic acid (diHPA) is the main component. These fatty acids and their esters are commonly found in major organo-mineral soil fraction-humin. Hence, the complexes of cutin monomers with minerals may serve as model of humin. Both cutin and humin act as adsorption efficient domains for organic contaminants. However, only scarce information is available about the interactions of cutin with soil mineral surfaces, in particular with common soil mineral montmorillonite. The main hypothesize of the study is that adsorbed cutin monomers will be reconstituted on montmorillonite surface due to esterification and oligomerization, and that interactions of cutin monomers with montmorillonite will be affected by the type of exchangeable cation. Cutin monomers were obtained from the fruits of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). Adsorption of monomers was measured for crude Wyoming montmorillonites and montmorillonites saturated with Fe3+ and Ca2+. To understand the mechanism of monomer-clay interactions and to evaluate esterification on the clay surface, XRD and FTIR analyses of the montmorillonite-monomers complexes were performed. Our results demonstrated that the interactions of cutin monomers with montmorillonite are affected by the type of exchangeable cation. Isotherms of adsorption of cutin monomers on montmorillonites were fitted by a dual mode model of

  19. Biopolymer-based thermoplastic mixture for producing solid biodegradable shaped bodies and its photo degradation stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulong, Nurulsaidatulsyida; Rus, Anika Zafiah M.

    2013-12-01

    In recent years, biopolymers with controllable lifetimes have become increasingly important for many applications in the areas of agriculture, biomedical implants and drug release, forestry, wild life conservation and waste management. Natural oils are considered to be the most important class of renewable sources. They can be obtained from naturally occurring plants, such as sunflower, cotton, linseed and palm oil. In Malaysia, palm oil is an inexpensive and commodity material. Biopolymer produced from palm oil (Bio-VOP) is a naturally occurring biodegradable polymer and readily available from agriculture. For packaging use however, Bio-VOP is not thermoplastic and its granular form is unsuitable for most uses in the plastics industry, mainly due to processing difficulties during extrusion or injection moulding. Thus, research workers have developed several methods to blend Bio-VOP appropriately for industrial uses. In particular, injections moulding processes, graft copolymerisation, and preparation of blends with thermoplastic polymers have been studied to produce solid biodegradable shaped bodies. HDPE was chosen as commercial thermoplastic materials and was added with 10% Bio-VOP for the preparation of solid biodegradable shaped bodies named as HD-VOP. The UV light exposure of HD-VOP at 12 minutes upon gives the highest strength of this material that is 17.6 MPa. The morphological structure of HD-VOP shows dwi structure surface fracture which is brittle and ductile properties.

  20. Structurally colored biopolymer thin films for detection of dissolved metal ions in aqueous solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cathell, Matthew David

    Natural polymers, such as the polysaccharides alginate and chitosan, are noted sorbents of heavy metals. Their polymer backbone structures are rich in ligands that can interact with metal ions through chelation, electrostatics, ion exchange and nonspecific mechanisms. These water-soluble biopolymer materials can be processed into hydrogel thin films, creating high surface area interfaces ideal for binding and sequestering metal ions from solution. By virtue of their uniform nanoscale dimensions (with thicknesses smaller than wavelengths of visible light) polymer thin films exhibit structure-based coloration. This phenomenon, frequently observed in nature, causes the transparent and essentially colorless films to reflect light in a wide array of colors. The lamellar film structures act as one-dimensional photonic crystals, allowing selective reflection of certain wavelengths of light while minimizing other wavelengths by out-of-phase interference. The combination of metal-binding and reflective properties make alginate and chitosan thin films attractive candidates for analyte sensing. Interactions with metal ions can induce changes in film thicknesses and refractive indices, thus altering the path of light reflected through the film. Small changes in dimensional or optical properties can lead to shifts in film color that are perceivable by the unaided eye. These thin films offer the potential for optical sensing of toxic dissolved materials without the need for instrumentation, external power or scientific expertise. With the use of a spectroscopic ellipsometer and a fiber optic reflectance spectrometer, the physical and optical characteristics of biopolymer thin films have been characterized in response to 50 ppm metal ion solutions. It has been determined that metal interactions can lead to measurable changes in both film thicknesses and effective refractive indices. The intrinsic response behaviors of alginate and chitosan, as well as the responses of modified

  1. Synthetic and Biopolymer Gels - Similarities and Difference.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horkay, Ferenc

    2006-03-01

    Ion exchange plays a central role in a variety of physiological processes, such as nerve excitation, muscle contraction and cell locomotion. Hydrogels can be used as model systems for identifying fundamental chemical and physical interactions that govern structure formation, phase transition, etc. in biopolymer systems. Polyelectrolyte gels are particularly well-suited to study ion-polymer interactions because their structure and physical-chemical properties (charge density, crosslink density, etc) can be carefully controlled. They are sensitive to different external stimuli such as temperature, ionic composition and pH. Surprisingly few investigations have been made on polyelectrolyte gels in salt solutions containing both monovalent and multivalent cations. We have developed an experimental approach that combines small angle neutron scattering and osmotic swelling pressure measurements. The osmotic pressure exerted on a macroscopic scale is a consequence of changes occurring at a molecular level. The intensity of the neutron scattering signal, which provides structural information as a function of spatial resolution, is directly related to the osmotic pressure. We have found a striking similarity in the scattering and osmotic behavior of polyacrylic acid gels and DNA gels swollen in nearly physiological salt solutions. Addition of calcium ions to both systems causes a sudden volume change. This volume transition, which occurs when the majority of the sodium counterions are replaced by calcium ions, is reversible. Such reversibility implies that the calcium ions are not strongly bound by the polyanion, but are free to move along the polymer chain, which allows these ions to form temporary bridges between negative charges on adjacent chains. Mechanical measurements reveal that the elastic modulus is practically unchanged in the calcium-containing gels, i.e., ion bridging is qualitatively different from covalent crosslinks.

  2. Biopolymers for sample collection, protection, and preservation.

    PubMed

    Sorokulova, Iryna; Olsen, Eric; Vodyanoy, Vitaly

    2015-07-01

    One of the principal challenges in the collection of biological samples from air, water, and soil matrices is that the target agents are not stable enough to be transferred from the collection point to the laboratory of choice without experiencing significant degradation and loss of viability. At present, there is no method to transport biological samples over considerable distances safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively without the use of ice or refrigeration. Current techniques of protection and preservation of biological materials have serious drawbacks. Many known techniques of preservation cause structural damages, so that biological materials lose their structural integrity and viability. We review applications of a novel bacterial preservation process, which is nontoxic and water soluble and allows for the storage of samples without refrigeration. The method is capable of protecting the biological sample from the effects of environment for extended periods of time and then allows for the easy release of these collected biological materials from the protective medium without structural or DNA damage. Strategies for sample collection, preservation, and shipment of bacterial, viral samples are described. The water-soluble polymer is used to immobilize the biological material by replacing the water molecules within the sample with molecules of the biopolymer. The cured polymer results in a solid protective film that is stable to many organic solvents, but quickly removed by the application of the water-based solution. The process of immobilization does not require the use of any additives, accelerators, or plastifiers and does not involve high temperature or radiation to promote polymerization.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Optically controlled multiple switching operations of DNA biopolymer devices

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-21

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

  5. Optically controlled multiple switching operations of DNA biopolymer devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. SOAX: a software for quantification of 3D biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-13

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

  7. Reevaluation of siderophile element abundances and ratios across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary: Implications for the nature of the projectile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goderis, S.; Tagle, R.; Belza, J.; Smit, J.; Montanari, A.; Vanhaecke, F.; Erzinger, J.; Claeys, Ph.

    2013-11-01

    The discovery over 30 years ago at Gubbio (Italy) and Caravaca (Spain) of an enrichment in the concentrations of iridium (Ir) and the other platinum group elements (PGE) by up to four orders of magnitude (Irmax = 0.10-87 ng/g) compared to average continental crustal background levels remains one of the most important discoveries in the Earth sciences. Since then, similar anomalies have been detected in more than 120 Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary sites worldwide. Highly elevated Ir and other siderophile element abundances in roughly chondritic ratios are considered strong indicators for the presence of a meteoritic contribution in impact-related lithologies (melt rocks, impact ejecta material, etc.), delivered when an extraterrestrial object strikes Earth. The presented work adds 113 unpublished PGE analyses of 38 K-Pg sections worldwide to the existing literature. The analytical protocol relied on for this purpose consisted of a combination of a nickel-sulfide fire assay pre-concentration technique and subsequent trace metal determination via inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Through repeated determination of key siderophile elements (i.e., Cr, Co, Ni, and PGE), the importance of sampling, nugget effects, and analytical methodologies applied becomes more apparent. Even more critically, these analytical effects are superimposed by the local syn- and post-depositional conditions that have affected the pristine meteoritic signature of the K-Pg impactor, including potential fractionation during vaporization and condensation, dissimilar PGE carrier phases, terrestrial PGE input, sedimentation rate, reworking, diagenesis, bioturbation, and chemical diffusion. While chondrite-normalized PGE patterns of individual sites appear relatively flat (i.e., chondritic), strong variations in siderophile element content and inter-element ratios exist between K-Pg locations, inter-laboratory measurements, and replicate analyses, hampering a precise

  8. Conformational study of C8 diazocine turn mimics using {sup 3}J{sub CH} coupling constants with {sup 13}C in natural abundance

    SciTech Connect

    Bean, J.W.; Briand, J.; Burgess, J.L.; Callahan, J.F.

    1994-12-01

    The conformations of two diazocine turn mimics, which were later incorporated into GPIIb/IIIa peptide antagonists, were investigated using nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. The two compounds, methyl (2,5-dioxo-3-(S)-(3-{omega}-tosylguanidino-propyl)-4-methyl-octahydro-1,4-dazocin-1-yl)acetate (1) and methyl (2,5-dioxo-3-(S)-(3-{omega}-tosyl-guanidino-propyl)-octahydro-1,5-diazocin-1-yl)acetate (2), differ only in their substituent at the diazocine position 4 nitrogen, yet this substitution results in a marked difference in the affinity of the resulting analogs for the GPIIb/IIIa receptor. It was of interest to determine if the difference observed in the antagonistic potency between these analogs was related to constitutional or, perhaps, conformational differences. The backbone conformations of these two molecules can be determined by measuring vicinal coupling constants along the trimethylene portion of the C8 ring backbone and by measuring interproton NOE intensities between the diazocine methine proton and the protons of the trimethylene group. For compound 1, {sup 3}J{sub HH} values measured from a P.E.COSY spectrum and interproton distances calculated from ROESY buildup curves indicated the presence of a single C8 ring backbone conformation where the trimethylene bridge adopted a staggered conformation and the H{alpha}1 and H{gamma}1 protons of the trimethylene group were 2.2 A from the methine proton. For compound 2, however, partial overlap of the central H{beta}1 and H{beta}2 protons made it impossible to measure {sup 3}J{sub HH} values from the P.E.COSY spectrum. We therefore used a {sup 13}C-filtered TOCSY experiment to measure the {sup 3}J{sub CH} values in both compounds 1 and 2. These heteronuclear vicinal coupling constants measured with {sup 13}C in natural abundance in conjunction with measured interproton NOE intensities indicate that these compounds share a common C8 ring backbone conformation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xinpeng; Safran, Samuel A.

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Xu, Xinpeng; Safran, Samuel A

    2015-09-01

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

  11. Models of the solvent-accessible surface of biopolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, R.E.

    1996-09-01

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

  12. Particle designs for the stabilization and controlled-delivery of protein drugs by biopolymers: a case study on insulin.

    PubMed

    Lim, Hui-Peng; Tey, Beng-Ti; Chan, Eng-Seng

    2014-07-28

    Natural biopolymers have attracted considerable interest for the development of delivery systems for protein drugs owing to their biocompatibility, non-toxicity, renewability and mild processing conditions. This paper offers an overview of the current status and future perspectives of particle designs using biopolymers for the stabilization and controlled-delivery of a model protein drug--insulin. We first describe the design criteria for polymeric encapsulation and subsequently classify the basic principles of particle fabrication as well as the existing particle designs for oral insulin encapsulation. The performances of these existing particle designs in terms of insulin stability and in vitro release behavior in acidic and alkaline media, as well as their in vivo performance are compared and reviewed. This review forms the basis for future works on the optimization of particle design and material formulation for the development of an improved oral delivery system for protein drugs.

  13. Improving resveratrol bioaccessibility using biopolymer nanoparticles and complexes: impact of protein-carbohydrate maillard conjugation.

    PubMed

    Davidov-Pardo, Gabriel; Pérez-Ciordia, Sonia; Marín-Arroyo, María R; McClements, David Julian

    2015-04-22

    The impact of encapsulating resveratrol in biopolymer nanoparticles or biopolymer complexes on its physicochemical stability and bioaccessibility was determined. The biopolymer nanoparticles consisted of a zein core surrounded by a caseinate or caseinate-dextran shell. The biopolymer complexes consisted of resveratrol bound to caseinate or caseinate-dextran. The caseinate-dextran conjugates were formed using the Maillard reaction. Both the biopolymer nanoparticles and complexes protected trans-resveratrol from isomerization when exposed to UV light, with the nanoparticles being more effective. Nanoparticles coated by caseinate-dextran were more stable to aggregation under simulated gastrointestinal conditions than those coated by caseinate, presumably due to greater steric repulsion. The bioaccessibility of resveratrol was enhanced when it was encapsulated in both biopolymer nanoparticles and biopolymer complexes. These results have important implications for the development of effective delivery systems for incorporating lipophilic nutraceuticals into functional foods and beverages. PMID:25843145

  14. Biopolymers produced from gelatin and other sustainable resources using polyphenols

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several researchers have recently demonstrated the feasibility of producing biopolymers from the reaction of polyphenolics with gelatin in combination with other proteins (e.g. whey) or with carbohydrates (e.g. chitosan and pectin). These combinations would take advantage of the unique properties o...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    Chemical remediation of soil may involve the use of harsh chemicals that generate waste streams, which may adversely affect the soil's integrity and ability to support vegetation. This article reviews the potential use of benign reagents, such as biopolymers, to extract heavy me...

  16. Production of a Biopolymer at Reactor Scale: A Laboratory Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Genc, Rukan; Rodriguez-Couto, Susana

    2011-01-01

    Undergraduate students of biotechnology became familiar with several aspects of bioreactor operation via the production of xanthan gum, an industrially relevant biopolymer, by "Xanthomonas campestris" bacteria. The xanthan gum was extracted from the fermentation broth and the yield coefficient and productivity were calculated. (Contains 2 figures.)

  17. Biopolymers in controlled release devices for agricultural applications.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of biopolymers such as starch for agricultural applications including controlled release devices is growing due the environmental benefits. Recently, concerns have grown about the worldwide spread of parasitic mites (Varroa destructor) that infect colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). ...

  18. Abundance coefficients, a new method for measuring microorganism relative abundance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forester, R.M.

    1977-01-01

    A new method of measuring the relative abundance of microorganisms by using a set of interrelated coefficients, termed 'abundance coefficients' or 'AC', is proposed. These coefficients provide a means of recording abundance for geometric density categories, and each density measurement represents an approximation of the Poisson parameter ??t. The AC is the natural logarithm of a 'characteristic value,' which is a particular number for each geometric density category. The 'characteristic values' are based upon a probabilistic error statement derived from the Poisson formula, and they present evidence for separation of the geometric category boundaries by e = 2.71828. The proposed AC provide a means for recording species abundance in a manner suitable for arithmetic manipulation, for population structure studies, and for the determination of practical limits for defining the presence or absence of a species. Further, these coefficients provide for both intrasample and intersample abundance comparisons. ?? 1977 Plenum Publishing Corporation.

  19. The stability and degradation kinetics of Sulforaphene in microcapsules based on several biopolymers via spray drying.

    PubMed

    Tian, Guifang; Li, Yuan; Yuan, Qipeng; Cheng, Li; Kuang, Pengqun; Tang, Pingwah

    2015-05-20

    Sulforaphene (SFE) was extracted from the radish seeds and the purity of SFE extracted by our laboratory was 95%. It is well known that SFE can prevent cancers. It is also known that SFE is unstable to heat. To overcome the problem, SFE microcapsules using natural biopolymers were prepared by spray drying. The results indicated that SFE microcapsules using hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD), maltodextrin (MD) and isolated soybean protein (SPI) as wall materials could effectively improve its stability against heat, especially SFE-loaded HP-β-CD and MD microcapsules. The amount of SFE in the microcapsules was found 20% higher than that of the non-encapsulated SFE under 90 °C in 168 h. Our finding suggested that the rate of degradation of the non-encapsulated and encapsulated SFE with HP-β-CD, MD and SPI followed the first-order kinetics. The speed of the degradation of the encapsulated SFE in biopolymers increased from SFE with HP-β-CD, to SFE with MD, and to SFE-SPI. The non-encapsulated SFE degrades fastest. PMID:25817636

  20. A biopolymer-like metal enabled hybrid material with exceptional mechanical prowess

    DOE PAGES

    Zhang, Junsong; Cui, Lishan; Jiang, Daqiang; Liu, Yinong; Hao, Shijie; Ren, Yang; Han, Xiaodong; Liu, Zhenyang; Wang, Yunzhi; Yu, Cun; et al

    2015-02-10

    The design principles for naturally occurring biological materials have inspired us to develop next-generation engineering materials with remarkable performance. Nacre, commonly referred to as nature’s armor, is renowned for its unusual combination of strength and toughness. Nature’s wisdom in nacre resides in its elaborate structural design and the judicious placement of a unique organic biopolymer with intelligent deformation features. However, up to now, it is still a challenge to transcribe the biopolymer’s deformation attributes into a stronger substitute in the design of new materials. In this study, we propose a new design strategy that employs shape memory alloy to transcribemore » the ‘‘J-curve’’ mechanical response and uniform molecular/atomic level deformation of the organic biopolymer in the design of high-performance hybrid materials. This design strategy is verified in a TiNi-Ti₃Sn model material system. The model material demonstrates an exceptional combination of mechanical properties that are superior to other high-performance metal-based lamellar composites known to date. Our design strategy creates new opportunities for the development of high-performance bio-inspired materials.« less

  1. The stability and degradation kinetics of Sulforaphene in microcapsules based on several biopolymers via spray drying.

    PubMed

    Tian, Guifang; Li, Yuan; Yuan, Qipeng; Cheng, Li; Kuang, Pengqun; Tang, Pingwah

    2015-05-20

    Sulforaphene (SFE) was extracted from the radish seeds and the purity of SFE extracted by our laboratory was 95%. It is well known that SFE can prevent cancers. It is also known that SFE is unstable to heat. To overcome the problem, SFE microcapsules using natural biopolymers were prepared by spray drying. The results indicated that SFE microcapsules using hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD), maltodextrin (MD) and isolated soybean protein (SPI) as wall materials could effectively improve its stability against heat, especially SFE-loaded HP-β-CD and MD microcapsules. The amount of SFE in the microcapsules was found 20% higher than that of the non-encapsulated SFE under 90 °C in 168 h. Our finding suggested that the rate of degradation of the non-encapsulated and encapsulated SFE with HP-β-CD, MD and SPI followed the first-order kinetics. The speed of the degradation of the encapsulated SFE in biopolymers increased from SFE with HP-β-CD, to SFE with MD, and to SFE-SPI. The non-encapsulated SFE degrades fastest.

  2. A biopolymer-like metal enabled hybrid material with exceptional mechanical prowess

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Junsong; Cui, Lishan; Jiang, Daqiang; Liu, Yinong; Hao, Shijie; Ren, Yang; Han, Xiaodong; Liu, Zhenyang; Wang, Yunzhi; Yu, Cun; Huan, Yong; Zhao, Xinqing; Zheng, Yanjun; Xu, Huibin; Ren, Xiaobing; Li, Xiaodong

    2015-02-10

    The design principles for naturally occurring biological materials have inspired us to develop next-generation engineering materials with remarkable performance. Nacre, commonly referred to as nature’s armor, is renowned for its unusual combination of strength and toughness. Nature’s wisdom in nacre resides in its elaborate structural design and the judicious placement of a unique organic biopolymer with intelligent deformation features. However, up to now, it is still a challenge to transcribe the biopolymer’s deformation attributes into a stronger substitute in the design of new materials. In this study, we propose a new design strategy that employs shape memory alloy to transcribe the ‘‘J-curve’’ mechanical response and uniform molecular/atomic level deformation of the organic biopolymer in the design of high-performance hybrid materials. This design strategy is verified in a TiNi-Ti₃Sn model material system. The model material demonstrates an exceptional combination of mechanical properties that are superior to other high-performance metal-based lamellar composites known to date. Our design strategy creates new opportunities for the development of high-performance bio-inspired materials.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-21

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

  4. Design of biomimetic super-lubricants by hydrogel-biopolymer aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seekell, Raymond; Dever, Rachel; Zhu, Yingxi

    2013-03-01

    Inspired by the superb lubricity of natural synovial fluids for moving articular cartilage joints, we investigate a biomimetic artificial lubricant based on a hydrogel-biopolymer mixture with optimized rheological properties at a microscopic level. Specifically, we examine the structure and rheological relationship of stimuli-responsive poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) hydrogel added with hyaluronic acid (HA) to simulate the complexes of HA with a globule protein, lubricin, which are credited as the two key lubricious constituents in natural synovial fluids. By combined microscopic structural characterization and rheology measurement, we tune the rheological and frictional behaviors of HA solutions by optimizing the content of added micron-sized PNIPAM hydrogel particles to form stable PNIPAM-HA network. In a recent work on using zwitterionic hydrogel particles instead of negatively charged PNIPAM, comparable structure and rheological properties of hydrogel-HA aggregates are observed, which may give insight to design new biocompatible lubricants and lubricious coatings for medical ramification.

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

    PubMed

    Vijayendra, S V N; Shamala, T R

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vijayendra, S V N; Shamala, T R

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Identification of microbial populations driving biopolymer degradation in acidic peatlands by metatranscriptomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Ivanova, Anastasia A; Wegner, Carl-Eric; Kim, Yongkyu; Liesack, Werner; Dedysh, Svetlana N

    2016-10-01

    Northern peatlands play a crucial role in the global carbon balance, serving as a persistent sink for atmospheric CO2 and a global carbon store. Their most extensive type, Sphagnum-dominated acidic peatlands, is inhabited by microorganisms with poorly understood degradation capabilities. Here, we applied a combination of barcoded pyrosequencing of SSU rRNA genes and Illumina RNA-Seq of total RNA (metatranscriptomics) to identify microbial populations and enzymes involved in degrading the major components of Sphagnum-derived litter and exoskeletons of peat-inhabiting arthropods: cellulose, xylan, pectin and chitin. Biopolymer addition to peat induced a threefold to fivefold increase in bacterial cell numbers. Functional community profiles of assembled mRNA differed between experimental treatments. In particular, pectin and xylan triggered increased transcript abundance of genes involved in energy metabolism and central carbon metabolism, such as glycolysis and TCA cycle. Concurrently, the substrate-induced activity of bacteria on these two biopolymers stimulated grazing of peat-inhabiting protozoa. Alveolata (ciliates) was the most responsive protozoa group as confirmed by analysis of both SSU rRNA genes and SSU rRNA. A stimulation of alphaproteobacterial methanotrophs on pectin was consistently shown by rRNA and mRNA data. Most likely, their significant enrichment was due to the utilization of methanol released during the degradation of pectin. Analysis of SSU rRNA and total mRNA revealed a specific response of Acidobacteria and Actinobacteria to chitin and pectin, respectively. Relatives of Telmatobacter bradus were most responsive among the Acidobacteria, while the actinobacterial response was primarily affiliated with Frankiales and Propionibacteriales. The expression of a wide repertoire of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) corresponded well to the detection of a highly diverse peat-inhabiting microbial community, which is dominated by yet uncultivated

  8. Identification of microbial populations driving biopolymer degradation in acidic peatlands by metatranscriptomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Ivanova, Anastasia A; Wegner, Carl-Eric; Kim, Yongkyu; Liesack, Werner; Dedysh, Svetlana N

    2016-10-01

    Northern peatlands play a crucial role in the global carbon balance, serving as a persistent sink for atmospheric CO2 and a global carbon store. Their most extensive type, Sphagnum-dominated acidic peatlands, is inhabited by microorganisms with poorly understood degradation capabilities. Here, we applied a combination of barcoded pyrosequencing of SSU rRNA genes and Illumina RNA-Seq of total RNA (metatranscriptomics) to identify microbial populations and enzymes involved in degrading the major components of Sphagnum-derived litter and exoskeletons of peat-inhabiting arthropods: cellulose, xylan, pectin and chitin. Biopolymer addition to peat induced a threefold to fivefold increase in bacterial cell numbers. Functional community profiles of assembled mRNA differed between experimental treatments. In particular, pectin and xylan triggered increased transcript abundance of genes involved in energy metabolism and central carbon metabolism, such as glycolysis and TCA cycle. Concurrently, the substrate-induced activity of bacteria on these two biopolymers stimulated grazing of peat-inhabiting protozoa. Alveolata (ciliates) was the most responsive protozoa group as confirmed by analysis of both SSU rRNA genes and SSU rRNA. A stimulation of alphaproteobacterial methanotrophs on pectin was consistently shown by rRNA and mRNA data. Most likely, their significant enrichment was due to the utilization of methanol released during the degradation of pectin. Analysis of SSU rRNA and total mRNA revealed a specific response of Acidobacteria and Actinobacteria to chitin and pectin, respectively. Relatives of Telmatobacter bradus were most responsive among the Acidobacteria, while the actinobacterial response was primarily affiliated with Frankiales and Propionibacteriales. The expression of a wide repertoire of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) corresponded well to the detection of a highly diverse peat-inhabiting microbial community, which is dominated by yet uncultivated

  9. Engineered biosealant producing inorganic and organic biopolymers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbiologically induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICCP) is a naturally occurring biological process that has shown its potential in remediation of a wide range of structural damages including concrete cracks. MICCP involves sequential microbiological and chemical reactions, such as urea h...

  10. Three-dimensional force microscopy of cells in biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

    Steinwachs, Julian; Metzner, Claus; Skodzek, Kai; Lang, Nadine; Thievessen, Ingo; Mark, Christoph; Münster, Stefan; Aifantis, Katerina E; Fabry, Ben

    2016-02-01

    We describe a technique for the quantitative measurement of cell-generated forces in highly nonlinear three-dimensional biopolymer networks that mimic the physiological situation of living cells. We computed forces of MDA-MB-231 breast carcinoma cells from the measured network deformations around the cells using a finite-element approach based on a constitutive equation that captures the complex mechanical properties of diverse biopolymers such as collagen gels, fibrin gels and Matrigel. Our measurements show that breast carcinoma cells cultured in collagen gels generated nearly constant forces regardless of the collagen concentration and matrix stiffness. Furthermore, time-lapse force measurements showed that these cells migrated in a gliding motion with alternating phases of high and low contractility, elongation, migratory speed and persistence. PMID:26641311

  11. Mucin biopolymers as broad-spectrum antiviral agents

    PubMed Central

    Lieleg, Oliver; Lieleg, Corinna; Bloom, Jesse; Buck, Christopher B.; Ribbeck, Katharina

    2012-01-01

    Mucus is a porous biopolymer matrix that coats all wet epithelia in the human body and serves as the first line of defense against many pathogenic bacteria and viruses. However, under certain conditions viruses are able to penetrate this infection barrier, which compromises the protective function of native mucus. Here, we find that isolated porcine gastric mucin polymers, key structural components of native mucus, can protect an underlying cell layer from infection by small viruses such as human papillomavirus (HPV), Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV), or a strain of influenza A virus. Single particle analysis of virus mobility inside the mucin barrier reveals that this shielding effect is in part based on a retardation of virus diffusion inside the biopolymer matrix. Our findings suggest that purified mucins may be used as a broad-range antiviral supplement to personal hygiene products, baby formula or lubricants to support our immune system. PMID:22475261

  12. Mobility Enhancement of Red Blood Cells with Biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tahara, Daiki; Oikawa, Noriko; Kurita, Rei

    2016-03-01

    Adhesion of red blood cells (RBC) to substrates are one of crucial problems for a blood clot. Here we investigate the mobility of RBC between two glass substrates in saline with polymer systems. We find that RBCs are adhered to the glass substrate with PEG, however the mobility steeply increases with fibrinogen and dextran, which are biopolymers. We also find that the mobility affects an aggregation dynamics of RBCs, which is related with diseases such as influenza, blood clot and so on. The Brownian motion helps to increase probability of contact with each other and to find a more stable condition of the aggregation. Thus the biopolymers play important roles not only for preventing the adhesion but also for the aggregation.

  13. Electrical, structural, thermal and electrochemical properties of corn starch-based biopolymer electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Liew, Chiam-Wen; Ramesh, S

    2015-06-25

    Biopolymer electrolytes containing corn starch, lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6) and ionic liquid, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate (BmImPF6) are prepared by solution casting technique. Temperature dependence-ionic conductivity studies reveal Vogel-Tamman-Fulcher (VTF) relationship which is associated with free volume theory. Ionic liquid-based biopolymer electrolytes show lower glass transition temperature (Tg) than ionic liquid-free biopolymer electrolyte. X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies demonstrate higher amorphous region of ionic liquid-added biopolymer electrolytes. In addition, the potential stability window of the biopolymer electrolyte becomes wider and stable up to 2.9V. Conclusively, the fabricated electric double layer capacitor (EDLC) shows improved electrochemical performance upon addition of ionic liquid into the biopolymer electrolyte. The specific capacitance of EDLC based on ionic liquid-added polymer electrolyte is relatively higher than that of ionic liquid-free polymer electrolyte as depicted in cyclic voltammogram. PMID:25839815

  14. Detailed electrical measurements on sago starch biopolymer solid electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Rahul; Baghel, Jaya; Shukla, S.; Bhattacharya, B.; Rhee, Hee-Woo; Singh, Pramod K.

    2014-12-01

    The biopolymer solid electrolyte has been synthesized and characterized. Potassium iodide (KI) has been added in polymer matrix to develop solid polymer electrolyte. Relationships between electrical, ionic transport parameter and mechanism have been studied in detail. Impedance spectroscopy reveals the detailed electrical studies and ion transport mechanism. The ion dissociation factor is compared with a measured dielectric constant at a fixed frequency. The dielectric data are calculated which support the ionic conductivity data.

  15. Abundance, natural infection with trypanosomes, and food source of an endemic species of triatomine, Panstrongylus howardi (Neiva 1911), on the Ecuadorian Central Coast.

    PubMed

    Villacís, Anita G; Ocaña-Mayorga, Sofía; Lascano, Mauricio S; Yumiseva, César A; Baus, Esteban G; Grijalva, Mario J

    2015-01-01

    The elimination of domestic triatomines is the foundation of Chagas disease control. Regional initiatives are eliminating introduced triatomine species. In this scenario, endemic triatomines can occupy the ecological niches left open and become a threat to long-term Chagas disease control efforts. This study determined the abundance, colonization, and Trypanosoma cruzi infection rate of the endemic Panstrongylus howardi in 10 rural communities located in Ecuador's Manabí Province. In total, 518 individuals of P. howardi were collected. Infestation indices of 1.4% and 6.6% were found in the domestic and peridomestic environments, respectively. We determined a T. cruzi infection rate of 53.2% (N = 47) in this species. P. howardi has a high capacity to adapt to different habitats, especially in the peridomicile. This implies a considerable risk of transmission because of the frequency of intradomicile invasion. Therefore, this species needs to be taken into account in Chagas control and surveillance efforts in the region. PMID:25385867

  16. Abundance, Natural Infection with Trypanosomes, and Food Source of an Endemic Species of Triatomine, Panstrongylus howardi (Neiva 1911), on the Ecuadorian Central Coast

    PubMed Central

    Villacís, Anita G.; Ocaña-Mayorga, Sofía; Lascano, Mauricio S.; Yumiseva, César A.; Baus, Esteban G.; Grijalva, Mario J.

    2015-01-01

    The elimination of domestic triatomines is the foundation of Chagas disease control. Regional initiatives are eliminating introduced triatomine species. In this scenario, endemic triatomines can occupy the ecological niches left open and become a threat to long-term Chagas disease control efforts. This study determined the abundance, colonization, and Trypanosoma cruzi infection rate of the endemic Panstrongylus howardi in 10 rural communities located in Ecuador's Manabí Province. In total, 518 individuals of P. howardi were collected. Infestation indices of 1.4% and 6.6% were found in the domestic and peridomestic environments, respectively. We determined a T. cruzi infection rate of 53.2% (N = 47) in this species. P. howardi has a high capacity to adapt to different habitats, especially in the peridomicile. This implies a considerable risk of transmission because of the frequency of intradomicile invasion. Therefore, this species needs to be taken into account in Chagas control and surveillance efforts in the region. PMID:25385867

  17. Light-activated ionic gelation of common biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Javvaji, Vishal; Baradwaj, Aditya G; Payne, Gregory F; Raghavan, Srinivasa R

    2011-10-18

    Biopolymers such as alginate and pectin are well known for their ability to undergo gelation upon addition of multivalent cations such as calcium (Ca(2+)). Here, we report a simple way to activate such ionic gelation by UV irradiation. Our approach involves combining an insoluble salt of the cation (e.g., calcium carbonate, CaCO(3)) with an aqueous solution of the polymer (e.g., alginate) along with a third component, a photoacid generator (PAG). Upon UV irradiation, the PAG dissociates to release H(+) ions, which react with the CaCO(3) to generate free Ca(2+). In turn, the Ca(2+) ions cross-link the alginate chains into a physical network, thereby resulting in a hydrogel. Dynamic rheological experiments confirm the elastic character of the alginate gel, and the gel modulus is shown to be tunable via the irradiation time as well as the PAG and alginate concentrations. The above approach is easily extended to other biopolymers such as pectin. Using this approach, a photoresponse can be imparted to conventional biopolymers without the need for any chemical modification of the molecules. Photoresponsive alginate gels may be useful in creating biomaterials or tissue mimics. As a step toward potential applications, we demonstrate the ability to photopattern a thin film of alginate gel onto a glass substrate under mild conditions. PMID:21800827

  18. Light-activated ionic gelation of common biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Javvaji, Vishal; Baradwaj, Aditya G; Payne, Gregory F; Raghavan, Srinivasa R

    2011-10-18

    Biopolymers such as alginate and pectin are well known for their ability to undergo gelation upon addition of multivalent cations such as calcium (Ca(2+)). Here, we report a simple way to activate such ionic gelation by UV irradiation. Our approach involves combining an insoluble salt of the cation (e.g., calcium carbonate, CaCO(3)) with an aqueous solution of the polymer (e.g., alginate) along with a third component, a photoacid generator (PAG). Upon UV irradiation, the PAG dissociates to release H(+) ions, which react with the CaCO(3) to generate free Ca(2+). In turn, the Ca(2+) ions cross-link the alginate chains into a physical network, thereby resulting in a hydrogel. Dynamic rheological experiments confirm the elastic character of the alginate gel, and the gel modulus is shown to be tunable via the irradiation time as well as the PAG and alginate concentrations. The above approach is easily extended to other biopolymers such as pectin. Using this approach, a photoresponse can be imparted to conventional biopolymers without the need for any chemical modification of the molecules. Photoresponsive alginate gels may be useful in creating biomaterials or tissue mimics. As a step toward potential applications, we demonstrate the ability to photopattern a thin film of alginate gel onto a glass substrate under mild conditions.

  19. Self-similarity of biopolymer backbones in the ribosome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chang-Yong

    2008-08-01

    Self-similar properties of the biopolymer backbones in the ribosome are investigated in terms of the fractal dimension. We especially estimate the chain fractal and capacity dimensions of the ribosomal RNAs and proteins, which are constituents of the ribosome. The fractal dimensions of both biopolymers are compared with that of the self-avoiding walk, which is a typical model of a polymer without interaction between monomers. We demonstrate that the fractality found in the ribosomal RNAs is pertinent to explain their structural characteristics: local helix formation and long-range tertiary interaction forming three-dimensional structures. The fractal dimension of the ribosomal protein supports the existence of the long and extended domain, which is hardly seen in the globular protein. The self-similarity also upholds the fact that the ribosomal proteins function primarily to stabilize the structure of the ribosome by both the long-extended domain of the protein penetrating into the inside of the RNA, and the globular domain interacting with the RNA on the exterior of it. These results partially, if not whole, unravel the structural characteristics of the biopolymers in the ribosome.

  20. Informational biopolymer structure in early living forms.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dayhoff, M. O.; Mclaughlin, P. J.; Barker, W. C.; Hunt, L. T.

    1972-01-01

    Some studies devoted to the search in various organisms for 'relics' of the biochemical nature of ancient organisms, preserved by the conservative nature of the evolutionary process in all living species, are reviewed. Investigations of five families of informational molecules constituting such 'relics' in very diverse organisms are reported. They include: cytochrome c, ferredoxin, trypsin, transfer ribonucleic acid (RNA), and 5S ribosomal RNA. It is shown that, even from these few informational molecules, some interesting inferences about early living organisms can be drawn.

  1. Fabrication and characterization of an inkjet-printed DNA biopolymer-based UV photodetector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardi, J. P.; Aga, Roberto S.; Heckman, Emily M.; Bartsch, Carrie M.

    2015-10-01

    An ultraviolet (UV) photodetector utilizing an inkjet printable , UV photoconducting biopolymer was fabricated and the performance of the photodetector was characterized for varying thickness layers of the biopolymer. The biopolymer was formed of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the Clevios P formulation of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)- poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), and hexadecyltrimethyl-ammonium chloride (CTMA); this was then combined with phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl (PCBM) to form the printable, UV photoconducting biopolymer. Using a 260-nm source, the highest measured responsivity of the photodetectors is 1.2 mA/W at 20 V bias.

  2. Robust Abundance Estimation in Animal Abundance Surveys with Imperfect Detection

    EPA Science Inventory

    Surveys of animal abundance are central to the conservation and management of living natural resources. However, detection uncertainty complicates the sampling process of many species. One sampling method employed to deal with this problem is depletion (or removal) surveys in whi...

  3. Evaluation of relative isotopic abundance measurements in a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer for elemental composition determination of natural products in traditional Chinese medicine.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhi-Jun; Huo, Jia-Li; Chen, Jian-Zhong; Li, Na; Fang, Dong-Mei; Chen, Xiao-Zhen; Zhang, Guo-Lin; Wang, Jian-Hua; Xu, Xiao-Ying

    2013-01-01

    The relative isotopic abundance (RIA) measurement errors of a quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-ToF) instrument incorporating analog-to-digital converter detectors were systemically evaluated by stochastically collecting about 200 data in positive ion mass spectrometry (MS) mode. Errors varied with peak intensities at definite spectral acquisition rates but were very close, even if peak intensities changed sharply at different spectral acquisition rates with the same concentration. Intensity thresholds were systematically defined at 1 Hz of spectral acquisition rates. RIA measurement errors were also evaluated using peak area. It seemed that peak area was better adapted for the high-intensity ions while peak intensity was suited for very low-intensity ions. Several known compounds were selected for RIA measurements for product ions in tandem mass spectropmetry (MS/MS) mode. An extract of a representative traditional Chinese medicinal, Paederia scandens was analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-QToF-MS/MS. The unique elemental compositions of some compounds could not be identified even with exact masses and MS/MS spectra of measured and reference compounds. RIA errors, especially of (M+2)M(-1), provided vital information for determining the elemental composition. PMID:24261081

  4. Evaluation of relative isotopic abundance measurements in a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer for elemental composition determination of natural products in traditional Chinese medicine.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhi-Jun; Huo, Jia-Li; Chen, Jian-Zhong; Li, Na; Fang, Dong-Mei; Chen, Xiao-Zhen; Zhang, Guo-Lin; Wang, Jian-Hua; Xu, Xiao-Ying

    2013-01-01

    The relative isotopic abundance (RIA) measurement errors of a quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-ToF) instrument incorporating analog-to-digital converter detectors were systemically evaluated by stochastically collecting about 200 data in positive ion mass spectrometry (MS) mode. Errors varied with peak intensities at definite spectral acquisition rates but were very close, even if peak intensities changed sharply at different spectral acquisition rates with the same concentration. Intensity thresholds were systematically defined at 1 Hz of spectral acquisition rates. RIA measurement errors were also evaluated using peak area. It seemed that peak area was better adapted for the high-intensity ions while peak intensity was suited for very low-intensity ions. Several known compounds were selected for RIA measurements for product ions in tandem mass spectropmetry (MS/MS) mode. An extract of a representative traditional Chinese medicinal, Paederia scandens was analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-QToF-MS/MS. The unique elemental compositions of some compounds could not be identified even with exact masses and MS/MS spectra of measured and reference compounds. RIA errors, especially of (M+2)M(-1), provided vital information for determining the elemental composition.

  5. Introduction of Soft X-Ray Spectromicroscopy as an Advanced Technique for Plant Biopolymers Research

    PubMed Central

    Karunakaran, Chithra; Christensen, Colleen R.; Gaillard, Cedric; Lahlali, Rachid; Blair, Lisa M.; Perumal, Vijayan; Miller, Shea S.; Hitchcock, Adam P.

    2015-01-01

    Soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy coupled with nano-scale microscopy has been widely used in material science, environmental science, and physical sciences. In this work, the advantages of soft X-ray absorption spectromicroscopy for plant biopolymer research were demonstrated by determining the chemical sensitivity of the technique to identify common plant biopolymers and to map the distributions of biopolymers in plant samples. The chemical sensitivity of soft X-ray spectroscopy to study biopolymers was determined by recording the spectra of common plant biopolymers using soft X-ray and Fourier Transform mid Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy techniques. The soft X-ray spectra of lignin, cellulose, and polygalacturonic acid have distinct spectral features. However, there were no distinct differences between cellulose and hemicellulose spectra. Mid infrared spectra of all biopolymers were unique and there were differences between the spectra of water soluble and insoluble xylans. The advantage of nano-scale spatial resolution exploited using soft X-ray spectromicroscopy for plant biopolymer research was demonstrated by mapping plant cell wall biopolymers in a lentil stem section and compared with the FT-IR spectromicroscopy data from the same sample. The soft X-ray spectromicroscopy enables mapping of biopolymers at the sub-cellular (~30 nm) resolution whereas, the limited spatial resolution in the micron scale range in the FT-IR spectromicroscopy made it difficult to identify the localized distribution of biopolymers. The advantages and limitations of soft X-ray and FT-IR spectromicroscopy techniques for biopolymer research are also discussed. PMID:25811457

  6. Introduction of soft X-ray spectromicroscopy as an advanced technique for plant biopolymers research.

    PubMed

    Karunakaran, Chithra; Christensen, Colleen R; Gaillard, Cedric; Lahlali, Rachid; Blair, Lisa M; Perumal, Vijayan; Miller, Shea S; Hitchcock, Adam P

    2015-01-01

    Soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy coupled with nano-scale microscopy has been widely used in material science, environmental science, and physical sciences. In this work, the advantages of soft X-ray absorption spectromicroscopy for plant biopolymer research were demonstrated by determining the chemical sensitivity of the technique to identify common plant biopolymers and to map the distributions of biopolymers in plant samples. The chemical sensitivity of soft X-ray spectroscopy to study biopolymers was determined by recording the spectra of common plant biopolymers using soft X-ray and Fourier Transform mid Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy techniques. The soft X-ray spectra of lignin, cellulose, and polygalacturonic acid have distinct spectral features. However, there were no distinct differences between cellulose and hemicellulose spectra. Mid infrared spectra of all biopolymers were unique and there were differences between the spectra of water soluble and insoluble xylans. The advantage of nano-scale spatial resolution exploited using soft X-ray spectromicroscopy for plant biopolymer research was demonstrated by mapping plant cell wall biopolymers in a lentil stem section and compared with the FT-IR spectromicroscopy data from the same sample. The soft X-ray spectromicroscopy enables mapping of biopolymers at the sub-cellular (~30 nm) resolution whereas, the limited spatial resolution in the micron scale range in the FT-IR spectromicroscopy made it difficult to identify the localized distribution of biopolymers. The advantages and limitations of soft X-ray and FT-IR spectromicroscopy techniques for biopolymer research are also discussed.

  7. Micro-heterogeneity of Cellulosic Fiber Biopolymer Prepared from Corn Hulls

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Z-trim is a zero calorie cellulosic fiber biopolymer produced from corn hulls. The micro-structural heterogeneities of Z-trim biopolymer were investigated by monitoring the thermally driven displacements of well-dispersed micro-spheres via video fluorescence microscopy named multiple-particle track...

  8. Micro-Heterogeneity of Cellulosic Fiber Biopolymer Prepared from Corn Hulls

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Z-trim is a zero calorie cellulosic fiber biopolymer produced from corn hulls. The micro-structural heterogeneities of Z-trim biopolymer were investigated by monitoring the thermally driven displacements of well-dispersed micro-spheres via video fluorescence microscopy named multiple-particle track...

  9. Effect of organic matter on estuarine flocculation: a laboratory study using montmorillonite, humic acid, xanthan gum, guar gum and natural estuarine flocs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Riverine particles undergo a rapid transformation when they reach estuaries. The rapid succession of hydrodynamic and biogeochemical regimes forces the particles to flocculate, settle and enter the sediment pool. The rates and magnitudes of flocculation depend on the nature of the particles which are primarily affected by the types and quantities of organic matter (OM). Meanwhile, the OM characteristics vary widely between environments, as well as within a single environment due to seasonal climate and land use variability. We investigated the effect of the OM types and quantities through laboratory experiments using natural estuarine particles from the Mississippi Sound and Atchafalaya Bay as well as model mixtures of montmorillonite and organic molecules (i.e., biopolymers (guar/xanthan gums) and humic acid). Results Biopolymers promote flocculation but the magnitude depends on the types and quantities. Nonionic guar gum yields much larger flocs than anionic xanthan gum, while both of them exhibit a nonlinear behavior in which the flocculation is the most pronounced at the intermediate OM loading. Moreover, the effect of guar gum is independent of salinity whereas the effect of xanthan gum is pronounced at higher salinity. Meanwhile, humic acid does not affect flocculation at all salinity values tested in this study. These results are echoed in the laboratory manipulation of the natural estuarine particles. Flocculation of the humic acid-rich Mississippi Sound particles is unaffected by the OM, whereas that of biopolymer-rich Atchafalaya Bay particles is enhanced by the OM. Conclusions Flocculation is positively influenced by the presence of biopolymers that are produced as the result of marine primary production. Meanwhile, humic acid, which is abundant in the rivers that drain the agricultural soils of Southeastern United States, has little influence on flocculation. Thus, it is expected that humic acid-poor riverine particles (e.g., Mississippi

  10. Patterning surface by site selective capture of biopolymer hydrogel beads.

    PubMed

    Guyomard-Lack, Aurélie; Moreau, Céline; Delorme, Nicolas; Marquis, Mélanie; Fang, Aiping; Bardeau, Jean-François; Cathala, Bernard

    2012-06-01

    This communication describes the fabrication of microstructured biopolymer surfaces by the site-selective capture of pectin hydrogel beads. A positively charged surface consisting of poly-L-lysine (PLL) was subjected to site-selective enzymatic degradation using patterned polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) stamps covalently modified with trypsin, according to the recently described method. The patterned surface was used to capture ionically cross-linked pectin beads. The desired patterning of the hydrogel surfaces was generated by site-selective immobilization of these pectin beads. The ability of the hydrogels to be dried and swollen in water was assessed.

  11. Patterning surface by site selective capture of biopolymer hydrogel beads.

    PubMed

    Guyomard-Lack, Aurélie; Moreau, Céline; Delorme, Nicolas; Marquis, Mélanie; Fang, Aiping; Bardeau, Jean-François; Cathala, Bernard

    2012-06-01

    This communication describes the fabrication of microstructured biopolymer surfaces by the site-selective capture of pectin hydrogel beads. A positively charged surface consisting of poly-L-lysine (PLL) was subjected to site-selective enzymatic degradation using patterned polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) stamps covalently modified with trypsin, according to the recently described method. The patterned surface was used to capture ionically cross-linked pectin beads. The desired patterning of the hydrogel surfaces was generated by site-selective immobilization of these pectin beads. The ability of the hydrogels to be dried and swollen in water was assessed. PMID:22326339

  12. Peptide-based Biopolymers in Biomedicine and Biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Chow, Dominic; Nunalee, Michelle L.; Lim, Dong Woo; Simnick, Andrew J.; Chilkoti, Ashutosh

    2008-01-01

    Peptides are emerging as a new class of biomaterials due to their unique chemical, physical, and biological properties. The development of peptide-based biomaterials is driven by the convergence of protein engineering and macromolecular self-assembly. This review covers the basic principles, applications, and prospects of peptide-based biomaterials. We focus on both chemically synthesized and genetically encoded peptides, including poly-amino acids, elastin-like polypeptides, silk-like polymers and other biopolymers based on repetitive peptide motifs. Applications of these engineered biomolecules in protein purification, controlled drug delivery, tissue engineering, and biosurface engineering are discussed. PMID:19122836

  13. Detection and structural identification of dissolved organic matter in Antarctic glacial ice at natural abundance by SPR-W5-WATERGATE 1H NMR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Pautler, Brent G; Simpson, André J; Simpson, Myrna J; Tseng, Li-Hong; Spraul, Manfred; Dubnick, Ashley; Sharp, Martin J; Fitzsimons, Sean J

    2011-06-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems and is derived from various inputs that control its turnover. Glaciers and ice sheets are the second largest water reservoir in the global hydrologic cycle, but little is known about glacial DOM composition or contributions to biogeochemical cycling. Here we employ SPR-W5-WATERGATE (1)H NMR spectroscopy to elucidate and quantify the chemical structures of DOM constituents in Antarctic glacial ice as they exist in their natural state (average DOC of 8 mg/L) without isolation or preconcentration. This Antarctic glacial DOM is predominantly composed of a mixture of small recognizable molecules differing from DOM in marine, lacustrine, and other terrestrial environments. The major constituents detected in three distinct types of glacial ice include lactic and formic acid, free amino acids, and a mixture of simple sugars and amino sugars with concentrations that vary between ice types. The detection of free amino acid and amino sugar monomer components of peptidoglycan within the ice suggests that Antarctic glacial DOM likely originates from in situ microbial activity. As these constituents are normally considered to be biologically labile (fast cycling) in nonglacial environments, accelerated glacier melt and runoff may result in a flux of nutrients into adjacent ecosystems.

  14. Assessment of marine-derived nutrients in the Copper River Delta, Alaska, using natural abundance of the stable isotopes of nitrogen, sulfur, and carbon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kline, Thomas C.; Woody, Carol Ann; Bishop, Mary Anne; Powers, Sean P.; Knudsen, E. Eric

    2007-01-01

    We performed nitrogen, sulfur, and carbon stable isotope analysis (SIA) on maturing and juvenile anadromous sockeye and coho salmon, and periphyton in two Copper River delta watersheds of Alaska to trace salmonderived nutrients during 2003–2004. Maturing salmon were isotopically enriched relative to alternate freshwater N, S, and C sources as expected, with differences consistent with species trophic level differences, and minor system, sex, and year-to-year differences, enabling use of SIA to trace these salmon-derived nutrients. Periphyton naturally colonized, incubated, and collected using Wildco Periphtyon Samplers in and near spawning sites was 34S- and 15N-enriched, as expected, and at all freshwater sites was 13C-depleted. At nonspawning and coho-only sites, periphyton 34S and 15N was generally low. However, 34S was low enough at some sites to be suggestive of sulfate reduction, complicating the use of S isotopes. Juvenile salmon SIA ranged in values consistent with using production derived from re-mineralization as well as direct utilization, but only by a minority fraction of coho salmon. Dependency on salmon-derived nutrients ranged from relatively high to relatively low, suggesting a space-limited system. No one particular isotope was found to be superior for determining the relative importance of salmon-derived nutrients.

  15. P and S wave responses of bacterial biopolymer formation in unconsolidated porous media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noh, Dong-Hwa; Ajo-Franklin, Jonathan B.; Kwon, Tae-Hyuk; Muhunthan, Balasingam

    2016-04-01

    This study investigated the P and S wave responses and permeability reduction during bacterial biopolymer formation in unconsolidated porous media. Column experiments with fine sands, where the model bacteria Leuconostoc mesenteroides were stimulated to produce insoluble biopolymer, were conducted while monitoring changes in permeability and P and S wave responses. The bacterial biopolymer reduced the permeability by more than 1 order of magnitude, occupying ~10% pore volume after 38 days of growth. This substantial reduction was attributed to the bacterial biopolymer with complex internal structures accumulated at pore throats. S wave velocity (VS) increased by more than ~50% during biopolymer accumulation; this indicated that the bacterial biopolymer caused a certain level of stiffening effect on shear modulus of the unconsolidated sediment matrix at low confining stress conditions. Whereas replacing pore water by insoluble biopolymer was observed to cause minimal changes in P wave velocity (VP) due to the low elastic moduli of insoluble biopolymer. The spectral ratio analyses revealed that the biopolymer formation caused a ~50-80% increase in P wave attenuation (1/QP) at the both ultrasonic and subultrasonic frequency ranges, at hundreds of kHz and tens of kHz, respectively, and a ~50-60% increase in S wave attenuation (1/QS) in the frequency band of several kHz. Our results reveal that in situ biopolymer formation and the resulting permeability reduction can be effectively monitored by using P and S wave attenuation in the ultrasonic and subultrasonic frequency ranges. This suggests that field monitoring using seismic logging techniques, including time-lapse dipole sonic logging, may be possible.

  16. Diterpenoid Biopolymers: New Directions for Renewable Materials Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Hillwig, Matthew L.; Mann, Francis M.; Peters, Reuben J.

    2010-01-01

    Most types of ambers are naturally occurring, relatively hard, durable resinite polymers derived from the exudates of trees. This resource has been coveted for thousands of years due to its numerous useful properties in industrial processes, beauty, and purported medicinal properties. Labdane diterpenoid based ambers represent the most abundant and important resinites on earth. These resinites are a dwindling, non-renewable natural resource, so a new source of such materials needs to be established. Recent advances in sequencing technologies and biochemical engineering are rapidly accelerating the rate of identifying and assigning function to genes involved in terpenoid biosynthesis, as well as producing industrial-scale quantities of desired small-molecules in bacteria and yeast. This has provided new tools for engineering metabolic pathways capable of producing diterpenoid monomers that will enable the production of custom-tailored resinite-like polymers. Furthermore, this biosynthetic toolbox is continuously expanding, providing new possibilities for renewing dwindling stocks of naturally occurring resinite materials and engineering new materials for future applications. PMID:20857504

  17. Inorganic polyphosphate in the microbial world. Emerging roles for a multifaceted biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Albi, Tomás; Serrano, Aurelio

    2016-02-01

    Inorganic polyphosphates (polyP) are linear polymers of tens to hundreds orthophosphate residues linked by phosphoanhydride bonds. These fairly abundant biopolymers occur in all extant forms of life, from prokaryotes to mammals, and could have played a relevant role in prebiotic evolution. Since the first identification of polyP deposits as metachromatic or volutin granules in yeasts in the nineteenth century, an increasing number of varied physiological functions have been reported. Due to their "high energy" bonds analogous to those in ATP and their properties as polyanions, polyP serve as microbial phosphagens for a variety of biochemical reactions, as a buffer against alkalis, as a storage of Ca(2+) and as a metal-chelating agent. In addition, recent studies have revealed polyP importance in signaling and regulatory processes, cell viability and proliferation, pathogen virulence, as a structural component and chemical chaperone, and as modulator of microbial stress response. This review summarizes the current status of knowledge and future perspectives of polyP functions and their related enzymes in the microbial world.

  18. Inorganic polyphosphate in the microbial world. Emerging roles for a multifaceted biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Albi, Tomás; Serrano, Aurelio

    2016-02-01

    Inorganic polyphosphates (polyP) are linear polymers of tens to hundreds orthophosphate residues linked by phosphoanhydride bonds. These fairly abundant biopolymers occur in all extant forms of life, from prokaryotes to mammals, and could have played a relevant role in prebiotic evolution. Since the first identification of polyP deposits as metachromatic or volutin granules in yeasts in the nineteenth century, an increasing number of varied physiological functions have been reported. Due to their "high energy" bonds analogous to those in ATP and their properties as polyanions, polyP serve as microbial phosphagens for a variety of biochemical reactions, as a buffer against alkalis, as a storage of Ca(2+) and as a metal-chelating agent. In addition, recent studies have revealed polyP importance in signaling and regulatory processes, cell viability and proliferation, pathogen virulence, as a structural component and chemical chaperone, and as modulator of microbial stress response. This review summarizes the current status of knowledge and future perspectives of polyP functions and their related enzymes in the microbial world. PMID:26748804

  19. 13C Natural Abundance of Serum Retinol Is a Novel Biomarker for Evaluating Provitamin A Carotenoid-Biofortified Maize Consumption in Male Mongolian Gerbils123

    PubMed Central

    Pungarcher, India; Mourao, Luciana; Davis, Christopher R; Simon, Philipp; Pixley, Kevin V; Tanumihardjo, Sherry A

    2016-01-01

    Background: Crops such as maize, sorghum, and millet are being biofortified with provitamin A carotenoids to ensure adequate vitamin A (VA) intakes. VA assessment can be challenging because serum retinol concentrations are homeostatically controlled and more sensitive techniques are resource-intensive. Objectives: We investigated changes in serum retinol relative differences of isotope amount ratios of 13C/12C (δ13C) caused by natural 13C fractionation in C3 compared with C4 plants as a biomarker to detect provitamin A efficacy from biofortified (orange) maize and high-carotene carrots. Methods: The design was a 2 × 2 × 2 maize (orange compared with white) by carrot (orange compared with white) by a VA fortificant (VA+ compared with VA−) in weanling male Mongolian gerbils (n = 55), which included a 14-d VA depletion period and a 62-d treatment period (1 baseline and 8 treatment groups; n = 5−7/group). Liver VA and serum retinol were quantified, purified by HPLC, and analyzed by GC combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry for 13C. Results: Treatments affected liver VA concentrations (0.048 ± 0.039 to 0.79 ± 0.24 μmol/g; P < 0.0001) but not overall serum retinol concentrations (1.38 ± 0.22 μmol/L). Serum retinol and liver VA δ13C were significantly correlated (R2 = 0.92; P < 0.0001). Serum retinol δ13C differentiated control groups that consumed white maize and white carrots (−27.1 ± 1.2 δ13C‰) from treated groups that consumed orange maize and white carrots (−21.6 ± 1.4 δ13C‰ P < 0.0001) and white maize and orange carrots (−30.6 ± 0.7 δ13C‰ P < 0.0001). A prediction model demonstrated the relative contribution of orange maize to total dietary VA for groups that consumed VA from mixed sources. Conclusions: Provitamin A efficacy and quantitative estimation of the relative contribution to dietary VA were demonstrated with the use of serum retinol δ13C. This method could be used for maize efficacy or effectiveness studies and with

  20. Permeability Modification Using a Reactive Alkaline-Soluble Biopolymer

    SciTech Connect

    Sandra L. Fox; Xina Xie; Greg Bala

    2004-11-01

    Polymer injection has been used in reservoirs to alleviate contrasting permeability zones to enhance oil recovery (EOR). Polymer technology relies mainly on the use of polyacrylamides cross-linked by a hazardous metal or organic. Contemporary polymer plugging has investigated the stimulation of in-situ microorganisms to produce polymers (Jenneman et. al., 2000) and the use of biocatalysts to trigger gelling (Bailey et. al., 2000). The use of biological polymers are advantageous in that they can block high permeability areas, are environmentally friendly, and have potential to form reversible gels without the use of hazardous cross-linkers. Recent efforts have produced a reactive alkaline-soluble biopolymer from Agrobacterium species ATCC # 31749 that gels upon decreasing the pH of the polymeric solution. Microbial polymers are of interest due to their potential cost savings, compared to conventional use of synthetic chemical polymers. Numerous microorganisms are known to produce extracellular polysaccharides. One microbiological polymer of interest is curdlan, â - (1, 3) glucan, which has demonstrated gelling properties by a reduction in pH. The focus of this study was to determine the impact an alkaline-soluble biopolymer can have on sandstone permeability.

  1. Assessment of respiration activity and ecotoxicity of composts containing biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Kopeć, Michał; Gondek, Krzysztof; Baran, Agnieszka

    2013-03-01

    The research was conducted to determine if introducing biodegradable polymer materials to the composting process would affect selected biological properties of mature compost. Determination of biological properties of composts composed of testing their respiration activity and toxicity. Respiration activity was measured in material from the composting process by means of OxiTop Control measuring system. The ecotoxicity of composts was estimated by means of a set of biotests composed of three microbiotests using five test organisms. Introduction of polymer materials caused a decrease in respiration activity of mature compost. Similar dependencies as in the case of mass loss were registered. Compost to which a biodegradable polymer with the highest content of starch was added revealed the smallest difference in comparison with organic material composted without polymers. Lower content of starch in a polymer caused lower respiration activity of composts, whereas microorganism vaccine might have accelerated maturing of composts, thus contributing to the smallest respiration of compost. In composts containing biopolymers the following were observed: an increase in germination inhibition--2.5 times, roots growth inhibition--1.8 times, growth inhibition of Heterocypris incongruens--four times and luminescence inhibition of Vibrio fischeri--1.6 times in comparison with the control (compost K1). Composts containing biopolymers were classified as toxicity class III, whereas the compost without polymer addition as class II.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Assessment of respiration activity and ecotoxicity of composts containing biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Kopeć, Michał; Gondek, Krzysztof; Baran, Agnieszka

    2013-03-01

    The research was conducted to determine if introducing biodegradable polymer materials to the composting process would affect selected biological properties of mature compost. Determination of biological properties of composts composed of testing their respiration activity and toxicity. Respiration activity was measured in material from the composting process by means of OxiTop Control measuring system. The ecotoxicity of composts was estimated by means of a set of biotests composed of three microbiotests using five test organisms. Introduction of polymer materials caused a decrease in respiration activity of mature compost. Similar dependencies as in the case of mass loss were registered. Compost to which a biodegradable polymer with the highest content of starch was added revealed the smallest difference in comparison with organic material composted without polymers. Lower content of starch in a polymer caused lower respiration activity of composts, whereas microorganism vaccine might have accelerated maturing of composts, thus contributing to the smallest respiration of compost. In composts containing biopolymers the following were observed: an increase in germination inhibition--2.5 times, roots growth inhibition--1.8 times, growth inhibition of Heterocypris incongruens--four times and luminescence inhibition of Vibrio fischeri--1.6 times in comparison with the control (compost K1). Composts containing biopolymers were classified as toxicity class III, whereas the compost without polymer addition as class II. PMID:23290616

  4. Associative Interactions in Crowded Solutions of Biopolymers Counteract Depletion Effects.

    PubMed

    Groen, Joost; Foschepoth, David; te Brinke, Esra; Boersma, Arnold J; Imamura, Hiromi; Rivas, Germán; Heus, Hans A; Huck, Wilhelm T S

    2015-10-14

    The cytosol of Escherichia coli is an extremely crowded environment, containing high concentrations of biopolymers which occupy 20-30% of the available volume. Such conditions are expected to yield depletion forces, which strongly promote macromolecular complexation. However, crowded macromolecule solutions, like the cytosol, are very prone to nonspecific associative interactions that can potentially counteract depletion. It remains unclear how the cytosol balances these opposing interactions. We used a FRET-based probe to systematically study depletion in vitro in different crowded environments, including a cytosolic mimic, E. coli lysate. We also studied bundle formation of FtsZ protofilaments under identical crowded conditions as a probe for depletion interactions at much larger overlap volumes of the probe molecule. The FRET probe showed a more compact conformation in synthetic crowding agents, suggesting strong depletion interactions. However, depletion was completely negated in cell lysate and other protein crowding agents, where the FRET probe even occupied slightly more volume. In contrast, bundle formation of FtsZ protofilaments proceeded as readily in E. coli lysate and other protein solutions as in synthetic crowding agents. Our experimental results and model suggest that, in crowded biopolymer solutions, associative interactions counterbalance depletion forces for small macromolecules. Furthermore, the net effects of macromolecular crowding will be dependent on both the size of the macromolecule and its associative interactions with the crowded background.

  5. Natural-abundance 15N NMR studies of Turkey ovomucoid third domain. Assignment of peptide 15N resonances to the residues at the reactive site region via proton-detected multiple-quantum coherence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz-Polo, Gilberto; Krishnamoorthi, R.; Markley, John L.; Live, David H.; Davis, Donald G.; Cowburn, David

    Heteronuclear two-dimensional 1H{ 15N} multiple-quantum (MQ) spectroscopy has been applied to a protein sample at natural abundance: ovomucoid third domain from turkey ( Meleagris gallopavo), a serine proteinase inhibitor of 56 amino acid residues. Peptide amide 1H NMR assignments obtained by two-dimensional 1H{ 1H} NMR methods (R. Krishnamoorthi and J. L. Markley, unpublished data) led to identification of the corresponding 1H{ 15N} MQ coherence cross peaks. From these, 15N NMR chemical shifts were determined for several specific backbone amide groups of amino acid residues located around the reactive site region of the inhibitor. The results suggest that amide 15N chemical shifts, which are readily obtained in this way, may serve as sensitive probes for conformational studies of proteins.

  6. Human and climate impact on ¹⁵N natural abundance of plants and soils in high-mountain ecosystems: a short review and two examples from the Eastern Pamirs and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

    PubMed

    Zech, Michael; Bimüller, Carolin; Hemp, Andreas; Samimi, Cyrus; Broesike, Christina; Hörold, Claudia; Zech, Wolfgang

    2011-09-01

    Population pressure increasingly endangers high-mountain ecosystems such as the pastures in the Eastern Pamirs and the mountain forests on Mt. Kilimanjaro. At the same time, these ecosystems constitute the economic basis for millions of people living there. In our study, we, therefore, aimed at characterising the land-use effects on soil degradation and N-cycling by determining the natural abundance of (15)N. A short review displays that δ(15)N of plant-soil systems may often serve as an integrated indicator of N-cycles with more positive δ(15)N values pointing towards N-losses. Results for the high-mountain pastures in the Eastern Pamirs show that intensively grazed pastures are significantly enriched in (15)N compared to the less-exploited pastures by 3.5 ‰, on average. This can be attributed to soil organic matter degradation, volatile nitrogen losses, nitrogen leaching and a general opening of the N-cycle. Similarly, the intensively degraded savanna soils, the cultivated soils and the soils under disturbed forests on the foothill of Mt. Kilimanjaro reveal very positive δ(15)N values around 6.5 ‰. In contrast, the undisturbed forest soils in the montane zone are more depleted in (15)N, indicating that here the N-cycle is relatively closed. However, significantly higher δ(15)N values characterise the upper montane forest zone at the transition to the subalpine zone. We suggest that this reflects N-losses by the recently monitored and climate change and antropogenically induced increasing fire frequency pushing the upper montane rainforest boundary rapidly downhill. Overall, we conclude that the analysis of the (15)N natural abundance in high-mountain ecosystems is a purposeful tool for detecting land-use- or climate change-induced soil degradation and N-cycle opening.

  7. Solar abundance of osmium

    PubMed Central

    Jacoby, George; Aller, Lawrence H.

    1976-01-01

    The abundance parameter, log gfA, where g is the statistical weight of the lower level, f is the oscillator strength, and A is the abundance (by numbers of atoms with respect to hydrogen), has been derived for three lines of osmium by a method of spectrum synthesis. An apparent discordance of the derived abundance with that found from the carbonaceous chondrites is probably to be attributed primarily to errors in the f-values, and blending with unknown contributors. PMID:16592314

  8. Stardust Abundance Variations among Interplanetary Dust Particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Messenger, S.; Keller, L. P.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Nguyen, A. N.; Walker, Robert M.

    2009-01-01

    Presolar grain abundances reflect the degree of processing primitive materials have experienced. This is evidenced by the wide range of silicate stardust abundances among primitive meteorites (10 to 300 ppm) [1], attributable to parent body hydrothermal processing. Stardust abundance variations are also pronounced in anhydrous interplanetary dust particles (CPIDPs), that have not experienced parent body processing (300 to > 10,000 ppm) [2-4]. The large range in stardust abundances among CP IDPs thus reflect nebular processing. Here we present results of a systematic search for stardust among cluster CP IDPs. Our goals are to establish mineralogical trends among IDPs with different stardust abundances. This may shed light into the nature of isotopically normal presolar grains (GEMS grains?; 5) if their abundances vary similarly to that of isotopically exotic stardust grains.

  9. Relevant insight of surface characterization techniques to study covalent grafting of a biopolymer to titanium implant and its acidic resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Almeida, Mélanie; Amalric, Julien; Brunon, Céline; Grosgogeat, Brigitte; Toury, Bérangère

    2015-02-01

    Peri-implant bacterial infections are the main cause of complications in dentistry. Our group has previously proposed the attachment of chitosan on titanium implants via a covalent bond to improve its antibacterial properties while maintaining its biocompatibility. A better knowledge of the coating preparation process allows a better understanding of the bioactive coating in biological conditions. In this work, several relevant characterization techniques were used to assess an implant device during its production phase and its resistance in natural media at different pH. The titanium surface was functionalized with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) followed by grafting of an organic coupling agent; succinic anhydride, able to form two covalent links, with the substrate through a Ti-O-Si bond and the biopolymer through a peptide bond. Each step of the coating synthesis as well as the presence confirmation of the biopolymer on titanium after saliva immersion was followed by FTIR-ATR, SEM, EDS, 3D profilometry, XPS and ToF-SIMS analyses. Results allowed to highlight the efficiency of each step of the process, and to propose a mechanism occurring during the chitosan coating degradation in saliva media at pH 5 and at pH 3.

  10. Solid-State (13)C NMR Delineates the Architectural Design of Biopolymers in Native and Genetically Altered Tomato Fruit Cuticles.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Subhasish; Matas, Antonio J; Isaacson, Tal; Kehlet, Cindie; Rose, Jocelyn K C; Stark, Ruth E

    2016-01-11

    Plant cuticles on outer fruit and leaf surfaces are natural macromolecular composites of waxes and polyesters that ensure mechanical integrity and mitigate environmental challenges. They also provide renewable raw materials for cosmetics, packaging, and coatings. To delineate the structural framework and flexibility underlying the versatile functions of cutin biopolymers associated with polysaccharide-rich cell-wall matrices, solid-state NMR spectra and spin relaxation times were measured in a tomato fruit model system, including different developmental stages and surface phenotypes. The hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance of the cutin ensures compatibility with the underlying polysaccharide cell walls; the hydroxy fatty acid structures of outer epidermal cutin also support deposition of hydrophobic waxes and aromatic moieties while promoting the formation of cell-wall cross-links that rigidify and strengthen the cuticle composite during fruit development. Fruit cutin-deficient tomato mutants with compromised microbial resistance exhibit less efficient local and collective biopolymer motions, stiffening their cuticular surfaces and increasing their susceptibility to fracture. PMID:26652188

  11. A facile method for processing lignin reinforced chitosan biopolymer microfibres: optimising the fibre mechanical properties through lignin type and concentration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, K.; Loo, L. S.; Goh, K. L.

    2016-03-01

    A chitosan biopolymer microfibre—reinforced by lignin—has been processed by a wet-spinning method. To optimise the fibre mechanical and structural properties two types of lignin, with molecular weights 28 000 g mol-1 and 60 000 g mol-1, were examined and the chitosan fibre was blended with the respective lignin type at 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8 wt% lignin concentrations. The main effects of lignin type and concentration, as well as the interaction between the two parameters, on the fibre tensile stiffness, extensibility, strength and toughness were evaluated using the two-factor analysis of variance. Significant variations in the respective mechanical properties were observed with varying lignin concentrations (P < 0.05). The magnitude of the respective mechanical properties is low at 1 wt% but peaks at 3 wt% before decreasing steadily with increasing lignin concentration. Except for extensibility, significant variations in the strength and toughness were observed with respect to lignin type (P < 0.05) variations in the stiffness were masked by interactions between lignin type and concentration. These results were related to the dispersion of lignin in the fibre and the nature of the bonds between lignin and chitosan, based on findings from scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. This new method for the fabrication of chitosan biopolymer microfibre is inexpensive and versatile and could lend itself to the production of high performance biocomposite structures.

  12. Hemostatic, antibacterial biopolymers from Acacia arabica (Lam.) Willd. and Moringa oleifera (Lam.) as potential wound dressing materials.

    PubMed

    Bhatnagar, Monica; Parwani, Laxmi; Sharma, Vinay; Ganguli, Jhuma; Bhatnagar, Ashish

    2013-10-01

    Acacia arabica and Moringa oleifera are credited with a number of medicinal properties. Traditionally gum of Acacia plant is used in the treatment of skin disorders to soothe skin rashes, soreness, inflammation and burns while Moringa seed extracts are known to have antibacterial activity. In the present study the potential of the polymeric component of aqueous extracts of gum acacia (GA) and the seeds of M. oleifera (MSP) in wound management was evaluated. The results revealed that both biopolymers were hemostatic and hasten blood coagulation. They showed shortening of activated partial thromboplastin time and prothrombin time and were non-cytotoxic in nature. Both showed antibacterial activity against organisms known to be involved in wound infections with MIC ranging from 500-600 microg mL(-1) for GA and 300-700 microg mL(-1) for MSP. They were biodegradable and exhibited water absorption capacity in the range of 415 to 935%. The hemostatic character coupled to these properties envisions their potential in preparation of dressings for bleeding and profusely exuding wounds. The biopolymers have been further analysed for their composition by Gas chromatography.

  13. Solid-State (13)C NMR Delineates the Architectural Design of Biopolymers in Native and Genetically Altered Tomato Fruit Cuticles.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Subhasish; Matas, Antonio J; Isaacson, Tal; Kehlet, Cindie; Rose, Jocelyn K C; Stark, Ruth E

    2016-01-11

    Plant cuticles on outer fruit and leaf surfaces are natural macromolecular composites of waxes and polyesters that ensure mechanical integrity and mitigate environmental challenges. They also provide renewable raw materials for cosmetics, packaging, and coatings. To delineate the structural framework and flexibility underlying the versatile functions of cutin biopolymers associated with polysaccharide-rich cell-wall matrices, solid-state NMR spectra and spin relaxation times were measured in a tomato fruit model system, including different developmental stages and surface phenotypes. The hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance of the cutin ensures compatibility with the underlying polysaccharide cell walls; the hydroxy fatty acid structures of outer epidermal cutin also support deposition of hydrophobic waxes and aromatic moieties while promoting the formation of cell-wall cross-links that rigidify and strengthen the cuticle composite during fruit development. Fruit cutin-deficient tomato mutants with compromised microbial resistance exhibit less efficient local and collective biopolymer motions, stiffening their cuticular surfaces and increasing their susceptibility to fracture.

  14. Xanthan Exopolysaccharide: Cu(2+) Complexes Affected from the pH-Dependent Conformational State; Implications for Environmentally Relevant Biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Causse, Benjamin; Spadini, Lorenzo; Sarret, Géraldine; Faure, Adeline; Travelet, Christophe; Madern, Dominique; Delolme, Cécile

    2016-04-01

    The conformational impact of environmental biopolymers on metal sorption was studied through Cu sorption on xanthan. The apparent Cu(2+) complexation constant (logK; Cu(2+) + L(-) ↔ CuL(+)) decreased from 2.9 ± 0.1 at pH 3.5 to 2.5 ± 0.1 at pH 5.5 (ionic strength I = 0.1). This behavior is in apparent contradiction with basic thermodynamics, as usually the higher the pH the more cations bind. Our combined titration, circular dichroism and dynamic light scattering study indicated that the change observed in Cu bond strength relates to a conformational change of the structure of xanthan, which generates more chelating sites at pH 3.5 than at pH 5.5. This hypothesis was validated by the fact that the Cu sorption constants on xanthan were always higher than those measured on a mixture of pyruvic and glucuronic acids (logK = 2.2), which are the two constitutive ligands present in the xanthan monomer. This study shows the role of the structural conformation of natural biopolymers in metal bond strength. This finding may help to better predict the fate of Cu and other metals in acidic environmental settings such as aquatic media affected by acid mine drainage, as well as peats and acidic soils, and to better define optimal conditions for bioremediation processes.

  15. Recovery of oil from oil-in-water emulsion using biopolymers by adsorptive method.

    PubMed

    Elanchezhiyan, S Sd; Sivasurian, N; Meenakshi, Sankaran

    2014-09-01

    In the present study, it is aimed to identify, a low cost sorbent for the recovery of oil from oil-in-water emulsion using biopolymers such as chitin and chitosan. Chitin has the greater adsorption capacity than chitosan due to its hydrophobic nature. The characterizations of chitin and chitosan were done using FTIR, SEM, EDAX, XRD, TGA and DSC techniques. Under batch equilibrium mode, a systematic study was performed to optimize the various equilibrium parameters viz., contact time, pH, dosage, initial concentration of oil, and temperature. The adsorption process reached equilibrium at 40 min of contact time and the percentage removal of oil was found to be higher (90%) in the acidic medium. The Freundlich and Langmuir models were applied to describe the equilibrium isotherms and the isotherm constants were calculated. Thermodynamic parameters such as ΔG°, ΔH° and ΔS° were calculated to find out the nature of the sorption mechanism. The kinetic studies were investigated with reaction-based and diffusion-based models. The suitable mechanism for the removal of oil has been established.

  16. Functional finishing of aminated polyester using biopolymer-based polyelectrolyte microgels.

    PubMed

    Glampedaki, Pelagia; Dutschk, Victoria; Jocic, Dragan; Warmoeskerken, Marijn M C G

    2011-10-01

    This study focuses on a microgel-based functionalization method applicable to polyester textiles for improving their hydrophilicity and/or moisture-management properties, eventually enhancing wear comfort. The method proposed aims at achieving pH-/temperature-controlled wettability of polyester within a physiological pH/temperature range. First, primary amine groups are created on polyester surfaces using ethylenediamine; second, biopolymer-based polyelectrolyte microgels are incorporated using the natural cross-linker genipin. The microgels consist of the pH-responsive natural polysaccharide chitosan and pH/thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) microparticles. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed the microgel presence on polyester surfaces. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed nitrogen concentration, supporting increased microscopy results. Electrokinetic analysis showed that functionalized polyester surfaces have a zero-charge point at pH 6.5, close to the microgel isoelectric point. Dynamic wetting measurements revealed that functionalized polyester has shorter total water absorption time than the reference. This absorption time is also pH dependent, based on dynamic contact angle and micro-roughness measurements, which indicated microgel swelling at different pH values. Furthermore, at 40 °C functionalized polyester has higher vapor transmission rates than the reference, even at high relative humidity. This was attributed to the microgel thermoresponsiveness, which was confirmed through the almost 50% decrease in microparticle size between 20 and 40 °C, as determined by dynamic light scattering measurements. PMID:21751392

  17. The Rheological Properties of the Biopolymers in Synovial Fluid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krause, Wendy E.; Klossner, Rebecca R.; Wetsch, Julie; Oates, Katherine M. N.; Colby, Ralph H.

    2005-03-01

    The polyelectrolyte hyaluronic acid (HA, hyaluronan), its interactions with anti-inflammatory drugs and other biopolymers, and its role in synovial fluid are being studied. We are investigating the rheological properties of sodium hyaluronate (NaHA) solutions and an experimental model of synovial fluid (comprised of NaHA, and the plasma proteins albumin and γ-globulins). Steady shear measurements on bovine synovial fluid and the synovial fluid model indicate that the fluids are highly viscoeleastic and rheopectic (stress increases with time under steady shear). In addition, the influence of anti-inflammatory agents on these solutions is being explored. Initial results indicate that D-penicillamine and hydroxychloroquine affect the rheology of the synovial fluid model and its components. The potential implications of these results will be discussed.

  18. - and Two-Bead Microrheology in Semiflexible Biopolymer Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Christoph

    2002-03-01

    We have used one and two-particle microrheology, employing micron-sized embedded beads and laser interferometric displacement detection, to study the rheological properties of entangled solutions of semiflexible biopolymers. Microrheology has distinct advantages over conventional macrorheology, particularly in expanding the bandwidth of detection, in probing true linear response, and in making it possible to measure solvent draining compressional elastic modes. Experiments on the filamentous fd virus will be reported. Thermal fluctuations of the embedded probes were measured and the viscoelastic parameters of the embedding medium were derived. In two-particle microrheology the correlated motions of two identical particles separated by a varying distance in the medium are analyzed, which can avoid biased results due to surface depletion effects near the probes. Particular emphasis was placed on the comparison between the one- and two-particle results.

  19. Evolutionary optimization of biopolymers and sequence structure maps

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-06-01

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

  20. Detecting the Biopolymer Behavior of Graphene Nanoribbons in Aqueous Solution

    PubMed Central

    Wijeratne, Sithara S.; Penev, Evgeni S.; Lu, Wei; Li, Jingqiang; Duque, Amanda L.; Yakobson, Boris I.; Tour, James M.; Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2016-01-01

    Graphene nanoribbons (GNR), can be prepared in bulk quantities for large-area applications by reducing the product from the lengthwise oxidative unzipping of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT). Recently, the biomaterials application of GNR has been explored, for example, in the pore to be used for DNA sequencing. Therefore, understanding the polymer behavior of GNR in solution is essential in predicting GNR interaction with biomaterials. Here, we report experimental studies of the solution-based mechanical properties of GNR and their parent products, graphene oxide nanoribbons (GONR). We used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study their mechanical properties in solution and showed that GNR and GONR have similar force-extension behavior as in biopolymers such as proteins and DNA. The rigidity increases with reducing chemical functionalities. The similarities in rigidity and tunability between nanoribbons and biomolecules might enable the design and fabrication of GNR-biomimetic interfaces. PMID:27503635

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

    PubMed

    Vanamudan, Ageetha; Sudhakar, P Padmaja

    2016-05-01

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

  2. Force spectroscopy of single multidomain biopolymers: A master equation approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, O.; Seifert, U.

    2005-09-01

    Experiments using atomic force microscopy for unfolding single multidomain biopolymers cover a broad range of time scales from equilibrium to non-equilibrium. A master equation approach allows to identify and treat coherently three dynamical regimes for increasing linear ramp velocity: i) an equilibrium regime, ii) a transient regime where refolding events still occur, and iii) a saw-tooth regime without any refolding events. For each regime, analytical approximations are derived and compared to numerically investigated examples. We analyze in the framework of this model also a periodic experimental protocol instead of a linear ramp. In this case, a major simplification arises if the dynamics can be restricted to an effectively two-dimensional subspace. For transitions with an intermediate meta-stable state, like Immunoglobulin27, a refined model allows to extract previously unknown molecular parameters related to this meta-stable state.

  3. [Binding of Volatile Organic Compounds to Edible Biopolymers].

    PubMed

    Misharina, T A; Terenina, M B; Krikunova, N I; Medvedeva, I B

    2016-01-01

    Capillary gas chromatography was used to study the influence of the composition and structure of different edible polymers (polysaccharides, vegetable fibers, and animal protein gelatin) on the binding of essential oil components. The retention of volatile organic compounds on biopolymers was shown to depend on their molecule structure and the presence, type, and position of a functional group. The maximum extent of the binding was observed for nonpolar terpene and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, and the minimum extent was observed for alcohols. The components of essential oils were adsorbed due mostly to hydrophobic interactions. It was shown that the composition and structure of a compound, its physico-chemical state, and the presence of functional groups influence the binding. Gum arabic and guar gum were found to bind nonpolar compounds to a maximum and minimum extent, respectively. It was demonstrated the minimum adsorption ability of locust bean gum with respect to all studied compounds. PMID:27266255

  4. Conjugates of a photoactivated rhodamine with biopolymers for cell staining.

    PubMed

    Zaitsev, Sergei Yu; Shaposhnikov, Mikhail N; Solovyeva, Daria O; Solovyeva, Valeria V; Rizvanov, Albert A

    2014-01-01

    Conjugates of the photoactivated rhodamine dyes with biopolymers (proteins, polysaccharides, and nucleic acids) are important tools for microscopic investigation of biological tissue. In this study, a precursor of the photoactivated fluorescent dye (PFD) has been successfully used for staining of numerous mammalian cells lines and for conjugate formation with chitosan ("Chitosan-PFD") and histone H1 ("Histone H1.3-PFD"). The intensive fluorescence has been observed after photoactivation of these conjugates inside cells (A431, HaCaT, HEK239, HBL-100, and MDCK). Developed procedures and obtained data are important for further application of novel precursors of fluorescent dyes ("caged" dyes) for microscopic probing of biological objects. Thus, the synthesized "Chitosan-PFD" and "Histone H1-PFD" have been successfully applied in this study for intracellular transport visualization by fluorescent microscopy.

  5. Topologically ordered magnesium-biopolymer hybrid composite structures.

    PubMed

    Oosterbeek, Reece N; Seal, Christopher K; Staiger, Mark P; Hyland, Margaret M

    2015-01-01

    Magnesium and its alloys are intriguing as possible biodegradable biomaterials due to their unique combination of biodegradability and high specific mechanical properties. However, uncontrolled biodegradation of magnesium during implantation remains a major challenge in spite of the use of alloying and protective coatings. In this study, a hybrid composite structure of magnesium metal and a biopolymer was fabricated as an alternative approach to control the corrosion rate of magnesium. A multistep process that combines metal foam production and injection molding was developed to create a hybrid composite structure that is topologically ordered in all three dimensions. Preliminary investigations of the mechanical properties and corrosion behavior exhibited by the hybrid Mg-polymer composite structures suggest a new potential approach to the development of Mg-based biomedical devices.

  6. Detecting the Biopolymer Behavior of Graphene Nanoribbons in Aqueous Solution.

    PubMed

    Wijeratne, Sithara S; Penev, Evgeni S; Lu, Wei; Li, Jingqiang; Duque, Amanda L; Yakobson, Boris I; Tour, James M; Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2016-01-01

    Graphene nanoribbons (GNR), can be prepared in bulk quantities for large-area applications by reducing the product from the lengthwise oxidative unzipping of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT). Recently, the biomaterials application of GNR has been explored, for example, in the pore to be used for DNA sequencing. Therefore, understanding the polymer behavior of GNR in solution is essential in predicting GNR interaction with biomaterials. Here, we report experimental studies of the solution-based mechanical properties of GNR and their parent products, graphene oxide nanoribbons (GONR). We used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study their mechanical properties in solution and showed that GNR and GONR have similar force-extension behavior as in biopolymers such as proteins and DNA. The rigidity increases with reducing chemical functionalities. The similarities in rigidity and tunability between nanoribbons and biomolecules might enable the design and fabrication of GNR-biomimetic interfaces. PMID:27503635

  7. Biopolymer structure simulation and optimization via fragment regrowth Monte Carlo.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jinfeng; Kou, S C; Liu, Jun S

    2007-06-14

    An efficient exploration of the configuration space of a biopolymer is essential for its structure modeling and prediction. In this study, the authors propose a new Monte Carlo method, fragment regrowth via energy-guided sequential sampling (FRESS), which incorporates the idea of multigrid Monte Carlo into the framework of configurational-bias Monte Carlo and is suitable for chain polymer simulations. As a by-product, the authors also found a novel extension of the Metropolis Monte Carlo framework applicable to all Monte Carlo computations. They tested FRESS on hydrophobic-hydrophilic (HP) protein folding models in both two and three dimensions. For the benchmark sequences, FRESS not only found all the minimum energies obtained by previous studies with substantially less computation time but also found new lower energies for all the three-dimensional HP models with sequence length longer than 80 residues.

  8. Fabrication of Biopolymer Nanofibers of Hyaluronic Acid via Electrospinning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Denice; Queen, Hailey; Krause, Wendy

    2006-03-01

    Electrospinning is a novel technology that uses an electric field to form fibrous materials from a polymer solution. Unlike traditional spinning techniques, electrospinning can produce fibers on the order of 100 nm that can be utilized in applications where nanoscale fibers are necessary for successful implementation, including tissue engineering. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a widely used biopolymer found in the extracellular matrix and currently marketed in medical applications for joint lubrications and tissue engineering. The high viscosity and surface tension of HA make it an unlikely candidate for electrospinning processes as viscosity is an important parameter in successful electrospinning. To promote HA fiber formation by electrospinning, the effects of salt (NaCl), which is used to reduce the viscosity of aqueous HA solutions; molecular weight of the HA; and an additional biocompatible polymer (e.g., PEO) are under investigation.

  9. Detecting the Biopolymer Behavior of Graphene Nanoribbons in Aqueous Solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wijeratne, Sithara S.; Penev, Evgeni S.; Lu, Wei; Li, Jingqiang; Duque, Amanda L.; Yakobson, Boris I.; Tour, James M.; Kiang, Ching-Hwa

    2016-08-01

    Graphene nanoribbons (GNR), can be prepared in bulk quantities for large-area applications by reducing the product from the lengthwise oxidative unzipping of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT). Recently, the biomaterials application of GNR has been explored, for example, in the pore to be used for DNA sequencing. Therefore, understanding the polymer behavior of GNR in solution is essential in predicting GNR interaction with biomaterials. Here, we report experimental studies of the solution-based mechanical properties of GNR and their parent products, graphene oxide nanoribbons (GONR). We used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to study their mechanical properties in solution and showed that GNR and GONR have similar force-extension behavior as in biopolymers such as proteins and DNA. The rigidity increases with reducing chemical functionalities. The similarities in rigidity and tunability between nanoribbons and biomolecules might enable the design and fabrication of GNR-biomimetic interfaces.

  10. [Binding of Volatile Organic Compounds to Edible Biopolymers].

    PubMed

    Misharina, T A; Terenina, M B; Krikunova, N I; Medvedeva, I B

    2016-01-01

    Capillary gas chromatography was used to study the influence of the composition and structure of different edible polymers (polysaccharides, vegetable fibers, and animal protein gelatin) on the binding of essential oil components. The retention of volatile organic compounds on biopolymers was shown to depend on their molecule structure and the presence, type, and position of a functional group. The maximum extent of the binding was observed for nonpolar terpene and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, and the minimum extent was observed for alcohols. The components of essential oils were adsorbed due mostly to hydrophobic interactions. It was shown that the composition and structure of a compound, its physico-chemical state, and the presence of functional groups influence the binding. Gum arabic and guar gum were found to bind nonpolar compounds to a maximum and minimum extent, respectively. It was demonstrated the minimum adsorption ability of locust bean gum with respect to all studied compounds.

  11. LassoProt: server to analyze biopolymers with lassos

    PubMed Central

    Dabrowski-Tumanski, Pawel; Niemyska, Wanda; Pasznik, Pawel; Sulkowska, Joanna I.

    2016-01-01

    The LassoProt server, http://lassoprot.cent.uw.edu.pl/, enables analysis of biopolymers with entangled configurations called lassos. The server offers various ways of visualizing lasso configurations, as well as their time trajectories, with all the results and plots downloadable. Broad spectrum of applications makes LassoProt a useful tool for biologists, biophysicists, chemists, polymer physicists and mathematicians. The server and our methods have been validated on the whole PDB, and the results constitute the database of proteins with complex lassos, supported with basic biological data. This database can serve as a source of information about protein geometry and entanglement-function correlations, as a reference set in protein modeling, and for many other purposes. PMID:27131383

  12. Conjugates of a Photoactivated Rhodamine with Biopolymers for Cell Staining

    PubMed Central

    Zaitsev, Sergei Yu.; Shaposhnikov, Mikhail N.; Solovyeva, Daria O.; Solovyeva, Valeria V.; Rizvanov, Albert A.

    2014-01-01

    Conjugates of the photoactivated rhodamine dyes with biopolymers (proteins, polysaccharides, and nucleic acids) are important tools for microscopic investigation of biological tissue. In this study, a precursor of the photoactivated fluorescent dye (PFD) has been successfully used for staining of numerous mammalian cells lines and for conjugate formation with chitosan (“Chitosan-PFD”) and histone H1 (“Histone H1.3-PFD”). The intensive fluorescence has been observed after photoactivation of these conjugates inside cells (A431, HaCaT, HEK239, HBL-100, and MDCK). Developed procedures and obtained data are important for further application of novel precursors of fluorescent dyes (“caged” dyes) for microscopic probing of biological objects. Thus, the synthesized “Chitosan-PFD” and “Histone H1-PFD” have been successfully applied in this study for intracellular transport visualization by fluorescent microscopy. PMID:25383365

  13. LassoProt: server to analyze biopolymers with lassos.

    PubMed

    Dabrowski-Tumanski, Pawel; Niemyska, Wanda; Pasznik, Pawel; Sulkowska, Joanna I

    2016-07-01

    The LassoProt server, http://lassoprot.cent.uw.edu.pl/, enables analysis of biopolymers with entangled configurations called lassos. The server offers various ways of visualizing lasso configurations, as well as their time trajectories, with all the results and plots downloadable. Broad spectrum of applications makes LassoProt a useful tool for biologists, biophysicists, chemists, polymer physicists and mathematicians. The server and our methods have been validated on the whole PDB, and the results constitute the database of proteins with complex lassos, supported with basic biological data. This database can serve as a source of information about protein geometry and entanglement-function correlations, as a reference set in protein modeling, and for many other purposes.

  14. Natural melanin: a potential pH-responsive drug release device.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Marco; Viveiros, Raquel; Correia, Tiago R; Correia, Ilídio J; Bonifácio, Vasco D B; Casimiro, Teresa; Aguiar-Ricardo, Ana

    2014-07-20

    This work proposes melanin as a new nanocarrier for pH-responsive drug release. Melanin is an abundant natural polymer that can be easily extracted from cuttlefish as nanoparticles with a suitable size range for drug delivery. However, despite its high potentiality, the application of this biopolymer in the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields is yet to be explored. Herein, melanin nanoparticles were impregnated with metronidazole, chosen as model antibiotic drug, using supercritical carbon dioxide. The drug release profile was investigated at acidic and physiologic pH, and the dominant mechanism was found to follow a non-Fickian transport. Drug release from melanin shows a strong pH dependency, which allied to its biocompatibility and lack of cytotoxicity envisages its potential application as nanocarrier in formulations for colon and intestine targeted drug delivery.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  16. Single walled carbon nanotubes functionally adsorbed to biopolymers for use as chemical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Johnson, Jr., Alan T.; Gelperin, Alan; Staii, Cristian

    2011-07-12

    Chemical field effect sensors comprising nanotube field effect devices having biopolymers such as single stranded DNA functionally adsorbed to the nanotubes are provided. Also included are arrays comprising the sensors and methods of using the devices to detect volatile compounds.

  17. Binary and Ternary Mixtures of Biopolymers and Water: Viscosity, Refractive Index, and Density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Bárbara Louise L. D.; Costa, Bernardo S.; Garcia-Rojas, Edwin E.

    2016-08-01

    Biopolymers have been the focus of intense research because of their wide applicability. The thermophysical properties of solutions containing biopolymers have fundamental importance for engineering calculations, as well as for thermal load calculations, energy expenditure, and development of new products. In this work, the thermophysical properties of binary and ternary solutions of carboxymethylcellulose and/or high methoxylation pectin and water at different temperatures have been investigated taking into consideration different biopolymer concentrations. The experimental data related to the thermophysical properties were correlated to obtain empirical models that can describe the temperature-concentration combined effect on the density, refractive index, and dynamic viscosity. From data obtained from the experiments, the density, refractive index, and dynamic viscosity increase with increasing biopolymer concentration and decrease with increasing temperature. The polynomial models showed a good fit to the experimental data and high correlation coefficients (R2ge 0.98) for each studied system.

  18. Agarose- and alginate-based biopolymers for sample preparation: Excellent green extraction tools for this century.

    PubMed

    Sanagi, Mohd Marsin; Loh, Saw Hong; Wan Ibrahim, Wan Nazihah; Pourmand, Neda; Salisu, Ahmed; Wan Ibrahim, Wan Aini; Ali, Imran

    2016-03-01

    Recently, there has been considerable interest in the use of miniaturized sample preparation techniques before the chromatographic monitoring of the analytes in unknown complex compositions. The use of biopolymer-based sorbents in solid-phase microextraction techniques has achieved a good reputation. A great variety of polysaccharides can be extracted from marine plants or microorganisms. Seaweeds are the major sources of polysaccharides such as alginate, agar, agarose, as well as carrageenans. Agarose and alginate (green biopolymers) have been manipulated for different microextraction approaches. The present review is focused on the classification of biopolymer and their applications in multidisciplinary research. Besides, efforts have been made to discuss the state-of-the-art of the new microextraction techniques that utilize commercial biopolymer interfaces such as agarose in liquid-phase microextraction and solid-phase microextraction.

  19. The Bliss of Motor Abundance

    PubMed Central

    Latash, Mark L.

    2012-01-01

    Motor control is an area of natural science exploring how the nervous system interacts with other body parts and the environment to produce purposeful, coordinated actions. A central problem of motor control – the problem of motor redundancy – was formulated by Nikolai Bernstein as the problem of elimination of redundant degrees-of-freedom. Traditionally, this problem has been addressed using optimization methods based on a variety of cost functions. This review draws attention to a body of recent findings suggesting that the problem has been formulated incorrectly. An alternative view has been suggested as the principle of abundance, which considers the apparently redundant degrees-of-freedom as useful and even vital for many aspects of motor behavior. Over the past ten years, dozens of publications have provided support for this view based on the ideas of synergic control, computational apparatus of the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis, and the equilibrium-point (referent configuration) hypothesis. In particular, large amounts of “good variance” – variance in the space of elements that has no effect on the overall performance – have been documented across a variety of natural actions. “Good variance” helps an abundant system to deal with secondary tasks and unexpected perturbations; its amount shows adaptive modulation across a variety of conditions. These data support the view that there is no problem of motor redundancy; there is bliss of motor abundance. PMID:22246105

  20. Application of Natural Isotopic Abundance ¹H-¹³C- and ¹H-¹⁵N-Correlated Two-Dimensional NMR for Evaluation of the Structure of Protein Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Arbogast, Luke W; Brinson, Robert G; Marino, John P

    2016-01-01

    Methods for characterizing the higher-order structure of protein therapeutics are in great demand for establishing consistency in drug manufacturing, for detecting drug product variations resulting from modifications in the manufacturing process, and for comparing a biosimilar to an innovator reference product. In principle, solution NMR can provide a robust approach for characterization of the conformation(s) of protein therapeutics in formulation at atomic resolution. However, molecular weight limitations and the perceived need for stable isotope labeling have to date limited its practical applications in the biopharmaceutical industry. Advances in NMR magnet and console technologies, cryogenically cooled probes, and new rapid acquisition methodologies, particularly selective optimized flip-angle short transient pulse schemes and nonuniform sampling, have greatly ameliorated these limitations. Here, we describe experimental methods for the collection and analysis of 2D (1)H(N)-(15)N-amide- and (1)H-(13)C-methyl-correlated spectra applied to protein drug products at natural isotopic abundance, including representatives from the rapidly growing class of monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics. Practical aspects of experimental setup and data acquisition for both standard and rapid acquisition NMR techniques are described. Furthermore, strategies for the statistical comparison of 2D (1)H(N)-(15)N-amide- and (1)H-(13)C-methyl-correlated spectra are detailed.

  1. In vivo characterization of fatty acids in human adipose tissue using natural abundance 1H decoupled 13C MRS at 1.5 T: clinical applications to dietary therapy.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jong-Hee; Bluml, Stefan; Leaf, Alexander; Ross, Brian D

    2003-05-01

    Natural abundance proton-decoupled (13)C magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to establish the in vivo lipid composition of normal adipose tissue and the corresponding effects of altered lipid diets. Experiments were performed on a standard 1.5 T clinical MR scanner using a double-tuned (1)H-(13)C coil. Peaks from double-bonded and methylene carbons were analyzed. Normal lipid composition was established in 20 control subjects. For comparison, five subjects on altered lipid diets were studied. Four subjects were on a fish oil supplement diet or predominantly seafood diet (polyunsaturated fatty acids), and one subject was on a Lorenzo's oil diet (monounsaturated fatty acids). Well-resolved (13)C spectra were obtained from the calf adipose tissue with a total acquisition time of 10 min. Model oil solutions were used to identify specific (13)C resonances. Subjects on lipid diets showed significantly elevated levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids for Lorenzo's and fish oil diets, respectively. We conclude that (13)C MR spectroscopy can readily detect changes in lipid composition due to medium- and long-term therapeutic lipid diets. Since the examination is rapid, robust and noninvasive, opportunities arise for large clinical trials of preventive or therapeutic diets to be performed with (13)C MRS on a clinical MR scanner.

  2. Measurement of Small One-Bond Proton-Carbon Residual Dipolar Coupling Constants in Partially Oriented 13C Natural Abundance Oligosaccharide Samples: Analysis of Heteronuclear 1JCH-Modulated Spectra with the BIRD Inversion Pulse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, Tran Nghia; Liptaj, Tibor; Bromek, Krystyna; Uhrín, Dušan

    2002-08-01

    Two 2D J-modulated HSQC-based experiments were designed for precise determination of small residual dipolar one-bond carbon-proton coupling constants in 13C natural abundance carbohydrates. Crucial to the precision of a few hundredths of Hz achieved by these methods was the use of long modulation intervals and BIRD pulses, which acted as semiselective inversion pulses. The BIRD pulses eliminated effective evolution of all but 1JCH couplings, resulting in signal modulation that can be described by simple modulation functions. A thorough analysis of such modulation functions for a typical four-spin carbohydrate spin system was performed for both experiments. The results showed that the evolution of the 1H- 1H and long-range 1H- 13C couplings during the BIRD pulses did not necessitate the introduction of more complicated modulation functions. The effects of pulse imperfections were also inspected. While weakly coupled spin systems can be analyzed by simple fitting of cross peak intensities, in strongly coupled spin systems the evolution of the density matrix needs to be considered in order to analyse data accurately. However, if strong coupling effects are modest the errors in coupling constants determined by the "weak coupling" analysis are of similar magnitudes in oriented and isotropic samples and are partially cancelled during dipolar coupling calculation. Simple criteria have been established as to when the strong coupling treatment needs to be invoked.

  3. Adsorption studies of Cu(II) onto biopolymer chitosan and its nanocomposite 5%bentonite/chitosan.

    PubMed

    Moussout, Hamou; Ahlafi, Hammou; Aazza, Mustapha; Zegaoui, Omar; El Akili, Charaf

    2016-01-01

    Chitosan (CS) and nanocomposite 5%bentonite/chitosan (5%Bt/CS) prepared from the natural biopolymer CS were tested to remove Cu(II) ions using a batch adsorption experiment at various temperatures (25, 35 and 45°C). X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis/differential thermal analysis (TGA/DTA) were used in CS and the nanocomposite characterisation. This confirmed the exfoliation of bentonite (Bt) to form the nanocomposite. The adsorption kinetics of copper on both solids was found to follow a pseudo-second-order law at each studied temperature. The Cu(II) adsorption capacity increased as the temperature increased from 25 to 45°C for nanocomposite adsorbent but slightly increased for CS. The data were confronted to the nonlinear Langmuir, Freundlich and Redlich-Peterson models. It was found that the experimental data fitted very well the Langmuir isotherm over the whole temperature and concentration ranges. The maximum monolayer adsorption capacity for the Cu(II) was 404-422 mg/g for CS and 282-337 mg/g for 5%Bt/CS at 25-45°C. The thermodynamic study showed that the adsorption process was spontaneous and endothermic. The complexation of Cu(II) with NH(2) and C = O groups as active sites was found to be the main mechanism in the adsorption processes. PMID:27148722

  4. Modeling the dynamics of one laser pulse surface nanofoaming of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazare, S.; Bonneau, R.; Gaspard, S.; Oujja, M.; de Nalda, R.; Castillejo, M.; Sionkowska, A.

    2009-03-01

    Self standing films of biopolymers like gelatine, collagen, and chitosan irradiated with single nanosecond or femtosecond laser pulse easily yield on their surface, a nanofoam layer, formed by a cavitation and bubble growth mechanism. The laser foams have interesting properties that challenge the molecular features of the natural extracellular matrix and which make them good candidates for fabrication of artificial matrix (having nanoscopic fibers, large availability of cell adhesion sites, permeability to fluids due to the open cell structure). As part of the mechanistic study, the dynamics of the process has been measured in the nanosecond timescale by recording the optical transmission of the films at 632.8 nm during and after the foaming laser pulse. A rapid drop 100→0% taking place within the first 100 ns supports the cavitation mechanism as described by the previous negative pressure wave model. As modeled a strong pressure rise (˜several thousands of bar) first takes place in the absorption volume due to pressure confinement and finite sound velocity, and then upon relaxation after some delay equal to the pressure transit time gives rise to a rarefaction wave (negative pressure) in which nucleation and bubble growth are very fast.

  5. Not any new functional polymer can be for medicine: what about artificial biopolymers?

    PubMed

    Vert, Michel

    2011-12-01

    Man-made artificial organic polymers are among the more recent sources of materials used by humans. In medicine, they contribute to applications in surgery, dentistry and pharmacology. Nowadays, innovations in the field of therapeutic polymers rely on novel polymers for specific applications such as guided tissue regeneration, tissue engineering, drug delivery systems, gene transfection, etc. Introducing reactive chemical functions within or along polymer backbones is an attractive route to generate functional polymers for medicine. However, any candidate to effective application must fulfil a number of requirements, grouped under the terms biocompatibility and biofunctionality, to be of real interest and have a future for effective application. Whenever the application requires a therapeutic aid for a limited period of time to help natural healing, bioresorbability is to be taken into account on top of biocompatibility and biofunctionality. This contribution presents the case of "artificial biopolymers" and discusses the potential of some members of the family with respect to temporary therapeutic applications that require functional polymers.

  6. Biopolymer-Connected Liposome Networks as Injectable Biomaterials Capable of Sustained Local Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jae-Ho; Oh, Hyuntaek; Baxa, Ulrich; Raghavan, Srinivasa R.; Blumenthal, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Biopolymers bearing hydrophobic side-chains, such as hydrophobically modified chitosan (hmC), can connect liposomes into a gel network via hydrophobic interactions. In this paper, we show that such liposome gels possess an attractive combination of properties for certain drug delivery applications. Their shear-thinning property allows these gels to be injected at a particular site, while their gel-like nature at rest ensures that the material will remain localized at that site. Moreover, drugs can be encapsulated in the interior of the liposomes and delivered at the local site for an extended period of time. The presence of two transport resistances – from the liposomal bilayer and the gel network – is shown to be responsible for the sustained release; in turn, disruption of the liposomes both weakens the gel and causes a faster release. We have monitored release kinetics from liposome gels of a cationic anti-cancer drug doxorubicin (Dox) encapsulated in liposomes. Sustained release of Dox from these gels and the concomitant cytotoxic effect could be observed for over a week. PMID:22970880

  7. Fractional Generalizations of Maxwell and Kelvin-Voigt Models for Biopolymer Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Jóźwiak, Bertrand; Orczykowska, Magdalena; Dziubiński, Marek

    2015-01-01

    The paper proposes a fractional generalization of the Maxwell and Kelvin-Voigt rheological models for a description of dynamic behavior of biopolymer materials. It was found that the rheological models of Maxwell-type do not work in the case of modeling of viscoelastic solids, and the model which significantly better describes the nature of changes in rheological properties of such media is the modified fractional Kelvin-Voigt model with two built-in springpots (MFKVM2). The proposed model was used to describe the experimental data from the oscillatory and creep tests of 3% (w/v) kuzu starch pastes, and to determine the values of their rheological parameters as a function of pasting time. These parameters provide a lot of additional information about structure and viscoelastic properties of the medium in comparison to the classical analysis of dynamic curves G’ and G” and shear creep compliance J(t). It allowed for a comprehensive description of a wide range of properties of kuzu starch pastes, depending on the conditions of pasting process. PMID:26599756

  8. Fractional Generalizations of Maxwell and Kelvin-Voigt Models for Biopolymer Characterization.

    PubMed

    Jóźwiak, Bertrand; Orczykowska, Magdalena; Dziubiński, Marek

    2015-01-01

    The paper proposes a fractional generalization of the Maxwell and Kelvin-Voigt rheological models for a description of dynamic behavior of biopolymer materials. It was found that the rheological models of Maxwell-type do not work in the case of modeling of viscoelastic solids, and the model which significantly better describes the nature of changes in rheological properties of such media is the modified fractional Kelvin-Voigt model with two built-in springpots (MFKVM2). The proposed model was used to describe the experimental data from the oscillatory and creep tests of 3% (w/v) kuzu starch pastes, and to determine the values of their rheological parameters as a function of pasting time. These parameters provide a lot of additional information about structure and viscoelastic properties of the medium in comparison to the classical analysis of dynamic curves G' and G" and shear creep compliance J(t). It allowed for a comprehensive description of a wide range of properties of kuzu starch pastes, depending on the conditions of pasting process. PMID:26599756

  9. Mucin biopolymers prevent bacterial aggregation by retaining cells in the free-swimming state

    PubMed Central

    Caldara, Marina; Friedlander, Ronn S.; Kavanaugh, Nicole L.; Aizenberg, Joanna; Foster, Kevin R.; Ribbeck, Katharina

    2013-01-01

    Summary Many species of bacteria form surface-attached communities known as biofilms. Surrounded in secreted polymers, these aggregates are difficult to both prevent and eradicate, posing problems for medicine and industry [1, 2]. Humans play host to hundreds of trillions of microbes that live adjacent to our epithelia and we are typically able to prevent harmful colonization. Mucus, the hydrogel overlying all wet epithelia in the body, can prevent bacterial contact with the underlying tissue. The digestive tract, for example, is lined by a firmly adherent mucus layer that is typically devoid of bacteria, followed by a second, loosely adherent layer that contains numerous bacteria [3]. Here, we investigate mucus's role as a principle arena for host-microbe interactions. Using defined in vitro assays, we found that mucin biopolymers, the main functional constituents of mucus, promote the motility of planktonic bacteria, and prevent their adhesion to underlying surfaces. The deletion of motility genes, however, allows Pseudomonas aeruginosa to overcome the dispersive effects of mucus and form suspended antibiotic-resistant flocs, which mirror the clustered morphology of immotile natural isolates found in the cystic fibrosis lung mucus [4, 5]. Mucus may offer new strategies to target bacterial virulence, such as the design of anti-biofilm coatings for implants. PMID:23142047

  10. OXYGEN ABUNDANCES IN CEPHEIDS

    SciTech Connect

    Luck, R. E.; Andrievsky, S. M.; Korotin, S. N.; Kovtyukh, V. V. E-mail: serkor@skyline.od.ua E-mail: scan@deneb1.odessa.ua

    2013-07-01

    Oxygen abundances in later-type stars, and intermediate-mass stars in particular, are usually determined from the [O I] line at 630.0 nm, and to a lesser extent, from the O I triplet at 615.7 nm. The near-IR triplets at 777.4 nm and 844.6 nm are strong in these stars and generally do not suffer from severe blending with other species. However, these latter two triplets suffer from strong non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) effects and thus see limited use in abundance analyses. In this paper, we derive oxygen abundances in a large sample of Cepheids using the near-IR triplets from an NLTE analysis, and compare those abundances to values derived from a local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) analysis of the [O I] 630.0 nm line and the O I 615.7 nm triplet as well as LTE abundances for the 777.4 nm triplet. All of these lines suffer from line strength problems making them sensitive to either measurement complications (weak lines) or to line saturation difficulties (strong lines). Upon this realization, the LTE results for the [O I] lines and the O I 615.7 nm triplet are in adequate agreement with the abundance from the NLTE analysis of the near-IR triplets.

  11. Interstellar Abundance Standards Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sofia, Ulysses J.; Meyer, David M.

    2001-06-01

    We evaluate the stellar abundances often used to represent the total (gas plus dust) composition of the interstellar medium. Published abundances for B stars, young later type (F and G) stars, and the Sun are compared to the modeled dust-phase and measured gas-phase compositions of the interstellar medium. This study uses abundances for the five most populous elements in dust grains-C, O, Mg, Si, and Fe-and the cosmically abundant element, N. We find that B stars have metal abundances that are too low to be considered valid representations of the interstellar medium. The commonly invoked interstellar standard that is two-thirds of the solar composition is also rejected by recent observations. Young (<=2 Gyr) F and G disk stars and the Sun, however, cannot be ruled out as reliable proxies for the total interstellar composition. If their abundances are valid representations of the interstellar medium, then the apparent underabundance of carbon with respect to that required by dust models, i.e., the carbon crisis, is substantially eased.

  12. Dispersion of cellulose nanofibers in biopolymer based nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Bei

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

  13. Adsorption of protein-coated lipid droplets to mixed biopolymer hydrogel surfaces: role of biopolymer diffusion.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Maria; Weiss, Jochen; McClements, D Julian

    2007-12-18

    The adsorption of charged particles to hydrogel surfaces is important in a number of natural and industrial processes. In this study, the adsorption of cationic lipid droplets to the surfaces of anionic hydrogels was examined. An oil-in-water emulsion containing cationic beta-lactoglobulin-coated lipid droplets was prepared (d32=0.24 microm, zeta=+74 mV, pH 3.0). An anionic hydrogel containing 0.1 wt % beet pectin and 1.5 wt % agar (pH 3.0) was prepared. Emulsions containing different lipid droplet concentrations (0.3-5 wt %) were brought into contact with the hydrogel surfaces for different times (0-24 h). The adsorption of lipid droplets to the hydrogel surfaces could not be explained by a typical adsorption isotherm. We found that the electrical charge on the nonadsorbed lipid droplets became less positive or even became negative in the presence of the hydrogel and that extensive droplet aggregation occurred, which was attributed to the ability of pectin molecules to diffuse through the hydrogels and interact with the lipid droplets. These results may have important consequences for understanding certain industrial and biological processes, as well as for the design of controlled or triggered release systems.

  14. Anti-tumor Effects of Exo- and Endo-biopolymers Produced from Submerged Cultures of Three Different Mushrooms

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Yong-Tae; Yang, Byung-Keun; Li, Chun-ru

    2008-01-01

    The anti-tumor effects of exo- (EX) and endo-biopolymers (EN) produced from submerged mycelial cultures of Ganoderma applanatum (GA), Collybia confluens (CC), and Pleurotus eryngii (PE) were studied using Sarcoma 180 bearing mice. Solid tumor growth was inhibited most effectively when 40 mg/kg body weight (BW) of GA-EX or PE-EN was administered to the intraperitoneal (i.p.) cavity of BALB/c mice. The spleen and liver indexes were increased in mice following i.p. administration of GA-EX and PE-EN fractions. GA-EX and PE-EN reduced the tumor formation by 30.7% and 29.4%, respectively. GA-EX and PE-EN increased the natural killer (NK) cell activity of splenocytes by 41.3% and 28.9%, respectively. PMID:23990743

  15. Species Abundance Patterns in Complex Evolutionary Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokita, Kei

    2004-10-01

    An analytic theory of species abundance patterns (SAPs) in biological networks is presented. The theory is based on multispecies replicator dynamics equivalent to the Lotka-Volterra equation, with diverse interspecies interactions. Various SAPs observed in nature are derived from a single parameter. The abundance distribution is formed like a widely observed left-skewed lognormal distribution. As the model has a general form, the result can be applied to similar patterns in other complex biological networks, e.g., gene expression.

  16. Natural biopolimers in organic food packaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieczynska, Justyna; Cavoski, Ivana; Chami, Ziad Al; Mondelli, Donato; Di Donato, Paola; Di Terlizzi, Biagio

    2014-05-01

    Concerns on environmental and waste problems caused by use of non-biodegradable and non-renewable based plastic packaging have caused an increase interest in developing biodegradable packaging using renewable natural biopolymers. Recently, different types of biopolymers like starch, cellulose, chitosan, casein, whey protein, collagen, egg white, soybean protein, corn zein, gelatin and wheat gluten have attracted considerable attention as potential food packaging materials. Recyclable or biodegradable packaging material in organic processing standards is preferable where possible but specific principles of packaging are not precisely defined and standards have to be assessed. There is evidence that consumers of organic products have specific expectations not only with respect to quality characteristics of processed food but also in social and environmental aspects of food production. Growing consumer sophistication is leading to a proliferation in food eco-label like carbon footprint. Biopolymers based packaging for organic products can help to create a green industry. Moreover, biopolymers can be appropriate materials for the development of an active surfaces designed to deliver incorporated natural antimicrobials into environment surrounding packaged food. Active packaging is an innovative mode of packaging in which the product and the environment interact to prolong shelf life or enhance safety or sensory properties, while maintaining the quality of the product. The work will discuss the various techniques that have been used for development of an active antimicrobial biodegradable packaging materials focusing on a recent findings in research studies. With the current focus on exploring a new generation of biopolymer-based food packaging materials with possible applications in organic food packaging. Keywords: organic food, active packaging, biopolymers , green technology

  17. Economic assessment of flash co-pyrolysis of short rotation coppice and biopolymer waste streams.

    PubMed

    Kuppens, T; Cornelissen, T; Carleer, R; Yperman, J; Schreurs, S; Jans, M; Thewys, T

    2010-12-01

    The disposal problem associated with phytoextraction of farmland polluted with heavy metals by means of willow requires a biomass conversion technique which meets both ecological and economical needs. Combustion and gasification of willow require special and costly flue gas treatment to avoid re-emission of the metals in the atmosphere, whereas flash pyrolysis mainly results in the production of (almost) metal free bio-oil with a relatively high water content. Flash co-pyrolysis of biomass and waste of biopolymers synergistically improves the characteristics of the pyrolysis process: e.g. reduction of the water content of the bio-oil, more bio-oil and less char production and an increase of the HHV of the oil. This research paper investigates the economic consequences of the synergistic effects of flash co-pyrolysis of 1:1 w/w ratio blends of willow and different biopolymer waste streams via cost-benefit analysis and Monte Carlo simulations taking into account uncertainties. In all cases economic opportunities of flash co-pyrolysis of biomass with biopolymer waste are improved compared to flash pyrolysis of pure willow. Of all the biopolymers under investigation, polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is the most promising, followed by Eastar, Biopearls, potato starch, polylactic acid (PLA), corn starch and Solanyl in order of decreasing profits. Taking into account uncertainties, flash co-pyrolysis is expected to be cheaper than composting biopolymer waste streams, except for corn starch. If uncertainty increases, composting also becomes more interesting than flash co-pyrolysis for waste of Solanyl. If the investment expenditure is 15% higher in practice than estimated, the preference for flash co-pyrolysis compared to composting biopolymer waste becomes less clear. Only when the system of green current certificates is dismissed, composting clearly is a much cheaper processing technique for disposing of biopolymer waste. PMID:20724061

  18. Economic assessment of flash co-pyrolysis of short rotation coppice and biopolymer waste streams.

    PubMed

    Kuppens, T; Cornelissen, T; Carleer, R; Yperman, J; Schreurs, S; Jans, M; Thewys, T

    2010-12-01

    The disposal problem associated with phytoextraction of farmland polluted with heavy metals by means of willow requires a biomass conversion technique which meets both ecological and economical needs. Combustion and gasification of willow require special and costly flue gas treatment to avoid re-emission of the metals in the atmosphere, whereas flash pyrolysis mainly results in the production of (almost) metal free bio-oil with a relatively high water content. Flash co-pyrolysis of biomass and waste of biopolymers synergistically improves the characteristics of the pyrolysis process: e.g. reduction of the water content of the bio-oil, more bio-oil and less char production and an increase of the HHV of the oil. This research paper investigates the economic consequences of the synergistic effects of flash co-pyrolysis of 1:1 w/w ratio blends of willow and different biopolymer waste streams via cost-benefit analysis and Monte Carlo simulations taking into account uncertainties. In all cases economic opportunities of flash co-pyrolysis of biomass with biopolymer waste are improved compared to flash pyrolysis of pure willow. Of all the biopolymers under investigation, polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is the most promising, followed by Eastar, Biopearls, potato starch, polylactic acid (PLA), corn starch and Solanyl in order of decreasing profits. Taking into account uncertainties, flash co-pyrolysis is expected to be cheaper than composting biopolymer waste streams, except for corn starch. If uncertainty increases, composting also becomes more interesting than flash co-pyrolysis for waste of Solanyl. If the investment expenditure is 15% higher in practice than estimated, the preference for flash co-pyrolysis compared to composting biopolymer waste becomes less clear. Only when the system of green current certificates is dismissed, composting clearly is a much cheaper processing technique for disposing of biopolymer waste.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  20. Dynamic light scattering of xanthan gum biopolymer in colloidal dispersion.

    PubMed

    Rahdar, Abbas; Almasi-Kashi, Mohammad

    2016-09-01

    The dynamical properties of nanogels of xanthan gum (XG) with hydrodynamic radius controlled in a size range from 5 nm to 35 nm, were studied at the different XG concentrations in water/sodium bis-2-ethylhexyl-sulfosuccinate (AOT)/decane reverse micelles (RMs) vs. mass fraction of nano-droplet (MFD) at W = 40, using dynamic light scattering (DLS). The diffusion study of nanometer-sized droplets by DLS technique indicated that enhancing concentration of the XG polysaccharide resulted in exchanging the attractive interaction between nano-gels to repulsive interaction, as the mass fraction of nano-droplets increased. The reorientation time (τr ) of water nanodroplets decreased with MFD for water-in-oil AOT micro-emulsion comprising high concentration (0.0000625) of XG. On the other hand, decreasing concentration of biopolymer led to increasing the rotational correlation time of water nanodroplets with MFD. In conclusion, a single relaxation curve was observed for AOT inverse microemulsions containing different XG concentrations. Furthermore, the interaction between nanogels was changed from attractive to repulsive versus concentration of XG in the AOT RMs. PMID:27489730

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  2. Submicro foaming in biopolymers by UV pulsed laser irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-05-01

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

  3. Heatless synthesis of well dispersible Au nanoparticles using pectin biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Hanan B; Zahran, M K; Emam, Hossam E

    2016-10-01

    Due to its potency to utilize in enormous applications, preparation of nanogold is of interest. Moreover, getting of highly dispersed nanogold with small size is extremely needful in specific fields. Herein, Au nanocolloid was prepared using alkali catalyzed pectin biopolymer. Pectin was concurrently used as reductant for Au ions and stabilizer for the produced Au nanoparticles (AuNPs). Reducing sugars were evaluated in the colloidal solution reflecting the role alkali in catalytic degradation of pectin to produce much powerful reducing moieties. The obtained Au nanocolloid was monitored via changing in color, UV-visible spectral and transmission electron microscopy. Using of NaOH as strong alkali achieving rapid rate of degradation reaction, resulted in 0.45g/L reducing sugars from 0.2g/L pectin which produced AuNPs with mean size of 6.5nm. In case of Na2CO3 which attained slow degradation rate led to, slightly low reducing sugar content (0.41g/L), fabricated comparatively size of AuNPs (7.5nm). In both cases, well distributed AuNPs was obtained with suitable stabilization up to 5 months and Na2CO3 exhibited higher stability. The current successful method used to produce small sized AuNPs with high dispersion is an innovative, one-step, easily, costless, energy saving and eco-friendly method.

  4. Structural damages of maxillofacial biopolymers under solar aging.

    PubMed

    Eleni, P N; Krokida, M K; Frangou, M J; Polyzois, G L; Maroulis, Z B; Marinos-Kouris, D

    2007-09-01

    Additional types of silicone biopolymers are widely used in maxillofacial prosthetics. Therefore, the knowledge of the solar radiation's effect on their structural stability is highly important. Four different industrially synthesized biomaterials were examined, called Episil Europe 1, Europe 2, Europe 3 and Africa 3, which were exposed to solar radiation (UVA, UVB) for eight different time periods (from 8 to 168 h). Structural damages due to irradiation exposure were investigated by mechanical tests (compression) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) methods. Simple mathematical models were developed, containing parameters with physical meaning such as maximum stress (sigma(max)), maximum strain (epsilon), elasticity parameter (E), and viscoelastic parameter (p), for the compression test, and melting temperature (T (m)) and Enthalpy in melting point (Heat) for DSC. With increasing irradiation time their maximum stress and strain decreased significantly, and the materials lost their elasticity and molecular stability. A decrement in their melting points and heats was observed as irradiation time was increasing. Finally, experimental results demonstrated that solar radiation has a severe effect on the structural stability of the examined biomaterials.

  5. New Guar Biopolymer Silver Nanocomposites for Wound Healing Applications

    PubMed Central

    Abdullah, Md Farooque; Das, Suvadra; Roy, Partha; Datta, Sriparna; Mukherjee, Arup

    2013-01-01

    Wound healing is an innate physiological response that helps restore cellular and anatomic continuity of a tissue. Selective biodegradable and biocompatible polymer materials have provided useful scaffolds for wound healing and assisted cellular messaging. In the present study, guar gum, a polymeric galactomannan, was intrinsically modified to a new cationic biopolymer guar gum alkylamine (GGAA) for wound healing applications. Biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles (Agnp) were further impregnated in GGAA for extended evaluations in punch wound models in rodents. SEM studies showed silver nanoparticles well dispersed in the new guar matrix with a particle size of ~18 nm. In wound healing experiments, faster healing and improved cosmetic appearance were observed in the new nanobiomaterial treated group compared to commercially available silver alginate cream. The total protein, DNA, and hydroxyproline contents of the wound tissues were also significantly higher in the treated group as compared with the silver alginate cream (P < 0.05). Silver nanoparticles exerted positive effects because of their antimicrobial properties. The nanobiomaterial was observed to promote wound closure by inducing proliferation and migration of the keratinocytes at the wound site. The derivatized guar gum matrix additionally provided a hydrated surface necessary for cell proliferation. PMID:24175306

  6. Heatless synthesis of well dispersible Au nanoparticles using pectin biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Hanan B; Zahran, M K; Emam, Hossam E

    2016-10-01

    Due to its potency to utilize in enormous applications, preparation of nanogold is of interest. Moreover, getting of highly dispersed nanogold with small size is extremely needful in specific fields. Herein, Au nanocolloid was prepared using alkali catalyzed pectin biopolymer. Pectin was concurrently used as reductant for Au ions and stabilizer for the produced Au nanoparticles (AuNPs). Reducing sugars were evaluated in the colloidal solution reflecting the role alkali in catalytic degradation of pectin to produce much powerful reducing moieties. The obtained Au nanocolloid was monitored via changing in color, UV-visible spectral and transmission electron microscopy. Using of NaOH as strong alkali achieving rapid rate of degradation reaction, resulted in 0.45g/L reducing sugars from 0.2g/L pectin which produced AuNPs with mean size of 6.5nm. In case of Na2CO3 which attained slow degradation rate led to, slightly low reducing sugar content (0.41g/L), fabricated comparatively size of AuNPs (7.5nm). In both cases, well distributed AuNPs was obtained with suitable stabilization up to 5 months and Na2CO3 exhibited higher stability. The current successful method used to produce small sized AuNPs with high dispersion is an innovative, one-step, easily, costless, energy saving and eco-friendly method. PMID:27212212

  7. Injectable biopolymer based hydrogels for drug delivery applications.

    PubMed

    Atta, Sadia; Khaliq, Shaista; Islam, Atif; Javeria, Irtaza; Jamil, Tahir; Athar, Muhammad Makshoof; Shafiq, Muhammad Imtiaz; Ghaffar, Abdul

    2015-09-01

    Biopolymer based pH-sensitive hydrogels were prepared using chitosan (CS) with polyethylene glycol (PEG) of different molecular weights in the presence of silane crosslinker. The incorporated components remain undissolved in different swelling media as they are connected by siloxane linkage which was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The swelling in water was enhanced by the addition of higher molecular weight PEG. The swelling behaviour of the hydrogels against pH showed high swelling in acidic and basic pH, whereas, low swelling was examined at pH 6 and 7. This characteristic pH responsive behaviour at neutral pH made them suitable for injectable controlled drug delivery. The controlled release analysis of Cefixime (CFX) (model drug) loaded CS/PEG hydrogel exhibited that the entire drug was released in 30 min in simulated gastric fluid (SGF) while in simulated intestinal fluid (SIF), 85% of drug was released in controlled manner within 80 min. This inferred that the developed hydrogels can be an attractive biomaterial for injectable drug delivery with physiological pH and other biomedical applications.

  8. Elasticity of cross-linked semiflexible biopolymers under tension.

    PubMed

    von der Heydt, Alice; Wilkin, Daniel; Benetatos, Panayotis; Zippelius, Annette

    2013-09-01

    Aiming at the mechanical properties of cross-linked biopolymers, we set up and analyze a model of two weakly bending wormlike chains subjected to a tensile force, with regularly spaced inter-chain bonds (cross-links) represented by harmonic springs. Within this model, we compute the force-extension curve and the differential stiffness exactly and discuss several limiting cases. Cross-links effectively stiffen the chain pair by reducing thermal fluctuations transverse to the force and alignment direction. The extra alignment due to cross-links increases both with growing number and with growing strength of the cross-links, and is most prominent for small force f. For large f, the additional, cross-link-induced extension is subdominant except for the case of linking the chains rigidly and continuously along their contour. In this combined limit, we recover asymptotically the elasticity of a weakly bending wormlike chain without constraints, stiffened by a factor of 4. The increase in differential stiffness can be as large as 100% for small f or large numbers of cross-links.

  9. Histopathology of the three implanted degradable biopolymers in rabbit eye.

    PubMed

    Rönkkö, Seppo; Rekonen, Petri; Sihvola, Roope; Kaarniranta, Kai; Puustjärvi, Tuomo; Teräsvirta, Markku; Uusitalo, Hannu

    2009-03-01

    New straightforward applications of new biopolymers are needed in glaucoma surgery. The aim of this study was to compare biocompatibility of three biomaterials in rabbit eyes after deep sclerectomy; a collagen implant (AquaFlow) represented the "gold standard". A blend of 85:15 poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide) and 70:30 poly(L-lactide-co-1,3-trimethylene carbonate) copolymers in a molar ratio of 70:30 (Bio-1 = Inion GTR membrane) and poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide with molar compositions of 50:50 (Bio-2) and 85:15 (Bio-3) were inserted into rabbits eyes. Bio-1, Bio-2 or Bio-3 caused very mild eye irritation or tissue response which was comparable to that of the collagen implant. The biodegradation time of Bio-1, Bio-2, and Bio-3 implants was over one year, 3 months and 6 months, respectively. Implant mapping by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microscopy revealed a heterogeneous distribution of degradation products throughout Bio-1, Bio-2, and Bio-3. All implants were surrounded by a very fine tissue capsule which was not visible after total degradation of the implants. The FTIR spectrum of tissue capsule around Bio-1 was almost identical to that around Bio-2 whereas significant differences were observed in the spectrum of the tissue capsule around Bio-3. Despite some differences in tissue response, all tested implants represent biologically acceptable materials for drainage devices in glaucoma surgery. PMID:18335536

  10. Advanced textile materials and biopolymers in wound management.

    PubMed

    Petrulyte, Salvinija

    2008-02-01

    New generation medical textiles are an important growing field with great expansion in wound management products. Virtually new products are coming but also well known materials with significantly improved properties using advanced technologies and new methods are in the centre of research which are highly technical, technological, functional, and effective oriented. The key qualities of fibres and dressings as wound care products include that they are bacteriostatic, anti-viral, fungistatic, non-toxic, high absorbent, non-allergic, breathable, haemostatic, biocompatible, and manipulatable to incorporate medications, also provide reasonable mechanical properties. Many advantages over traditional materials have products modified or blended with also based on alginate, chitin/chitosan, collagen, branan ferulate, carbon fibres. Textile structures used for modern wound dressings are of large variety: sliver, yarn, woven, non-woven, knitted, crochet, braided, embroidered, composite materials. Wound care also applies to materials like hydrogels, matrix (tissue engineering), films, hydrocolloids, foams. Specialized additives with special functions can be introduced in advanced wound dressings with the aim to absorb odours, provide strong antibacterial properties, smooth pain and relieve irritation. Because of unique properties as high surface area to volume ratio, film thinness, nano scale fibre diameter, porosity, light weight, nanofibres are used in wound care. The aim of this study is to outline and review the latest developments and advance in medical textiles and biopolymers for wound management providing the overview with generalized scope about novelties in products and properties.

  11. Probe diffusion in phase-separated bicontinuous biopolymer gels.

    PubMed

    Wassén, Sophia; Bordes, Romain; Gebäck, Tobias; Bernin, Diana; Schuster, Erich; Lorén, Niklas; Hermansson, Anne-Marie

    2014-11-01

    Probe diffusion was determined in phase separated bicontinuous gels prepared by acid-induced gelation of the whey protein isolate-gellan gum system. The topological characterization of the phase-separated gel systems is achieved by confocal microscopy and the diffusion measurements are performed using pulsed field gradient (PFG) NMR and fluorescence recovery after photo-bleaching (FRAP). These two techniques gave complementary information about the mass transport at different time- and length scales, PFG NMR provided global diffusion rates in the gel systems, while FRAP enabled the measurements of diffusion in different phases of the phase-separated gels. The results revealed that the phase-separated gel with the largest characteristic wavelength had the fastest diffusion coefficient, while the gel with smaller microstructures had a slower probe diffusion rate. By using the diffusion data obtained by FRAP and the structural data from confocal microscopy, modelling through the lattice-Boltzmann framework was carried out to simulate the global diffusion and verify the validity of the experimental measurements. With this approach it was found that discrepancies between the two experimental techniques can be rationalized in terms of probe distribution between the different phases of the system. The combination of different techniques allowed the determination of diffusion in a phase-separated biopolymer gel and gave a clearer picture of this complex system. We also illustrate the difficulties that can arise if precautions are not taken to understand the system-probe interactions.

  12. Optimization of Analytical Potentials for Coarse-Grained Biopolymer Models.

    PubMed

    Mereghetti, Paolo; Maccari, Giuseppe; Spampinato, Giulia Lia Beatrice; Tozzini, Valentina

    2016-08-25

    The increasing trend in the recent literature on coarse grained (CG) models testifies their impact in the study of complex systems. However, the CG model landscape is variegated: even considering a given resolution level, the force fields are very heterogeneous and optimized with very different parametrization procedures. Along the road for standardization of CG models for biopolymers, here we describe a strategy to aid building and optimization of statistics based analytical force fields and its implementation in the software package AsParaGS (Assisted Parameterization platform for coarse Grained modelS). Our method is based on the use and optimization of analytical potentials, optimized by targeting internal variables statistical distributions by means of the combination of different algorithms (i.e., relative entropy driven stochastic exploration of the parameter space and iterative Boltzmann inversion). This allows designing a custom model that endows the force field terms with a physically sound meaning. Furthermore, the level of transferability and accuracy can be tuned through the choice of statistical data set composition. The method-illustrated by means of applications to helical polypeptides-also involves the analysis of two and three variable distributions, and allows handling issues related to the FF term correlations. AsParaGS is interfaced with general-purpose molecular dynamics codes and currently implements the "minimalist" subclass of CG models (i.e., one bead per amino acid, Cα based). Extensions to nucleic acids and different levels of coarse graining are in the course. PMID:27150459

  13. Processing parameters matching effects upon Rhizobium tropici biopolymers' rheological properties.

    PubMed

    Pimenta, Flávia Duta; Lopes, Léa Maria de Almeida; de França, Francisca Pessôa

    2008-07-01

    The combined effects of the processing parameters upon rheological properties of biopolymers produced by Rhizobium tropici were studied as a function of the Ca(+2) ions' concentration variation, yeast extract concentration added to the medium, aeration, and agitation, maintaining the mannitol concentration in 10 g/L. The experiments were carried out using a fermenter with 20-L capacity as a reactor. All processing parameters were monitored online. The temperature [(30 +/- 1) degrees C] and pH values (7.0) were kept constant throughout the experimental time. As a statistical tool, a complete 2(3) factorial design with central point and response surface was used to investigate the interactions between relevant variables of the fermentation process: calcium carbonate concentration, yeast extract concentration, aeration, and agitation. The processing parameter setup for reaching the maximum response for rheological propriety production was obtained when applying mannitol concentration of 10.0 g/L, calcium carbonate concentration 1.0 g/L, yeast extract concentration 1.0 g/L, aeration 1.30 vvm, and agitation 800 rpm. The viscosimetric investigation of polysaccharide solutions exposed their shear-thinning behavior and polyelectrolytic feature.

  14. Processing parameters matching effects upon Rhizobium tropici biopolymers' rheological properties.

    PubMed

    Pimenta, Flávia Duta; Lopes, Léa Maria de Almeida; de França, Francisca Pessôa

    2008-07-01

    The combined effects of the processing parameters upon rheological properties of biopolymers produced by Rhizobium tropici were studied as a function of the Ca(+2) ions' concentration variation, yeast extract concentration added to the medium, aeration, and agitation, maintaining the mannitol concentration in 10 g/L. The experiments were carried out using a fermenter with 20-L capacity as a reactor. All processing parameters were monitored online. The temperature [(30 +/- 1) degrees C] and pH values (7.0) were kept constant throughout the experimental time. As a statistical tool, a complete 2(3) factorial design with central point and response surface was used to investigate the interactions between relevant variables of the fermentation process: calcium carbonate concentration, yeast extract concentration, aeration, and agitation. The processing parameter setup for reaching the maximum response for rheological propriety production was obtained when applying mannitol concentration of 10.0 g/L, calcium carbonate concentration 1.0 g/L, yeast extract concentration 1.0 g/L, aeration 1.30 vvm, and agitation 800 rpm. The viscosimetric investigation of polysaccharide solutions exposed their shear-thinning behavior and polyelectrolytic feature. PMID:18437296

  15. Phase Segregation in Individually Dried Particles Composed of Biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Nuzzo, Marine; Sloth, Jakob; Bergenstahl, Björn; Millqvist-Fureby, Anna

    2015-10-13

    Mixing of two biopolymers can results in phase separation due to their thermodynamically incompatibility under certain conditions. This phenomenon was first reported when the solution was allowed to equilibrate, but it has later been observed also as a consequence of drying. The challenges of this study were to observe phase segregation by confocal Raman microscopy and LV-SEM on dried film, individually dried particles, and spray dried particles. The influence of the solid content and the phase ratio (composition) of a HPMC/maltodextrin mixture on the localization of the ingredients in the individually dried particles was investigated. We observed that phase segregation of HPMC and maltodextrin is induced by solvent evaporation in film drying, single particle drying, as well as spray drying. The phase ratio is an important parameter that influences the localization of the HPMC-enriched phase and maltodextrin-enriched phase, i.e., to the particle surface, to the core, or in a more or less bicontinuous pattern. The drying time, affected by the solids content, was found to control the level of advancement of the phase segregation.

  16. The effect of drought and interspecific interactions on the depth of water uptake in deep- and shallow-rooting grassland species as determined by δ18O natural abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoekstra, N. J.; Finn, J. A.; Lüscher, A.

    2014-03-01

    Increased incidence of weather drought, as predicted under climate change, has the potential to negatively affect grassland production. Compared to monocultures, vertical belowground niche complementarity between shallow- and deep-rooting species may be an important mechanism resulting in higher yields and higher resistance to drought in grassland mixtures. However, very little is known about the belowground responses in grassland systems and increased insight into these processes may yield important information both to predict the effect of future climate change and better design agricultural systems to cope with this. This study assessed the effect of a 10-week experimental summer drought on the depth of water uptake of two shallow-rooting species (Lolium perenne L. and Trifolium repens L.) and two deep-rooting species (Chicorium intybus L. and Trifolium pratense L.) in grassland monocultures and four-species-mixtures by using the natural abundance δ18O isotope method. We tested the following hypotheses: (1) drought results in a shift of water uptake to deeper soil layers, (2) deep-rooting species take up a higher proportion of water from deeper soil layers relative to shallow-rooting species, (3) as a result of interspecific interactions in mixtures, the water uptake of shallow-rooting species become shallower when grown together with deep-rooting species and vice versa, resulting in reduced niche overlap. The natural abundance δ18O technique provided novel insights into the depth of water uptake of deep- and shallow- rooting grassland species and revealed large shifts in response to drought and interspecific interactions. Compared to control conditions, drought reduced the proportional water uptake from 0-10 cm soil depth (PCWU0-10) of L. perenne, T. repens and C. intybus in monocultures by on average 54%. In contrast, the PCWU0-10 of T. pratense in monoculture increased by 44%, and only when grown in mixture did the PCWU0-10 of T. pratense decrease under

  17. Abundance estimation and conservation biology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; MacKenzie, D.I.

    2004-01-01

    Abundance is the state variable of interest in most population–level ecological research and in most programs involving management and conservation of animal populations. Abundance is the single parameter of interest in capture–recapture models for closed populations (e.g., Darroch, 1958; Otis et al., 1978; Chao, 2001). The initial capture–recapture models developed for partially (Darroch, 1959) and completely (Jolly, 1965; Seber, 1965) open populations represented efforts to relax the restrictive assumption of population closure for the purpose of estimating abundance. Subsequent emphases in capture–recapture work were on survival rate estimation in the 1970’s and 1980’s (e.g., Burnham et al., 1987; Lebreton et al.,1992), and on movement estimation in the 1990’s (Brownie et al., 1993; Schwarz et al., 1993). However, from the mid–1990’s until the present time, capture–recapture investigators have expressed a renewed interest in abundance and related parameters (Pradel, 1996; Schwarz & Arnason, 1996; Schwarz, 2001). The focus of this session was abundance, and presentations covered topics ranging from estimation of abundance and rate of change in abundance, to inferences about the demographic processes underlying changes in abundance, to occupancy as a surrogate of abundance. The plenary paper by Link & Barker (2004) is provocative and very interesting, and it contains a number of important messages and suggestions. Link & Barker (2004) emphasize that the increasing complexity of capture–recapture models has resulted in large numbers of parameters and that a challenge to ecologists is to extract ecological signals from this complexity. They offer hierarchical models as a natural approach to inference in which traditional parameters are viewed as realizations of stochastic processes. These processes are governed by hyperparameters, and the inferential approach focuses on these hyperparameters. Link & Barker (2004) also suggest that our attention

  18. Microbial Flocculant for Nature Soda

    SciTech Connect

    Qin, Peiyong; Zhang, Tong; Chen, Cuixian

    2004-03-31

    Microbial flocculant for nature soda has been studied. Lactobacillus TRJ21, which was able to produce an excellent biopolymer flocculant for nature soda, was obtained in our lab. The microbial flocculant was mainly produced when the bacteria laid in stationary growth phase. Fructose or glucose, as carbon sources, were more favorable for the bacterial growth and flocculant production. The bacteria was able to use ammonium sulfate or Urea as nitrogen to produce flocculant, but was not able to use peptone effectively. High C/N ratio was more favorable to Lactobacillus TRJ21 growth and flocculant production than low C/N ratio. The biopolymer flocculant was mainly composed of polysaccharide and protein with a molecular weight 1.38x106 by gel permeation chromatography. It was able to be easily purified from the culture medium by acetone. Protein in the flocculant was tested for the flocculating activity ingredient by heating the flocculant.

  19. Solar abundance of platinum

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Harry; Aller, Lawrence H.

    1975-01-01

    Three lines of neutral platinum, located at λ 2997.98 Å, λ 3064.71 Å, and λ 3301.86 Å have been used to determine the solar platinum abundance by the method of spectral synthesis. On the scale, log A(H) = 12.00, the thus-derived solar platinum abundance is 1.75 ± 0.10, in fair accord with Cameron's value of log A(Pt) = 1.69 derived by Mason from carbonaceous chondrites and calculated on the assumption that log A(Si) = 7.55 in the sun. PMID:16592278

  20. Interactions between Chitosan and Alginate Dialdehyde Biopolymers and Their Layer-by-Layer Assemblies.

    PubMed

    Aston, Robyn; Wimalaratne, Medini; Brock, Aidan; Lawrie, Gwendolyn; Grøndahl, Lisbeth

    2015-06-01

    Biopolymers are researched extensively for their applications in biomaterials science and drug delivery including structures and complexes of more than one polymer. Chemical characterization of complexes formed between chitosan (CHI) and alginate dialdehyde (ADA) biopolymers established that while electrostatic interactions dominate (as determined from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)) covalent cross-linking between these biopolymers also contribute to their stability (evidenced from immersion in salt solution). It was furthermore found that imine bond formation could not be directly detected by any of the techniques XPS, FTIR, (1)H NMR, or fluorescence. The layer-by-layer assemblies of the biopolymers formed on silica colloids, glass slides, and alginate hydrogel beads were evaluated using XPS, as well as zeta potential measurements for the silica colloids and changes to hydration properties for the hydrogels. It was found that the degree of oxidation of ADA affected the LbL assemblies in terms of a greater degree of CHI penetration observed when using the more conformationally flexible biopolymer ADA (higher degree of oxidation).

  1. Influence of different treatment condition on biopolymer yield production for coagulation-flocculation process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aisyah, I. S.; Murshed, M. F.; Norli, I.

    2016-06-01

    Two different agro wastes (banana pseudostem and rice straw) were utilized in order to extract biopolymer (pectin) known as coagulant aid in water and wastewater treatment. Factors such as pH, temperature and time were chosen due to the critical role in hot acid extraction process. The yield of biopolymer extraction from banana pseudostem was found to be higher at 28% meanwhile only 18% from rice straw was manage to produce from the dry weight 10 g, respectively. It was found that extraction temperature and extraction time were the most important factors influencing the biopolymer yield which increased with temperature and time or decreasing pH. Based on two level factorial design, the same condition of pH 1.5, temperature 90 oC and 4 hours extraction time can produce high amount of extracted biopolymer. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to detect the existence of functional group which helps in the coagulation-flocculation process. Result indicates a similar functional group of biopolymer were detected for both difference agro wastes.

  2. Does the ligand-biopolymer equilibrium binding constant depend on the number of bound ligands?

    PubMed

    Beshnova, Daria A; Lantushenko, Anastasia O; Evstigneev, Maxim P

    2010-11-01

    Conventional methods, such as Scatchard or McGhee-von Hippel analyses, used to treat ligand-biopolymer interactions, indirectly make the assumption that the microscopic binding constant is independent of the number of ligands, i, already bound to the biopolymer. Recent results on the aggregation of aromatic molecules (Beshnova et al., J Chem Phys 2009, 130, 165105) indicated that the equilibrium constant of self-association depends intrinsically on the number of molecules in an aggregate due to loss of translational and rotational degrees of freedom on formation of the complex. The influence of these factors on the equilibrium binding constant for ligand-biopolymer complexation was analyzed in this work. It was shown that under the conditions of binding of "small" molecules, these factors can effectively be ignored and, hence, do not provide any hidden systematic error in such widely-used approaches, such as the Scatchard or McGhee-von Hippel methods for analyzing ligand-biopolymer complexation. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 93: 932-935, 2010.

  3. Spectral Analysis Methods for the Robust Measurement of the Flexural Rigidity of Biopolymers

    PubMed Central

    Valdman, David; Atzberger, Paul J.; Yu, Dezhi; Kuei, Steve; Valentine, Megan T.

    2012-01-01

    The mechanical properties of biopolymers can be determined from a statistical analysis of the ensemble of shapes they exhibit when subjected to thermal forces. In practice, extracting information from fluorescence microscopy images can be challenging due to low signal/noise ratios and other artifacts. To address these issues, we develop a suite of tools for image processing and spectral data analysis that is based on a biopolymer contour representation expressed in a spectral basis of orthogonal polynomials. We determine biopolymer shape and stiffness using global fitting routines that optimize a utility function measuring the amount of fluorescence intensity overlapped by such contours. This approach allows for filtering of high-frequency noise and interpolation over sporadic gaps in fluorescence. We use benchmarking to demonstrate the validity of our methods, by analyzing an ensemble of simulated images generated using a simulated biopolymer with known stiffness and subjected to various types of image noise. We then use these methods to determine the persistence lengths of taxol-stabilized microtubules. We find that single microtubules are well described by the wormlike chain polymer model, and that ensembles of chemically identical microtubules show significant heterogeneity in bending stiffness, which cannot be attributed to sampling or fitting errors. We expect these approaches to be useful in the study of biopolymer mechanics and the effects of associated regulatory molecules. PMID:22404937

  4. Abundances of light elements.

    PubMed Central

    Pagel, B E

    1993-01-01

    Recent developments in the study of abundances of light elements and their relevance to cosmological nucleosynthesis are briefly reviewed. The simplest model, based on standard cosmology and particle physics and assuming homogeneous baryon density at the relevant times, continues to stand up well. PMID:11607388

  5. pH induced contrast in viscoelasticity imaging of biopolymers

    PubMed Central

    Yapp, R D; Insana, M F

    2009-01-01

    Understanding contrast mechanisms and identifying discriminating features is at the heart of diagnostic imaging development. This report focuses on how pH influences the viscoelastic properties of biopolymers to better understand the effects of extracellular pH on breast tumour elasticity imaging. Extracellular pH is known to decrease as much as 1 pH unit in breast tumours, thus creating a dangerous environment that increases cellular mutatation rates and therapeutic resistance. We used a gelatin hydrogel phantom to isolate the effects of pH on a polymer network with similarities to the extracellular matrix in breast stroma. Using compressive unconfined creep and stress relaxation measurements, we systematically measured the viscoelastic features sensitive to pH by way of time domain models and complex modulus analysis. These results are used to determine the sensitivity of quasi-static ultrasonic elasticity imaging to pH. We found a strong elastic response of the polymer network to pH, such that the matrix stiffness decreases as pH was reduced, however the viscous response of the medium to pH was negligible. While physiological features of breast stroma such as proteoglycans and vascular networks are not included in our hydrogel model, observations in this study provide insight into viscoelastic features specific to pH changes in the collagenous stromal network. These observations suggest that the large contrast common in breast tumours with desmoplasia may be reduced under acidic conditions, and that viscoelastic features are unlikely to improve discriminability. PMID:19174599

  6. Carbohydrate Biopolymers Enhance Antibody Responses to Mucosally Delivered Vaccine Antigens

    PubMed Central

    Bacon, A.; Makin, J.; Sizer, P. J.; Jabbal-Gill, I.; Hinchcliffe, M.; Illum, L.; Chatfield, S.; Roberts, M.

    2000-01-01

    We have evaluated the ability of two carbohydrate biopolymers, chitosan and gellan, to enhance antibody responses to subunit influenza virus vaccines delivered to the respiratory tracts of mice. Groups of mice were vaccinated three times intranasally (i.n.) with 10 μg of purified influenza B/Panama virus surface antigens (PSAs), which consist of hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), either alone or admixed with chitosan or gellan solutions. Separate groups were vaccinated subcutaneously (s.c.) with PSAs adsorbed to Alhydrogel or chitosan or gellan alone i.n. Serum antibody responses were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for influenza virus-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and by HA inhibition (HAI) and NA inhibition (NAI) assays. The local respiratory immune response was measured by assaying for influenza virus-specific IgA antibody in nasal secretions and by enumerating nasal and pulmonary lymphocytes secreting IgA, IgG, and IgM anti-influenza virus-specific antibodies by enzyme-linked immunospotting (ELISPOT). When administered alone i.n., B/Panama PSA was poorly immunogenic. Parenteral immunization with B/Panama PSA with Alhydrogel elicited high titers of anti-B/Panama antibodies in serum but a very poor respiratory anti-B/Panama IgA response. In contrast, i.n. immunization with PSA plus chitosan stimulated very strong local and systemic anti-B/Panama responses. Gellan also enhanced the local and serum antibody responses to i.n. PSA but not to the same extent as chitosan. The ability of chitosan to augment the immunogenicity of influenza vaccines given i.n. was confirmed using PSA prepared from an influenza A virus (A/Texas H1N1). PMID:10992483

  7. Molecular field theory of reversible unfolding of biopolymers

    PubMed Central

    Cerf, Roger

    1978-01-01

    A simple and general model of reversible conformational changes in biopolymers that lends itself to accounting for cooperativity without resort to a detailed description of the elementary steps is presented. It is suggested that the model permits the description of transitions in specific instances in which long-range effects are present and no simplifying feature allows for a more detailed theory in a straightforward way. The proposed phenomenological approach is based on the concept of molecular field which led to the first theory of ferromagnetism. Equations are given for the temperature dependence of optical properties and of the specific heat, from which the cooperativity parameter introduced by the theory can be obtained when the reaction enthalpy of the elementary step or the number of concerted elements is known. In the limit of a strong molecular field, heterogeneity in composition of a melting sequence does not affect the sharpness of the corresponding transition. Accounting for long-range effects allows for all-or-none transitions that are sharper than those derived from the two-state model. The feasibility of applying the molecular field concept is illustrated by comparing the results for poly(A)·2 poly(U) triple helices (which exhibit hysteresis) and those for poly(A)·poly(U) double helices (which separate reversibly). Tertiary structure is considered, among the sources of cooperativity that possibly may be represented in terms of a molecular field. On the basis of recent results for tRNA1val, it is suggested that the proposed approach may be applicable, in particular, to transfer ribonucleic acids. PMID:275844

  8. Novel eukaryotic enzymes modifying cell-surface biopolymers

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Eukaryotic extracellular matrices such as proteoglycans, sclerotinized structures, mucus, external tests, capsules, cell walls and waxes contain highly modified proteins, glycans and other composite biopolymers. Using comparative genomics and sequence profile analysis we identify several novel enzymes that could be potentially involved in the modification of cell-surface glycans or glycoproteins. Results Using sequence analysis and conservation we define the acyltransferase domain prototyped by the fungal Cas1p proteins, identify its active site residues and unify them to the superfamily of classical 10TM acyltransferases (e.g. oatA). We also identify a novel family of esterases (prototyped by the previously uncharacterized N-terminal domain of Cas1p) that have a similar fold as the SGNH/GDSL esterases but differ from them in their conservation pattern. Conclusions We posit that the combined action of the acyltransferase and esterase domain plays an important role in controlling the acylation levels of glycans and thereby regulates their physico-chemical properties such as hygroscopicity, resistance to enzymatic hydrolysis and physical strength. We present evidence that the action of these novel enzymes on glycans might play an important role in host-pathogen interaction of plants, fungi and metazoans. We present evidence that in plants (e.g. PMR5 and ESK1) the regulation of carbohydrate acylation by these acylesterases might also play an important role in regulation of transpiration and stress resistance. We also identify a subfamily of these esterases in metazoans (e.g. C7orf58), which are fused to an ATP-grasp amino acid ligase domain that is predicted to catalyze, in certain animals, modification of cell surface polymers by amino acid or peptides. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Gaspar Jekely and Frank Eisenhaber PMID:20056006

  9. Refolding dynamics of stretched biopolymers upon force quench

    PubMed Central

    Hyeon, Changbong; Morrison, Greg; Pincus, David L.; Thirumalai, D.

    2009-01-01

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy methods can be used to generate folding trajectories of biopolymers from arbitrary regions of the folding landscape. We illustrate the complexity of the folding kinetics and generic aspects of the collapse of RNA and proteins upon force quench by using simulations of an RNA hairpin and theory based on the de Gennes model for homopolymer collapse. The folding time, τF, depends asymmetrically on δfS = f S − f m and δf Q = f m − f Q where f S (f Q) is the stretch (quench) force and f m is the transition midforce of the RNA hairpin. In accord with experiments, the relaxation kinetics of the molecular extension, R(t), occurs in three stages: A rapid initial decrease in the extension is followed by a plateau and finally, an abrupt reduction in R(t) occurs as the native state is approached. The duration of the plateau increases as λ = τ Q/τ F decreases (where τ Q is the time in which the force is reduced from f S to f Q). Variations in the mechanisms of force-quench relaxation as λ is altered are reflected in the experimentally measurable time-dependent entropy, which is computed directly from the folding trajectories. An analytical solution of the de Gennes model under tension reproduces the multistage stage kinetics in R(t). The prediction that the initial stages of collapse should also be a generic feature of polymers is validated by simulation of the kinetics of toroid (globule) formation in semiflexible (flexible) homopolymers in poor solvents upon quenching the force from a fully stretched state. Our findings give a unified explanation for multiple disparate experimental observations of protein folding. PMID:19915145

  10. On protein abundance distributions in complex mixtures

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Mass spectrometry, an analytical technique that measures the mass-to-charge ratio of ionized atoms or molecules, dates back more than 100 years, and has both qualitative and quantitative uses for determining chemical and structural information. Quantitative proteomic mass spectrometry on biological samples focuses on identifying the proteins present in the samples, and establishing the relative abundances of those proteins. Such protein inventories create the opportunity to discover novel biomarkers and disease targets. We have previously introduced a normalized, label-free method for quantification of protein abundances under a shotgun proteomics platform (Griffin et al., 2010). The introduction of this method for quantifying and comparing protein levels leads naturally to the issue of modeling protein abundances in individual samples. We here report that protein abundance levels from two recent proteomics experiments conducted by the authors can be adequately represented by Sichel distributions. Mathematically, Sichel distributions are mixtures of Poisson distributions with a rather complex mixing distribution, and have been previously and successfully applied to linguistics and species abundance data. The Sichel model can provide a direct measure of the heterogeneity of protein abundances, and can reveal protein abundance differences that simpler models fail to show. PMID:23360617

  11. Enzyme and metabolic engineering for the production of novel biopolymers: crossover of biological and chemical processes.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Ken'ichiro; Taguchi, Seiichi

    2013-12-01

    The development of synthetic biology has transformed microbes into useful factories for producing valuable polymers and/or their precursors from renewable biomass. Recent progress at the interface of chemistry and biology has enabled the production of a variety of new biopolymers with properties that substantially differ from their petroleum-derived counterparts. This review touches on recent trials and achievements in the field of biopolymer synthesis, including chemo-enzymatically synthesized aliphatic polyesters, wholly biosynthesized lactate-based polyesters, polyhydroxyalkanoates and other unusual bacterially synthesized polyesters. The expanding diversities in structure and the material properties of biopolymers are key for exploring practical applications. The enzyme and metabolic engineering approaches toward this goal are discussed by shedding light on the successful case studies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Self-(Un)rolling Biopolymer Microstructures: Rings, Tubules, and Helical Tubules from the Same Material.

    PubMed

    Ye, Chunhong; Nikolov, Svetoslav V; Calabrese, Rossella; Dindar, Amir; Alexeev, Alexander; Kippelen, Bernard; Kaplan, David L; Tsukruk, Vladimir V

    2015-07-13

    We have demonstrated the facile formation of reversible and fast self-rolling biopolymer microstructures from sandwiched active-passive, silk-on-silk materials. Both experimental and modeling results confirmed that the shape of individual sheets effectively controls biaxial stresses within these sheets, which can self-roll into distinct 3D structures including microscopic rings, tubules, and helical tubules. This is a unique example of tailoring self-rolled 3D geometries through shape design without changing the inner morphology of active bimorph biomaterials. In contrast to traditional organic-soluble synthetic materials, we utilized a biocompatible and biodegradable biopolymer that underwent a facile aqueous layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly process for the fabrication of 2D films. The resulting films can undergo reversible pH-triggered rolling/unrolling, with a variety of 3D structures forming from biopolymer structures that have identical morphology and composition.

  14. Cytokine loaded biopolymers as a novel strategy to study stem cells during wound-healing processes.

    PubMed

    Grimaldi, Annalisa; Banfi, Serena; Vizioli, Jacopo; Tettamanti, Gianluca; Noonan, Douglas M; de Eguileor, Magda

    2011-08-11

    The biopolymer matrigel loaded with cytokine can be used for the recruitment in vivo of specific cell populations and as a vector for the preparation of cell cultures. Data demonstrate that the injection of the matrigel biopolymer supplemented with interleukin-8 (IL-8) in the leech Hirudo medicinalis can be used to purify cell populations showing the same morphofunctional and molecular mechanisms of specific populations of vertebrate hematopoietic precursor cells involved in tissue repair. These cells spontaneously differentiated into myofibroblasts. This approach highlights how the innovative use of a cytokine-loaded biopolymer for an in vivo cell sorting method, applied to a simple invertebrate model, can be a tool for studying myofibroblast cell biology and its regulation, step by step. PMID:21400659

  15. Human elastin-based recombinant biopolymers improve mesenchymal stem cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Çelebi, Betül; Cloutier, Maxime; Rabelo, Rodrigo B; Balloni, Rodrigo; Mantovani, Diego; Bandiera, Antonella

    2012-11-01

    Elastin-based polypeptides are a class of smart biopolymers representing an important model in the design of biomaterials. The combination of biomimetic materials with cells that have great plasticity provides a promising strategy for the realization of highly engineered cell-based constructs for regenerative medicine and tissue repair applications. Two recombinant biopolymers inspired by human elastin are assessed as coating agents to prepare biomimetic surfaces for cell culture. These substrates are assayed for hBM MSC culture. The coated surfaces are also characterized with AFM to evaluate the topographical features of the deposited biopolymers. The results suggest that the elastin-derived biomimetic surfaces play a stimulatory role on osteogenic differentiation of MSCs.

  16. Nanostructured gel scaffolds for osteogenesis through biological assembly of biopolymers via specific nucleobase pairing.

    PubMed

    Fan, Ming; Yan, Jingxuan; Tan, Huaping; Ben, Dandan; He, Qiuling; Huang, Zhongwei; Hu, Xiaohong

    2014-11-01

    Biopolymer-based gel scaffolds have great potential in the field of tissue regenerative medicine. In this work, a nanostructured biopolymer gel scaffold via specific pairing of functionalized nucleobases was developed for specifically targeted drug delivery and in vitro osteogenesis. The biopolymer gel system was established by the Watson-Crick base pairing between thymine and adenine via the hydrogen bonding. As gel scaffold precursors, opposite charged polysaccharide derivatives, e.g. quaternized cellulose and heparin, could be additionally crosslinked by extra electrostatic interactions. The potential application of this gel scaffold in bone tissue engineering was confirmed by encapsulation behavior of osteoblasts. In combination with cell growth factor, e.g. bone morphogenetic protein, the nanostructured gel scaffold exhibited beneficial effects on osteoblast activity and differentiation, which suggested a promising future for local treatment of pathologies involving bone loss.

  17. Solar abundance of iridium

    PubMed Central

    Drake, Stephen; Aller, Lawrence H.

    1976-01-01

    By a method of spectrum synthesis, which yields log gfA, where g is the statistical weight of the lower level, f is the oscillator strength, and A is the abundance, an attempt is made to deduce the solar iridium abundance from one relatively unblended, but fairly weak IrI line, λ 3220.78 Å. If the Corliss-Bozman f-value for this line is adopted, we find log A(Ir) = 0.82 on the scale log A(H) = 12.00. The discordance with the value found from carbonaceous chondrites may arise from faulty f-values or from difficulties arising from line blending in this far ultraviolet domain of the solar spectrum. PMID:16578735

  18. Polymeric waveguide electro-optic beam-steering device with DNA biopolymer conductive cladding layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aga, Roberto S.; Ouchen, Fahima; Lesko, Alyssa; Telek, Brian A.; Fehrman Cory, Emily M.; Bartsch, Carrie M.; Lombardi, Jack; Grote, James; Heckman, Emily M.

    2012-11-01

    A polymer electro-optic (EO) waveguide beam-steering device with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) biopolymer conductive cladding layers and a core layer of the commercially available EO polymer SEO100 is demonstrated with 100% relative poling efficiency. This demonstration device exhibits a deflection efficiency of 99 mrad/kV with a corresponding in-device EO coefficient r33 of 124 pm/V at 1550 nm. When the DNA biopolymer bottom cladding layer is replaced by the commonly used cladding polymer UV15, the deflection efficiency and in-device r33 drop to 34 mrad/kV and 43 pm/V, respectively.

  19. In vitro adsorption of aluminum by an edible biopolymer poly(γ-glutamic acid).

    PubMed

    Rajan, Yesudoss Christu; Inbaraj, Baskaran Stephen; Chen, Bing Huei

    2014-05-21

    Accumulation of aluminum in human has been reported to be associated with dementia, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. The objectives of this study were to evaluate an edible biopolymer poly(γ-glutamic acid) (γ-PGA) for aluminum removal efficiency under in vitro conditions as affected by pH, contact time, aluminum concentration, temperature, ionic strength, and essential metals in both aqueous aluminum solution and simulated gastrointestinal fluid (GIF). A low aluminum adsorption occurred at pH 1.5-2.5, followed by a maximum adsorption at pH 3.0-4.0 and precipitating thereafter as aluminum hydroxide at pH > 4. Adsorption was extremely fast with 81-96% of total adsorption being attained within 1 min, reaching equilibrium in 5-10 min. Kinetic data at low (10 mg/L) and high (50 mg/L) concentrations were well described by pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models, respectively. Equilibrium adsorption isotherms at different temperatures were precisely fitted by both Langmuir and Redlich-Peterson models with the maximum adsorption capacities at 25, 37, and 50 °C being 35.85, 38.68, and 44.23 mg/g, respectively. Thermodynamic calculations suggested endothermic and spontaneous nature of aluminum adsorption by γ-PGA with increased randomness at the solid/solution interface. Variation in ionic strengths did not alter the adsorption capacity, however, the incorporation of essential metals significantly reduced the aluminum adsorption by following the order copper > iron > zinc > calcium > potassium. Compared to aqueous solution, the aluminum adsorption from simulated GIF was high at all studied pH (1-4) with Langmuir monolayer adsorption capacity being 49.43 mg/g at 37 °C and pH 4. The outcome of this study suggests that γ-PGA could be used as a safe detoxifying agent for aluminum. PMID:24799126

  20. In vitro adsorption of aluminum by an edible biopolymer poly(γ-glutamic acid).

    PubMed

    Rajan, Yesudoss Christu; Inbaraj, Baskaran Stephen; Chen, Bing Huei

    2014-05-21

    Accumulation of aluminum in human has been reported to be associated with dementia, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. The objectives of this study were to evaluate an edible biopolymer poly(γ-glutamic acid) (γ-PGA) for aluminum removal efficiency under in vitro conditions as affected by pH, contact time, aluminum concentration, temperature, ionic strength, and essential metals in both aqueous aluminum solution and simulated gastrointestinal fluid (GIF). A low aluminum adsorption occurred at pH 1.5-2.5, followed by a maximum adsorption at pH 3.0-4.0 and precipitating thereafter as aluminum hydroxide at pH > 4. Adsorption was extremely fast with 81-96% of total adsorption being attained within 1 min, reaching equilibrium in 5-10 min. Kinetic data at low (10 mg/L) and high (50 mg/L) concentrations were well described by pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models, respectively. Equilibrium adsorption isotherms at different temperatures were precisely fitted by both Langmuir and Redlich-Peterson models with the maximum adsorption capacities at 25, 37, and 50 °C being 35.85, 38.68, and 44.23 mg/g, respectively. Thermodynamic calculations suggested endothermic and spontaneous nature of aluminum adsorption by γ-PGA with increased randomness at the solid/solution interface. Variation in ionic strengths did not alter the adsorption capacity, however, the incorporation of essential metals significantly reduced the aluminum adsorption by following the order copper > iron > zinc > calcium > potassium. Compared to aqueous solution, the aluminum adsorption from simulated GIF was high at all studied pH (1-4) with Langmuir monolayer adsorption capacity being 49.43 mg/g at 37 °C and pH 4. The outcome of this study suggests that γ-PGA could be used as a safe detoxifying agent for aluminum.

  1. Removal of glyphosate herbicide from water using biopolymer membranes.

    PubMed

    Carneiro, Rafael T A; Taketa, Thiago B; Gomes Neto, Reginaldo J; Oliveira, Jhones L; Campos, Estefânia V R; de Moraes, Mariana A; da Silva, Camila M G; Beppu, Marisa M; Fraceto, Leonardo F

    2015-03-15

    treat a water sample contaminated with glyphosate. Biopolymer membranes therefore potentially offer a versatile method to eliminate agricultural chemicals from water supplies.

  2. Biopolymers produced from gelatin and chitosan using polyphenols

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chitin, and its derivative chitosan, is an abundant waste product derived from crustaceans (e.g. crab). It has unique properties which enable its use in, but not limited to, cosmetic, medical, and food applications. Chitosan has recently been studied, in conjunction with other waste carbohydrates ...

  3. Abundance of field galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klypin, Anatoly; Karachentsev, Igor; Makarov, Dmitry; Nasonova, Olga

    2015-12-01

    We present new measurements of the abundance of galaxies with a given circular velocity in the Local Volume: a region centred on the Milky Way Galaxy and extending to distance ˜10 Mpc. The sample of ˜750 mostly dwarf galaxies provides a unique opportunity to study the abundance and properties of galaxies down to absolute magnitudes MB ≈ -10 and virial masses M_vir= 109{ M_{⊙}}. We find that the standard Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) model gives remarkably accurate estimates for the velocity function of galaxies with circular velocities V ≳ 70 kms-1 and corresponding virial masses M_vir≳ 5× 10^{10}{ M_{⊙}}, but it badly fails by overpredicting ˜5 times the abundance of large dwarfs with velocities V = 30-40 kms-1. The warm dark matter (WDM) models cannot explain the data either, regardless of mass of WDM particle. Just as in previous observational studies, we find a shallow asymptotic slope dN/dlog V ∝ Vα, α ≈ -1 of the velocity function, which is inconsistent with the standard ΛCDM model that predicts the slope α = -3. Though reminiscent to the known overabundance of satellite problem, the overabundance of field galaxies is a much more difficult problem. For the standard ΛCDM model to survive, in the 10 Mpc radius of the Milky Way there should be 1000 not yet detected galaxies with virial mass M_vir≈ 10^{10}{ M_{⊙}}, extremely low surface brightness and no detectable H I gas. So far none of this type of galaxies have been discovered.

  4. Late embryogenesis abundant proteins

    PubMed Central

    Olvera-Carrillo, Yadira; Reyes, José Luis

    2011-01-01

    Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) proteins accumulate at the onset of seed desiccation and in response to water deficit in vegetative plant tissues. The typical LEA proteins are highly hydrophilic and intrinsically unstructured. They have been classified in different families, each one showing distinctive conserved motifs. In this manuscript we present and discuss some of the recent findings regarding their role in plant adaptation to water deficit, as well as those concerning to their possible function, and how it can be related to their intrinsic structural flexibility. PMID:21447997

  5. Chemical abundance of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, Susan; Wehinger, Peter

    1988-01-01

    Observations of NH2, (OI) and molecular ion spectra in comets represent virtually all of the volatile fraction of a comet nucleus. Their study leads to the N2, NH3, H2O, CO2, CO content of the nucleus, and thus to important constraints on models of comet formation and chemical processing in the primitive solar nebula. The observations of Comet Halley provide the opportunity for the first comprehensive determination of the abundances in a comet nucleus. The carbon isotope abundance ratio 12 C/13 C = 65 plus or minus 8 has been determined for Comet Halley from resolved rotational line structure in the CN B-X (0,0) band. The ratio is approximately 30 pct lower than the solar system value, 89, indicating either an enhancement of 13CN or a depletion of 12CN in the comet. Scenarios consistent with the observed carbon isotope ratio are: (1) formation of the comet at the periphery of the solar nebula in a fractionation-enriched 13CN region, or hidden from 12CN enrichment sources, and (2) capture of an interestellar comet. Long-slit charge coupled device (CCD) spectra obtained at the time of the spacecraft encounter of Comet Halley have also been analyzed. Scale lengths, production rates and column densities of CH, CN, C2 and NH2 were determined.

  6. Flare Plasma Iron Abundance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dennis, Brian R.; Dan, Chau; Jain, Rajmal; Schwartz, Richard A.; Tolbert, Anne K.

    2008-01-01

    The equivalent width of the iron-line complex at 6.7 keV seen in flare X-ray spectra suggests that the iron abundance of the hottest plasma at temperatures >approx.10 MK may sometimes be significantly lower than the nominal coronal abundance of four times the photospheric value that is commonly assumed. This conclusion is based on X-ray spectral observations of several flares seen in common with the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) and the Solar X-ray Spectrometer (SOXS) on the second Indian geostationary satellite, GSAT-2. The implications of this will be discussed as it relates to the origin of the hot flare plasma - either plasma already in the corona that is directly heated during the flare energy release process or chromospheric plasma that is heated by flare-accelerated particles and driven up into the corona. Other possible explanations of lower-than-expected equivalent widths of the iron-line complex will also be discussed.

  7. Enzymatic functionalization of cork surface with antimicrobial hybrid biopolymer/silver nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Francesko, Antonio; Blandón, Lucas; Vázquez, Mario; Petkova, Petya; Morató, Jordi; Pfeifer, Annett; Heinze, Thomas; Mendoza, Ernest; Tzanov, Tzanko

    2015-05-13

    Laccase-assisted assembling of hybrid biopolymer-silver nanoparticles and cork matrices into an antimicrobial material with potential for water remediation is herein described. Amino-functional biopolymers were first used as doping agents to stabilize concentrated colloidal dispersions of silver nanoparticles (AgNP), additionally providing the particles with functionalities for covalent immobilization onto cork to impart a durable antibacterial effect. The solvent-free AgNP synthesis by chemical reduction was carried out in the presence of chitosan (CS) or 6-deoxy-6-(ω-aminoethyl) aminocellulose (AC), leading to simultaneous AgNP biofunctionalization. This approach resulted in concentrated hybrid NP dispersion stable to aggregation and with hydrodynamic radius of particles of about 250 nm. Moreover, laccase enabled coupling between the phenolic groups in cork and amino moieties in the biopolymer-doped AgNP for permanent modification of the material. The antibacterial efficiency of the functionalized cork matrices, aimed as adsorbents for wastewater treatment, was evaluated against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus during 5 days in conditions mimicking those in constructed wetlands. Both intrinsically antimicrobial CS and AC contributed to the bactericidal effect of the enzymatically grafted on cork AgNP. In contrast, unmodified AgNP were easily washed off from the material, confirming that the biopolymers potentiated a durable antibacterial functionalization of the cork matrices.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Enzymatic functionalization of cork surface with antimicrobial hybrid biopolymer/silver nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Francesko, Antonio; Blandón, Lucas; Vázquez, Mario; Petkova, Petya; Morató, Jordi; Pfeifer, Annett; Heinze, Thomas; Mendoza, Ernest; Tzanov, Tzanko

    2015-05-13

    Laccase-assisted assembling of hybrid biopolymer-silver nanoparticles and cork matrices into an antimicrobial material with potential for water remediation is herein described. Amino-functional biopolymers were first used as doping agents to stabilize concentrated colloidal dispersions of silver nanoparticles (AgNP), additionally providing the particles with functionalities for covalent immobilization onto cork to impart a durable antibacterial effect. The solvent-free AgNP synthesis by chemical reduction was carried out in the presence of chitosan (CS) or 6-deoxy-6-(ω-aminoethyl) aminocellulose (AC), leading to simultaneous AgNP biofunctionalization. This approach resulted in concentrated hybrid NP dispersion stable to aggregation and with hydrodynamic radius of particles of about 250 nm. Moreover, laccase enabled coupling between the phenolic groups in cork and amino moieties in the biopolymer-doped AgNP for permanent modification of the material. The antibacterial efficiency of the functionalized cork matrices, aimed as adsorbents for wastewater treatment, was evaluated against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus during 5 days in conditions mimicking those in constructed wetlands. Both intrinsically antimicrobial CS and AC contributed to the bactericidal effect of the enzymatically grafted on cork AgNP. In contrast, unmodified AgNP were easily washed off from the material, confirming that the biopolymers potentiated a durable antibacterial functionalization of the cork matrices. PMID:25894699

  10. ZnO-based hollow microspheres: biopolymer-assisted assemblies from ZnO nanorods.

    PubMed

    Gao, Shuyan; Zhang, Hongjie; Wang, Xiaomei; Deng, Ruiping; Sun, Dehui; Zheng, Guoli

    2006-08-17

    Many efforts have been made in fabricating three-dimensional (3D) ordered zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures due to their growing applications in separations, sensors, catalysis, bioscience, and photonics. Here, we developed a new synthetic route to 3D ZnO-based hollow microspheres by a facile solution-based method through a water-soluble biopolymer (sodium alginate) assisted assembly from ZnO nanorods. The products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Raman and photoluminescence spectra of the ZnO-based hollow microspheres were obtained at room temperature to investigate their optical properties. The hollow microspheres exhibit exciting emission features with a wide band covering nearly all the visible region. The calculated CIE (Commission Internationale d'Eclairage) coordinates are 0.24 and 0.31, which fall at the edge of the white region (the 1931 CIE diagram). A possible growth mechanism of the 3D ZnO superstructures based on typical biopolymer-crystal interactions in aqueous solution is tentatively proposed, which might be really interesting because of the participation of the biopolymer. The results show that this biopolymer-directed crystal growth and mediated self-assembly of nanocrystals may provide promising routes to rational synthesis of various ordered inorganic and inorganic-organic hybrid materials with complex form and structural specialization.

  11. MOLECULAR TRACERS FOR SMOKE FROM CHARRING/BURNING OF CHITIN BIOPOLYMER. (R823990)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Monosaccharide derivatives from the breakdown of cellulose are the major organic components of smoke particles emitted to the atmosphere from biomass burning. In urban areas a related biopolymer, chitin, may contribute markers to smoke from grilling/charring o...

  12. A review of combined experimental and computational procedures for assessing biopolymer structure–process–property relationships

    PubMed Central

    Gronau, Greta; Krishnaji, Sreevidhya T.; Kinahan, Michelle E.; Giesa, Tristan; Wong, Joyce Y.; Kaplan, David L.; Buehler, Markus J.

    2013-01-01

    Tailored biomaterials with tunable functional properties are desirable for many applications ranging from drug delivery to regenerative medicine. To improve the predictability of biopolymer materials functionality, multiple design parameters need to be considered, along with appropriate models. In this article we review the state of the art of synthesis and processing related to the design of biopolymers, with an emphasis on the integration of bottom-up computational modeling in the design process. We consider three prominent examples of well-studied biopolymer materials – elastin, silk, and collagen – and assess their hierarchical structure, intriguing functional properties and categorize existing approaches to study these materials. We find that an integrated design approach in which both experiments and computational modeling are used has rarely been applied for these materials due to difficulties in relating insights gained on different length- and time-scales. In this context, multiscale engineering offers a powerful means to accelerate the biomaterials design process for the development of tailored materials that suit the needs posed by the various applications. The combined use of experimental and computational tools has a very broad applicability not only in the field of biopolymers, but can be exploited to tailor the properties of other polymers and composite materials in general. PMID:22938765

  13. Micro-heterogeneity of corn hulls cellulosic fiber biopolymer studied by multiple-particle tracking (MPT)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A novel technique named multiple-particle tracking (MPT) was used to investigate the micro-structural heterogeneities of Z-trim, a zero calorie cellulosic fiber biopolymer produced from corn hulls. The Multiple-Particle Tracking (MPT) method was used in this study, which was originally described by ...

  14. Single walled carbon nanotubes with functionally adsorbed biopolymers for use as chemical sensors

    DOEpatents

    Johnson, Jr., Alan T

    2013-12-17

    Chemical field effect sensors comprising nanotube field effect devices having biopolymers such as single stranded DNA or RNA functionally adsorbed to the nanotubes are provided. Also included are arrays comprising the sensors and methods of using the devices to detect volatile compounds.

  15. Stable silver/biopolymer hybrid plasmonic nanostructures for high performance surface enhanced raman scattering (SERS)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Silver/biopolymer nanoparticles were prepared by adding 100 mg silver nitrate to 2% polyvinyl alcohol solution and reduced the silver nitrate into silver ion using 2 % trisodium citrate for high performance Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) substrates. Optical properties of nanoparticle were ...

  16. Dihedral-based segment identification and classification of biopolymers I: proteins.

    PubMed

    Nagy, Gabor; Oostenbrink, Chris

    2014-01-27

    A new structure classification scheme for biopolymers is introduced, which is solely based on main-chain dihedral angles. It is shown that by dividing a biopolymer into segments containing two central residues, a local classification can be performed. The method is referred to as DISICL, short for Dihedral-based Segment Identification and Classification. Compared to other popular secondary structure classification programs, DISICL is more detailed as it offers 18 distinct structural classes, which may be simplified into a classification in terms of seven more general classes. It was designed with an eye to analyzing subtle structural changes as observed in molecular dynamics simulations of biomolecular systems. Here, the DISICL algorithm is used to classify two databases of protein structures, jointly containing more than 10 million segments. The data is compared to two alternative approaches in terms of the amount of classified residues, average occurrence and length of structural elements, and pair wise matches of the classifications by the different programs. In an accompanying paper (Nagy, G.; Oostenbrink, C. Dihedral-based segment identification and classification of biopolymers II: Polynucleotides. J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2013, DOI: 10.1021/ci400542n), the analysis of polynucleotides is described and applied. Overall, DISICL represents a potentially useful tool to analyze biopolymer structures at a high level of detail.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Dihedral-Based Segment Identification and Classification of Biopolymers I: Proteins

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    A new structure classification scheme for biopolymers is introduced, which is solely based on main-chain dihedral angles. It is shown that by dividing a biopolymer into segments containing two central residues, a local classification can be performed. The method is referred to as DISICL, short for Dihedral-based Segment Identification and Classification. Compared to other popular secondary structure classification programs, DISICL is more detailed as it offers 18 distinct structural classes, which may be simplified into a classification in terms of seven more general classes. It was designed with an eye to analyzing subtle structural changes as observed in molecular dynamics simulations of biomolecular systems. Here, the DISICL algorithm is used to classify two databases of protein structures, jointly containing more than 10 million segments. The data is compared to two alternative approaches in terms of the amount of classified residues, average occurrence and length of structural elements, and pair wise matches of the classifications by the different programs. In an accompanying paper (Nagy, G.; Oostenbrink, C. Dihedral-based segment identification and classification of biopolymers II: Polynucleotides. J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2013, DOI: 10.1021/ci400542n), the analysis of polynucleotides is described and applied. Overall, DISICL represents a potentially useful tool to analyze biopolymer structures at a high level of detail. PMID:24364820

  19. Biocompatibility of a Synthetic Biopolymer for the Treatment of Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment

    PubMed Central

    Sarfare, Shanta; Dacquay, Yann; Askari, Syed; Nusinowitz, Steven; Hubschman, Jean-Pierre

    2015-01-01

    Objective The aim of this study is to evaluate the retinal safety and toxicity of a novel synthetic biopolymer to be used as a patch to treat rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. Methods Thirty one adult wild type albino mice were divided in 2 groups. In Group A (n=9) 0.2 μl balanced salt solution (BSS) and in Group B (n=22), 0.2 μl biopolymer was injected in the subretinal space. Trans-scleral subretinal injection was performed in one eye and the fellow eye was used as control. In both groups, in vivo color fundus photography, electroretinogram (ERG), spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) were performed before injection and at days 7 and 14 post-intervention. Histological analysis was performed following euthanization at days 1, 7 and 21 post-injection. Results The biopolymer was visualized in the subretinal space in vivo by SD-OCT and post-life by histology up to 1 week after the injection. There were no significant differences in ERG parameters between the two groups at 1 and 2 weeks post-injection. Minimal inflammatory response and loss of photoreceptor cells was only observed in the immediate proximity of the site of scleral perforation, which was similar in both groups. Overall integrity of the outer, inner retina and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) layers was unaffected by the presence of the biopolymer in the subretinal space. Conclusions Functional and histological evaluation suggests that the synthetic biopolymer is non-inflammatory and non-toxic to the eye. It may represent a safe therapeutic agent in the future, for the treatment of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. PMID:26744635

  20. Evaluation of biopolymer-modified concrete systems for disposal of cathode ray tube glass.

    PubMed

    Kim, Daeik; Petrisor, loana G; Yen, Teh Fu

    2005-07-01

    Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) from computer monitors and television sets, which contain significantly high percentage of lead (Pb) by weight, represent an enormous and growing hazardous waste problem in the United States and worldwide. As a result, new technologies are needed to cope with current CRT waste stream and increased hazard and build new markets for its recycled components, developing commercially viable concrete composites, as well as minimizing CRT disposal problems. In this study, commercially available biopolymers, such as xanthan gum, guar gum, and chitosan, were used to encapsulate CRT glass waste, reducing the Pb leachability. The biopolymers utilized contain a number of useful functional groups, such as carboxyl (xanthan), hydroxyl (guar), and amino groups (chitosan), which play important roles in binding and stabilizing Pb onto concrete structures. The use of biopolymers in concrete systems can create a stable interpenetrating cross-linking composite that will last for many years. Results from these new composites show 30% higher compressive strength than standard concrete and a sharp decrease in lead leachability from several thousand milligrams per liter initially to an amount of three-tenths milligrams per liter or lower values (much lower than the U.S. Environment Protection Agency standard for hazardous waste of 5 mg/L by the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure test), and for some of the composites leachability is below even the standard for drinking water. This efficient and cost-effective CRT-biopolymer-concrete composite is a new class of biopolymer-modified material that can potentially perform a significant role in relieving the current CRT issue.

  1. Boletus edulis biologically active biopolymers induce cell cycle arrest in human colon adenocarcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Lemieszek, Marta Kinga; Cardoso, Claudia; Ferreira Milheiro Nunes, Fernando Hermínio; Ramos Novo Amorim de Barros, Ana Isabel; Marques, Guilhermina; Pożarowski, Piotr; Rzeski, Wojciech

    2013-04-25

    The use of biologically active compounds isolated from edible mushrooms against cancer raises global interest. Anticancer properties are mainly attributed to biopolymers including mainly polysaccharides, polysaccharopeptides, polysaccharide proteins, glycoproteins and proteins. In spite of the fact that Boletus edulis is one of the widely occurring and most consumed edible mushrooms, antitumor biopolymers isolated from it have not been exactly defined and studied so far. The present study is an attempt to extend this knowledge on molecular mechanisms of their anticancer action. The mushroom biopolymers (polysaccharides and glycoproteins) were extracted with hot water and purified by anion-exchange chromatography. The antiproliferative activity in human colon adenocarcinoma cells (LS180) was screened by means of MTT and BrdU assays. At the same time fractions' cytotoxicity was examined on the human colon epithelial cells (CCD 841 CoTr) by means of the LDH assay. Flow cytometry and Western blotting were applied to cell cycle analysis and protein expression involved in anticancer activity of the selected biopolymer fraction. In vitro studies have shown that fractions isolated from Boletus edulis were not toxic against normal colon epithelial cells and in the same concentration range elicited a very prominent antiproliferative effect in colon cancer cells. The best results were obtained in the case of the fraction designated as BE3. The tested compound inhibited cancer cell proliferation which was accompanied by cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1-phase. Growth inhibition was associated with modulation of the p16/cyclin D1/CDK4-6/pRb pathway, an aberration of which is a critical step in the development of many human cancers including colon cancer. Our results indicate that a biopolymer BE3 from Boletus edulis possesses anticancer potential and may provide a new therapeutic/preventive option in colon cancer chemoprevention.

  2. Abundances in Sagittarius Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonifacio, P.; Zaggia, S.; Sbordone, L.; Santin, P.; Monaco, L.; Monai, S.; Molaro, P.; Marconi, G.; Girardi, L.; Ferraro, F.; di Marcantonio, P.; Caffau, E.; Bellazzini, M.

    The Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal is a very complex galaxy, which has undergone prolonged star formation. From the very first high resolution chemical analysis of Sgr stars, conducted using spectra obtained during the commissioning of UVES at VLT, it was clear that the star had undergone a high level of chemical processing, at variance with most of the other Local Group dwarf spheroidals. Thanks to FLAMES at VLT we now have accurate metallicities and abundances of alpha-chain elements for about 150 stars, which provide the first reliable metallicity distribution for this galaxy. Besides the already known high metallicity tail the existence of a metal-poor population has also been highlighted, although an assessment of the fraction of Sgr stars which belong to this population requires a larger sample. From our data it is also obvious that Sagittarius is a nucleated galaxy and that the centre of the nucleus coincides with M54, as already shown by Monaco et al.

  3. Biodegradation of polyether-polyol-based polyurethane elastomeric films: influence of partial replacement of polyether polyol by biopolymers of renewable origin.

    PubMed

    Obruca, Stanislav; Marova, Ivana; Vojtova, Lucy

    2011-07-01

    In this work we investigated the degradation process ofpolyether-polyol-based polyurethane (PUR) elastomeric films in the presence of a mixed thermophilic culture as a model of a natural bacterial consortium. The presence of PUR material in cultivation medium resulted in delayed but intensive growth of the bacterial culture. The unusually long lag phase was caused by the release of unreacted polyether polyol and tin catalyst from the material. The lag phase was significantly shortened and the biodegradability of PUR materials was enhanced by partial replacement (10%) of polyether polyol with biopolymers (carboxymethyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, acetyl cellulose and actylated starch). The process of material degradation consisted of two steps. First, the materials were mechanically disrupted and, second, the bacterial culture was able to utilize abiotic degradation products, which resulted in supported bacterial growth. Direct utilization of PUR by the bacterial culture was observed as well, but the bacterial culture contributed only slightly to the total mass losses. The only exception was PUR material modified by acetyl cellulose. In this case, direct biodegradation represented the major mechanism of material decomposition. Moreover, PUR material modified by acetyl cellulose did not tend to undergo abiotic degradation. In conclusion, the modification of PUR by proper biopolymers is a promising strategy for reducing potential negative effects of waste PUR materials on the environment and enhancing their biodegradability. PMID:21882557

  4. Effect of plasticizers (water and glycerol) on the diffusion of a small molecule in iota-carrageenan biopolymer films for edible coating application.

    PubMed

    Karbowiak, Thomas; Hervet, Hubert; Léger, Liliane; Champion, Dominique; Debeaufort, Frédéric; Voilley, Andrée

    2006-06-01

    Translational diffusion of a fluorescein probe has been measured in iota-carrageenan edible films containing different amounts of glycerol (0, 15, 30, and 45%), using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments. The effects of this plasticizer as well as the plasticizing effect of water on the diffusion of fluorescein have been studied in this edible coating mainly composed of natural biopolymer. Diffusion coefficients of about 10(-13) m2 s(-1) have been measured in these films for water activity (aw) lower than 0.7. Above this water content threshold, fluorescein translational diffusion coefficient increases up to 10(-12) m2 s(-1). Another interesting information obtained from FRAP experiments on this system is the ratio of the diffusing molecules which are immobilized in the carrageenan matrix at aw lower than 0.98. Moreover, films containing more than 30% glycerol (w/w carrageenan) present a huge increase of the diffusion coefficient of fluorescein at high water activity (about 2 orders of magnitude), this effect being less pronounced at low water activity. The increase of diffusion seems to be only related to the water content, and glycerol only acts through the enhancement of water adsorption. Therefore, in biopolymer films containing polyol plasticizers, the gain in mobility could be devoted to the effect of the ubiquitous plasticizing molecule, water, whose adsorption is increased by the plasticizer.

  5. Chemical Abundances of Compact Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Ting-Hui; Shaw, Richard A.; Stanghellini, letizia; Riley, Ben

    2015-08-01

    We present preliminary results from an optical spectroscopic survey of compact planetary nebulae (PNe) in the Galactic disk. This is an ongoing optical+infrared spectral survey of 150 compact PNe to build a deep sample of PN chemical abundances. We obtained optical spectra of PNe with the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) Telescope and Goodman High-Throughput Spectrograph between 2012 and 2015. These data were used to calculate the nebulae diagnostics such as electron temperature and density for each PN, and to derive the elemental abundances of He, N, O Ne, S and Ar. These abundances are vital to understanding the nature of the PNe, and their low- to intermediate-mass progenitor stars.

  6. Actinide abundances in ordinary chondrites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hagee, B.; Bernatowicz, T. J.; Podosek, F. A.; Johnson, M. L.; Burnett, D. S.

    1990-01-01

    Measurements of actinide and light REE (LREE) abundances and of phosphate abundances in equilibrated ordinary chondrites were obtained and were used to define the Pu abundance in the solar system and to determine the degree of variation of actinide and LREE abundances. The results were also used to compare directly the Pu/U ratio with the earlier obtained ratio determined indirectly, as (Pu/Nd)x(Nd/U), assuming that Pu behaves chemically as a LREE. The data, combined with high-accuracy isotope-dilution data from the literature, show that the degree of gram-scale variability of the Th, U, and LREE abundances for equilibrated ordinary chondrites is a factor of 2-3 for absolute abundances and up to 50 percent for relative abundances. The observed variations are interpreted as reflecting the differences in the compositions and/or proportions of solar nebula components accreted to ordinary chondrite parent bodies.

  7. A CRADLE TO GATE LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS OF THE BIOPOLYMER POLYLACTIC ACID: LOOKING BEYOND GLOBAL WARMING AND FOSSIL FUEL USE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Derived from corn, the biopolymer polylactic acid (PLA) has recently emerged in the marketplace and is advertised as a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based polymers. Research into the environmental implications of biobased production has focused primarily on global warming...

  8. Nature's amazing biopolymer: basic mechanical and hydrological properties of soil affected by plant exudates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Roose, Tiina; Raffan, Annette; George, Timothy; Bengough, Glyn; Brown, Lawrie; Keyes, Sam; Daly, Keith; Hallett, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Plant exudates are known to have a very large impact on soil physical properties through changes in mechanical and hydrological processes driven by long-chain polysaccharides and surface active compounds. Whilst these impacts are well known, the basic physical properties of these exudates have only been reported in a small number of studies. We present data for exudates obtained from barley roots and chia seeds, incorporating treatments examining biological decomposition of the exudates. When these exudates were added to a sandy loam soil, contact angle and drop penetration time increased exponentially with increasing exudate concentration. These wetting properties were strongly correlated with both exudate density and zero-shear viscosity, but not with exudate surface tension. Water holding capacity and water repellency of exudate mixed soil tremendously increased with exudate concentration, however they were significantly reduced on decomposition when measured after 14 days of incubation at 16C. Mechanical stability greatly increased with increasing exudate amendment to soils, which was assessed using a rheological amplitude sweep test near saturation, at -50 cm matric potential (field capacity) using indentation test, and at air-dry condition using the Brazilian test. This reflects that exudates not only attenuate plant water stress but also impart mechanical stability to the rhizosphere. These data are highly relevant to the understanding and modelling of rhizosphere development, which is the next phase of our research.

  9. Development of naturally activated edible films with antioxidant properties prepared from red seaweed Porphyra columbina biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Cian, Raúl E; Salgado, Pablo R; Drago, Silvina R; González, Rolando J; Mauri, Adriana N

    2014-03-01

    The aim of this work was to study the physicochemical and antioxidant properties of phycobiliproteins-phycocolloids-based films, obtained from mixtures of two aqueous fractions extracted from Porphyra columbina red seaweed, one enriched in phycocolloids (PcF) and the other in phycobiliproteins (PF). Films with different ratios of PF:PcF (0, 25, 50, 75, 100% [w/w]) and without plasticizer addition were prepared by casting. PcF films had excellent mechanical properties (tensile strength ∼50MPa, elongation at break ∼3% and an elastic modulus ∼17.5MPa). The addition of PF to formulations exerted a plasticizing effect on the PcF matrix, which was manifested in moisture content, water solubility and mechanical properties of the resulting films but not in its water vapour permeability. The antioxidant capacity (TEAC) of the PcF films was significantly increased by the addition of PF and a direct relationship between TEAC and the total phenolic compounds (r(2)=0.9998) and R-phycoerythrin (r(2)=0.9942) was observed.

  10. Observing chemical abundances in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delsemme, A. H.

    1981-01-01

    The atomic resonance lines of the major elements were observed in the atmospheres of a few comets, by using vacuum ultraviolet spectrographs on board rockets or orbiting observatories. Dust-to-gas ratios were also deduced for two comets through a Finson-Probstein's analysis of their dust-tail isophotes. The geometric albedo of the dust for the phase angle alpha of the observations is not accurately known but, the dust-to-gas ratio is not overly sensitive to the actual value of this albedo. Infrared observations of the dust head of some comets show that the bulk of cometary dust must be silicates, although a minor component (5-10 percent) of carbon compounds is rather likely, because of poor dielectric properties of the grains. This interpretation is confirmed by the fact that interplanetary dust probably of cometary origin, that was collected in the stratosphere by NASA-U2 Spacecraft, is chondritic in nature. Metal abundances in the head of a sungrazing comet support the chondritic hypothesis.

  11. 2013-2014 Production of guayule natural rubber in Arizona, U.S.A.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Natural rubber is a unique biopolymer whose physical properties cannot be replicated in synthetic alternatives; therefore, it is required for production of tires (passenger, truck, and aircraft) and thousands of consumer and medical products. While demand for natural rubber is expected to increase ...

  12. PALS: A unique probe for the molecular organisation of biopolymer matrices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roussenova, M.; Alam, M. A.

    2013-06-01

    This short review aims to illustrate the versatility of Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectroscopy (PALS) when utilized for the characterization of biopolymers (e.g.: starch, fractionated maltooligomers, gelatin and cellulose derivatives) commonly used for the formulation of pharmaceutical encapsulants. By showing examples from a number of recent PALS studies, we illustrate that this technique can be used to probe the changes in thermodynamic state and molecular packing for a wide range of biopolymer matrices as a function of temperature, matrix composition and water content. This provides a basis for establishing composition-structure-property relationships for these materials, which would eventually enable the rational control of their macroscopic properties and the design of optimal encapsulating matrices and intelligent drug delivery systems.

  13. High-throughput biopolymer desalting by solid-phase extraction prior to mass spectrometric analysis.

    PubMed

    Gilar, M; Belenky, A; Wang, B H

    2001-06-29

    In the last 10 years mass spectrometry (MS) has become an important method for analysis of peptides, proteins and DNA. It was recently utilized for accurate high-throughput protein identification, sequencing and DNA genotyping. The presence of non-volatile buffers compromises sensitivity and accuracy of MS biopolymer analysis; it is essential to remove sample contaminants prior to analysis. We have developed a fast and efficient method for desalting of DNA oligonucleotides and peptides using 96-well solid-phase extraction plates packed with 5 mg of Waters Oasis HLB sorbent (Waters, Milford, MA, USA). This reversed-phase sorbent retains the biopolymer analytes, while non-retained inorganic ions are washed out with pure deionized water. DNA oligonucleotides or peptides are eluted using a small amount (20-100 microl) of acetonitrile-water (70:30, v/v) solution. The SPE desalting performance meets the requirements for MS applications such as protein digest analysis and DNA genotyping. PMID:11461010

  14. Looping probability of random heteropolymers helps to understand the scaling properties of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhan, Y.; Giorgetti, L.; Tiana, G.

    2016-09-01

    Random heteropolymers are a minimal description of biopolymers and can provide a theoretical framework to the investigate the formation of loops in biophysical experiments. The looping probability as a function of polymer length was observed to display in some biopolymers, like chromosomes in cell nuclei or long RNA chains, anomalous scaling exponents. Combining a two-state model with self-adjusting simulated-tempering calculations, we calculate numerically the looping properties of several realizations of the random interactions within the chain. We find a continuous set of exponents upon varying the temperature, which arises from finite-size effects and is amplified by the disorder of the interactions. We suggest that this could provide a simple explanation for the anomalous scaling exponents found in experiments. In addition, our results have important implications notably for the study of chromosome folding as they show that scaling exponents cannot be the sole criteria for testing hypothesis-driven models of chromosome architecture.

  15. Effect of disorder on the contact probability of elongated conformations of biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Tiana, Guido

    2015-07-01

    Biopolymers are characterized by heterogeneous interactions, and usually perform their biological tasks forming contacts within domains of limited size. Combining polymer theory with a replica approach, we study the scaling properties of the probability of contact formation in random heteropolymers as a function of their linear distance. It is found that, close to or above the θ point, it is possible to define a contact probability which is typical (i.e., "self-averaging") for different realizations of the heterogeneous interactions, and which displays an exponential cutoff, dependent on temperature and on the interaction range. In many cases this cutoff is comparable with the typical sizes of domains in biopolymers. While it is well known that disorder causes interesting effects at low temperature, the behavior elucidated in the present study is an example of a nontrivial effect at high temperature.

  16. Effect of process parameters on production of a biopolymer by Rhizobium sp.

    PubMed

    Duta, Flávia Pereira; De França, Francisca Pessôa; Sérvulo, Eliana Flávia Camporese; De Almeida Lopes, Léa Maria; Da Costa, Antonio Carlos Augusto; Barros, Ana

    2004-01-01

    The production of biopolymers by a Rhizobium strain was studied under batch and bioreactor conditions. The best viscosity levels were obtained under low mannitol concentrations as well as low agitation and aeration conditions. Infrared spectra indicated the presence of chemical groups characteristic of microbially produced biopolymers, including C = O and O-acetyl groups. Thermogravimetric analysis showed the characteristic degradation profiles of the exopolysaccharide produced (T(onset) = 290degreesC). The experimental design showed that a low substrate concentration (10.0 g/L), and low aeration (0.2 vvm) and agitation (200 rpm) levels should be used. The maximum yield of the process was a Yp/s (g/g) of 0.19 +/- 0.1, obtained under optimized conditions.

  17. Long-Lived Conformation Changes Induced by Electric Impulses in Biopolymers

    PubMed Central

    Neumann, Eberhard; Katchalsky, Aharon

    1972-01-01

    Electric impulses are capable of inducing long-lived conformational changes in (metastable) biopolymers. Results of experiments with poly(A)·2 poly(U) and ribosomal RNA, which are known to develop metastabilities, are reported. A polarization mechanism is proposed to explain the structural transitions observed in the biopolymers exposed to the impulses. In accordance with this idea, the applied electric field (of about 20 kV/cm and decaying exponentially, with a decay time of about 10 μsec) induces large dipole moments by shifting the ionic atmosphere of multistranded polynucleotide helices. This shift, in turn, causes strand repulsion and partial unwinding. The fields used in our experiments are of the same order of magnitude as those in nerve impulses. The significance of the impulse experiments with regard to the question of biological memory recording is briefly discussed. PMID:4502948

  18. Composite biodegradable biopolymer coatings of silk fibroin - Poly(3-hydroxybutyric-acid-co-3-hydroxyvaleric-acid) for biomedical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miroiu, Floralice Marimona; Stefan, Nicolaie; Visan, Anita Ioana; Nita, Cristina; Luculescu, Catalin Romeo; Rasoga, Oana; Socol, Marcela; Zgura, Irina; Cristescu, Rodica; Craciun, Doina; Socol, Gabriel

    2015-11-01

    Composite silk fibroin-poly(3-hydroxybutyric-acid-co-3-hydroxyvaleric-acid) (SF-PHBV) biodegradable coatings were grown by Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation on titanium substrates. Their physico-chemical properties and particularly the degradation behavior in simulated body fluid at 37 °C were studied as first step of applicability in local controlled release for tissue regeneration applications. SF and PHBV, natural biopolymers with excellent biocompatibility, but different biodegradability and tensile strength properties, were combined in a composite to improve their properties as coatings for biomedical uses. FTIR analyses showed the stoichiometric transfer from targets to coatings by the presence in the spectra of the main absorption maxima characteristic of both polymers. XRD investigations confirmed the FTIR results showing differences in crystallization behavior with respect to the SF and PHBV content. Contact angle values obtained through wettability measurements indicated the MAPLE deposited coatings were highly hydrophilic; surfaces turning hydrophobic with the increase of the PHBV component. Degradation assays proved that higher PHBV contents resulted in enhanced resistance and a slower degradation rate of composite coatings in SBF. Distinct drug-release schemes could be obtained by adjusting the SF:PHBV ratio to controllably tuning the coatings degradation rate, from rapid-release formulas, where SF predominates, to prolonged sustained ones, for larger PHBV content.

  19. Wetting of biopolymer coatings: contact angle kinetics and image analysis investigation.

    PubMed

    Farris, Stefano; Introzzi, Laura; Biagioni, Paolo; Holz, Torsten; Schiraldi, Alberto; Piergiovanni, Luciano

    2011-06-21

    The surface wetting of five biopolymers, used as coating materials for a plastic film, was monitored over a span of 8 min by means of the optical contact angle technique. Because most of the total variation was observed to occur during the first 60 s, we decided to focus on this curtailed temporal window. Initial contact angle values (θ(0)) ranged from ∼91° for chitosan to ∼30° for pullulan. However, the water drop profile began to change immediately following drop deposition for all biocoatings, confirming that the concept of water contact angle equilibrium is not applicable to most biopolymers. First, a three-parameter decay equation [θ(t) = θ(0) exp(kt(n))] was fit to the experimental contact angle data to describe the kinetics of the contact angle change for each biocoating. Interestingly, the k constant correlated well with the contact angle evolution rate and the n exponent seemed to be somehow linked to the physicochemical phenomena underlying the overall kinetics process. Second, to achieve a reliable description of droplet evolution, the contact angle (CA) analysis was coupled with image analysis (IA) through a combined geometric/trigonometric approach. Absorption and spreading were the key factors governing the overall mechanism of surface wetting during the 60 s analysis, although the individual quantification of both phenomena demonstrated that spreading provided the largest contribution for all biopolymers, with the only exception of gelatin, which showed two quasi-equivalent and counterbalancing effects. The possible correlation between these two phenomena and the topography of the biopolymer surfaces are then discussed on the basis of atomic force microscopy analyses. PMID:21619017

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Phoeby Ai Ling

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