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Sample records for active biopolymer network

  1. Coupled biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz, J. M.; Zhang, Tao

    2015-03-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Equilibrium & Nonequilibrium Fluctuation Effects in Biopolymer Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kachan, Devin Michael

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

  5. 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

  6. Micromechanics of cellularized biopolymer networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  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. Mechanical response of biopolymer double networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Joshua; Das, Moumita

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. Estimating the 3D pore size distribution of biopolymer networks from directionally biased data.

    PubMed

    Lang, Nadine R; Münster, Stefan; Metzner, Claus; Krauss, Patrick; Schürmann, Sebastian; Lange, Janina; Aifantis, Katerina E; Friedrich, Oliver; Fabry, Ben

    2013-11-01

    The pore size of biopolymer networks governs their mechanical properties and strongly impacts the behavior of embedded cells. Confocal reflection microscopy and second harmonic generation microscopy are widely used to image biopolymer networks; however, both techniques fail to resolve vertically oriented fibers. Here, we describe how such directionally biased data can be used to estimate the network pore size. We first determine the distribution of distances from random points in the fluid phase to the nearest fiber. This distribution follows a Rayleigh distribution, regardless of isotropy and data bias, and is fully described by a single parameter--the characteristic pore size of the network. The bias of the pore size estimate due to the missing fibers can be corrected by multiplication with the square root of the visible network fraction. We experimentally verify the validity of this approach by comparing our estimates with data obtained using confocal fluorescence microscopy, which represents the full structure of the network. As an important application, we investigate the pore size dependence of collagen and fibrin networks on protein concentration. We find that the pore size decreases with the square root of the concentration, consistent with a total fiber length that scales linearly with concentration. PMID:24209841

  19. Biphasic response of cell invasion to matrix stiffness in three-dimensional biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Joan Marie

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

  13. Effect of the biopolymer mixing ratio on the formation of electrostatically coupled whey protein-κ- and ι-carrageenan networks in the presence and absence of oil droplets.

    PubMed

    Lam, Ricky S H; Nickerson, Michael T

    2014-08-27

    The rheological properties of 1.0% (w/w) whey protein isolate (WPI)-κ-/ι-carrageenan (CG) mixtures were investigated during a slow acidification process by glucono-δ-lactone from pH 7.00 to ∼4.20 as a function of biopolymer mixing ratio and in the presence and absence of oil droplets. In all cases, electrostatic coupled biopolymer and emulsion gel networks were formed at pH values corresponding to where attractive interactions between WPI and CG began. Formed WPI-CG complexes were found to be surface active, capable of lowering interfacial tension and forming viscoelastic interfacial films within emulsion-based systems. Both biopolymer and emulsion-based gels increased in strength and elasticity as the CG content increased, regardless of the type of CG present. However, WPI-ι-CG coupled networks were stronger than WPI-κ-CG networks, presumably due to the higher number of sulfate groups attracting the WPI molecules.

  14. 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

  15. Equivalent pathways in melting and gelation of well-defined biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

    Cingil, Hande E; Rombouts, Wolf H; van der Gucht, Jasper; Cohen Stuart, Martien A; Sprakel, Joris

    2015-01-12

    We use multiple particle tracking microrheology to study the melting and gelation behavior of well-defined collagen-inspired designer biopolymers expressed by the transgenic yeast P. Pastoris. The system consists of a hydrophilic random coil-like middle block and collagen-like end block. Upon cooling, the end blocks assemble into well-defined transient nodes with exclusively 3-fold functionality. We apply the method of time-cure superposition of the mean-square displacement of tracer beads embedded in the biopolymer matrix to study the kinetics and thermodynamics of approaching the gel point from both the liquid and the solid side. The melting point, gel point, and critical relaxation exponents are determined from the shift factors of the mean-square displacement and we discuss the use of dynamic scaling exponents to correctly determine the critical transition. Critical relaxation exponents obtained for different concentrations in both systems are compared with the currently existing dynamic models in literature. In our study, we find that, while the time scales of gelation and melting are different by orders of magnitude, and show inverse dependence on concentration, that the pathways followed are completely equivalent.

  16. Robust Organizational Principles of Protrusive Biopolymer Networks in Migrating Living Cells

    PubMed Central

    Käs, Josef

    2011-01-01

    Cell migration is associated with the dynamic protrusion of a thin actin-based cytoskeletal extension at the cell front, which has been shown to consist of two different substructures, the leading lamellipodium and the subsequent lamellum. While the formation of the lamellipodium is increasingly well understood, organizational principles underlying the emergence of the lamellum are just beginning to be unraveled. We report here on a 1D mathematical model which describes the reaction-diffusion processes of a polarized actin network in steady state, and reproduces essential characteristics of the lamellipodium-lamellum system. We observe a steep gradient in filament lengths at the protruding edge, a local depolymerization maximum a few microns behind the edge, as well as a differential dominance of the network destabilizer ADF/cofilin and the stabilizer tropomyosin. We identify simple and robust organizational principles giving rise to the derived network characteristics, uncoupled from the specifics of any molecular implementation, and thus plausibly valid across cell types. An analysis of network length dependence on physico-chemical system parameters implies that to limit array treadmilling to cellular dimensions, network growth has to be truncated by mechanisms other than aging-induced depolymerization, e.g., by myosin-associated network dissociation at the transition to the cell body. Our work contributes to the analytical understanding of the cytoskeletal extension's bisection into lamellipodium and lamellum and sheds light on how cells organize their molecular machinery to achieve motility. PMID:21267070

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  1. Broken Detailed Balance of Filament Dynamics in Active Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-15

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Fiber networks amplify active stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenz, Martin; Ronceray, Pierre; Broedersz, Chase

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

  7. 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.

  8. Theorizing Network-Centric Activity in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    HaLevi, Andrew

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Active Contraction of Microtubule Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Activity cliff networks for medicinal chemistry.

    PubMed

    Stumpfe, Dagmar; Bajorath, Jürgen

    2014-08-01

    Network representations are widely used in bioinformatics but have only been little explored in chemistry. Thus far, only a few attempts have been made to generate and analyze compound networks. Among these are the first activity cliff networks. In medicinal chemistry, activity cliffs are focal points of structure-activity relationships (SAR) analysis. Activity cliffs have generally been defined as pairs of structurally similar or analogous active compounds that have a large difference in potency against their target. However, most activity cliffs are not formed in isolation but in a coordinated manner involving multiple highly and weakly potent compounds. Recently, a comprehensive activity cliff network has been generated for current public domain bioactive compounds, hence providing a first global view of activity cliff formation. The design of activity cliff networks is discussed herein. From the global activity cliff network, local networks can be extracted for individual compound activity classes that provide graphical access to high-level SAR information for compound optimization efforts.

  16. Active contraction of microtubule networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. How Sleep Activates Epileptic Networks?

    PubMed Central

    Halász, Peter

    2013-01-01

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

  18. How sleep activates epileptic networks?

    PubMed

    Halász, Peter

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Stochastic-based descriptors studying biopolymers biological properties: extended MARCH-INSIDE methodology describing antibacterial activity of lactoferricin derivatives.

    PubMed

    de Armas, Ronal Ramos; Díaz, Humberto González; Molina, Reinaldo; Uriarte, Eugenio

    2005-04-01

    Lactoferricin are a number of related peptides derived from the enzymatic cleavage of lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein. These peptides, and other peptides derived from them by simple amino acid substitutions, have shown interesting antibacterial activity. In this paper we applied the MARCH-INSIDE methodology extended to peptide and proteins, to a QSAR study related to antibacterial activity of 31 derivatives of lactoffericin against E. Coli and S. Aureus by means of Linear Discriminant (LDA) and Multiple Linear Regression Analysis (MLR). In the case of LDA we obtained models that classify correctly more than 80% of all cases (85.7% for E. Coli antibacterial activity and 83.9 for S. Aureus). With the application of a Leave-One-Out Cross Validation Procedure, the percentage of good classification of both classification models remained near the above reported values (87.1% for E. Coli antibacterial activity and 83.9 for S. Aureus). We obtained several linear regression models taking into account total and local descriptors. The inclusion of those local descriptors improved the correlation parameters, the statistical quality, and the predictive power of the former model obtained only with total descriptors. The best models explained more than 80% of the experimental variance in the antimicrobial activity of those compounds. These results are comparable with those reported previously by Strom (Strom, M. B.; Rekdal, O.; Svendesen, J. S. J Peptide Res 2001, 57, 127-139.) and Tore-Lejon (Lejon, T.; Strom, M.; Svendsen, S. J Protein Sci 2001, 7, 74-78.; Lejon, T.; Svendsen J. S.; Haug, B. E. J Peptide Sci 2002, 8, 302-306.) in a smaller dataset applying Z-scales and volume-based descriptors and PLS as statistical techniques.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  2. Complex networks in brain electrical activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Togni, Giuseppe; Mailland, Federico

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Togni, Giuseppe; Mailland, Federico

    2010-05-01

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

  5. Stochastic cycle selection in active flow networks.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-19

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

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Monitoring Malware Activity on the LAN Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skrzewski, Mirosław

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

  10. 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.

  11. A dissipative network model with neighboring activation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiong, Fei; Liu, Yun; Zhu, Jiang; Jiang Zhang, Zhen; Chao Zhang, Yan; Zhang, Ying

    2011-11-01

    We propose a network model with dissipative structure taking into consideration the effect of neighboring activation and individual dissipation. Nodes may feel tired of interactions with new nodes step by step, and drop out of the network evolution. However, these dormant nodes can become active again following neighbors. During the whole evolution only active nodes have opportunities to receive new links. We analyze user behavior of a real Internet forum, and the statistical characteristics of this forum are analogous to our model. Under the influence of motivation and dissipation, the degree distribution of our network model decays as a power law with a diversity of tunable power exponents. Furthermore, the network has high clustering, small average path length and positive assortativity coefficients.

  12. 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.

  13. Temporal percolation in activity-driven networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starnini, Michele; Pastor-Satorras, Romualdo

    2014-03-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. Spontaneous network activity and synaptic development

    PubMed Central

    Kerschensteiner, Daniel

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Enhancing Biopolymer Dynamics through Destruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Jennifer

    2012-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. [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.

  2. Reconstructing Causal Biological Networks through Active Learning

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Hyunghoon; Berger, Bonnie; Peng, Jian

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Reconstructing Causal Biological Networks through Active Learning.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hyunghoon; Berger, Bonnie; Peng, Jian

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Coordinated network activity in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Draguhn, Andreas; Keller, Martin; Reichinnek, Susanne

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Coordinated network activity in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Draguhn, Andreas; Keller, Martin; Reichinnek, Susanne

    2014-01-01

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

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Sloppiness in spontaneously active neuronal networks.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Position paper on active countermeasures for computer networks.

    SciTech Connect

    Van Randwyk, Jamie A.

    2003-07-01

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

  13. Intruder Activity Analysis under Unreliable Sensor Networks

    SciTech Connect

    Tae-Sic Yoo; Humberto E. Garcia

    2007-09-01

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

  14. The activation of interactive attentional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. 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

  16. [Legal aspects of networking of medical activities].

    PubMed

    Preissler, Reinhold

    2005-04-01

    Medical networks lack a legal definition. From the viewpoint of social law, this term means a form of organization of joint-service providers in a non-specified composition for the undertaking of medical care activities; from the point of view of occupational law, this consists of a loose form of joint practice. Such medical network can conclude treatment contracts with the patients and exchange patients' medical records. A practice network can take over services as contract partner of hospitals or other institutions, in the interest of improved competition chances within the integrated care system. The joining of a third partner is basically left open by the MBO, however according to SGB V this is possible only after approval by all contract partners. In advance of a planned medical care center, is it recommended to found a physician network as starting model. Before single practices fuse into a single enterprise, management-, tax-, legal-, as well as psychological aspects must be considered. PMID:15957655

  17. 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.

  18. Mechanics of light-activated network polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Kevin Nicholas

    Mechanically responsive, environmentally activated polymers can undergo large, complex deformation in response to external stimuli such as thermal, luminous, and chemical changes to the environment. Light as a stimulus provides unique application potential because it allows for remote, rapid, and isothermal activation of the material with precise spatial control via existing optical technologies. While certain systems have received considerable attention, the state of the art of most light-activated polymers is limited to basic characterization and demonstrations. To make such materials available to the engineering and scientific communities, physically based theoretical and computational tools are required to guide experimental and design efforts that capitalize on their complex photo-mechanical couplings. The central objective of this thesis is to develop a multi-physics constitutive modeling framework to simulate the continuum scale, photo mechanical behavior of light-activated polymers and implement it into a finite element analysis setting. This framework is independent of specific underlying photo-stimulation mechanisms and is discussed in the context of photo-activated shape memory polymers and network rearranging polymers. Next, the framework is applied to the light-activated network rearranging polymer system, which is relaxed of stress upon irradiation with UV light, and a suite of characterization and application oriented experiments are carried out to calibrate and validate the model's predictive capabilities. The calibrated model is used to investigate several applications such as photo-activated stress relaxation of notched specimens, bending actuation, creep, the buckling of equi-biaxially deformed and irradiated films, and photomechanically formed 1D channels and ridges. Modeling creep involves additional complexity through simultaneous deformation and irradiation, and so the model framework is extended to cover such scenarios. Experiments, finite

  19. Seismic active control by neutral networks

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Yu

    1995-12-31

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

  20. Stiff substrates enhance cultured neuronal network activity

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Quan-You; Zhang, Yan-Yan; Xie, Jing; Li, Chen-Xu; Chen, Wei-Yi; Liu, Bai-Lin; Wu, Xiao-an; Li, Shu-Na; Huo, Bo; Jiang, Lin-Hua; Zhao, Hu-Cheng

    2014-01-01

    The mechanical property of extracellular matrix and cell-supporting substrates is known to modulate neuronal growth, differentiation, extension and branching. Here we show that substrate stiffness is an important microenvironmental cue, to which mouse hippocampal neurons respond and integrate into synapse formation and transmission in cultured neuronal network. Hippocampal neurons were cultured on polydimethylsiloxane substrates fabricated to have similar surface properties but a 10-fold difference in Young's modulus. Voltage-gated Ca2+ channel currents determined by patch-clamp recording were greater in neurons on stiff substrates than on soft substrates. Ca2+ oscillations in cultured neuronal network monitored using time-lapse single cell imaging increased in both amplitude and frequency among neurons on stiff substrates. Consistently, synaptic connectivity recorded by paired recording was enhanced between neurons on stiff substrates. Furthermore, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic activity became greater and more frequent in neurons on stiff substrates. Evoked excitatory transmitter release and excitatory postsynaptic currents also were heightened at synapses between neurons on stiff substrates. Taken together, our results provide compelling evidence to show that substrate stiffness is an important biophysical factor modulating synapse connectivity and transmission in cultured hippocampal neuronal network. Such information is useful in designing instructive scaffolds or supporting substrates for neural tissue engineering. PMID:25163607

  1. 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

  2. Deep Neural Networks with Multistate Activation Functions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Default network activity, coupled with the frontoparietal control network, supports goal-directed cognition.

    PubMed

    Spreng, R Nathan; Stevens, W Dale; Chamberlain, Jon P; Gilmore, Adrian W; Schacter, Daniel L

    2010-10-15

    Tasks that demand externalized attention reliably suppress default network activity while activating the dorsal attention network. These networks have an intrinsic competitive relationship; activation of one suppresses activity of the other. Consequently, many assume that default network activity is suppressed during goal-directed cognition. We challenge this assumption in an fMRI study of planning. Recent studies link default network activity with internally focused cognition, such as imagining personal future events, suggesting a role in autobiographical planning. However, it is unclear how goal-directed cognition with an internal focus is mediated by these opposing networks. A third anatomically interposed 'frontoparietal control network' might mediate planning across domains, flexibly coupling with either the default or dorsal attention network in support of internally versus externally focused goal-directed cognition, respectively. We tested this hypothesis by analyzing brain activity during autobiographical versus visuospatial planning. Autobiographical planning engaged the default network, whereas visuospatial planning engaged the dorsal attention network, consistent with the anti-correlated domains of internalized and externalized cognition. Critically, both planning tasks engaged the frontoparietal control network. Task-related activation of these three networks was anatomically consistent with independently defined resting-state functional connectivity MRI maps. Task-related functional connectivity analyses demonstrate that the default network can be involved in goal-directed cognition when its activity is coupled with the frontoparietal control network. Additionally, the frontoparietal control network may flexibly couple with the default and dorsal attention networks according to task domain, serving as a cortical mediator linking the two networks in support of goal-directed cognitive processes.

  5. Sum Product Networks for Activity Recognition.

    PubMed

    Amer, Mohamed R; Todorovic, Sinisa

    2016-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Molecular entanglement and electrospinnability of biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Kong, Lingyan; Ziegler, Gregory R

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Davison, Brian H.; Kurtiz,Tanya

    1999-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Davison, Brian H.

    2002-04-30

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

  11. ''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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Douglas L.

    2004-01-01

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

  19. [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.

  20. 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...

  1. Constructive feedforward neural networks using hermite polynomial activation functions.

    PubMed

    Ma, Liying; Khorasani, K

    2005-07-01

    In this paper, a constructive one-hidden-layer network is introduced where each hidden unit employs a polynomial function for its activation function that is different from other units. Specifically, both a structure level as well as a function level adaptation methodologies are utilized in constructing the network. The functional level adaptation scheme ensures that the "growing" or constructive network has different activation functions for each neuron such that the network may be able to capture the underlying input-output map more effectively. The activation functions considered consist of orthonormal Hermite polynomials. It is shown through extensive simulations that the proposed network yields improved performance when compared to networks having identical sigmoidal activation functions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  3. Competing dynamic phases of active polymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  4. Brain network activity in monolingual and bilingual older adults.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Brain network activity in monolingual and bilingual older adults.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Brain Network Activity in Monolingual and Bilingual Older Adults

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Neural network with formed dynamics of activity

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-03-01

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

  8. Generating Coherent Patterns of Activity from Chaotic Neural Networks

    PubMed Central

    Sussillo, David; Abbott, L. F.

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Google matrix of the world network of economic activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  13. 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).

  14. Toward 3D graphene oxide gels based adsorbents for high-efficient water treatment via the promotion of biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Chong Sage; Deng, Jie; Lei, Bei; He, Ai; Zhang, Xiang; Ma, Lang; Li, Shuang; Zhao, Changsheng

    2013-12-15

    Recent studies showed that graphene oxide (GO) presented high adsorption capacities to various water contaminants. However, the needed centrifugation after adsorption and the potential biological toxicity of GO restricted its applications in wastewater treatment. In this study, a facile method is provided by using biopolymers to mediate and synthesize 3D GO based gels. The obtained hybrid gels present well-defined and interconnected 3D porous network, which allows the adsorbate molecules to diffuse easily into the adsorbent. The adsorption experiments indicate that the obtained porous GO-biopolymer gels can efficiently remove cationic dyes and heavy metal ions from wastewater. Methylene blue (MB) and methyl violet (MV), two cationic dyes, are chosen as model adsorbates to investigate the adsorption capability and desorption ratio; meanwhile, the influence of contacting time, initial concentration, and pH value on the adsorption capacity of the prepared GO-biopolymer gels are also studied. The GO-biopolymer gels displayed an adsorption capacity as high as 1100 mg/g for MB dye and 1350 mg/g for MV dye, respectively. Furthermore, the adsorption kinetics and isotherms of the MB were studied in details. The experimental data of MB adsorption fitted well with the pseudo-second-order kinetic model and the Langmuir isotherm, and the results indicated that the adsorption process was controlled by the intraparticle diffusion. Moreover, the adsorption data revealed that the porous GO-biopolymer gels showed good selective adsorbability to cationic dyes and metal ions.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-11-02

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

  18. Temporal dynamics of a homeostatic pathway controlling neural network activity

    PubMed Central

    Bateup, Helen S.; Denefrio, Cassandra L.; Johnson, Caroline A.; Saulnier, Jessica L.; Sabatini, Bernardo L.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons use a variety of mechanisms to homeostatically regulate neural network activity in order to maintain firing in a bounded range. One such process involves the bi-directional modulation of excitatory synaptic drive in response to chronic changes in network activity. Down-scaling of excitatory synapses in response to high activity requires Arc-dependent endocytosis of glutamate receptors. However, the temporal dynamics and signaling pathways regulating Arc during homeostatic plasticity are not well understood. Here we determine the relative contribution of transcriptional and translational control in the regulation of Arc, the signaling pathways responsible for the activity-dependent production of Arc, and the time course of these signaling events as they relate to the homeostatic adjustment of network activity in hippocampal neurons. We find that an ERK1/2-dependent transcriptional pathway active within 1–2 h of up-regulated network activity induces Arc leading to a restoration of network spiking rates within 12 h. Under basal and low activity conditions, specialized mechanisms are in place to rapidly degrade Arc mRNA and protein such that they have half-lives of less than 1 h. In addition, we find that while mTOR signaling is regulated by network activity on a similar time scale, mTOR-dependent translational control is not a major regulator of Arc production or degradation suggesting that the signaling pathways underlying homeostatic plasticity are distinct from those mediating synapse-specific forms of synaptic depression. PMID:24065881

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. Detecting eavesdropping activity in fiber optic networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, Gregory G.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levin, James A.; And Others

    1989-01-01

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

  3. The Global Space Geodesy Network: Activities Underway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Multiplex networks with heterogeneous activities of the nodes.

    PubMed

    Cellai, Davide; Bianconi, Ginestra

    2016-03-01

    In multiplex networks with a large number of layers, the nodes can have different activities, indicating the total number of layers in which the nodes are present. Here we model multiplex networks with heterogeneous activity of the nodes and we study their robustness properties. We introduce a percolation model where nodes need to belong to the giant component only on the layers where they are active (i.e., their degree on that layer is larger than zero). We show that when there are enough nodes active only in one layer, the multiplex becomes more resilient and the transition becomes continuous. We find that multiplex networks with a power-law distribution of node activities are more fragile if the distribution of activity is broader. We also show that while positive correlations between node activity and degree can enhance the robustness of the system, the phase transition may become discontinuous, making the system highly unpredictable. PMID:27078361

  6. Active Sampling in Evolving Neural Networks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parisi, Domenico

    1997-01-01

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

  7. Epidemic spreading and immunization in node-activity networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Qingchu; Chen, Shufang

    2015-09-01

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

  8. Robust state estimation for neural networks with discontinuous activations.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoyang; Cao, Jinde

    2010-12-01

    Discontinuous dynamical systems, particularly neural networks with discontinuous activation functions, arise in a number of applications and have received considerable research attention in recent years. In this paper, the robust state estimation problem is investigated for uncertain neural networks with discontinuous activations and time-varying delays, where the neuron-dependent nonlinear disturbance on the network outputs are only assumed to satisfy the local Lipschitz condition. Based on the theory of differential inclusions and nonsmooth analysis, several criteria are presented to guarantee the existence of the desired robust state estimator for the discontinuous neural networks. It is shown that the design of the state estimator for such networks can be achieved by solving some linear matrix inequalities, which are dependent on the size of the time derivative of the time-varying delays. Finally, numerical examples are given to illustrate the theoretical results.

  9. Network Interventions on Physical Activity in an Afterschool Program: An Agent-Based Social Network Study

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jun; Shoham, David A.; Tesdahl, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Objectives. We studied simulated interventions that leveraged social networks to increase physical activity in children. Methods. We studied a real-world social network of 81 children (average age = 7.96 years) who lived in low socioeconomic status neighborhoods, and attended public schools and 1 of 2 structured afterschool programs. The sample was ethnically diverse, and 44% were overweight or obese. We used social network analysis and agent-based modeling simulations to test whether implementing a network intervention would increase children’s physical activity. We tested 3 intervention strategies. Results. The intervention that targeted opinion leaders was effective in increasing the average level of physical activity across the entire network. However, the intervention that targeted the most sedentary children was the best at increasing their physical activity levels. Conclusions. Which network intervention to implement depends on whether the goal is to shift the entire distribution of physical activity or to influence those most adversely affected by low physical activity. Agent-based modeling could be an important complement to traditional project planning tools, analogous to sample size and power analyses, to help researchers design more effective interventions for increasing children’s physical activity. PMID:25689202

  10. On the Dynamics of the Spontaneous Activity in Neuronal Networks

    PubMed Central

    Bonifazi, Paolo; Ruaro, Maria Elisabetta; Torre, Vincent

    2007-01-01

    Most neuronal networks, even in the absence of external stimuli, produce spontaneous bursts of spikes separated by periods of reduced activity. The origin and functional role of these neuronal events are still unclear. The present work shows that the spontaneous activity of two very different networks, intact leech ganglia and dissociated cultures of rat hippocampal neurons, share several features. Indeed, in both networks: i) the inter-spike intervals distribution of the spontaneous firing of single neurons is either regular or periodic or bursting, with the fraction of bursting neurons depending on the network activity; ii) bursts of spontaneous spikes have the same broad distributions of size and duration; iii) the degree of correlated activity increases with the bin width, and the power spectrum of the network firing rate has a 1/f behavior at low frequencies, indicating the existence of long-range temporal correlations; iv) the activity of excitatory synaptic pathways mediated by NMDA receptors is necessary for the onset of the long-range correlations and for the presence of large bursts; v) blockage of inhibitory synaptic pathways mediated by GABAA receptors causes instead an increase in the correlation among neurons and leads to a burst distribution composed only of very small and very large bursts. These results suggest that the spontaneous electrical activity in neuronal networks with different architectures and functions can have very similar properties and common dynamics. PMID:17502919

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

    SciTech Connect

    2002-04-01

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

  12. Activator-inhibitor systems on heterogeneous ecological networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  13. Decorrelation of Neural-Network Activity by Inhibitory Feedback

    PubMed Central

    Einevoll, Gaute T.; Diesmann, Markus

    2012-01-01

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

  14. ICA model order selection of task co-activation networks

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Kimberly L.; McKay, D. Reese; Fox, Peter M.; Riedel, Michael C.; Uecker, Angela M.; Beckmann, Christian F.; Smith, Stephen M.; Fox, Peter T.; Laird, Angela R.

    2013-01-01

    Independent component analysis (ICA) has become a widely used method for extracting functional networks in the brain during rest and task. Historically, preferred ICA dimensionality has widely varied within the neuroimaging community, but typically varies between 20 and 100 components. This can be problematic when comparing results across multiple studies because of the impact ICA dimensionality has on the topology of its resultant components. Recent studies have demonstrated that ICA can be applied to peak activation coordinates archived in a large neuroimaging database (i.e., BrainMap Database) to yield whole-brain task-based co-activation networks. A strength of applying ICA to BrainMap data is that the vast amount of metadata in BrainMap can be used to quantitatively assess tasks and cognitive processes contributing to each component. In this study, we investigated the effect of model order on the distribution of functional properties across networks as a method for identifying the most informative decompositions of BrainMap-based ICA components. Our findings suggest dimensionality of 20 for low model order ICA to examine large-scale brain networks, and dimensionality of 70 to provide insight into how large-scale networks fractionate into sub-networks. We also provide a functional and organizational assessment of visual, motor, emotion, and interoceptive task co-activation networks as they fractionate from low to high model-orders. PMID:24339802

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakao, Hiroya; Mikhailov, Alexander S.

    2010-07-01

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

  16. 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.)

  17. 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

  18. Connectivity, excitability and activity patterns in neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  4. TeleScience Activities: Educational Uses of Electronic Networks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waugh, Michael L.; Levin, James A.

    1989-01-01

    Described are successful science activities which have been conducted on an international telecommunications network which links schools in the United States, Mexico, Japan, and Israel. Examined are several activities currently being developed. Reports an innovative way to involve a wide range of students in the scientific process. (MVL)

  5. Percolation transition in active neural networks with adaptive geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iudin, F. D.; Iudin, D. I.; Kazantsev, V. B.

    2015-02-01

    A mathematical model has been proposed for a neural network whose morphological structure varies dynamically depending on activity. This is the property of the so-called structural plasticity typical of developed neural systems of a brain. It has been shown that the spontaneous generation and propagation of a signal in such networks correspond to a percolation transition and the appearance of the connectivity component covering the entire system. Furthermore, adaptive change in the geometric structure of a network results in the clustering of cells and in the reduction of the effective percolation threshold, which corresponds to experimental neurobiological observations.

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

    PubMed Central

    McCullen, Nick; Wagenknecht, Thomas

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCullen, Nick; Wagenknecht, Thomas

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    McCullen, Nick; Wagenknecht, Thomas

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Collective versus hub activation of epidemic phases on networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Coordinating Computing, Network and Archiving activities within INAF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  13. Fast transient networks in spontaneous human brain activity

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Fast transient networks in spontaneous human brain activity.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-12

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-12

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konno, Tomohiko

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Evers, Jan Felix; Eglen, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Charles H.

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

  4. 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

  5. Photonic network R and D activities in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-30

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

  9. Tracking and activity recognition through consensus in distributed camera networks.

    PubMed

    Song, Bi; Kamal, Ahmed T; Soto, Cristian; Ding, Chong; Farrell, Jay A; Roy-Chowdhury, Amit K

    2010-10-01

    Camera networks are being deployed for various applications like security and surveillance, disaster response and environmental modeling. However, there is little automated processing of the data. Moreover, most methods for multicamera analysis are centralized schemes that require the data to be present at a central server. In many applications, this is prohibitively expensive, both technically and economically. In this paper, we investigate distributed scene analysis algorithms by leveraging upon concepts of consensus that have been studied in the context of multiagent systems, but have had little applications in video analysis. Each camera estimates certain parameters based upon its own sensed data which is then shared locally with the neighboring cameras in an iterative fashion, and a final estimate is arrived at in the network using consensus algorithms. We specifically focus on two basic problems-tracking and activity recognition. For multitarget tracking in a distributed camera network, we show how the Kalman-Consensus algorithm can be adapted to take into account the directional nature of video sensors and the network topology. For the activity recognition problem, we derive a probabilistic consensus scheme that combines the similarity scores of neighboring cameras to come up with a probability for each action at the network level. Thorough experimental results are shown on real data along with a quantitative analysis.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Biomimetic active emulsions capture cell dynamics and direct bio-inspired materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrlicher, Allen; Amstad, Esther; Segmehl, Jana; Nakamura, Fumihiko; Stossel, Thomas; Pollak, Martin; Weitz, David

    2013-03-01

    The main biopolymers which make up the cellular cytoskeleton and provide cells with their shape are well understood, yet, how they organize into structures and set given cellular behavior remains unclear. We have reconstituted minimal networks of actin, a ubiquitous biopolymer, along with an associated motor protein myosin II to create biomimetic networks which replicate cell structure and actively contract when selectively provided with ATP. We emulsify these networks in 10-100 micron drops, provide a system to investigate strain-mediated protein interactions and network behavior in confined cell-similar volumes. These networks allow us to study strain-mediated protein-specific interactions in an actin network at a precision impossible in vivo. Using this system, we have identified strain-dependent behavior in actin cross linking proteins; mechanotransduction of signaling proteins in Filamin A, and unique catch-bond behavior in Alpha-actinin. This understanding of biopolymer self-organization to set cell mechanics, will help clarify how biology both generates and reacts to force; moreover this system provides a highly controlled platform for studying non-equilibrium materials, and creating microscopic building block for a entirely new class of active materials.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Network activity of mirror neurons depends on experience.

    PubMed

    Ushakov, Vadim L; Kartashov, Sergey I; Zavyalova, Victoria V; Bezverhiy, Denis D; Posichanyuk, Vladimir I; Terentev, Vasliliy N; Anokhin, Konstantin V

    2013-03-01

    In this work, the investigation of network activity of mirror neurons systems in animal brains depending on experience (existence or absence performance of the shown actions) was carried out. It carried out the research of mirror neurons network in the C57/BL6 line mice in the supervision task of swimming mice-demonstrators in Morris water maze. It showed the presence of mirror neurons systems in the motor cortex M1, M2, cingular cortex, hippocampus in mice groups, having experience of the swimming and without it. The conclusion is drawn about the possibility of the new functional network systems formation by means of mirror neurons systems and the acquisition of new knowledge through supervision by the animals in non-specific tasks.

  16. Actin network architecture can determine myosin motor activity.

    PubMed

    Reymann, Anne-Cécile; Boujemaa-Paterski, Rajaa; Martiel, Jean-Louis; Guérin, Christophe; Cao, Wenxiang; Chin, Harvey F; De La Cruz, Enrique M; Théry, Manuel; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2012-06-01

    The organization of actin filaments into higher-ordered structures governs eukaryotic cell shape and movement. Global actin network size and architecture are maintained in a dynamic steady state through regulated assembly and disassembly. Here, we used experimentally defined actin structures in vitro to investigate how the activity of myosin motors depends on network architecture. Direct visualization of filaments revealed myosin-induced actin network deformation. During this reorganization, myosins selectively contracted and disassembled antiparallel actin structures, while parallel actin bundles remained unaffected. The local distribution of nucleation sites and the resulting orientation of actin filaments appeared to regulate the scalability of the contraction process. This "orientation selection" mechanism for selective contraction and disassembly suggests how the dynamics of the cellular actin cytoskeleton can be spatially controlled by actomyosin contractility.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.)

  19. 3D Filament Network Segmentation with Multiple Active Contours

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kafashan, MohammadMehdi; Ching, ShiNung

    2015-12-01

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

  1. 3D Actin Network Centerline Extraction with Multiple Active Contours

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  4. Amyloid beta modulation of neuronal network activity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Charkhkar, Hamid; Meyyappan, Susheela; Matveeva, Evgenia; Moll, Jonathan R; McHail, Daniel G; Peixoto, Nathalia; Cliff, Richard O; Pancrazio, Joseph J

    2015-12-10

    In vitro assays offer a means of screening potential therapeutics and accelerating the drug development process. Here, we utilized neuronal cultures on planar microelectrode arrays (MEA) as a functional assay to assess the neurotoxicity of amyloid-β 1-42 (Aβ42), a biomolecule implicated in the Alzheimer׳s disease (AD). In this approach, neurons harvested from embryonic mice were seeded on the substrate-integrated microelectrode arrays. The cultured neurons form a spontaneously active network, and the spiking activity as a functional endpoint could be detected via the MEA. Aβ42 oligomer, but not monomer, significantly reduced network spike rate. In addition, we demonstrated that the ionotropic glutamate receptors, NMDA and AMPA/kainate, play a role in the effects of Aβ42 on neuronal activity in vitro. To examine the utility of the MEA-based assay for AD drug discovery, we tested two model therapeutics for AD, methylene blue (MB) and memantine. Our results show an almost full recovery in the activity within 24h after administration of Aβ42 in the cultures pre-treated with either MB or memantine. Our findings suggest that cultured neuronal networks may be a useful platform in screening potential therapeutics for Aβ induced changes in neurological function.

  5. Amyloid beta modulation of neuronal network activity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Charkhkar, Hamid; Meyyappan, Susheela; Matveeva, Evgenia; Moll, Jonathan R; McHail, Daniel G; Peixoto, Nathalia; Cliff, Richard O; Pancrazio, Joseph J

    2015-12-10

    In vitro assays offer a means of screening potential therapeutics and accelerating the drug development process. Here, we utilized neuronal cultures on planar microelectrode arrays (MEA) as a functional assay to assess the neurotoxicity of amyloid-β 1-42 (Aβ42), a biomolecule implicated in the Alzheimer׳s disease (AD). In this approach, neurons harvested from embryonic mice were seeded on the substrate-integrated microelectrode arrays. The cultured neurons form a spontaneously active network, and the spiking activity as a functional endpoint could be detected via the MEA. Aβ42 oligomer, but not monomer, significantly reduced network spike rate. In addition, we demonstrated that the ionotropic glutamate receptors, NMDA and AMPA/kainate, play a role in the effects of Aβ42 on neuronal activity in vitro. To examine the utility of the MEA-based assay for AD drug discovery, we tested two model therapeutics for AD, methylene blue (MB) and memantine. Our results show an almost full recovery in the activity within 24h after administration of Aβ42 in the cultures pre-treated with either MB or memantine. Our findings suggest that cultured neuronal networks may be a useful platform in screening potential therapeutics for Aβ induced changes in neurological function. PMID:26453830

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  7. Neuron network activity scales exponentially with synapse density.

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-01

    Neuronal network output in the cortex as a function of synapse density during development has not been explicitly determined. Synaptic scaling in cortical brain networks seems to alter excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to produce a representative rate of synaptic output. Here, we cultured rat hippocampal neurons over a three-week period to correlate synapse density with the increase in spontaneous spiking activity. We followed the network development as synapse formation and spike rate in two serum-free media optimized for either (a) neuron survival (Neurobasal/B27) or (b) spike rate (NbActiv4). We found that while synaptophysin synapse density increased linearly with development, spike rates increased exponentially in developing neuronal networks. Synaptic receptor components NR1, GluR1 and GABA-A also increase linearly but with more excitatory receptors than inhibitory. These results suggest that the brain's information processing capability gains more from increasing connectivity of the processing units than increasing processing units, much as Internet information flow increases much faster than the linear number of nodes and connections. PMID:19104141

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

    PubMed

    Greulich, P; Santen, L

    2010-06-01

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

  9. Time-resolved microrheology of actively remodeling actomyosin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-29

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  18. A neural network model for olfactory glomerular activity prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Postel, John; Bannister, Joe

    2000-03-15

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

  20. PersonA: Persuasive social network for physical Activity.

    PubMed

    Ayubi, Soleh U; Parmanto, Bambang

    2012-01-01

    Advances in physical activity (PA) monitoring devices provide ample opportunities for innovations in the way the information produced by these devices is used to encourage people to have more active lifestyles. One such innovation is expanding the current use of the information from self-management to social support. We developed a Persuasive social network for physical Activity (PersonA) that combines automatic input of physical activity data, a smartphone, and a social networking system (SNS). This paper describes the motivation for and overarching design of the PersonA and its functional and non-functional features. PersonA is designed to intelligently and automatically receive raw PA data from the sensors in the smartphone, calculate the data into meaningful PA information, store the information on a secure server, and show the information to the users as persuasive and real-time feedbacks or publish the information to the SNS to generate social support. The implementation of self-monitoring, social support, and persuasive concepts using currently available technologies has the potential for promoting healthy lifestyle, greater community participation, and higher quality of life. We also expect that PersonA will enable health professionals to collect in situ data related to physical activity. The platform is currently being used and tested to improve PA level of three groups of users in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Multistimuli-Responsive, Moldable Supramolecular Hydrogels Cross-Linked by Ultrafast Complexation of Metal Ions and Biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhifang; Lv, Fucong; Cao, Lujie; Liu, Lin; Zhang, Yi; Lu, Zhouguang

    2015-06-26

    A new type of multistimuli-responsive hydrogels cross-linked by metal ions and biopolymers is reported. By mixing the biopolymer chitosan (CS) with a variety of metal ions at the appropriate pH values, we obtained a series of transparent and stable hydrogels within a few seconds through supramolecular complexation. In particular, the CS-Ag hydrogel was chosen as the model and the gelation mechanism was revealed by various measurements. It was found that the facile association of Ag(+) ions with amino and hydroxy groups in CS chains promoted rapid gel-network formation. Interestingly, the CS-Ag hydrogel exhibits sharp phase transitions in response to multiple external stimuli, including pH value, chemical redox reactions, cations, anions, and neutral species. Furthermore, this soft matter showed a remarkable moldability to form shape-persistent, free-standing objects by a fast in situ gelation procedure.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Extraction of Multilayered Social Networks from Activity Data

    PubMed Central

    Bródka, Piotr; Kazienko, Przemysław; Gaworecki, Jarosław

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Innovation diffusion on time-varying activity driven networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzo, Alessandro; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Active multi-point microrheology of cytoskeletal networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Extraction of multilayered social networks from activity data.

    PubMed

    Musial, Katarzyna; Bródka, Piotr; Kazienko, Przemysław; Gaworecki, Jarosław

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-17

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. Social status modulates neural activity in the mentalizing network

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Default-mode-like network activation in awake rodents.

    PubMed

    Upadhyay, Jaymin; Baker, Scott J; Chandran, Prasant; Miller, Loan; Lee, Younglim; Marek, Gerard J; Sakoglu, Unal; Chin, Chih-Liang; Luo, Feng; Fox, Gerard B; Day, Mark

    2011-01-01

    During wakefulness and in absence of performing tasks or sensory processing, the default-mode network (DMN), an intrinsic central nervous system (CNS) network, is in an active state. Non-human primate and human CNS imaging studies have identified the DMN in these two species. Clinical imaging studies have shown that the pattern of activity within the DMN is often modulated in various disease states (e.g., Alzheimer's, schizophrenia or chronic pain). However, whether the DMN exists in awake rodents has not been characterized. The current data provides evidence that awake rodents also possess 'DMN-like' functional connectivity, but only subsequent to habituation to what is initially a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environment as well as physical restraint. Specifically, the habituation process spanned across four separate scanning sessions (Day 2, 4, 6 and 8). At Day 8, significant (p<0.05) functional connectivity was observed amongst structures such as the anterior cingulate (seed region), retrosplenial, parietal, and hippocampal cortices. Prior to habituation (Day 2), functional connectivity was only detected (p<0.05) amongst CNS structures known to mediate anxiety (i.e., anterior cingulate (seed region), posterior hypothalamic area, amygdala and parabracial nucleus). In relating functional connectivity between cingulate-default-mode and cingulate-anxiety structures across Days 2-8, a significant inverse relationship (r = -0.65, p = 0.0004) was observed between these two functional interactions such that increased cingulate-DMN connectivity corresponded to decreased cingulate anxiety network connectivity. This investigation demonstrates that the cingulate is an important component of both the rodent DMN-like and anxiety networks.

  19. Pre-stimulus BOLD-network activation modulates EEG spectral activity during working memory retention.

    PubMed

    Kottlow, Mara; Schlaepfer, Anthony; Baenninger, Anja; Michels, Lars; Brandeis, Daniel; Koenig, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) processes depend on our momentary mental state and therefore exhibit considerable fluctuations. Here, we investigate the interplay of task-preparatory and task-related brain activity as represented by pre-stimulus BOLD-fluctuations and spectral EEG from the retention periods of a visual WM task. Visual WM is used to maintain sensory information in the brain enabling the performance of cognitive operations and is associated with mental health. We tested 22 subjects simultaneously with EEG and fMRI while performing a visuo-verbal Sternberg task with two different loads, allowing for the temporal separation of preparation, encoding, retention and retrieval periods. Four temporally coherent networks (TCNs)-the default mode network (DMN), the dorsal attention, the right and the left WM network-were extracted from the continuous BOLD data by means of a group ICA. Subsequently, the modulatory effect of these networks' pre-stimulus activation upon retention-related EEG activity in the theta, alpha, and beta frequencies was analyzed. The obtained results are informative in the context of state-dependent information processing. We were able to replicate two well-known load-dependent effects: the frontal-midline theta increase during the task and the decrease of pre-stimulus DMN activity. As our main finding, these two measures seem to depend on each other as the significant negative correlations at frontal-midline channels suggested. Thus, suppressed pre-stimulus DMN levels facilitated later task related frontal midline theta increases. In general, based on previous findings that neuronal coupling in different frequency bands may underlie distinct functions in WM retention, our results suggest that processes reflected by spectral oscillations during retention seem not only to be "online" synchronized with activity in different attention-related networks but are also modulated by activity in these networks during preparation intervals. PMID:25999828

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Wireless sensor networks for active vibration control in automobile structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mieyeville, Fabien; Ichchou, Mohamed; Scorletti, Gérard; Navarro, David; Du, Wan

    2012-07-01

    Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are nowadays widely used in monitoring and tracking applications. This paper presents the feasibility of using WSNs in active vibration control strategies. The method employed here involves active-structural acoustic control using piezoelectric sensors distributed on a car structure. This system aims at being merged with a WSN whose head node collects data and processes control laws so as to command piezoelectric actuators wisely placed on the structure. We will study the feasibility of implementing WSNs in active vibration control and introduce a complete design methodology to optimize hardware/software and control law synergy in mechatronic systems. A design space exploration will be conducted so as to identify the best WSN platform and the resulting impact on control.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Artificial neural network prediction of antisense oligodeoxynucleotide activity.

    PubMed

    Giddings, Michael C; Shah, Atul A; Freier, Sue; Atkins, John F; Gesteland, Raymond F; Matveeva, Olga V

    2002-10-01

    An mRNA transcript contains many potential antisense oligodeoxynucleotide target sites. Identification of the most efficacious targets remains an important and challenging problem. Building on separate work that revealed a strong correlation between the inclusion of short sequence motifs and the activity level of an oligo, we have developed a predictive artificial neural network system for mapping tetranucleotide motif content to antisense oligo activity. Trained for high-specificity prediction, the system has been cross-validated against a database of 348 oligos from the literature and a larger proprietary database of 908 oligos. In cross- validation tests the system identified effective oligos (i.e. oligos capable of reducing target mRNA expression to <25% that of the control) with 53% accuracy, in contrast to the <10% success rates commonly reported for trial-and-error oligo selection, suggesting a possible 5-fold reduction in the in vivo screening required to find an active oligo. We have implemented a web interface to a trained neural network. Given an RNA transcript as input, the system identifies the most likely oligo targets and provides estimates of the probabilities that oligos targeted against these sites will be effective. PMID:12364609

  6. Environmental Monitoring Networks Optimization Using Advanced Active Learning Algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanevski, Mikhail; Volpi, Michele; Copa, Loris

    2010-05-01

    The problem of environmental monitoring networks optimization (MNO) belongs to one of the basic and fundamental tasks in spatio-temporal data collection, analysis, and modeling. There are several approaches to this problem, which can be considered as a design or redesign of monitoring network by applying some optimization criteria. The most developed and widespread methods are based on geostatistics (family of kriging models, conditional stochastic simulations). In geostatistics the variance is mainly used as an optimization criterion which has some advantages and drawbacks. In the present research we study an application of advanced techniques following from the statistical learning theory (SLT) - support vector machines (SVM) and the optimization of monitoring networks when dealing with a classification problem (data are discrete values/classes: hydrogeological units, soil types, pollution decision levels, etc.) is considered. SVM is a universal nonlinear modeling tool for classification problems in high dimensional spaces. The SVM solution is maximizing the decision boundary between classes and has a good generalization property for noisy data. The sparse solution of SVM is based on support vectors - data which contribute to the solution with nonzero weights. Fundamentally the MNO for classification problems can be considered as a task of selecting new measurement points which increase the quality of spatial classification and reduce the testing error (error on new independent measurements). In SLT this is a typical problem of active learning - a selection of the new unlabelled points which efficiently reduce the testing error. A classical approach (margin sampling) to active learning is to sample the points closest to the classification boundary. This solution is suboptimal when points (or generally the dataset) are redundant for the same class. In the present research we propose and study two new advanced methods of active learning adapted to the solution of

  7. Antituberculosis activity of the molecular libraries screening center network library.

    PubMed

    Maddry, Joseph A; Ananthan, Subramaniam; Goldman, Robert C; Hobrath, Judith V; Kwong, Cecil D; Maddox, Clinton; Rasmussen, Lynn; Reynolds, Robert C; Secrist, John A; Sosa, Melinda I; White, E Lucile; Zhang, Wei

    2009-09-01

    There is an urgent need for the discovery and development of new antitubercular agents that target novel biochemical pathways and treat drug-resistant forms of the disease. One approach to addressing this need is through high-throughput screening of drug-like small molecule libraries against the whole bacterium in order to identify a variety of new, active scaffolds that will stimulate additional biological research and drug discovery. Through the Molecular Libraries Screening Center Network, the NIAID Tuberculosis Antimicrobial Acquisition and Coordinating Facility tested a 215,110-compound library against Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain H37Rv. A medicinal chemistry survey of the results from the screening campaign is reported herein.

  8. Active traffic management on road networks: a macroscopic approach.

    PubMed

    Kurzhanskiy, Alex A; Varaiya, Pravin

    2010-10-13

    Active traffic management (ATM) is the ability to dynamically manage recurrent and non-recurrent congestion based on prevailing traffic conditions in order to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of road networks. It is a continuous process of (i) obtaining and analysing traffic measurement data, (ii) operations planning, i.e. simulating various scenarios and control strategies, (iii) implementing the most promising control strategies in the field, and (iv) maintaining a real-time decision support system that filters current traffic measurements to predict the traffic state in the near future, and to suggest the best available control strategy for the predicted situation. ATM relies on a fast and trusted traffic simulator for the rapid quantitative assessment of a large number of control strategies for the road network under various scenarios, in a matter of minutes. The open-source macrosimulation tool Aurora ROAD NETWORK MODELER is a good candidate for this purpose. The paper describes the underlying dynamical traffic model and what it takes to prepare the model for simulation; covers the traffic performance measures and evaluation of scenarios as part of operations planning; introduces the framework within which the control strategies are modelled and evaluated; and presents the algorithm for real-time traffic state estimation and short-term prediction.

  9. Mapping Epileptic Activity: Sources or Networks for the Clinicians?

    PubMed Central

    Pittau, Francesca; Mégevand, Pierre; Sheybani, Laurent; Abela, Eugenio; Grouiller, Frédéric; Spinelli, Laurent; Michel, Christoph M.; Seeck, Margitta; Vulliemoz, Serge

    2014-01-01

    Epileptic seizures of focal origin are classically considered to arise from a focal epileptogenic zone and then spread to other brain regions. This is a key concept for semiological electro-clinical correlations, localization of relevant structural lesions, and selection of patients for epilepsy surgery. Recent development in neuro-imaging and electro-physiology and combinations, thereof, have been validated as contributory tools for focus localization. In parallel, these techniques have revealed that widespread networks of brain regions, rather than a single epileptogenic region, are implicated in focal epileptic activity. Sophisticated multimodal imaging and analysis strategies of brain connectivity patterns have been developed to characterize the spatio-temporal relationships within these networks by combining the strength of both techniques to optimize spatial and temporal resolution with whole-brain coverage and directional connectivity. In this paper, we review the potential clinical contribution of these functional mapping techniques as well as invasive electrophysiology in human beings and animal models for characterizing network connectivity. PMID:25414692

  10. Temporal dynamics of spontaneous MEG activity in brain networks.

    PubMed

    de Pasquale, Francesco; Della Penna, Stefania; Snyder, Abraham Z; Lewis, Christopher; Mantini, Dante; Marzetti, Laura; Belardinelli, Paolo; Ciancetta, Luca; Pizzella, Vittorio; Romani, Gian Luca; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2010-03-30

    Functional MRI (fMRI) studies have shown that low-frequency (<0.1 Hz) spontaneous fluctuations of the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal during restful wakefulness are coherent within distributed large-scale cortical and subcortical networks (resting state networks, RSNs). The neuronal mechanisms underlying RSNs remain poorly understood. Here, we describe magnetoencephalographic correspondents of two well-characterized RSNs: the dorsal attention and the default mode networks. Seed-based correlation mapping was performed using time-dependent MEG power reconstructed at each voxel within the brain. The topography of RSNs computed on the basis of extended (5 min) epochs was similar to that observed with fMRI but confined to the same hemisphere as the seed region. Analyses taking into account the nonstationarity of MEG activity showed transient formation of more complete RSNs, including nodes in the contralateral hemisphere. Spectral analysis indicated that RSNs manifest in MEG as synchronous modulation of band-limited power primarily within the theta, alpha, and beta bands-that is, in frequencies slower than those associated with the local electrophysiological correlates of event-related BOLD responses. PMID:20304792

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Origin of thoracic spinal network activity during locomotor-like activity in the neonatal rat.

    PubMed

    Beliez, Lauriane; Barrière, Grégory; Bertrand, Sandrine S; Cazalets, Jean-René

    2015-04-15

    Effective quadrupedal locomotor behaviors require the coordination of many muscles in the limbs, back, neck, and tail. Because of the spinal motoneuronal somatotopic organization, motor coordination implies interactions among distant spinal networks. Here, we investigated some of the interactions between the lumbar locomotor networks that control limb movements and the thoracic networks that control the axial muscles involved in trunk movement. For this purpose, we used an in vitro isolated newborn rat spinal cord (from T2 to sacrococcygeal) preparation. Using extracellular ventral root recordings, we showed that, while the thoracic cord possesses an intrinsic rhythmogenic capacity, the lumbar circuits, if they are rhythmically active, will entrain the rhythmicity of the thoracic circuitry. However, if the lumbar circuits are rhythmically active, these latter circuits will entrain the rhythmicity of the thoracic circuitry. Blocking the synaptic transmission in some thoracic areas revealed that the lumbar locomotor network could trigger locomotor bursting in distant thoracic segments through short and long propriospinal pathways. Patch-clamp recordings revealed that 72% of the thoracic motoneurons (locomotor-driven motoneurons) expressed membrane potential oscillations and spiking activity coordinated with the locomotor activity expressed by the lumbar cord. A biphasic excitatory (glutamatergic)/inhibitory (glycinergic) synaptic drive was recorded in thoracic locomotor-driven motoneurons. Finally, we found evidence that part of this locomotor drive involved a monosynaptic component coming directly from the lumbar locomotor network. We conclude that the lumbar locomotor network plays a central role in the generation of locomotor outputs in the thoracic cord by acting at both the premotoneuronal and motoneuronal levels. PMID:25878284

  17. [The role of vitamin K in the metabolism of connective tissue biopolymers (review)].

    PubMed

    Sharaev, P N

    1984-01-01

    Metabolism of connective tissue biopolymers was studied under conditions of various content of vitamin K in the body. The data obtained suggest the existence of a new metabolic effect of vitamin K--its participation as an allosteric activator in regulation of glucosamine synthetase (EC 5.3.1.19). The anabolic effect of vitamin K on connective tissue is apparently related to an increase in the rate of biosynthesis of glucosamine-6-phosphate--general precursor of glycosaminoglycans, glycoproteins and hexosamine-containing glycolipids. PMID:6369774

  18. Photonic Network R&D Activities in Japan-Current Activities and Future Perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-10-01

    R&D activities on photonic networks in Japan are presented. First, milestones in current ongoing R&D programs supported by Japanese government agencies are introduced, including long-distance and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) fiber transmission, wavelength routing, optical burst switching (OBS), and control-plane technology for IP backbone networks. Their goal was set to evolve a legacy telecommunications network to IP-over-WDM networks by introducing technologies for WDM and wavelength routing. We then discuss the perspectives of so-called PHASE II R&D programs for photonic networks over the next 5 years until 2010, by focusing on the report that has been recently issued by the Photonic Internet Forum (PIF), a consortium that has major carriers, telecom vendors, and Japanese academics as members. The PHASE II R&D programs should serve to establish a photonic platform to provide abundant bandwidth on demand, at any time on a real-time basis, through the customer's initiative to promote bandwidth-rich applications, such as grid computing, real-time digital-cinema streaming, medical and educational applications, and network storage in e-commerce.

  19. Stock price change rate prediction by utilizing social network activities.

    PubMed

    Deng, Shangkun; Mitsubuchi, Takashi; Sakurai, Akito

    2014-01-01

    Predicting stock price change rates for providing valuable information to investors is a challenging task. Individual participants may express their opinions in social network service (SNS) before or after their transactions in the market; we hypothesize that stock price change rate is better predicted by a function of social network service activities and technical indicators than by a function of just stock market activities. The hypothesis is tested by accuracy of predictions as well as performance of simulated trading because success or failure of prediction is better measured by profits or losses the investors gain or suffer. In this paper, we propose a hybrid model that combines multiple kernel learning (MKL) and genetic algorithm (GA). MKL is adopted to optimize the stock price change rate prediction models that are expressed in a multiple kernel linear function of different types of features extracted from different sources. GA is used to optimize the trading rules used in the simulated trading by fusing the return predictions and values of three well-known overbought and oversold technical indicators. Accumulated return and Sharpe ratio were used to test the goodness of performance of the simulated trading. Experimental results show that our proposed model performed better than other models including ones using state of the art techniques.

  20. Stock Price Change Rate Prediction by Utilizing Social Network Activities

    PubMed Central

    Mitsubuchi, Takashi; Sakurai, Akito

    2014-01-01

    Predicting stock price change rates for providing valuable information to investors is a challenging task. Individual participants may express their opinions in social network service (SNS) before or after their transactions in the market; we hypothesize that stock price change rate is better predicted by a function of social network service activities and technical indicators than by a function of just stock market activities. The hypothesis is tested by accuracy of predictions as well as performance of simulated trading because success or failure of prediction is better measured by profits or losses the investors gain or suffer. In this paper, we propose a hybrid model that combines multiple kernel learning (MKL) and genetic algorithm (GA). MKL is adopted to optimize the stock price change rate prediction models that are expressed in a multiple kernel linear function of different types of features extracted from different sources. GA is used to optimize the trading rules used in the simulated trading by fusing the return predictions and values of three well-known overbought and oversold technical indicators. Accumulated return and Sharpe ratio were used to test the goodness of performance of the simulated trading. Experimental results show that our proposed model performed better than other models including ones using state of the art techniques. PMID:24790586

  1. In vitro neuronal network activity in NMDA receptor encephalitis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Anti-NMDA-encephalitis is caused by antibodies against the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and characterized by a severe encephalopathy with psychosis, epileptic seizures and autonomic disturbances. It predominantly occurs in young women and is associated in 59% with an ovarian teratoma. Results We describe effects of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from an anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis patient on in vitro neuronal network activity (ivNNA). In vitro NNA of dissociated primary rat cortical populations was recorded by the microelectrode array (MEA) system. The 23-year old patient was severely affected but showed an excellent recovery following multimodal immunomodulatory therapy and removal of an ovarian teratoma. Patient CSF (pCSF) taken during the initial weeks after disease onset suppressed global spike- and burst rates of ivNNA in contrast to pCSF sampled after clinical recovery and decrease of NMDAR antibody titers. The synchrony of pCSF-affected ivNNA remained unaltered during the course of the disease. Conclusion Patient CSF directly suppresses global activity of neuronal networks recorded by the MEA system. In contrast, pCSF did not regulate the synchrony of ivNNA suggesting that NMDAR antibodies selectively regulate distinct parameters of ivNNA while sparing their functional connectivity. Thus, assessing ivNNA could represent a new technique to evaluate functional consequences of autoimmune encephalitis-related CSF changes. PMID:23379293

  2. Stock price change rate prediction by utilizing social network activities.

    PubMed

    Deng, Shangkun; Mitsubuchi, Takashi; Sakurai, Akito

    2014-01-01

    Predicting stock price change rates for providing valuable information to investors is a challenging task. Individual participants may express their opinions in social network service (SNS) before or after their transactions in the market; we hypothesize that stock price change rate is better predicted by a function of social network service activities and technical indicators than by a function of just stock market activities. The hypothesis is tested by accuracy of predictions as well as performance of simulated trading because success or failure of prediction is better measured by profits or losses the investors gain or suffer. In this paper, we propose a hybrid model that combines multiple kernel learning (MKL) and genetic algorithm (GA). MKL is adopted to optimize the stock price change rate prediction models that are expressed in a multiple kernel linear function of different types of features extracted from different sources. GA is used to optimize the trading rules used in the simulated trading by fusing the return predictions and values of three well-known overbought and oversold technical indicators. Accumulated return and Sharpe ratio were used to test the goodness of performance of the simulated trading. Experimental results show that our proposed model performed better than other models including ones using state of the art techniques. PMID:24790586

  3. Dynamic Control of Synchronous Activity in Networks of Spiking Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hutt, Axel; Mierau, Andreas; Lefebvre, Jérémie

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory brain activity is believed to play a central role in neural coding. Accumulating evidence shows that features of these oscillations are highly dynamic: power, frequency and phase fluctuate alongside changes in behavior and task demands. The role and mechanism supporting this variability is however poorly understood. We here analyze a network of recurrently connected spiking neurons with time delay displaying stable synchronous dynamics. Using mean-field and stability analyses, we investigate the influence of dynamic inputs on the frequency of firing rate oscillations. We show that afferent noise, mimicking inputs to the neurons, causes smoothing of the system’s response function, displacing equilibria and altering the stability of oscillatory states. Our analysis further shows that these noise-induced changes cause a shift of the peak frequency of synchronous oscillations that scales with input intensity, leading the network towards critical states. We lastly discuss the extension of these principles to periodic stimulation, in which externally applied driving signals can trigger analogous phenomena. Our results reveal one possible mechanism involved in shaping oscillatory activity in the brain and associated control principles. PMID:27669018

  4. Oxidation of alginate and pectate biopolymers by cerium(IV) in perchloric and sulfuric acid solutions: A comparative kinetic and mechanistic study.

    PubMed

    Fawzy, Ahmed

    2016-03-15

    The kinetics of oxidation of alginate (Alg) and pectate (Pec) carbohydrate biopolymers was studied by spectrophotometry in aqueous perchloric and sulfuric acid solutions at fixed ionic strengths and temperature. In both acids, the reactions showed a first order dependence on [Ce(IV)], whereas the orders with respect to biopolymer concentrations are less than unity. In perchloric acid, the reactions exhibited less than unit orders with respect to [H(+)] whereas those proceeded in sulfuric acid showed negative fractional-first order dependences on [H(+)]. The effect of ionic strength and dielectric constant was studied. Probable mechanistic schemes for oxidation reactions were proposed. In both acids, the final oxidation products were characterized as mono-keto derivatives of both biopolymers. The activation parameters with respect to the slow step of the mechanisms were computed and discussed. The rate laws were derived and the reaction constants involved in the different steps of the mechanisms were calculated. PMID:26794772

  5. Oxidation of alginate and pectate biopolymers by cerium(IV) in perchloric and sulfuric acid solutions: A comparative kinetic and mechanistic study.

    PubMed

    Fawzy, Ahmed

    2016-03-15

    The kinetics of oxidation of alginate (Alg) and pectate (Pec) carbohydrate biopolymers was studied by spectrophotometry in aqueous perchloric and sulfuric acid solutions at fixed ionic strengths and temperature. In both acids, the reactions showed a first order dependence on [Ce(IV)], whereas the orders with respect to biopolymer concentrations are less than unity. In perchloric acid, the reactions exhibited less than unit orders with respect to [H(+)] whereas those proceeded in sulfuric acid showed negative fractional-first order dependences on [H(+)]. The effect of ionic strength and dielectric constant was studied. Probable mechanistic schemes for oxidation reactions were proposed. In both acids, the final oxidation products were characterized as mono-keto derivatives of both biopolymers. The activation parameters with respect to the slow step of the mechanisms were computed and discussed. The rate laws were derived and the reaction constants involved in the different steps of the mechanisms were calculated.

  6. 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

  7. Logistical aspects of large telemedicine networks. 2: Measurement of network activity.

    PubMed

    Wootton, Richard; Smith, Anthony C; Gormley, Sinead; Patterson, Jessica

    2002-01-01

    We carried out a retrospective review of the videoconference activity records in a university-run hospital telemedicine studio. Usage records describing videoconferencing activity in the telemedicine studio were compared with the billing records provided by the telecommunications company. During a seven-month period there were 211 entries in the studio log: 108 calls made from the studio and 103 calls made from a far-end location. We found that 103 calls from a total of 195 calls reported by the telecommunications company were recorded in the usage log. The remaining 92 calls were not recorded, probably for one of several reasons, including: failed calls--a large number of unrecorded calls (57%) lasted for less than 2 min (median 1.6 min); origin of videoconference calls--calls may have been recorded incorrectly in the usage diary (i.e. as being initiated from the far end, when actually initiated from the studio); and human error. Our study showed that manual recording of videoconference activity may not accurately reflect the actual activity taking place. Those responsible for recording and analysing videoconference activity, particularly in large telemedicine networks, should do so with care.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.)

  13. 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.). ...

  14. Self-organization of synchronous activity propagation in neuronal networks driven by local excitation.

    PubMed

    Bayati, Mehdi; Valizadeh, Alireza; Abbassian, Abdolhossein; Cheng, Sen

    2015-01-01

    Many experimental and theoretical studies have suggested that the reliable propagation of synchronous neural activity is crucial for neural information processing. The propagation of synchronous firing activity in so-called synfire chains has been studied extensively in feed-forward networks of spiking neurons. However, it remains unclear how such neural activity could emerge in recurrent neuronal networks through synaptic plasticity. In this study, we investigate whether local excitation, i.e., neurons that fire at a higher frequency than the other, spontaneously active neurons in the network, can shape a network to allow for synchronous activity propagation. We use two-dimensional, locally connected and heterogeneous neuronal networks with spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP). We find that, in our model, local excitation drives profound network changes within seconds. In the emergent network, neural activity propagates synchronously through the network. This activity originates from the site of the local excitation and propagates through the network. The synchronous activity propagation persists, even when the local excitation is removed, since it derives from the synaptic weight matrix. Importantly, once this connectivity is established it remains stable even in the presence of spontaneous activity. Our results suggest that synfire-chain-like activity can emerge in a relatively simple way in realistic neural networks by locally exciting the desired origin of the neuronal sequence.

  15. Estimation of spatiotemporal neural activity using radial basis function networks.

    PubMed

    Anderson, R W; Das, S; Keller, E L

    1998-12-01

    We report a method using radial basis function (RBF) networks to estimate the time evolution of population activity in topologically organized neural structures from single-neuron recordings. This is an important problem in neuroscience research, as such estimates may provide insights into systems-level function of these structures. Since single-unit neural data tends to be unevenly sampled and highly variable under similar behavioral conditions, obtaining such estimates is a difficult task. In particular, a class of cells in the superior colliculus called buildup neurons can have very narrow regions of saccade vectors for which they discharge at high rates but very large surround regions over which they discharge at low, but not zero, levels. Estimating the dynamic movement fields for these cells for two spatial dimensions at closely spaced timed intervals is a difficult problem, and no general method has been described that can be applied to all buildup cells. Estimation of individual collicular cells' spatiotemporal movement fields is a prerequisite for obtaining reliable two-dimensional estimates of the population activity on the collicular motor map during saccades. Therefore, we have developed several computational-geometry-based algorithms that regularize the data before computing a surface estimation using RBF networks. The method is then expanded to the problem of estimating simultaneous spatiotemporal activity occurring across the superior colliculus during a single movement (the inverse problem). In principle, this methodology could be applied to any neural structure with a regular, two-dimensional organization, provided a sufficient spatial distribution of sampled neurons is available.

  16. A Wolf Pack Algorithm for Active and Reactive Power Coordinated Optimization in Active Distribution Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, H. M.; Jiang, X. J.

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents an active and reactive power dynamic optimization model for active distribution network (ADN), whose control variables include the output of distributed generations (DGs), charge or discharge power of energy storage system (ESS) and reactive power from capacitor banks. To solve the high-dimension nonlinear optimization model, a new heuristic swarm intelligent method, namely wolf pack algorithm (WPA) with better global convergence and computational robustness, is adapted so that the network loss minimization can be achieved. In this paper, the IEEE33-bus system is used to show the effectiveness of WPA technique compared with other techniques. Numerical tests on the modified IEEE 33-bus system show that WPA for active and reactive multi-period optimization of ADN is exact and effective.

  17. Modeling mechanophore activation within a viscous rubbery network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silberstein, Meredith N.; Cremar, Lee D.; Beiermann, Brett A.; Kramer, Sharlotte B.; Martinez, Todd J.; White, Scott R.; Sottos, Nancy R.

    2014-02-01

    Mechanically induced chemical reactivity is a promising means for designing self-sensing and autonomous materials. Force sensitive chemical groups called mechanophores can be covalently linked into polymers in order to trigger specific chemical reactions upon mechanical loading. A model framework is developed to describe the response of these mechanophores to mechanical loading within an elastomeric matrix. A multiscale modeling scheme is used to couple mechanophore kinetics with rubbery elasticity. In particular, transition state theory for the population of mechanophores is modified to account for the stress-induced changes in kinetics within the solid state. The model is specified to the case of spiropyran covalently linked into a polymethacrylate (PMA) backbone. This optically trackable mechanophore (optically active through absorption and fluorescence when triggered) allows the model to be assessed in comparison to observed experimental behavior. The activation predicted by the ideal viscous elastomer model is reasonable, but consistently occurs at a larger strain than in the experiments. The glassy portion of the PMA response accounts for part of the difference in the onset of activation between experiments and the ideal elastomer model. The glassy stress response is therefore included as an additional empirically determined driving force for activation in the model. The remainder of the discrepancy between the experimental and simulation results is attributed to force inhomogeneity within the rubbery network, highlighting that the mechanophore response is correlated with local force history rather than with macroscopic stress.

  18. 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

  19. Properties and characterization of bionanocomposite films prepared with various biopolymers and ZnO nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Kanmani, Paulraj; Rhim, Jong-Whan

    2014-06-15

    This study was aimed to develop biopolymer based antimicrobial films for active food packaging and to reduce environmental pollution caused by accumulation of synthetic packaging. The ZnO NPs were incorporated as antimicrobials into different biopolymers such as agar, carrageenan and CMC. Solvent casting method was performed to prepare active nanocomposite films. Methods such as FE-SEM, FT-IR and XRD were used to characterize resulting films. Physical, mechanical, thermal and antimicrobial properties were also examined. Remarkable surface morphological differences were observed between control and nanocomposite films. The crystallinity of ZnO was confirmed by XRD analysis. The addition of ZnO NPs increased color, UV barrier, moisture content, hydrophobicity, elongation and thermal stability of the films, while decreased WVP, tensile strength and elastic modulus. ZnO NPs impregnated films inhibited growth of L. monocytogenes and E. coli. So these newly prepared nanocomposite films can be used as active packaging film to extend shelf-life of food.

  20. Enzymatic activity preservation through entrapment within degradable hydrogel networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariani, Angela Marie

    This dissertation aimed to design and develop a "biogel;" a reproducible, abiotic, and biocompatible polymer hydrogel matrix, that prolongs enzymatic stability allowing for rapid production of biomolecules. The researched entrapment method preserves enzyme activity within an amicable environment while resisting activity reduction in the presence of increased pH environmental challenges. These biogels can be used in a number of applications including repeated production of small molecules and in biosensors. Five main objectives were accomplished: 1) Biogels capable of maintaining enzymatic functionality post-entrapment procedures were fabricated; 2) Biogel activity dependence on crosslinker type and crosslink density was determined; 3) Biogel composition effects on sustained activity after storage were compared; 4) Biogel activity dependence on charged monomer moieties was evaluated, and 5) Combined optimization knowledge gained from the first four objectives was utilized to determine the protection of enzymes within hydrogels when challenged with an increased pH above 8. Biogels were fabricated by entrapping β-galactosidase (lactase) enzyme within acrylamide (ACR) gels crosslinked with poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA, degradable through hydrolysis) or N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide (BIS, non-degradable). Initial hydrogel entrapment reduced activity to 40% in ACR/PEGDA gels, compared to a 75% reduction in initial activity of ACR/BIS biogels. Once entrapped, these enzymes resist activity reduction in the presence of environmental challenges, such as altering the pH from 7 to above 8. When biogels were challenged at a pH of 8, activity retention positively correlated to PEGDA crosslinker density; increasing from 48% to 91% retention in 30 to 40 mole % PEGDA biogels as compared to solution based control which retained only 23%. Retention of activity when perturbed from pH 7 is advantageous for biogel applications including the repeated production of desired small

  1. Predictive relationships between crosslinker unbinding kinetics, gel stiffness, and plasticity in adhesive biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valentine, Megan

    2014-03-01

    We determine the viscoelastic responses of rigid rod polymer networks that have been strongly bonded by labile crosslinkers. Experimentally, we use microtubules, extremely stiff biopolymers that play important roles in maintaining the strength and organization of cells. We generate controllable adhesive bonds using well-characterized protein chemistries, such as biotin-streptavidin bonds, or using recombinant microtubule-associated proteins. Networks are visualized using confocal scanning fluorescence microscopy or transmission electron microscopy, and custom-built, high-force magnetic tweezers devices are used to apply localized forces to the gels. For rigid crosslinkers, we find that at short time scales, the networks respond nonlinearly to applied force, with stiffening at small forces, followed by a softening regime, which we attribute to the force-induced unbinding of crosslinkers. At long time scales, force-induced bond breakage leads to local network rearrangement and significant bead creep. Interestingly, the material retains its elastic modulus even under conditions of significant plastic flow, suggesting that crosslinker breakage is balanced by the formation of new bonds. These results provide important insight into the determinants of gel toughness, elasticity, and plastic deformation in rigid networks, but also suggest new avenues for materials optimization based on modulation of crosslinker kinetics. In particular, the incorporation of crosslinkers that break under force, but are competent to reform when the force is removed, significantly enhance gel toughness while minimizing material fatigue under cyclic loading.

  2. Natural lecithin promotes neural network complexity and activity.

    PubMed

    Latifi, Shahrzad; Tamayol, Ali; Habibey, Rouhollah; Sabzevari, Reza; Kahn, Cyril; Geny, David; Eftekharpour, Eftekhar; Annabi, Nasim; Blau, Axel; Linder, Michel; Arab-Tehrany, Elmira

    2016-05-27

    Phospholipids in the brain cell membranes contain different polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are critical to nervous system function and structure. In particular, brain function critically depends on the uptake of the so-called "essential" fatty acids such as omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) PUFAs that cannot be readily synthesized by the human body. We extracted natural lecithin rich in various PUFAs from a marine source and transformed it into nanoliposomes. These nanoliposomes increased neurite outgrowth, network complexity and neural activity of cortical rat neurons in vitro. We also observed an upregulation of synapsin I (SYN1), which supports the positive role of lecithin in synaptogenesis, synaptic development and maturation. These findings suggest that lecithin nanoliposomes enhance neuronal development, which may have an impact on devising new lecithin delivery strategies for therapeutic applications.

  3. Epidemic process on activity-driven modular networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Dun; Sun, Mei; Li, Dandan

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, we propose two novel models of epidemic spreading by considering the activity-driven and the network modular. Firstly, we consider the susceptible-infected-susceptible (SIS) contagion model and derive analytically the epidemic threshold. The results indicate that the epidemic threshold only involves with the value of the spread rate and the recovery rate. In addition, the asymptotic refractory density of infected nodes in the different communities exhibits different trends with the change of the modularity-factor. Then, the infected-driven vaccination model is presented. Simulation results illustrate that the final density of vaccination will increase with the increase of the response strength of vaccination. Moreover, the final infected density in the original-infected-community shows different trends with the change of the response strength of vaccination and the spreading rate. The infected-driven vaccination is a good way to control the epidemic spreading.

  4. Natural lecithin promotes neural network complexity and activity

    PubMed Central

    Latifi, Shahrzad; Tamayol, Ali; Habibey, Rouhollah; Sabzevari, Reza; Kahn, Cyril; Geny, David; Eftekharpour, Eftekhar; Annabi, Nasim; Blau, Axel; Linder, Michel; Arab-Tehrany, Elmira

    2016-01-01

    Phospholipids in the brain cell membranes contain different polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are critical to nervous system function and structure. In particular, brain function critically depends on the uptake of the so-called “essential” fatty acids such as omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) PUFAs that cannot be readily synthesized by the human body. We extracted natural lecithin rich in various PUFAs from a marine source and transformed it into nanoliposomes. These nanoliposomes increased neurite outgrowth, network complexity and neural activity of cortical rat neurons in vitro. We also observed an upregulation of synapsin I (SYN1), which supports the positive role of lecithin in synaptogenesis, synaptic development and maturation. These findings suggest that lecithin nanoliposomes enhance neuronal development, which may have an impact on devising new lecithin delivery strategies for therapeutic applications. PMID:27228907

  5. Antituberculosis Activity of the Molecular Libraries Screening Center Network Library

    PubMed Central

    MADDRY, JOSEPH A.; ANANTHAN, SUBRAMANIAM; GOLDMAN, ROBERT C.; HOBRATH, JUDITH V.; KWONG, CECIL D.; MADDOX, CLINTON; RASMUSSEN, LYNN; REYNOLDS, ROBERT C.; SECRIST, JOHN A.; SOSA, MELINDA I.; WHITE, E. LUCILE; ZHANG, WEI

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY There is an urgent need for the discovery and development of new antitubercular agents that target novel biochemical pathways and treat drug-resistant forms of the disease. One approach to addressing this need is through high-throughput screening of drug-like small molecule libraries against the whole bacterium in order to identify a variety of new, active scaffolds that will stimulate additional biological research and drug discovery. Through the Molecular Libraries Screening Center Network, the NIAID Tuberculosis Antimicrobial Acquisition and Coordinating Facility tested a 215,110-compound library against M. tuberculosis strain H37Rv. A medicinal chemistry survey of the results from the screening campaign is reported herein. PMID:19783214

  6. How networks communicate: propagation patterns in spontaneous brain activity.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Anish; Raichle, Marcus E

    2016-10-01

    Initially regarded as 'noise', spontaneous (intrinsic) activity accounts for a large portion of the brain's metabolic cost. Moreover, it is now widely known that infra-slow (less than 0.1 Hz) spontaneous activity, measured using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging of the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal, is correlated within functionally defined resting state networks (RSNs). However, despite these advances, the temporal organization of spontaneous BOLD fluctuations has remained elusive. By studying temporal lags in the resting state BOLD signal, we have recently shown that spontaneous BOLD fluctuations consist of remarkably reproducible patterns of whole brain propagation. Embedded in these propagation patterns are unidirectional 'motifs' which, in turn, give rise to RSNs. Additionally, propagation patterns are markedly altered as a function of state, whether physiological or pathological. Understanding such propagation patterns will likely yield deeper insights into the role of spontaneous activity in brain function in health and disease.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting blood oxygen level-dependent: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'. PMID:27574315

  7. Size-dependent regulation of synchronized activity in living neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Hideaki; Kubota, Shigeru; Chida, Yudai; Morita, Mayu; Moriya, Satoshi; Akima, Hisanao; Sato, Shigeo; Hirano-Iwata, Ayumi; Tanii, Takashi; Niwano, Michio

    2016-07-01

    We study the effect of network size on synchronized activity in living neuronal networks. Dissociated cortical neurons form synaptic connections in culture and generate synchronized spontaneous activity within 10 days in vitro. Using micropatterned surfaces to extrinsically control the size of neuronal networks, we show that synchronized activity can emerge in a network as small as 12 cells. Furthermore, a detailed comparison of small (˜20 cells), medium (˜100 cells), and large (˜400 cells) networks reveal that synchronized activity becomes destabilized in the small networks. A computational modeling of neural activity is then employed to explore the underlying mechanism responsible for the size effect. We find that the generation and maintenance of the synchronized activity can be minimally described by: (1) the stochastic firing of each neuron in the network, (2) enhancement in the network activity in a positive feedback loop of excitatory synapses, and (3) Ca-dependent suppression of bursting activity. The model further shows that the decrease in total synaptic input to a neuron that drives the positive feedback amplification of correlated activity is a key factor underlying the destabilization of synchrony in smaller networks. Spontaneous neural activity plays a critical role in cortical information processing, and our work constructively clarifies an aspect of the structural basis behind this.

  8. Size-dependent regulation of synchronized activity in living neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Hideaki; Kubota, Shigeru; Chida, Yudai; Morita, Mayu; Moriya, Satoshi; Akima, Hisanao; Sato, Shigeo; Hirano-Iwata, Ayumi; Tanii, Takashi; Niwano, Michio

    2016-07-01

    We study the effect of network size on synchronized activity in living neuronal networks. Dissociated cortical neurons form synaptic connections in culture and generate synchronized spontaneous activity within 10 days in vitro. Using micropatterned surfaces to extrinsically control the size of neuronal networks, we show that synchronized activity can emerge in a network as small as 12 cells. Furthermore, a detailed comparison of small (∼20 cells), medium (∼100 cells), and large (∼400 cells) networks reveal that synchronized activity becomes destabilized in the small networks. A computational modeling of neural activity is then employed to explore the underlying mechanism responsible for the size effect. We find that the generation and maintenance of the synchronized activity can be minimally described by: (1) the stochastic firing of each neuron in the network, (2) enhancement in the network activity in a positive feedback loop of excitatory synapses, and (3) Ca-dependent suppression of bursting activity. The model further shows that the decrease in total synaptic input to a neuron that drives the positive feedback amplification of correlated activity is a key factor underlying the destabilization of synchrony in smaller networks. Spontaneous neural activity plays a critical role in cortical information processing, and our work constructively clarifies an aspect of the structural basis behind this. PMID:27575164

  9. Size-dependent regulation of synchronized activity in living neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Hideaki; Kubota, Shigeru; Chida, Yudai; Morita, Mayu; Moriya, Satoshi; Akima, Hisanao; Sato, Shigeo; Hirano-Iwata, Ayumi; Tanii, Takashi; Niwano, Michio

    2016-07-01

    We study the effect of network size on synchronized activity in living neuronal networks. Dissociated cortical neurons form synaptic connections in culture and generate synchronized spontaneous activity within 10 days in vitro. Using micropatterned surfaces to extrinsically control the size of neuronal networks, we show that synchronized activity can emerge in a network as small as 12 cells. Furthermore, a detailed comparison of small (∼20 cells), medium (∼100 cells), and large (∼400 cells) networks reveal that synchronized activity becomes destabilized in the small networks. A computational modeling of neural activity is then employed to explore the underlying mechanism responsible for the size effect. We find that the generation and maintenance of the synchronized activity can be minimally described by: (1) the stochastic firing of each neuron in the network, (2) enhancement in the network activity in a positive feedback loop of excitatory synapses, and (3) Ca-dependent suppression of bursting activity. The model further shows that the decrease in total synaptic input to a neuron that drives the positive feedback amplification of correlated activity is a key factor underlying the destabilization of synchrony in smaller networks. Spontaneous neural activity plays a critical role in cortical information processing, and our work constructively clarifies an aspect of the structural basis behind this.

  10. Novel synthesis and characterization of a collagen-based biopolymer initiated by hydroxyapatite nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Bhuiyan, D; Jablonsky, M J; Kolesov, I; Middleton, J; Wick, T M; Tannenbaum, R

    2015-03-01

    In this study, we developed a novel synthesis method to create a complex collagen-based biopolymer that promises to possess the necessary material properties for a bone graft substitute. The synthesis was carried out in several steps. In the first step, a ring-opening polymerization reaction initiated by hydroxyapatite nanoparticles was used to polymerize d,l-lactide and glycolide monomers to form poly(lactide-co-glycolide) co-polymer. In the second step, the polymerization product was coupled with succinic anhydride, and subsequently was reacted with N-hydroxysuccinimide in the presence of dicyclohexylcarbodiimide as the cross-linking agent, in order to activate the co-polymer for collagen attachment. In the third and final step, the activated co-polymer was attached to calf skin collagen type I, in hydrochloric acid/phosphate buffer solution and the precipitated co-polymer with attached collagen was isolated. The synthesis was monitored by proton nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared and Raman spectroscopies, and the products after each step were characterized by thermal and mechanical analysis. Calculations of the relative amounts of the various components, coupled with initial dynamic mechanical analysis testing of the resulting biopolymer, afforded a preliminary assessment of the structure of the complex biomaterial formed by this novel polymerization process. PMID:25481742

  11. Weak temporal signals can synchronize and accelerate the transition dynamics of biopolymers under tension

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Won Kyu; Hyeon, Changbong; Sung, Wokyung

    2012-01-01

    In addition to thermal noise, which is essential to promote conformational transitions in biopolymers, the cellular environment is replete with a spectrum of athermal fluctuations that are produced from a plethora of active processes. To understand the effect of athermal noise on biological processes, we studied how a small oscillatory force affects the thermally induced folding and unfolding transition of an RNA hairpin, whose response to constant tension had been investigated extensively in both theory and experiments. Strikingly, our molecular simulations performed under overdamped condition show that even at a high (low) tension that renders the hairpin (un)folding improbable, a weak external oscillatory force at a certain frequency can synchronously enhance the transition dynamics of RNA hairpin and increase the mean transition rate. Furthermore, the RNA dynamics can still discriminate a signal with resonance frequency even when the signal is mixed among other signals with nonresonant frequencies. In fact, our computational demonstration of thermally induced resonance in RNA hairpin dynamics is a direct realization of the phenomena called stochastic resonance and resonant activation. Our study, amenable to experimental tests using optical tweezers, is of great significance to the folding of biopolymers in vivo that are subject to the broad spectrum of cellular noises. PMID:22908254

  12. On the Existence of Gel-Glasslike Transition Point in Biopolymer Gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takushi, E.

    Existence of a gel-glasslike transition in biopolymer gels such as egg-white, DNA, RNA/DNA mixtures, gelatin, agarose is demonstrated in the drying process, and discussions are made on free water and bound water in the gel to glass change. A drastic decrease in the weight of egg-white gel was observed during drying at 25°C for 0 - 100 hours and a gradual decrease was observed for 100 - 450 hours. The first and second stages are due to the loss of free and bound water molecules in the egg-white gel, respectively. This was confirmed by a time domain reflectometry (TDR) measurement. Existence of a gel-glasslike transition may be a common phenomenon for materials in which the molecular network contains free and bound water molecules.

  13. 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.

  14. GeneBee-net: Internet-based server for analyzing biopolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Brodsky, L.I.; Ivanov, V.V.; Nikolaev, V.K.

    1995-08-01

    This work describes a network server for searching databanks of biopolymer structures and performing other biocomputing procedures; it is available via direct Internet connection. Basic server procedures are dedicated to homology (similarity) search of sequence and 3D structure of proteins. The homologies found could be used to build multiple alignments, predict protein and RNA secondary structure, and construct phylogenetic trees. In addition to traditional methods of sequence similarity search, the authors propose {open_quotes}non-matrix{close_quotes} (correlational) search. An analogous approach is used to identify regions of similar tertiary structure of proteins. Algorithm concepts and usage examples are presented for new methods. Service logic is based upon interaction of a client program and server procedures. The client program allows the compilation of queries and the processing of results of an analysis.

  15. Who Can You Turn to? Tie Activation within Core Business Discussion Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Renzulli, Linda A.; Aldrich, Howard

    2005-01-01

    We examine the connection between personal network characteristics and the activation of ties for access to resources during routine times. We focus on factors affecting business owners' use of their core network ties to obtain legal, loan, financial and expert advice. Owners rely more on core business ties when their core networks contain a high…

  16. Both novelty and expertise increase action observation network activity.

    PubMed

    Liew, Sook-Lei; Sheng, Tong; Margetis, John L; Aziz-Zadeh, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Our experiences with others affect how we perceive their actions. In particular, activity in bilateral premotor and parietal cortices during action observation, collectively known as the action observation network (AON), is modulated by one's expertise with the observed actions or individuals. However, conflicting reports suggest that AON activity is greatest both for familiar and unfamiliar actions. The current study examines the effects of different types and amounts of experience (e.g., visual, interpersonal, personal) on AON activation. fMRI was used to scan 16 healthy participants without prior experience with individuals with amputations (novices), 11 experienced occupational therapists (OTs) who had varying amounts of experience with individuals with amputations, and one individual born with below-elbow residual limbs (participant CJ), as they viewed video clips of goal-matched actions performed by an individual with residual limbs and by an individual with hands. Participants were given increased visual exposure to actions performed by both effectors midway through the scanning procedure. Novices demonstrated a large AON response to the initial viewing of an individual with residual limbs compared to one with hands, but this signal was attenuated after they received visual exposure to both effectors. In contrast, OTs, who had moderate familiarity with residual limbs, demonstrated a lower AON response upon initial viewing-similar to novices after they received visual exposure. At the other extreme, CJ, who has extreme familiarity with residual limbs both visually and motorically, shows a largely increased left-lateralized AON response, exceeding that of novices and experienced OTs, when viewing the residual limb compared to hand actions. These results suggest that a nuanced model of AON engagement is needed to explain how cases of both extreme experience (CJ) and extreme novelty (novices) can result in the greatest AON activity.

  17. Recent Progress in Some Active Topics on Complex Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, J.; Zhu, Y.; Guo, L.; Jiang, J.; Chi, L.; Li, W.; Wang, Q. A.; Cai, X.

    2015-04-01

    Complex networks have been extensively studied across many fields, especially in interdisciplinary areas. It has since long been recognized that topological structures and dynamics are important aspects for capturing the essence of complex networks. The recent years have also witnessed the emergence of several new elements which play important roles in network study. By combining the results of different research orientations in our group, we provide here a review of the recent advances in regards to spectral graph theory, opinion dynamics, interdependent networks, graph energy theory and temporal networks. We hope this will be helpful for the newcomers of those fields to discover new intriguing topics.

  18. Persistent Observation of Dynamic Scenes in an Active Camera Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Bi; Ding, Chong; Roy-Chowdhury, Amit; Farrell, Jay

    This chapter deals with the problem of persistent observation of a wide area scene through decentralized, cooperative control of an active camera network. We focus on applications where events unfold over a large geographic area and need to be analyzed by multiple cameras. There is no central unit accumulating and analyzing all the data. The overall goal is to observe all objects (i.e., targets) in the region of deployment of the cameras, while selectively focusing at a high resolution on some particular target features based on application requirements. Efficient usage of resources in such a scenario requires that the cameras be active. However, this control cannot be based on separate analysis of the sensed video in each camera. They must act collaboratively to be able to acquire multiple targets at different resolutions. Our research focuses on developing accurate and efficient target acquisition and camera control algorithms in such scenarios using game theory. We show real-life experimental results of the approach.

  19. Active Low Intrusion Hybrid Monitor for Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Navia, Marlon; Campelo, Jose C.; Bonastre, Alberto; Ors, Rafael; Capella, Juan V.; Serrano, Juan J.

    2015-01-01

    Several systems have been proposed to monitor wireless sensor networks (WSN). These systems may be active (causing a high degree of intrusion) or passive (low observability inside the nodes). This paper presents the implementation of an active hybrid (hardware and software) monitor with low intrusion. It is based on the addition to the sensor node of a monitor node (hardware part) which, through a standard interface, is able to receive the monitoring information sent by a piece of software executed in the sensor node. The intrusion on time, code, and energy caused in the sensor nodes by the monitor is evaluated as a function of data size and the interface used. Then different interfaces, commonly available in sensor nodes, are evaluated: serial transmission (USART), serial peripheral interface (SPI), and parallel. The proposed hybrid monitor provides highly detailed information, barely disturbed by the measurement tool (interference), about the behavior of the WSN that may be used to evaluate many properties such as performance, dependability, security, etc. Monitor nodes are self-powered and may be removed after the monitoring campaign to be reused in other campaigns and/or WSNs. No other hardware-independent monitoring platforms with such low interference have been found in the literature. PMID:26393604

  20. How yawning switches the default-mode network to the attentional network by activating the cerebrospinal fluid flow.

    PubMed

    Walusinski, Olivier

    2014-03-01

    Yawning is a behavior to which little research has been devoted. However, its purpose has not yet been demonstrated and remains controversial. In this article, we propose a new theory involving the brain network that is functional during the resting state, that is, the default mode network. When this network is active, yawning manifests a process of switching to the attentional system through its capacity to increase circulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), thereby increasing clearance of somnogenic factors (prostaglandin D(2), adenosine, and others) accumulating in the cerebrospinal fluid.

  1. Valorization of industrial waste and by-product streams via fermentation for the production of chemicals and biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Koutinas, Apostolis A; Vlysidis, Anestis; Pleissner, Daniel; Kopsahelis, Nikolaos; Lopez Garcia, Isabel; Kookos, Ioannis K; Papanikolaou, Seraphim; Kwan, Tsz Him; Lin, Carol Sze Ki

    2014-04-21

    The transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a bio-based economy necessitates the exploitation of synergies, scientific innovations and breakthroughs, and step changes in the infrastructure of chemical industry. Sustainable production of chemicals and biopolymers should be dependent entirely on renewable carbon. White biotechnology could provide the necessary tools for the evolution of microbial bioconversion into a key unit operation in future biorefineries. Waste and by-product streams from existing industrial sectors (e.g., food industry, pulp and paper industry, biodiesel and bioethanol production) could be used as renewable resources for both biorefinery development and production of nutrient-complete fermentation feedstocks. This review focuses on the potential of utilizing waste and by-product streams from current industrial activities for the production of chemicals and biopolymers via microbial bioconversion. The first part of this review presents the current status and prospects on fermentative production of important platform chemicals (i.e., selected C2-C6 metabolic products and single cell oil) and biopolymers (i.e., polyhydroxyalkanoates and bacterial cellulose). In the second part, the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of waste and by-product streams from existing industrial sectors are presented. In the third part, the techno-economic aspects of bioconversion processes are critically reviewed. Four case studies showing the potential of case-specific waste and by-product streams for the production of succinic acid and polyhydroxyalkanoates are presented. It is evident that fermentative production of chemicals and biopolymers via refining of waste and by-product streams is a highly important research area with significant prospects for industrial applications.

  2. Valorization of industrial waste and by-product streams via fermentation for the production of chemicals and biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Koutinas, Apostolis A; Vlysidis, Anestis; Pleissner, Daniel; Kopsahelis, Nikolaos; Lopez Garcia, Isabel; Kookos, Ioannis K; Papanikolaou, Seraphim; Kwan, Tsz Him; Lin, Carol Sze Ki

    2014-04-21

    The transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a bio-based economy necessitates the exploitation of synergies, scientific innovations and breakthroughs, and step changes in the infrastructure of chemical industry. Sustainable production of chemicals and biopolymers should be dependent entirely on renewable carbon. White biotechnology could provide the necessary tools for the evolution of microbial bioconversion into a key unit operation in future biorefineries. Waste and by-product streams from existing industrial sectors (e.g., food industry, pulp and paper industry, biodiesel and bioethanol production) could be used as renewable resources for both biorefinery development and production of nutrient-complete fermentation feedstocks. This review focuses on the potential of utilizing waste and by-product streams from current industrial activities for the production of chemicals and biopolymers via microbial bioconversion. The first part of this review presents the current status and prospects on fermentative production of important platform chemicals (i.e., selected C2-C6 metabolic products and single cell oil) and biopolymers (i.e., polyhydroxyalkanoates and bacterial cellulose). In the second part, the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of waste and by-product streams from existing industrial sectors are presented. In the third part, the techno-economic aspects of bioconversion processes are critically reviewed. Four case studies showing the potential of case-specific waste and by-product streams for the production of succinic acid and polyhydroxyalkanoates are presented. It is evident that fermentative production of chemicals and biopolymers via refining of waste and by-product streams is a highly important research area with significant prospects for industrial applications. PMID:24424298

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. The Effects of Biopolymer Encapsulation on Total Lipids and Cholesterol in Egg Yolk during in Vitro Human Digestion

    PubMed Central

    Hur, Sun-Jin; Kim, Young-Chan; Choi, Inwook; Lee, Si-Kyung

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of biopolymer encapsulation on the digestion of total lipids and cholesterol in egg yolk using an in vitro human digestion model. Egg yolks were encapsulated with 1% cellulose, pectin, or chitosan. The samples were then passed through an in vitro human digestion model that simulated the composition of mouth saliva, stomach acid, and the intestinal juice of the small intestine by using a dialysis tubing system. The change in digestion of total lipids was monitored by confocal fluorescence microscopy. The digestion rate of total lipids and cholesterol in all egg yolk samples dramatically increased after in vitro human digestion. The digestion rate of total lipids and cholesterol in egg yolks encapsulated with chitosan or pectin was reduced compared to the digestion rate of total lipids and cholesterol in other egg yolk samples. Egg yolks encapsulated with pectin or chitosan had lower free fatty acid content, and lipid oxidation values than samples without biopolymer encapsulation. Moreover, the lipase activity decreased, after in vitro digestion, in egg yolks encapsulated with biopolymers. These results improve our understanding of the effects of digestion on total lipids and cholesterol in egg yolk within the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:23965957

  6. Muscle networks: Connectivity analysis of EMG activity during postural control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boonstra, Tjeerd W.; Danna-Dos-Santos, Alessander; Xie, Hong-Bo; Roerdink, Melvyn; Stins, John F.; Breakspear, Michael

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that reduce the many degrees of freedom in the musculoskeletal system remains an outstanding challenge. Muscle synergies reduce the dimensionality and hence simplify the control problem. How this is achieved is not yet known. Here we use network theory to assess the coordination between multiple muscles and to elucidate the neural implementation of muscle synergies. We performed connectivity analysis of surface EMG from ten leg muscles to extract the muscle networks while human participants were standing upright in four different conditions. We observed widespread connectivity between muscles at multiple distinct frequency bands. The network topology differed significantly between frequencies and between conditions. These findings demonstrate how muscle networks can be used to investigate the neural circuitry of motor coordination. The presence of disparate muscle networks across frequencies suggests that the neuromuscular system is organized into a multiplex network allowing for parallel and hierarchical control structures.

  7. Muscle networks: Connectivity analysis of EMG activity during postural control

    PubMed Central

    Boonstra, Tjeerd W.; Danna-Dos-Santos, Alessander; Xie, Hong-Bo; Roerdink, Melvyn; Stins, John F.; Breakspear, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that reduce the many degrees of freedom in the musculoskeletal system remains an outstanding challenge. Muscle synergies reduce the dimensionality and hence simplify the control problem. How this is achieved is not yet known. Here we use network theory to assess the coordination between multiple muscles and to elucidate the neural implementation of muscle synergies. We performed connectivity analysis of surface EMG from ten leg muscles to extract the muscle networks while human participants were standing upright in four different conditions. We observed widespread connectivity between muscles at multiple distinct frequency bands. The network topology differed significantly between frequencies and between conditions. These findings demonstrate how muscle networks can be used to investigate the neural circuitry of motor coordination. The presence of disparate muscle networks across frequencies suggests that the neuromuscular system is organized into a multiplex network allowing for parallel and hierarchical control structures. PMID:26634293

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Cooperative wireless network control based health and activity monitoring system.

    PubMed

    Prakash, R; Ganesh, A Balaji; Girish, Siva V

    2016-10-01

    A real-time cooperative communication based wireless network is presented for monitoring health and activity of an end-user in their environment. The cooperative communication offers better energy consumption and also an opportunity to aware the current location of a user non-intrusively. The link between mobile sensor node and relay node is dynamically established by using Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) and Link Quality Indicator (LQI) based on adaptive relay selection scheme. The study proposes a Linear Acceleration based Transmission Power Decision Control (LA-TPDC) algorithm to further enhance the energy efficiency of cooperative communication. Further, the occurrences of false alarms are carefully prevented by introducing three stages of sequential warning system. The real-time experiments are carried-out by using the nodes, namely mobile sensor node, relay nodes and a destination node which are indigenously developed by using a CC430 microcontroller integrated with an in-built transceiver at 868 MHz. The wireless node performance characteristics, such as energy consumption, Signal-Noise ratio (SNR), Bit Error Rate (BER), Packet Delivery Ratio (PDR) and transmission offset are evaluated for all the participated nodes. The experimental results observed that the proposed linear acceleration based transmission power decision control algorithm almost doubles the battery life time than energy efficient conventional cooperative communication. PMID:27562484

  13. Cooperative wireless network control based health and activity monitoring system.

    PubMed

    Prakash, R; Ganesh, A Balaji; Girish, Siva V

    2016-10-01

    A real-time cooperative communication based wireless network is presented for monitoring health and activity of an end-user in their environment. The cooperative communication offers better energy consumption and also an opportunity to aware the current location of a user non-intrusively. The link between mobile sensor node and relay node is dynamically established by using Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) and Link Quality Indicator (LQI) based on adaptive relay selection scheme. The study proposes a Linear Acceleration based Transmission Power Decision Control (LA-TPDC) algorithm to further enhance the energy efficiency of cooperative communication. Further, the occurrences of false alarms are carefully prevented by introducing three stages of sequential warning system. The real-time experiments are carried-out by using the nodes, namely mobile sensor node, relay nodes and a destination node which are indigenously developed by using a CC430 microcontroller integrated with an in-built transceiver at 868 MHz. The wireless node performance characteristics, such as energy consumption, Signal-Noise ratio (SNR), Bit Error Rate (BER), Packet Delivery Ratio (PDR) and transmission offset are evaluated for all the participated nodes. The experimental results observed that the proposed linear acceleration based transmission power decision control algorithm almost doubles the battery life time than energy efficient conventional cooperative communication.

  14. Blogs and Social Network Sites as Activity Systems: Exploring Adult Informal Learning Process through Activity Theory Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heo, Gyeong Mi; Lee, Romee

    2013-01-01

    This paper uses an Activity Theory framework to explore adult user activities and informal learning processes as reflected in their blogs and social network sites (SNS). Using the assumption that a web-based space is an activity system in which learning occurs, typical features of the components were investigated and each activity system then…

  15. Finding Influential Spreaders from Human Activity beyond Network Location.

    PubMed

    Min, Byungjoon; Liljeros, Fredrik; Makse, Hernán A

    2015-01-01

    Most centralities proposed for identifying influential spreaders on social networks to either spread a message or to stop an epidemic require the full topological information of the network on which spreading occurs. In practice, however, collecting all connections between agents in social networks can be hardly achieved. As a result, such metrics could be difficult to apply to real social networks. Consequently, a new approach for identifying influential people without the explicit network information is demanded in order to provide an efficient immunization or spreading strategy, in a practical sense. In this study, we seek a possible way for finding influential spreaders by using the social mechanisms of how social connections are formed in real networks. We find that a reliable immunization scheme can be achieved by asking people how they interact with each other. From these surveys we find that the probabilistic tendency to connect to a hub has the strongest predictive power for influential spreaders among tested social mechanisms. Our observation also suggests that people who connect different communities is more likely to be an influential spreader when a network has a strong modular structure. Our finding implies that not only the effect of network location but also the behavior of individuals is important to design optimal immunization or spreading schemes. PMID:26323015

  16. Finding Influential Spreaders from Human Activity beyond Network Location

    PubMed Central

    Min, Byungjoon; Liljeros, Fredrik; Makse, Hernán A.

    2015-01-01

    Most centralities proposed for identifying influential spreaders on social networks to either spread a message or to stop an epidemic require the full topological information of the network on which spreading occurs. In practice, however, collecting all connections between agents in social networks can be hardly achieved. As a result, such metrics could be difficult to apply to real social networks. Consequently, a new approach for identifying influential people without the explicit network information is demanded in order to provide an efficient immunization or spreading strategy, in a practical sense. In this study, we seek a possible way for finding influential spreaders by using the social mechanisms of how social connections are formed in real networks. We find that a reliable immunization scheme can be achieved by asking people how they interact with each other. From these surveys we find that the probabilistic tendency to connect to a hub has the strongest predictive power for influential spreaders among tested social mechanisms. Our observation also suggests that people who connect different communities is more likely to be an influential spreader when a network has a strong modular structure. Our finding implies that not only the effect of network location but also the behavior of individuals is important to design optimal immunization or spreading schemes. PMID:26323015

  17. 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.

  18. Studying modulation on simultaneously activated SSVEP neural networks by a cognitive task.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhenghua

    2014-01-01

    Since the discovery of steady-state visually evoked potential (SSVEP), it has been used in many fields. Numerous studies suggest that there exist three SSVEP neural networks in different frequency bands. An obvious phenomenon has been observed, that the amplitude and phase of SSVEP can be modulated by a cognitive task. Previous works have studied this modulation on separately activated SSVEP neural networks by a cognitive task. If two or more SSVEP neural networks are activated simultaneously in the process of a cognitive task, is the modulation on different SSVEP neural networks the same? In this study, two different SSVEP neural networks were activated simultaneously by two different frequency flickers, with a working memory task irrelevant to the flickers being conducted at the same time. The modulated SSVEP waves were compared with each other and to those only under one flicker in previous studies. The comparison results show that the cognitive task can modulate different SSVEP neural networks with a similar style.

  19. Social networks of experientially similar others: Formation, activation, and consequences of network ties on the health care experience

    PubMed Central

    Gage, Elizabeth A.

    2013-01-01

    Research documents that interactions among experientially similar others (individuals facing a common stressor) shape health care behavior and ultimately health outcomes. However, we have little understanding of how ties among experientially similar others are formed, what resources and information flows through these networks, and how network embeddedness shapes health care behavior. This paper uses in-depth interviews with 76 parents of pediatric cancer patients to examine network ties among experientially similar others after a serious medical diagnosis. Interviews were conducted between August 2009 and May 2011. Findings demonstrate that many parents formed ties with other families experiencing pediatric cancer, and that information and resources were exchanged during the everyday activities associated with their child’s care. Network flows contained emotional support, caregiving strategies, information about second opinions, health-related knowledge, and strategies for navigating the health care system. Diffusion of information, resources, and support occurred through explicit processes (direct information and support exchanges) and implicit processes (parents learning through observing other families). Network flows among parents shaped parents’ perceptions of the health care experience and their role in their child’s care. These findings contribute to the social networks and social support literatures by elucidating the mechanisms through which network ties among experientially similar others influence health care behavior and experiences. PMID:22999229

  20. Social networks of experientially similar others: formation, activation, and consequences of network ties on the health care experience.

    PubMed

    Gage, Elizabeth A

    2013-10-01

    Research documents that interactions among experientially similar others (individuals facing a common stressor) shape health care behavior and ultimately health outcomes. However, we have little understanding of how ties among experientially similar others are formed, what resources and information flows through these networks, and how network embeddedness shapes health care behavior. This paper uses in-depth interviews with 76 parents of pediatric cancer patients to examine network ties among experientially similar others after a serious medical diagnosis. Interviews were conducted between August 2009 and May 2011. Findings demonstrate that many parents formed ties with other families experiencing pediatric cancer, and that information and resources were exchanged during the everyday activities associated with their child's care. Network flows contained emotional support, caregiving strategies, information about second opinions, health-related knowledge, and strategies for navigating the health care system. Diffusion of information, resources, and support occurred through explicit processes (direct information and support exchanges) and implicit processes (parents learning through observing other families). Network flows among parents shaped parents' perceptions of the health care experience and their role in their child's care. These findings contribute to the social networks and social support literatures by elucidating the mechanisms through which network ties among experientially similar others influence health care behavior and experiences.

  1. Enhancement of visual responsiveness by spontaneous local network activity in vivo.

    PubMed

    Haider, Bilal; Duque, Alvaro; Hasenstaub, Andrea R; Yu, Yuguo; McCormick, David A

    2007-06-01

    Spontaneous activity within local circuits affects the integrative properties of neurons and networks. We have previously shown that neocortical network activity exhibits a balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic potentials, and such activity has significant effects on synaptic transmission, action potential generation, and spike timing. However, whether such activity facilitates or reduces sensory responses has yet to be clearly determined. We examined this hypothesis in the primary visual cortex in vivo during slow oscillations in ketamine-xylazine anesthetized cats. We measured network activity (Up states) with extracellular recording, while simultaneously recording postsynaptic potentials (PSPs) and action potentials in nearby cells. Stimulating the receptive field revealed that spiking responses of both simple and complex cells were significantly enhanced (>2-fold) during network activity, as were spiking responses to intracellular injection of varying amplitude artificial conductance stimuli. Visually evoked PSPs were not significantly different in amplitude during network activity or quiescence; instead, spontaneous depolarization caused by network activity brought these evoked PSPs closer to firing threshold. Further examination revealed that visual responsiveness was gradually enhanced by progressive membrane potential depolarization. These spontaneous depolarizations enhanced responsiveness to stimuli of varying contrasts, resulting in an upward (multiplicative) scaling of the contrast response function. Our results suggest that small increases in ongoing balanced network activity that result in depolarization may provide a rapid and generalized mechanism to control the responsiveness (gain) of cortical neurons, such as occurs during shifts in spatial attention.

  2. Impact of amylases on biopolymer dynamics during storage of straight-dough wheat bread.

    PubMed

    Bosmans, Geertrui M; Lagrain, Bert; Fierens, Ellen; Delcour, Jan A

    2013-07-01

    When Bacillus stearothermophilus α-amylase (BStA), Pseudomonas saccharophila α-amylase (PSA), or Bacillus subtilis α-amylase (BSuA) was added to a bread recipe to impact bread firming, amylose crystal formation was facilitated, leading to lower initial crumb resilience. Bread loaves that best retained their quality were those obtained when BStA was used. The enzyme hindered formation of an extended starch network, resulting in less water immobilization and smaller changes in crumb firmness and resilience. BSuA led to extensive degradation of the starch network during bread storage with release of immobilized water, eventually resulting in partial structure collapse and poor crumb resilience. The most important effect of PSA was an increased bread volume, resulting in smaller changes in crumb firmness and resilience. A negative linear relation was found between NMR proton mobilities of water and biopolymers in the crumb and crumb firmness. The slope of that relation gave an indication of the strength of the starch network.

  3. Social network activation: the role of health discussion partners in recovery from mental illness.

    PubMed

    Perry, Brea L; Pescosolido, Bernice A

    2015-01-01

    In response to health problems, individuals may strategically activate their social network ties to help manage crisis and uncertainty. While it is well-established that social relationships provide a crucial safety net, little is known about who is chosen to help during an episode of illness. Guided by the Network Episode Model, two aspects of consulting others in the face of mental illness are considered. First, we ask who activates ties, and what kinds of ties and networks they attempt to leverage for discussing health matters. Second, we ask about the utility of activating health-focused network ties. Specifically, we examine the consequences of network activation at time of entry into treatment for individuals' quality of life, social satisfaction, ability to perform social roles, and mental health functioning nearly one year later. Using interview data from the longitudinal Indianapolis Network Mental Health Study (INMHS, N = 171), we focus on a sample of new patients with serious mental illness and a group with less severe disorders who are experiencing their first contact with the mental health treatment system. Three findings stand out. First, our results reveal the nature of agency in illness response. Whether under a rational choice or habitus logic, individuals appear to evaluate support needs, identifying the best possible matches among a larger group of potential health discussants. These include members of the core network and those with prior mental health experiences. Second, selective activation processes have implications for recovery. Those who secure adequate network resources report better outcomes than those who injudiciously activate network ties. Individuals who activate weaker relationships and those who are unsupportive of medical care experience poorer functioning, limited success in fulfilling social roles, and lower social satisfaction and quality of life later on. Third, the evidence suggests that social networks matter above and

  4. Social network activation: the role of health discussion partners in recovery from mental illness.

    PubMed

    Perry, Brea L; Pescosolido, Bernice A

    2015-01-01

    In response to health problems, individuals may strategically activate their social network ties to help manage crisis and uncertainty. While it is well-established that social relationships provide a crucial safety net, little is known about who is chosen to help during an episode of illness. Guided by the Network Episode Model, two aspects of consulting others in the face of mental illness are considered. First, we ask who activates ties, and what kinds of ties and networks they attempt to leverage for discussing health matters. Second, we ask about the utility of activating health-focused network ties. Specifically, we examine the consequences of network activation at time of entry into treatment for individuals' quality of life, social satisfaction, ability to perform social roles, and mental health functioning nearly one year later. Using interview data from the longitudinal Indianapolis Network Mental Health Study (INMHS, N = 171), we focus on a sample of new patients with serious mental illness and a group with less severe disorders who are experiencing their first contact with the mental health treatment system. Three findings stand out. First, our results reveal the nature of agency in illness response. Whether under a rational choice or habitus logic, individuals appear to evaluate support needs, identifying the best possible matches among a larger group of potential health discussants. These include members of the core network and those with prior mental health experiences. Second, selective activation processes have implications for recovery. Those who secure adequate network resources report better outcomes than those who injudiciously activate network ties. Individuals who activate weaker relationships and those who are unsupportive of medical care experience poorer functioning, limited success in fulfilling social roles, and lower social satisfaction and quality of life later on. Third, the evidence suggests that social networks matter above and

  5. Self-organising continuous attractor networks with multiple activity packets, and the representation of space.

    PubMed

    Stringer, S M; Rolls, E T; Trappenberg, T P

    2004-01-01

    'Continuous attractor' neural networks can maintain a localised packet of neuronal activity representing the current state of an agent in a continuous space without external sensory input. In applications such as the representation of head direction or location in the environment, only one packet of activity is needed. For some spatial computations a number of different locations, each with its own features, must be held in memory. We extend previous approaches to continuous attractor networks (in which one packet of activity is maintained active) by showing that a single continuous attractor network can maintain multiple packets of activity simultaneously, if each packet is in a different state space or map. We also show how such a network could by learning self-organise to enable the packets in each space to be moved continuously in that space by idiothetic (motion) inputs. We show how such multi-packet continuous attractor networks could be used to maintain different types of feature (such as form vs colour) simultaneously active in the correct location in a spatial representation. We also show how high-order synapses can improve the performance of these networks, and how the location of a packet could be read by motor networks. The multiple packet continuous attractor networks described here may be used for spatial representations in brain areas such as the parietal cortex and hippocampus.

  6. Evaluation of Techniques to Detect Significant Network Performance Problems using End-to-End Active Network Measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Cottrell, R.Les; Logg, Connie; Chhaparia, Mahesh; Grigoriev, Maxim; Haro, Felipe; Nazir, Fawad; Sandford, Mark

    2006-01-25

    End-to-End fault and performance problems detection in wide area production networks is becoming increasingly hard as the complexity of the paths, the diversity of the performance, and dependency on the network increase. Several monitoring infrastructures are built to monitor different network metrics and collect monitoring information from thousands of hosts around the globe. Typically there are hundreds to thousands of time-series plots of network metrics which need to be looked at to identify network performance problems or anomalous variations in the traffic. Furthermore, most commercial products rely on a comparison with user configured static thresholds and often require access to SNMP-MIB information, to which a typical end-user does not usually have access. In our paper we propose new techniques to detect network performance problems proactively in close to realtime and we do not rely on static thresholds and SNMP-MIB information. We describe and compare the use of several different algorithms that we have implemented to detect persistent network problems using anomalous variations analysis in real end-to-end Internet performance measurements. We also provide methods and/or guidance for how to set the user settable parameters. The measurements are based on active probes running on 40 production network paths with bottlenecks varying from 0.5Mbits/s to 1000Mbit/s. For well behaved data (no missed measurements and no very large outliers) with small seasonal changes most algorithms identify similar events. We compare the algorithms' robustness with respect to false positives and missed events especially when there are large seasonal effects in the data. Our proposed techniques cover a wide variety of network paths and traffic patterns. We also discuss the applicability of the algorithms in terms of their intuitiveness, their speed of execution as implemented, and areas of applicability. Our encouraging results compare and evaluate the accuracy of our detection

  7. Relationship between inter-stimulus-intervals and intervals of autonomous activities in a neuronal network.

    PubMed

    Ito, Hidekatsu; Minoshima, Wataru; Kudoh, Suguru N

    2015-08-01

    To investigate relationships between neuronal network activity and electrical stimulus, we analyzed autonomous activity before and after electrical stimulus. Recordings of autonomous activity were performed using dissociated culture of rat hippocampal neurons on a multi-electrodes array (MEA) dish. Single stimulus and pared stimuli were applied to a cultured neuronal network. Single stimulus was applied every 1 min, and paired stimuli was performed by two sequential stimuli every 1 min. As a result, the patterns of synchronized activities of a neuronal network were changed after stimulus. Especially, long range synchronous activities were induced by paired stimuli. When 1 s inter-stimulus-intervals (ISI) and 1.5 s ISI paired stimuli are applied to a neuronal network, relatively long range synchronous activities expressed in case of 1.5 s ISI. Temporal synchronous activity of neuronal network is changed according to inter-stimulus-intervals (ISI) of electrical stimulus. In other words, dissociated neuronal network can maintain given information in temporal pattern and a certain type of an information maintenance mechanism was considered to be implemented in a semi-artificial dissociated neuronal network. The result is useful toward manipulation technology of neuronal activity in a brain system.

  8. Long-Term Relationships between Synaptic Tenacity, Synaptic Remodeling, and Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Minerbi, Amir; Kahana, Roni; Goldfeld, Larissa; Kaufman, Maya; Marom, Shimon; Ziv, Noam E.

    2009-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is widely believed to constitute a key mechanism for modifying functional properties of neuronal networks. This belief implicitly implies, however, that synapses, when not driven to change their characteristics by physiologically relevant stimuli, will maintain these characteristics over time. How tenacious are synapses over behaviorally relevant time scales? To begin to address this question, we developed a system for continuously imaging the structural dynamics of individual synapses over many days, while recording network activity in the same preparations. We found that in spontaneously active networks, distributions of synaptic sizes were generally stable over days. Following individual synapses revealed, however, that the apparently static distributions were actually steady states of synapses exhibiting continual and extensive remodeling. In active networks, large synapses tended to grow smaller, whereas small synapses tended to grow larger, mainly during periods of particularly synchronous activity. Suppression of network activity only mildly affected the magnitude of synaptic remodeling, but dependence on synaptic size was lost, leading to the broadening of synaptic size distributions and increases in mean synaptic size. From the perspective of individual neurons, activity drove changes in the relative sizes of their excitatory inputs, but such changes continued, albeit at lower rates, even when network activity was blocked. Our findings show that activity strongly drives synaptic remodeling, but they also show that significant remodeling occurs spontaneously. Whereas such spontaneous remodeling provides an explanation for “synaptic homeostasis” like processes, it also raises significant questions concerning the reliability of individual synapses as sites for persistently modifying network function. PMID:19554080

  9. Low attentional engagement makes attention network activity susceptible to emotional interference.

    PubMed

    Mäki-Marttunen, Verónica; Pickard, Natasha; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin; Ogawa, Keith H; Knight, Robert T; Hartikainen, Kaisa M

    2014-09-10

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether emotion-attention interaction depends on attentional engagement. To investigate emotional modulation of attention network activation, we used a functional MRI paradigm consisting of a visuospatial attention task with either frequent (high-engagement) or infrequent (low-engagement) targets and intermittent emotional or neutral distractors. The attention task recruited a bilateral frontoparietal network with no emotional interference on network activation when the attentional engagement was high. In contrast, when the attentional engagement was low, the unpleasant stimuli interfered with the activation of the frontoparietal attention network, especially in the right hemisphere. This study provides novel evidence for low attentional engagement making attention control network activation susceptible to emotional interference.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Coherent periodic activity in excitatory Erdös-Renyi neural networks: the role of network connectivity.

    PubMed

    Tattini, Lorenzo; Olmi, Simona; Torcini, Alessandro

    2012-06-01

    In this article, we investigate the role of connectivity in promoting coherent activity in excitatory neural networks. In particular, we would like to understand if the onset of collective oscillations can be related to a minimal average connectivity and how this critical connectivity depends on the number of neurons in the networks. For these purposes, we consider an excitatory random network of leaky integrate-and-fire pulse coupled neurons. The neurons are connected as in a directed Erdös-Renyi graph with average connectivity scaling as a power law with the number of neurons in the network. The scaling is controlled by a parameter γ, which allows to pass from massively connected to sparse networks and therefore to modify the topology of the system. At a macroscopic level, we observe two distinct dynamical phases: an asynchronous state corresponding to a desynchronized dynamics of the neurons and a regime of partial synchronization (PS) associated with a coherent periodic activity of the network. At low connectivity, the system is in an asynchronous state, while PS emerges above a certain critical average connectivity (c). For sufficiently large networks, (c) saturates to a constant value suggesting that a minimal average connectivity is sufficient to observe coherent activity in systems of any size irrespectively of the kind of considered network: sparse or massively connected. However, this value depends on the nature of the synapses: reliable or unreliable. For unreliable synapses, the critical value required to observe the onset of macroscopic behaviors is noticeably smaller than for reliable synaptic transmission. Due to the disorder present in the system, for finite number of neurons we have inhomogeneities in the neuronal behaviors, inducing a weak form of chaos, which vanishes in the thermodynamic limit. In such a limit, the disordered systems exhibit regular (non chaotic) dynamics and their properties correspond to that of a homogeneous

  13. Sensing network for electromagnetic fields generated by seismic activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gershenzon, Naum I.; Bambakidis, Gust; Ternovskiy, Igor V.

    2014-06-01

    The sensors network is becoming prolific and play now increasingly more important role in acquiring and processing information. Cyber-Physical Systems are focusing on investigation of integrated systems that includes sensing, networking, and computations. The physics of the seismic measurement and electromagnetic field measurement requires special consideration how to design electromagnetic field measurement networks for both research and detection earthquakes and explosions along with the seismic measurement networks. In addition, the electromagnetic sensor network itself could be designed and deployed, as a research tool with great deal of flexibility, the placement of the measuring nodes must be design based on systematic analysis of the seismic-electromagnetic interaction. In this article, we review the observations of the co-seismic electromagnetic field generated by earthquakes and man-made sources such as vibrations and explosions. The theoretical investigation allows the distribution of sensor nodes to be optimized and could be used to support existing geological networks. The placement of sensor nodes have to be determined based on physics of electromagnetic field distribution above the ground level. The results of theoretical investigations of seismo-electromagnetic phenomena are considered in Section I. First, we compare the relative contribution of various types of mechano-electromagnetic mechanisms and then analyze in detail the calculation of electromagnetic fields generated by piezomagnetic and electrokinetic effects.

  14. Rheological and Tribological Properties of Complex Biopolymer Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klossner, Rebecca Reese

    2011-12-01

    The rheological and tribological properties of an experimental synovial fluid model were investigated in order to determine the solution dynamics of the three most abundant macromolecules present in synovial fluid, the fluid that lubricates freely moving (synovial) joints. These components, hyaluronic acid (HA) and the plasma proteins, albumin and gamma-globulins are combined in a phosphate buffered saline solution (PBS) and subjected to steady shear rheology testing, as well as nanoindenter-based scratch testing, which allows for the study of the lubrication properties of the experimental synovial fluid model. Steady shear experiments, where the shear rate was increased from low to high, and then decreased from high to low, showed hysteresis in only protein containing solutions, whereas samples of HA in PBS behaved as a "typical" polyelectrolyte in solution. Subsequent rheological experiments on the synovial fluid model exhibited an increase in viscosity at low shear stresses, indicating that a structure was present at these low shear stresses, which was not found at higher shear stresses. This result is in agreement with studies conducted on the same model which show unusual rheological behavior at low shear rates. Low shear stresses can cause modifications to the external protein surface, resulting in their unfolding and creating many opportunities for the molecules to reorder themselves. As the proteins reorder themselves, the newly exposed hydrophobic patches will have a tendency to aggregate together, creating a network within the fluid, and, in turn causing the observed increased viscosity at low shear stresses. Additionally, an anti-inflammatory drug, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was added to the solutions. This addition diminishes the protein aggregation process substantially. Finally, the HA component of the synovial fluid model was replaced with a neutral polymer in order to examine the role of HA in synovial fluid. As suspected, the HA appears to have

  15. Signal transduction in the activation of spermatozoa compared to other signalling pathways: a biological networks study.

    PubMed

    Bernabò, Nicola; Mattioli, Mauro; Barboni, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we represented Spermatozoa Activation (SA) the process that leads male gametes to reach their fertilising ability of sea urchin, Caenorhabditis elegans and human as biological networks, i.e. as networks of nodes (molecules) linked by edges (their interactions). Then, we compared them with networks representing ten pathways of relevant physio-pathological importance and with a computer-generated network. We have found that the number of nodes and edges composing each network is not related with the amount of published papers on each specific topic and that all the topological parameters examined are similar in all the networks, thus conferring them a scale free topology and small world behaviour. In conclusion, SA topology, independently from the reproductive biology of considered organism, as others signalling networks is characterised by robustness against random failure, controllability and efficiency in signal transmission. PMID:26489142

  16. An Activation Force-based Affinity Measure for Analyzing Complex Networks

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Jun; Guo, Hanliang; Wang, Zhanyi

    2011-01-01

    Affinity measure is a key factor that determines the quality of the analysis of a complex network. Here, we introduce a type of statistics, activation forces, to weight the links of a complex network and thereby develop a desired affinity measure. We show that the approach is superior in facilitating the analysis through experiments on a large-scale word network and a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network consisting of ∼5,000 human proteins. The experiment on the word network verifies that the measured word affinities are highly consistent with human knowledge. Further, the experiment on the PPI network verifies the measure and presents a general method for the identification of functionally similar proteins based on PPIs. Most strikingly, we find an affinity network that compactly connects the cancer-associated proteins to each other, which may reveal novel information for cancer study; this includes likely protein interactions and key proteins in cancer-related signal transduction pathways. PMID:22355630

  17. Hyperpolarization-activated cation current contributes to spontaneous network activity in developing neocortical cultures.

    PubMed

    Klueva, Julia; Lima, Ana D de; Meis, Susanne; Voigt, Thomas; Munsch, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying spontaneous burst activity (SBA), appearing in networks of embryonic cortical neurons at the end of the first week in vitro, remain elusive. Here we investigated the contribution of the hyperpolarization-activated cation current (I(h)) to SBA in cortical cultures of GAD67-GFP mice. I(h) current could be detected in GFP-positive large GABAergic interneurons (L-INs) and glutamatergic principal neurons (PNs) as early as DIV 5. Under current-clamp conditions, blockers of I(h) current, ZD7288 and Cs⁺, abolished the voltage sag and rebound depolarization. ZD7288 induced a hyperpolarization concomitant with an increase in the membrane input resistance in L-INs and PNs. Voltage-clamp recordings revealed I(h) as slowly activating inward current with a reversal potential close to -50 mV and a mid-activation point around -90 mV. Both, ZD7288 (1-10 μM) and Cs⁺ (1-2 mM) reduced SBA, spontaneous activity-driven Ca²⁺ transients, and frequency as well as amplitude of miniature GABAergic postsynaptic currents. Immunocytochemistry and Western blot demonstrated that HCN1 and HCN2 were the prevalent isoforms of HCN channels expressed in L-INs and PNs. These results suggest an important contribution of HCN channels to the maintenance of SBA in embryonic cortical cultures. PMID:22094222

  18. Simulating ensembles of nonlinear continuous time dynamical systems via active ultra wideband wireless network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitriev, Alexander S.; Yemelyanov, Ruslan Yu.; Gerasimov, Mark Yu.; Itskov, Vadim V.

    2016-06-01

    The paper deals with a new multi-element processor platform assigned for modelling the behaviour of interacting dynamical systems, i.e., active wireless network. Experimentally, this ensemble is implemented in an active network, the active nodes of which include direct chaotic transceivers and special actuator boards containing microcontrollers for modelling the dynamical systems and an information display unit (colored LEDs). The modelling technique and experimental results are described and analyzed.

  19. Young Adolescents’ Perceived Activity Space Risk, Peer Networks, and Substance use

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Michael; Mennis, Jeremy; Way, Thomas; Light, John; Rusby, Julie; Westling, Erika; Crewe, Stephanie; Flay, Brian; Campbell, Leah; Zaharakis, Nikola; McHenry, Chantal

    2015-01-01

    Adolescent substance use is a developmentally contingent social practice that is constituted within the routine social-environment of adolescents’ lives. Few studies have examined peer networks, perceived activity space risk (risk of substance use at routine locations), and substance use. We examined the moderating influence of peer network characteristics on the relationship between perceived activity space risk and substance use among a sample of 250 urban adolescents. Significant interactions were found between peer networks and perceived activity space risk on tobacco and marijuana use, such that protective peer networks reduced the effect of activity place risk on substance use. A significant 3-way interaction was found on marijuana use indicating that gender moderated peer network's effect on activity space risk. Conditional effect analysis found that boys' peer networks moderated the effect of perceived activity space risk on marijuana use, whereas for girls, the effect of perceived activity space risk on marijuana use was not moderated by their peer networks. These findings could advance theoretical models to inform social-environmental research among adolescents. PMID:26026598

  20. Young adolescents' perceived activity space risk, peer networks, and substance use.

    PubMed

    Mason, Michael; Mennis, Jeremy; Way, Thomas; Light, John; Rusby, Julie; Westling, Erika; Crewe, Stephanie; Flay, Brian; Campbell, Leah; Zaharakis, Nikola; McHenry, Chantal

    2015-07-01

    Adolescent substance use is a developmentally contingent social practice that is constituted within the routine social-environment of adolescents' lives. Few studies have examined peer networks, perceived activity space risk (risk of substance use at routine locations), and substance use. We examined the moderating influence of peer network characteristics on the relationship between perceived activity space risk and substance use among a sample of 250 urban adolescents. Significant interactions were found between peer networks and perceived activity space risk on tobacco and marijuana use, such that protective peer networks reduced the effect of activity place risk on substance use. A significant 3-way interaction was found on marijuana use indicating that gender moderated peer network's effect on activity space risk. Conditional effect analysis found that boys' peer networks moderated the effect of perceived activity space risk on marijuana use, whereas for girls, the effect of perceived activity space risk on marijuana use was not moderated by their peer networks. These findings could advance theoretical models to inform social-environmental research among adolescents.

  1. Identifying repeating motifs in the activation of synchronized bursts in cultured neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Raichman, Nadav; Ben-Jacob, Eshel

    2008-05-15

    Cultured neuronal networks cultivated on micro-electrode arrays are a widely used tool for the investigation of network mechanisms, providing structural framework for long-term recordings of network electrical activity, as well as the network reaction to electrical or chemical stimulations. The typical activity pattern of the culture takes the form of synchronized bursting events (SBEs), in which a large fraction of the recorded neurons simultaneously fire trains of action potentials in short bursts of several hundreds of a millisecond. We developed a method that identifies clusters of bursts that share a similar activation motif throughout the culture based on the fact that the culture morphology remains relatively unchanged for an extended time interval and that neurons fire in a recognizable and precise manner during a burst initiation. Our method compares accuracies in time delays that occurred between the activation of spike-trains of different neurons. Three culture architectures were studied and analyzed: a large network of 2 million cells, a smaller network limited in size of 100,000 cells, and a large network divided into 4 clusters. In each of the morphologies we identified cultures that showed more than one activation motif. Clustered networks showed more motifs on average than uniform cultures. The algorithm was able to show high fidelity to artificial noise. We also compare the results of our method with another method based on a correlation measure.

  2. Node interference and robustness: performing virtual knock-out experiments on biological networks: the case of leukocyte integrin activation network.

    PubMed

    Scardoni, Giovanni; Montresor, Alessio; Tosadori, Gabriele; Laudanna, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    The increasing availability of large network datasets derived from high-throughput experiments requires the development of tools to extract relevant information from biological networks, and the development of computational methods capable of detecting qualitative and quantitative changes in the topological properties of biological networks is of critical relevance. We introduce the notions of node interference and robustness as measures of the reciprocal influence between nodes within a network. We examine the theoretical significance of these new, centrality-based, measures by characterizing the topological relationships between nodes and groups of nodes. Node interference analysis allows topologically determining the context of functional influence of single nodes. Conversely, the node robustness analysis allows topologically identifying the nodes having the highest functional influence on a specific node. A new Cytoscape plug-in calculating these measures was developed and applied to a protein-protein interaction network specifically regulating integrin activation in human primary leukocytes. Notably, the functional effects of compounds inhibiting important protein kinases, such as SRC, HCK, FGR and JAK2, are predicted by the interference and robustness analysis, are in agreement with previous studies and are confirmed by laboratory experiments. The interference and robustness notions can be applied to a variety of different contexts, including, for instance, the identification of potential side effects of drugs or the characterization of the consequences of genes deletion, duplication or of proteins degradation, opening new perspectives in biological network analysis.

  3. Nonbonded interactions in membrane active cyclic biopolymers. IV - Cation dependence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radhakrishnan, R.; Srinivasan, S.; Prasad, C. V.; Brinda, S. R.; Macelroy, R. D.; Sundaram, K.

    1980-01-01

    Interactions of valinomycin and form of its analogs in several conformations with the central ions Li(+), Na(+), K(+), Rb(+) and Cs(+) are investigated as part of a study of the specific preference of valinomycin for potassium and the mechanisms of carrier-mediated ion transport across membranes. Ion binding energies and conformational potential energies are calculated taking into account polarization energy formulas and repulsive energy between the central ion and the ligand atoms for conformations representing various stages in ion capture and release for each of the two ring chiralities of valinomycin and its analogs. Results allow the prediction of the chirality and conformation most likely to be observed for a given analog, and may be used to synthesize analogs with a desired rigidity or flexibility. The binding energies with the alkali metal cations are found to decrease with increasing ion size, and to be smaller than the corresponding ion hydration energies. It is pointed out that the observed potassium preference may be explainable in terms of differences between binding and hydration energies. Binding energies are also noted to depend on ligand conformation.

  4. Activity induced phase separation in particles and (bio)polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosberg, Alexander

    It was recently shown that the non-equilibrium steady state of the mixture of two types of particles exposed to two different thermostats can phase separate (A.Y.Grosberg, J.-F.Joanny, PRE, v. 91, 032118, 2015). similar result is valid also in the case when particles in question are monomers of two different polymer chains, or blocks of a co-polymer. We discuss the implications of these results for the physics of chromatin.

  5. Epidemic variability in hierarchical geographical networks with human activity patterns.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhi-Dan; Liu, Ying; Tang, Ming

    2012-06-01

    Recently, some studies have revealed that non-Poissonian statistics of human behaviors stem from the hierarchical geographical network structure. On this view, we focus on epidemic spreading in the hierarchical geographical networks and study how two distinct contact patterns (i.e., homogeneous time delay (HOTD) and heterogeneous time delay (HETD) associated with geographical distance) influence the spreading speed and the variability of outbreaks. We find that, compared with HOTD and null model, correlations between time delay and network hierarchy in HETD remarkably slow down epidemic spreading and result in an upward cascading multi-modal phenomenon. Proportionately, the variability of outbreaks in HETD has the lower value, but several comparable peaks for a long time, which makes the long-term prediction of epidemic spreading hard. When a seed (i.e., the initial infected node) is from the high layers of networks, epidemic spreading is remarkably promoted. Interestingly, distinct trends of variabilities in two contact patterns emerge: high-layer seeds in HOTD result in the lower variabilities, the case of HETD is opposite. More importantly, the variabilities of high-layer seeds in HETD are much greater than that in HOTD, which implies the unpredictability of epidemic spreading in hierarchical geographical networks.

  6. Active patterning and asymmetric transport in a model actomyosin network

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Shenshen; Wolynes, Peter G.

    2013-12-21

    Cytoskeletal networks, which are essentially motor-filament assemblies, play a major role in many developmental processes involving structural remodeling and shape changes. These are achieved by nonequilibrium self-organization processes that generate functional patterns and drive intracellular transport. We construct a minimal physical model that incorporates the coupling between nonlinear elastic responses of individual filaments and force-dependent motor action. By performing stochastic simulations we show that the interplay of motor processes, described as driving anti-correlated motion of the network vertices, and the network connectivity, which determines the percolation character of the structure, can indeed capture the dynamical and structural cooperativity which gives rise to diverse patterns observed experimentally. The buckling instability of individual filaments is found to play a key role in localizing collapse events due to local force imbalance. Motor-driven buckling-induced node aggregation provides a dynamic mechanism that stabilizes the two-dimensional patterns below the apparent static percolation limit. Coordinated motor action is also shown to suppress random thermal noise on large time scales, the two-dimensional configuration that the system starts with thus remaining planar during the structural development. By carrying out similar simulations on a three-dimensional anchored network, we find that the myosin-driven isotropic contraction of a well-connected actin network, when combined with mechanical anchoring that confers directionality to the collective motion, may represent a novel mechanism of intracellular transport, as revealed by chromosome translocation in the starfish oocyte.

  7. Modelling temporal networks of human face-to-face contacts with public activity and individual reachability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yi-Qing; Cui, Jing; Zhang, Shu-Min; Zhang, Qi; Li, Xiang

    2016-02-01

    Modelling temporal networks of human face-to-face contacts is vital both for understanding the spread of airborne pathogens and word-of-mouth spreading of information. Although many efforts have been devoted to model these temporal networks, there are still two important social features, public activity and individual reachability, have been ignored in these models. Here we present a simple model that captures these two features and other typical properties of empirical face-to-face contact networks. The model describes agents which are characterized by an attractiveness to slow down the motion of nearby people, have event-triggered active probability and perform an activity-dependent biased random walk in a square box with periodic boundary. The model quantitatively reproduces two empirical temporal networks of human face-to-face contacts which are testified by their network properties and the epidemic spread dynamics on them.

  8. Fitness, but not physical activity, is related to functional integrity of brain networks associated with aging.

    PubMed

    Voss, Michelle W; Weng, Timothy B; Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Wong, Chelsea N; Cooke, Gillian E; Clark, Rachel; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth; Gothe, Neha P; Olson, Erin A; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F

    2016-05-01

    Greater physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with reduced age-related cognitive decline and lower risk for dementia. However, significant gaps remain in the understanding of how physical activity and fitness protect the brain from adverse effects of brain aging. The primary goal of the current study was to empirically evaluate the independent relationships between physical activity and fitness with functional brain health among healthy older adults, as measured by the functional connectivity of cognitively and clinically relevant resting state networks. To build context for fitness and physical activity associations in older adults, we first demonstrate that young adults have greater within-network functional connectivity across a broad range of cortical association networks. Based on these results and previous research, we predicted that individual differences in fitness and physical activity would be most strongly associated with functional integrity of the networks most sensitive to aging. Consistent with this prediction, and extending on previous research, we showed that cardiorespiratory fitness has a positive relationship with functional connectivity of several cortical networks associated with age-related decline, and effects were strongest in the default mode network (DMN). Furthermore, our results suggest that the positive association of fitness with brain function can occur independent of habitual physical activity. Overall, our findings provide further support that cardiorespiratory fitness is an important factor in moderating the adverse effects of aging on cognitively and clinically relevant functional brain networks.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Structural plasticity of GABAergic axons is regulated by network activity and GABAA receptor activation

    PubMed Central

    Schuemann, Anne; Klawiter, Agnieszka; Bonhoeffer, Tobias; Wierenga, Corette J.

    2013-01-01

    Coordinated changes at excitatory and inhibitory synapses are essential for normal brain development and function. It is well established that excitatory neurons undergo structural changes, but our knowledge about inhibitory structural plasticity is rather scarce. Here we present a quantitative analysis of the dynamics of GABAergic boutons in the dendritic region of the hippocampal CA1 area using time-lapse two-photon imaging in organotypic hippocampal cultures from GAD65-GFP mice. We show that ~20% of inhibitory boutons are not stable. They are appearing, disappearing and reappearing at specific locations along the inhibitory axon and reflect immature or incomplete synapses. Furthermore, we observed that persistent boutons show large volume fluctuations over several hours, suggesting that presynaptic content of inhibitory synapses is not constant. Our data show that inhibitory boutons are highly dynamic structures and suggest that inhibitory axons are continuously probing potential locations for inhibitory synapse formation by redistributing presynaptic material along the axon. In addition, we found that neuronal activity affects the exploratory dynamics of inhibitory axons. Blocking network activity rapidly reduces the number of transient boutons, whereas enhancing activity reduces the number of persistent inhibitory boutons, possibly reflecting enhanced competition between boutons along the axon. The latter effect requires signaling through GABAA receptors. We propose that activity-dependent regulation of bouton dynamics contributes to inhibitory synaptic plasticity. PMID:23805077

  12. Production of novel biopolymers in plants: recent technological advances and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Snell, Kristi D; Singh, Vijay; Brumbley, Stevens M

    2015-04-01

    The production of novel biopolymers in plants has the potential to provide renewable sources of industrial materials through agriculture. In this review we will highlight recent progress with plant-based production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), silk, elastin, collagen, and cyanophycin with an emphasis on the synthesis of poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] (PHB), a renewable biodegradable PHA polymer with potential commercial applications in plastics, chemicals, and feed markets. Improved production of PHB has required manipulation of promoters driving expression of transgenes, reduction in activity of endogenous enzymes in competing metabolic pathways, insertion of genes to increase carbon flow to polymer, and basic plant biochemistry to understand metabolic limitations. These experiments have increased our understanding of carbon availability and partitioning in different plant organelles, cell types, and organs, information that is useful for the production of other novel molecules in plants.

  13. Production of novel biopolymers in plants: recent technological advances and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Snell, Kristi D; Singh, Vijay; Brumbley, Stevens M

    2015-04-01

    The production of novel biopolymers in plants has the potential to provide renewable sources of industrial materials through agriculture. In this review we will highlight recent progress with plant-based production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), silk, elastin, collagen, and cyanophycin with an emphasis on the synthesis of poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] (PHB), a renewable biodegradable PHA polymer with potential commercial applications in plastics, chemicals, and feed markets. Improved production of PHB has required manipulation of promoters driving expression of transgenes, reduction in activity of endogenous enzymes in competing metabolic pathways, insertion of genes to increase carbon flow to polymer, and basic plant biochemistry to understand metabolic limitations. These experiments have increased our understanding of carbon availability and partitioning in different plant organelles, cell types, and organs, information that is useful for the production of other novel molecules in plants. PMID:25437636

  14. Enzymatically activated emulsions stabilised by interfacial nanofibre networks.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Inês P; Sasselli, Ivan Ramos; Cannon, Daniel A; Hughes, Meghan; Lamprou, Dimitrios A; Tuttle, Tell; Ulijn, Rein V

    2016-03-01

    We report on-demand formation of emulsions stabilised by interfacial nanoscale networks. These are formed through biocatalytic dephosphorylation and self-assembly of Fmoc(9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl)dipeptide amphiphiles in aqueous/organic mixtures. This is achieved by using alkaline phosphatase which transforms surfactant-like phosphorylated precursors into self-assembling aromatic peptide amphiphiles (Fmoc-tyrosine-leucine, Fmoc-YL) that form nanofibrous networks. In biphasic organic/aqueous systems, these networks form preferentially at the interface thus providing a means of emulsion stabilisation. We demonstrate on-demand emulsification by enzyme addition, even after storage of the biphasic mixture for several weeks. Experimental (Fluorescence, FTIR spectroscopy, fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy) and computational techniques (atomistic molecular dynamics) are used to characterise the interfacial self-assembly process. PMID:26905042

  15. AST: Activity-Security-Trust driven modeling of time varying networks.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jian; Xu, Jiake; Liu, Yanheng; Deng, Weiwen

    2016-02-18

    Network modeling is a flexible mathematical structure that enables to identify statistical regularities and structural principles hidden in complex systems. The majority of recent driving forces in modeling complex networks are originated from activity, in which an activity potential of a time invariant function is introduced to identify agents' interactions and to construct an activity-driven model. However, the new-emerging network evolutions are already deeply coupled with not only the explicit factors (e.g. activity) but also the implicit considerations (e.g. security and trust), so more intrinsic driving forces behind should be integrated into the modeling of time varying networks. The agents undoubtedly seek to build a time-dependent trade-off among activity, security, and trust in generating a new connection to another. Thus, we reasonably propose the Activity-Security-Trust (AST) driven model through synthetically considering the explicit and implicit driving forces (e.g. activity, security, and trust) underlying the decision process. AST-driven model facilitates to more accurately capture highly dynamical network behaviors and figure out the complex evolution process, allowing a profound understanding of the effects of security and trust in driving network evolution, and improving the biases induced by only involving activity representations in analyzing the dynamical processes.

  16. AST: Activity-Security-Trust driven modeling of time varying networks

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jian; Xu, Jiake; Liu, Yanheng; Deng, Weiwen

    2016-01-01

    Network modeling is a flexible mathematical structure that enables to identify statistical regularities and structural principles hidden in complex systems. The majority of recent driving forces in modeling complex networks are originated from activity, in which an activity potential of a time invariant function is introduced to identify agents’ interactions and to construct an activity-driven model. However, the new-emerging network evolutions are already deeply coupled with not only the explicit factors (e.g. activity) but also the implicit considerations (e.g. security and trust), so more intrinsic driving forces behind should be integrated into the modeling of time varying networks. The agents undoubtedly seek to build a time-dependent trade-off among activity, security, and trust in generating a new connection to another. Thus, we reasonably propose the Activity-Security-Trust (AST) driven model through synthetically considering the explicit and implicit driving forces (e.g. activity, security, and trust) underlying the decision process. AST-driven model facilitates to more accurately capture highly dynamical network behaviors and figure out the complex evolution process, allowing a profound understanding of the effects of security and trust in driving network evolution, and improving the biases induced by only involving activity representations in analyzing the dynamical processes. PMID:26888717

  17. AST: Activity-Security-Trust driven modeling of time varying networks.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jian; Xu, Jiake; Liu, Yanheng; Deng, Weiwen

    2016-01-01

    Network modeling is a flexible mathematical structure that enables to identify statistical regularities and structural principles hidden in complex systems. The majority of recent driving forces in modeling complex networks are originated from activity, in which an activity potential of a time invariant function is introduced to identify agents' interactions and to construct an activity-driven model. However, the new-emerging network evolutions are already deeply coupled with not only the explicit factors (e.g. activity) but also the implicit considerations (e.g. security and trust), so more intrinsic driving forces behind should be integrated into the modeling of time varying networks. The agents undoubtedly seek to build a time-dependent trade-off among activity, security, and trust in generating a new connection to another. Thus, we reasonably propose the Activity-Security-Trust (AST) driven model through synthetically considering the explicit and implicit driving forces (e.g. activity, security, and trust) underlying the decision process. AST-driven model facilitates to more accurately capture highly dynamical network behaviors and figure out the complex evolution process, allowing a profound understanding of the effects of security and trust in driving network evolution, and improving the biases induced by only involving activity representations in analyzing the dynamical processes. PMID:26888717

  18. Students' Network Project Activities in the Context of the Information Educational Medium of Higher Education Institution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samerkhanova, Elvira K.; Krupoderova, Elena P.; Krupoderova, Klimentina R.; Bahtiyarova, Lyudmila N.; Ponachugin, Alexander V.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of the research is justifying didactic possibilities of the use of network services for the organization of information for the learning environment of college, where students carry out their project activities, and where effective networking between students and teachers takes place. The authors consider didactic possibilities of…

  19. DELTAMETHRIN AND ESFENVALERATE INHIBIT SPONTANEOUS NETWORK ACTIVITY IN RAT CORTICAL NEURONS IN VITRO.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Understanding pyrethroid actions on neuronal networks will help to establish a mode of action for these compounds, which is needed for cumulative risk decisions under the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. However, pyrethroid effects on spontaneous activity in networks of inter...

  20. "Who Do You Talk to about Your Teaching?": Networking Activities among University Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pataraia, Nino; Falconer, Isobel; Margaryan, Anoush; Littlejohn, Allison; Fincher, Sally

    2014-01-01

    As the higher education environment changes, there are calls for university teachers to change and enhance their teaching practices to match. Networking practices are known to be deeply implicated in studies of change and diffusion of innovation, yet academics' networking activities in relation to teaching have been little studied. This paper…

  1. Noise influence on spike activation in a Hindmarsh-Rose small-world neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhe, Sun; Micheletto, Ruggero

    2016-07-01

    We studied the role of noise in neural networks, especially focusing on its relation to the propagation of spike activity in a small sized system. We set up a source of information using a single neuron that is constantly spiking. This element called initiator x o feeds spikes to the rest of the network that is initially quiescent and subsequently reacts with vigorous spiking after a transitional period of time. We found that noise quickly suppresses the initiator’s influence and favors spontaneous spike activity and, using a decibel representation of noise intensity, we established a linear relationship between noise amplitude and the interval from the initiator’s first spike and the rest of the network activation. We studied the same process with networks of different sizes (number of neurons) and found that the initiator x o has a measurable influence on small networks, but as the network grows in size, spontaneous spiking emerges disrupting its effects on networks of more than about N = 100 neurons. This suggests that the mechanism of internal noise generation allows information transmission within a small neural neighborhood, but decays for bigger network domains. We also analyzed the Fourier spectrum of the whole network membrane potential and verified that noise provokes the reduction of main θ and α peaks before transitioning into chaotic spiking. However, network size does not reproduce a similar phenomena; instead we recorded a reduction in peaks’ amplitude, a better sharpness and definition of Fourier peaks, but not the evident degeneration to chaos observed with increasing external noise. This work aims to contribute to the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of propagation of spontaneous spiking in neural networks and gives a quantitative assessment of how noise can be used to control and modulate this phenomenon in Hindmarsh-Rose (H-R) neural networks.

  2. Noise influence on spike activation in a Hindmarsh–Rose small-world neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhe, Sun; Micheletto, Ruggero

    2016-07-01

    We studied the role of noise in neural networks, especially focusing on its relation to the propagation of spike activity in a small sized system. We set up a source of information using a single neuron that is constantly spiking. This element called initiator x o feeds spikes to the rest of the network that is initially quiescent and subsequently reacts with vigorous spiking after a transitional period of time. We found that noise quickly suppresses the initiator’s influence and favors spontaneous spike activity and, using a decibel representation of noise intensity, we established a linear relationship between noise amplitude and the interval from the initiator’s first spike and the rest of the network activation. We studied the same process with networks of different sizes (number of neurons) and found that the initiator x o has a measurable influence on small networks, but as the network grows in size, spontaneous spiking emerges disrupting its effects on networks of more than about N = 100 neurons. This suggests that the mechanism of internal noise generation allows information transmission within a small neural neighborhood, but decays for bigger network domains. We also analyzed the Fourier spectrum of the whole network membrane potential and verified that noise provokes the reduction of main θ and α peaks before transitioning into chaotic spiking. However, network size does not reproduce a similar phenomena; instead we recorded a reduction in peaks’ amplitude, a better sharpness and definition of Fourier peaks, but not the evident degeneration to chaos observed with increasing external noise. This work aims to contribute to the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of propagation of spontaneous spiking in neural networks and gives a quantitative assessment of how noise can be used to control and modulate this phenomenon in Hindmarsh‑Rose (H‑R) neural networks.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. Synthesis of nanohydrogels based on tragacanth gum biopolymer and investigation of swelling and drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Sadat Hosseini, Masoomeh; Hemmati, Khadijeh; Ghaemy, Mousa

    2016-01-01

    The present article deals with preparation of pH responsive nanohydrogels based on tragacanth gum (TG) biopolymer for drug delivery. The nanohydrogels were prepared using different chemical reagents such as 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) modifier and glyceroldiglycidylether (GDE), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), and glutaraldehyde (GA) as cross-linkers. The obtained nanohydrogels were characterized using different techniques such as scanning electron microscope (SEM), elemental analysis, FT-IR, zeta sizer and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The gel content increased with increasing the cross-linkers contents and reached to a maximum of 90%. The swelling behavior of nanohydrogels was investigated in terms of the effect of pH (2.2, 7.4 and 9), temperature (27, 37 and 60°C), and reaction time (2-24h). Loading of Indomethacin (IND) as a model drug showed dependence on the network structure of nanohydrogels. The total in vitro IND release showed dependence on the network structure of nanohydrogels and was in the range of 50-80% at pH 9 after 24h.

  10. Synaptic depression and slow oscillatory activity in a biophysical network model of the cerebral cortex

    PubMed Central

    Benita, Jose M.; Guillamon, Antoni; Deco, Gustavo; Sanchez-Vives, Maria V.

    2012-01-01

    Short-term synaptic depression (STD) is a form of synaptic plasticity that has a large impact on network computations. Experimental results suggest that STD is modulated by cortical activity, decreasing with activity in the network and increasing during silent states. Here, we explored different activity-modulation protocols in a biophysical network model for which the model displayed less STD when the network was active than when it was silent, in agreement with experimental results. Furthermore, we studied how trains of synaptic potentials had lesser decay during periods of activity (UP states) than during silent periods (DOWN states), providing new experimental predictions. We next tackled the inverse question of what is the impact of modifying STD parameters on the emergent activity of the network, a question difficult to answer experimentally. We found that synaptic depression of cortical connections had a critical role to determine the regime of rhythmic cortical activity. While low STD resulted in an emergent rhythmic activity with short UP states and long DOWN states, increasing STD resulted in longer and more frequent UP states interleaved with short silent periods. A still higher synaptic depression set the network into a non-oscillatory firing regime where DOWN states no longer occurred. The speed of propagation of UP states along the network was not found to be modulated by STD during the oscillatory regime; it remained relatively stable over a range of values of STD. Overall, we found that the mutual interactions between synaptic depression and ongoing network activity are critical to determine the mechanisms that modulate cortical emergent patterns. PMID:22973221

  11. Human embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal cells form spontaneously active neuronal networks in vitro.

    PubMed

    Heikkilä, Teemu J; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Tanskanen, Jarno M A; Lappalainen, Riikka S; Skottman, Heli; Suuronen, Riitta; Mikkonen, Jarno E; Hyttinen, Jari A K; Narkilahti, Susanna

    2009-07-01

    The production of functional human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived neuronal cells is critical for the application of hESCs in treating neurodegenerative disorders. To study the potential functionality of hESC-derived neurons, we cultured and monitored the development of hESC-derived neuronal networks on microelectrode arrays. Immunocytochemical studies revealed that these networks were positive for the neuronal marker proteins beta-tubulin(III) and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2). The hESC-derived neuronal networks were spontaneously active and exhibited a multitude of electrical impulse firing patterns. Synchronous bursts of electrical activity similar to those reported for hippocampal neurons and rodent embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal networks were recorded from the differentiated cultures until up to 4 months. The dependence of the observed neuronal network activity on sodium ion channels was examined using tetrodotoxin (TTX). Antagonists for the glutamate receptors NMDA [D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid] and AMPA/kainate [6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione], and for GABAA receptors [(-)-bicuculline methiodide] modulated the spontaneous electrical activity, indicating that pharmacologically susceptible neuronal networks with functional synapses had been generated. The findings indicate that hESC-derived neuronal cells can generate spontaneously active networks with synchronous communication in vitro, and are therefore suitable for use in developmental and drug screening studies, as well as for regenerative medicine.

  12. 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.

  13. 3D Copper Tetrathiafulvalene Redox-Active Network with 8-Fold Interpenetrating Diamond-like Topology.

    PubMed

    Yin, Zhong-Nan; Li, Yan-Hong; Sun, Yong-Gang; Chen, Ting; Xu, Jing; Zhu, Qin-Yu; Dai, Jie

    2016-09-19

    A tetrathiafulvalene derivative has been incorporated into a diamond-like structure for the first time. The coordination network shows highly unusual 8-fold interpenetration with redox-active and photoelectric properties. PMID:27603504

  14. Topic-Aware Physical Activity Propagation in a Health Social Network

    PubMed Central

    Phan, Nhathai; Ebrahimi, Javid; Kil, Dave; Piniewski, Brigitte; Dou, Dejing

    2016-01-01

    Modeling physical activity propagation, such as physical exercise level and intensity, is the key to preventing the conduct that can lead to obesity; it can also help spread wellness behavior in a social network. PMID:27087794

  15. SAN-RL: combining spreading activation networks and reinforcement learning to learn configurable behaviors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, J.; Gaines, D. M.; Wilkes, M.; Kusumalnukool, K.; Thongchai, S.; Kawamura, K.

    2001-01-01

    This approach provides the agent with a causal structure, the spreading activation network, relating goals to the actions that can achieve those goals. This enables the agent to select actions relative to the goal priorities.

  16. Gold nanowire networks: synthesis, characterization, and catalytic activity.

    PubMed

    Chirea, Mariana; Freitas, Andreia; Vasile, Bogdan S; Ghitulica, Cristina; Pereira, Carlos M; Silva, Fernando

    2011-04-01

    Gold nanowire networks (AuNWNs) with average widths of 17.74 nm (AuNWN(1)) or 23.54 nm (AuNWN(2)) were synthesized by direct reduction of HAuCl(4) with sodium borohydride powder in deep eutectic solvents, such as ethaline or reline, at 40 °C. Their width and length were dependent on the type of solvent and the NaBH(4)/HAuCl(4) molar ratio (32 in ethaline and 5.2 in reline). High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) analysis of the gold nanowire networks showed clear lattice fringes of polycrystalline nanopowder of d = 2.36, 2.04, 1.44, and 1.23 Å corresponding to the (111), (200), (220), or (311) crystallographic planes of face centered cubic gold. The purified AuNWNs were used as catalysts for the chemical reduction of p-nitroaniline to diaminophenylene with sodium borohydride in aqueous solution. The reaction was monitored in real time by UV-vis spectroscopy. The results show that the reduction process is six times faster in the presence of gold nanowire networks stabilized by urea from the reline (AuNWN(2)) than in the presence of gold nanowire networks stabilized by ethylene glycol from ethaline (AuNWN(1)). This is due to a higher number of corners and edges on the gold nanowires synthesized in reline than on those synthesized in ethaline as proven by X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns recorded for both types of gold nanowire networks. Nevertheless, both types of nanomaterials determined short times of reaction and high conversion of p-nitroaniline to diaminophenylene. These gold nanomaterials represent a new addition to a new generation of catalysts: gold based catalysts. PMID:21348463

  17. The active enhancer network operated by liganded RXR supports angiogenic activity in macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Daniel, Bence; Hah, Nasun; Horvath, Attila; Czimmerer, Zsolt; Poliska, Szilard; Gyuris, Tibor; Keirsse, Jiri; Gysemans, Conny; Van Ginderachter, Jo A.; Balint, Balint L.; Evans, Ronald M.; Barta, Endre; Nagy, Laszlo

    2014-01-01

    RXR signaling is predicted to have a major impact in macrophages, but neither the biological consequence nor the genomic basis of its ligand activation is known. Comprehensive genome-wide studies were carried out to map liganded RXR-mediated transcriptional changes, active binding sites, and cistromic interactions in the context of the macrophage genome architecture. The macrophage RXR cistrome has 5200 genomic binding sites, which are not impacted by ligand. Active enhancers are characterized by PU.1 binding, an increase of enhancer RNA, and P300 recruitment. Using these features, 387 liganded RXR-bound enhancers were linked to 226 genes, which predominantly reside in CTCF/cohesin-limited functional domains. These findings were molecularly validated using chromosome conformation capture (3C) and 3C combined with sequencing (3C-seq), and we show that selected long-range enhancers communicate with promoters via stable or RXR-induced loops and that some of the enhancers interact with each other, forming an interchromosomal network. A set of angiogenic genes, including Vegfa, has liganded RXR-controlled enhancers and provides the macrophage with a novel inducible program. PMID:25030696

  18. NetDecoder: a network biology platform that decodes context-specific biological networks and gene activities.

    PubMed

    da Rocha, Edroaldo Lummertz; Ung, Choong Yong; McGehee, Cordelia D; Correia, Cristina; Li, Hu

    2016-06-01

    The sequential chain of interactions altering the binary state of a biomolecule represents the 'information flow' within a cellular network that determines phenotypic properties. Given the lack of computational tools to dissect context-dependent networks and gene activities, we developed NetDecoder, a network biology platform that models context-dependent information flows using pairwise phenotypic comparative analyses of protein-protein interactions. Using breast cancer, dyslipidemia and Alzheimer's disease as case studies, we demonstrate NetDecoder dissects subnetworks to identify key players significantly impacting cell behaviour specific to a given disease context. We further show genes residing in disease-specific subnetworks are enriched in disease-related signalling pathways and information flow profiles, which drive the resulting disease phenotypes. We also devise a novel scoring scheme to quantify key genes-network routers, which influence many genes, key targets, which are influenced by many genes, and high impact genes, which experience a significant change in regulation. We show the robustness of our results against parameter changes. Our network biology platform includes freely available source code (http://www.NetDecoder.org) for researchers to explore genome-wide context-dependent information flow profiles and key genes, given a set of genes of particular interest and transcriptome data. More importantly, NetDecoder will enable researchers to uncover context-dependent drug targets. PMID:26975659

  19. Spontaneous Neuronal Activity in Developing Neocortical Networks: From Single Cells to Large-Scale Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Luhmann, Heiko J.; Sinning, Anne; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Reyes-Puerta, Vicente; Stüttgen, Maik C.; Kirischuk, Sergei; Kilb, Werner

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal activity has been shown to be essential for the proper formation of neuronal circuits, affecting developmental processes like neurogenesis, migration, programmed cell death, cellular differentiation, formation of local and long-range axonal connections, synaptic plasticity or myelination. Accordingly, neocortical areas reveal distinct spontaneous and sensory-driven neuronal activity patterns already at early phases of development. At embryonic stages, when immature neurons start to develop voltage-dependent channels, spontaneous activity is highly synchronized within small neuronal networks and governed by electrical synaptic transmission. Subsequently, spontaneous activity patterns become more complex, involve larger networks and propagate over several neocortical areas. The developmental shift from local to large-scale network activity is accompanied by a gradual shift from electrical to chemical synaptic transmission with an initial excitatory action of chloride-gated channels activated by GABA, glycine and taurine. Transient neuronal populations in the subplate (SP) support temporary circuits that play an important role in tuning early neocortical activity and the formation of mature neuronal networks. Thus, early spontaneous activity patterns control the formation of developing networks in sensory cortices, and disturbances of these activity patterns may lead to long-lasting neuronal deficits. PMID:27252626

  20. Spontaneous Neuronal Activity in Developing Neocortical Networks: From Single Cells to Large-Scale Interactions.

    PubMed

    Luhmann, Heiko J; Sinning, Anne; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Reyes-Puerta, Vicente; Stüttgen, Maik C; Kirischuk, Sergei; Kilb, Werner

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal activity has been shown to be essential for the proper formation of neuronal circuits, affecting developmental processes like neurogenesis, migration, programmed cell death, cellular differentiation, formation of local and long-range axonal connections, synaptic plasticity or myelination. Accordingly, neocortical areas reveal distinct spontaneous and sensory-driven neuronal activity patterns already at early phases of development. At embryonic stages, when immature neurons start to develop voltage-dependent channels, spontaneous activity is highly synchronized within small neuronal networks and governed by electrical synaptic transmission. Subsequently, spontaneous activity patterns become more complex, involve larger networks and propagate over several neocortical areas. The developmental shift from local to large-scale network activity is accompanied by a gradual shift from electrical to chemical synaptic transmission with an initial excitatory action of chloride-gated channels activated by GABA, glycine and taurine. Transient neuronal populations in the subplate (SP) support temporary circuits that play an important role in tuning early neocortical activity and the formation of mature neuronal networks. Thus, early spontaneous activity patterns control the formation of developing networks in sensory cortices, and disturbances of these activity patterns may lead to long-lasting neuronal deficits.

  1. Spontaneous Neuronal Activity in Developing Neocortical Networks: From Single Cells to Large-Scale Interactions.

    PubMed

    Luhmann, Heiko J; Sinning, Anne; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Reyes-Puerta, Vicente; Stüttgen, Maik C; Kirischuk, Sergei; Kilb, Werner

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal activity has been shown to be essential for the proper formation of neuronal circuits, affecting developmental processes like neurogenesis, migration, programmed cell death, cellular differentiation, formation of local and long-range axonal connections, synaptic plasticity or myelination. Accordingly, neocortical areas reveal distinct spontaneous and sensory-driven neuronal activity patterns already at early phases of development. At embryonic stages, when immature neurons start to develop voltage-dependent channels, spontaneous activity is highly synchronized within small neuronal networks and governed by electrical synaptic transmission. Subsequently, spontaneous activity patterns become more complex, involve larger networks and propagate over several neocortical areas. The developmental shift from local to large-scale network activity is accompanied by a gradual shift from electrical to chemical synaptic transmission with an initial excitatory action of chloride-gated channels activated by GABA, glycine and taurine. Transient neuronal populations in the subplate (SP) support temporary circuits that play an important role in tuning early neocortical activity and the formation of mature neuronal networks. Thus, early spontaneous activity patterns control the formation of developing networks in sensory cortices, and disturbances of these activity patterns may lead to long-lasting neuronal deficits. PMID:27252626

  2. An Optimal CDS Construction Algorithm with Activity Scheduling in Ad Hoc Networks.

    PubMed

    Penumalli, Chakradhar; Palanichamy, Yogesh

    2015-01-01

    A new energy efficient optimal Connected Dominating Set (CDS) algorithm with activity scheduling for mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) is proposed. This algorithm achieves energy efficiency by minimizing the Broadcast Storm Problem [BSP] and at the same time considering the node's remaining energy. The Connected Dominating Set is widely used as a virtual backbone or spine in mobile ad hoc networks [MANETs] or Wireless Sensor Networks [WSN]. The CDS of a graph representing a network has a significant impact on an efficient design of routing protocol in wireless networks. Here the CDS is a distributed algorithm with activity scheduling based on unit disk graph [UDG]. The node's mobility and residual energy (RE) are considered as parameters in the construction of stable optimal energy efficient CDS. The performance is evaluated at various node densities, various transmission ranges, and mobility rates. The theoretical analysis and simulation results of this algorithm are also presented which yield better results.

  3. Friendship networks and physical activity and sedentary behavior among youth: a systematized review

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Low levels of physical activity and increased participation in sedentary leisure-time activities are two important obesity-risk behaviors that impact the health of today’s youth. Friend’s health behaviors have been shown to influence individual health behaviors; however, current evidence on the specific role of friendship networks in relation to levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior is limited. The purpose of this review was to summarize evidence on friendship networks and both physical activity and sedentary behavior among children and adolescents. Method After a search of seven scientific databases and reference scans, a total of thirteen articles were eligible for inclusion. All assessed the association between friendship networks and physical activity, while three also assessed sedentary behavior. Results Overall, higher levels of physical activity among friends are associated with higher levels of physical activity of the individual. Longitudinal studies reveal that an individual’s level of physical activity changes to reflect his/her friends’ higher level of physical activity. Boys tend to be influenced by their friendship network to a greater extent than girls. There is mixed evidence surrounding a friend’s sedentary behavior and individual sedentary behavior. Conclusion Friends’ physical activity level appears to have a significant influence on individual’s physical activity level. Evidence surrounding sedentary behavior is limited and mixed. Results from this review could inform effective public health interventions that harness the influence of friends to increase physical activity levels among children and adolescents. PMID:24289113

  4. Temporal Sequence of Hemispheric Network Activation during Semantic Processing: A Functional Network Connectivity Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Assaf, Michal; Jagannathan, Kanchana; Calhoun, Vince; Kraut, Michael; Hart, John, Jr.; Pearlson, Godfrey

    2009-01-01

    To explore the temporal sequence of, and the relationship between, the left and right hemispheres (LH and RH) during semantic memory (SM) processing we identified the neural networks involved in the performance of functional MRI semantic object retrieval task (SORT) using group independent component analysis (ICA) in 47 healthy individuals. SORT…

  5. Real-time Neural Network predictions of geomagnetic activity indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bala, R.; Reiff, P. H.

    2009-12-01

    The Boyle potential or the Boyle Index (BI), Φ (kV)=10-4 (V/(km/s))2 + 11.7 (B/nT) sin3(θ/2), is an empirically-derived formula that can characterize the Earth's polar cap potential, which is readily derivable in real time using the solar wind data from ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer). The BI has a simplistic form that utilizes a non-magnetic "viscous" and a magnetic "merging" component to characterize the magnetospheric behavior in response to the solar wind. We have investigated its correlation with two of conventional geomagnetic activity indices in Kp and the AE index. We have shown that the logarithms of both 3-hr and 1-hr averages of the BI correlate well with the subsequent Kp: Kp = 8.93 log10(BI) - 12.55 along with 1-hr BI correlating with the subsequent log10(AE): log10(AE) = 1.78 log10(BI) - 3.6. We have developed a new set of algorithms based on Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) suitable for short term space weather forecasts with an enhanced lead-time and better accuracy in predicting Kp and AE over some leading models; the algorithms omit the time history of its targets to utilize only the solar wind data. Inputs to our ANN models benefit from the BI and its proven record as a forecasting parameter since its initiation in October, 2003. We have also performed time-sensitivity tests using cross-correlation analysis to demonstrate that our models are as efficient as those that incorporates the time history of the target indices in their inputs. Our algorithms can predict the upcoming full 3-hr Kp, purely from the solar wind data and achieve a linear correlation coefficient of 0.840, which means that it predicts the upcoming Kp value on average to within 1.3 step, which is approximately the resolution of the real-time Kp estimate. Our success in predicting Kp during a recent unexpected event (22 July ’09) is shown in the figure. Also, when predicting an equivalent "one hour Kp'', the correlation coefficient is 0.86, meaning on average a prediction

  6. Future planning: default network activity couples with frontoparietal control network and reward-processing regions during process and outcome simulations.

    PubMed

    Gerlach, Kathy D; Spreng, R Nathan; Madore, Kevin P; Schacter, Daniel L

    2014-12-01

    We spend much of our daily lives imagining how we can reach future goals and what will happen when we attain them. Despite the prevalence of such goal-directed simulations, neuroimaging studies on planning have mainly focused on executive processes in the frontal lobe. This experiment examined the neural basis of process simulations, during which participants imagined themselves going through steps toward attaining a goal, and outcome simulations, during which participants imagined events they associated with achieving a goal. In the scanner, participants engaged in these simulation tasks and an odd/even control task. We hypothesized that process simulations would recruit default and frontoparietal control network regions, and that outcome simulations, which allow us to anticipate the affective consequences of achieving goals, would recruit default and reward-processing regions. Our analysis of brain activity that covaried with process and outcome simulations confirmed these hypotheses. A functional connectivity analysis with posterior cingulate, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior inferior parietal lobule seeds showed that their activity was correlated during process simulations and associated with a distributed network of default and frontoparietal control network regions. During outcome simulations, medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala seeds covaried together and formed a functional network with default and reward-processing regions.

  7. Information content of neural networks with self-control and variable activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bollé, D.; Amari, S. I.; Dominguez Carreta, D. R. C.; Massolo, G.

    2001-02-01

    A self-control mechanism for the dynamics of neural networks with variable activity is discussed using a recursive scheme for the time evolution of the local field. It is based upon the introduction of a self-adapting time-dependent threshold as a function of both the neural and pattern activity in the network. This mechanism leads to an improvement of the information content of the network as well as an increase of the storage capacity and the basins of attraction. Different architectures are considered and the results are compared with numerical simulations.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Neuronal avalanches of a self-organized neural network with active-neuron-dominant structure.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiumin; Small, Michael

    2012-06-01

    Neuronal avalanche is a spontaneous neuronal activity which obeys a power-law distribution of population event sizes with an exponent of -3/2. It has been observed in the superficial layers of cortex both in vivo and in vitro. In this paper, we analyze the information transmission of a novel self-organized neural network with active-neuron-dominant structure. Neuronal avalanches can be observed in this network with appropriate input intensity. We find that the process of network learning via spike-timing dependent plasticity dramatically increases the complexity of network structure, which is finally self-organized to be active-neuron-dominant connectivity. Both the entropy of activity patterns and the complexity of their resulting post-synaptic inputs are maximized when the network dynamics are propagated as neuronal avalanches. This emergent topology is beneficial for information transmission with high efficiency and also could be responsible for the large information capacity of this network compared with alternative archetypal networks with different neural connectivity.

  12. Mathematical analysis techniques for modeling the space network activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, Lisa M.

    1992-01-01

    The objective of the present work was to explore and identify mathematical analysis techniques, and in particular, the use of linear programming. This topic was then applied to the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) in order to understand the space network better. Finally, a small scale version of the system was modeled, variables were identified, data was gathered, and comparisons were made between actual and theoretical data.

  13. Hierarchical Brain Networks Active in Approach and Avoidance Goal Pursuit

    PubMed Central

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M.; Heller, Wendy; Miller, Gregory A.

    2013-01-01

    Effective approach/avoidance goal pursuit is critical for attaining long-term health and well-being. Research on the neural correlates of key goal-pursuit processes (e.g., motivation) has long been of interest, with lateralization in prefrontal cortex being a particularly fruitful target of investigation. However, this literature has often been limited by a lack of spatial specificity and has not delineated the precise aspects of approach/avoidance motivation involved. Additionally, the relationships among brain regions (i.e., network connectivity) vital to goal-pursuit remain largely unexplored. Specificity in location, process, and network relationship is vital for moving beyond gross characterizations of function and identifying the precise cortical mechanisms involved in motivation. The present paper integrates research using more spatially specific methodologies (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging) with the rich psychological literature on approach/avoidance to propose an integrative network model that takes advantage of the strengths of each of these literatures. PMID:23785328

  14. A Novel Wearable Sensor-Based Human Activity Recognition Approach Using Artificial Hydrocarbon Networks.

    PubMed

    Ponce, Hiram; Martínez-Villaseñor, María de Lourdes; Miralles-Pechuán, Luis

    2016-07-05

    Human activity recognition has gained more interest in several research communities given that understanding user activities and behavior helps to deliver proactive and personalized services. There are many examples of health systems improved by human activity recognition. Nevertheless, the human activity recognition classification process is not an easy task. Different types of noise in wearable sensors data frequently hamper the human activity recognition classification process. In order to develop a successful activity recognition system, it is necessary to use stable and robust machine learning techniques capable of dealing with noisy data. In this paper, we presented the artificial hydrocarbon networks (AHN) technique to the human activity recognition community. Our artificial hydrocarbon networks novel approach is suitable for physical activity recognition, noise tolerance of corrupted data sensors and robust in terms of different issues on data sensors. We proved that the AHN classifier is very competitive for physical activity recognition and is very robust in comparison with other well-known machine learning methods.

  15. Effective electrode length enhances electrical activation of nanowire networks: experiment and simulation.

    PubMed

    Fairfield, Jessamyn A; Ritter, Carlos; Bellew, Allen T; McCarthy, Eoin K; Ferreira, Mauro S; Boland, John J

    2014-09-23

    Networks comprised of randomly oriented overlapping nanowires offer the possibility of simple fabrication on a variety of substrates, in contrast with the precise placement required for devices with single or aligned nanowires. Metal nanowires typically have a coating of surfactant or oxide that prevents aggregation, but also prevents electrical connection. Prohibitively high voltages can be required to electrically activate nanowire networks, and even after activation many nanowire junctions remain nonconducting. Nonelectrical activation methods can enhance conductivity but destroy the memristive behavior of the junctions that comprise the network. We show through both simulation and experiment that electrical stimulation, microstructured electrode geometry, and feature scaling can all be used to manipulate the connectivity and thus electrical conductivity of networks of silver nanowires with a nonconducting polymer coating. More generally, these results describe a strategy to integrate nanomaterials into controllable, adaptive macroscale materials.

  16. Network burst activity in hippocampal neuronal cultures: the role of synaptic and intrinsic currents.

    PubMed

    Suresh, Jyothsna; Radojicic, Mihailo; Pesce, Lorenzo L; Bhansali, Anita; Wang, Janice; Tryba, Andrew K; Marks, Jeremy D; van Drongelen, Wim

    2016-06-01

    The goal of this work was to define the contributions of intrinsic and synaptic mechanisms toward spontaneous network-wide bursting activity, observed in dissociated rat hippocampal cell cultures. This network behavior is typically characterized by short-duration bursts, separated by order of magnitude longer interburst intervals. We hypothesize that while short-timescale synaptic processes modulate spectro-temporal intraburst properties and network-wide burst propagation, much longer timescales of intrinsic membrane properties such as persistent sodium (Nap) currents govern burst onset during interburst intervals. To test this, we used synaptic receptor antagonists picrotoxin, 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX), and 3-(2-carboxypiperazine-4-yl)propyl-1-phosphonate (CPP) to selectively block GABAA, AMPA, and NMDA receptors and riluzole to selectively block Nap channels. We systematically compared intracellular activity (recorded with patch clamp) and network activity (recorded with multielectrode arrays) in eight different synaptic connectivity conditions: GABAA + NMDA + AMPA, NMDA + AMPA, GABAA + AMPA, GABAA + NMDA, AMPA, NMDA, GABAA, and all receptors blocked. Furthermore, we used mixed-effects modeling to quantify the aforementioned independent and interactive synaptic receptor contributions toward spectro-temporal burst properties including intraburst spike rate, burst activity index, burst duration, power in the local field potential, network connectivity, and transmission delays. We found that blocking intrinsic Nap currents completely abolished bursting activity, demonstrating their critical role in burst onset within the network. On the other hand, blocking different combinations of synaptic receptors revealed that spectro-temporal burst properties are uniquely associated with synaptic functionality and that excitatory connectivity is necessary for the presence of network-wide bursting. In addition to confirming the critical contribution of direct

  17. Active microrheology with optical tweezers: a versatile tool to investigate anisotropies in intermediate filament networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neckernuss, T.; Mertens, L. K.; Martin, I.; Paust, T.; Beil, M.; Marti, O.

    2016-02-01

    Mechanical properties of cells are determined by the cytoskeleton and especially by intermediate filaments (IFs). To measure the contribution of IFs to the mechanics of the cytoskeleton, we determine the shear moduli of in vitro assembled IF networks consisting of keratin 8/18 and MgCl2, serving as a crosslinker. In this study we want to present a new method, a combination of active and passive microrheology, to characterize these networks. We also show the applicability of the new method and discuss new findings on the organization and force transmission in keratin networks gained by the new method. We trap and move embedded polystyrene particles with an optical tweezers setup in an oscillatory manner. The amplitude response of the trapped particle is measured and evaluated with a lock-in approach in order to suppress random motions. With this technique we determine the degree of isotropy of the assembled network and sense preferred directions due to inhomogeneities of the network. Furthermore, we show that we can deliberately create anisotropic networks by adjusting the assembly process and chamber geometry. To determine whether there are local network anisotropies in a globally isotropic network, we altered the evaluation method and included the motion of embedded particles in the vicinity of the trapped one. The correlations of the observed motions enable us to map local network anisotropies. Finally, we compare mechanical properties determined from passive with ones from active microrheology. We find the networks measured with the active technique to be approximately 20% more compliant than the ones from passive measurements.

  18. Interactive protein network of FXIII-A1 in lipid rafts of activated and non-activated platelets.

    PubMed

    Rabani, Vahideh; Montange, Damien; Davani, Siamak

    2016-09-01

    Lipid-rafts are defined as membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol and glycosphingolipids within platelet plasma membrane. Lipid raft-mediated clot retraction requires factor XIII and other interacting proteins. The aim of this study was to investigate the proteins that interact with factor XIII in raft and non-raft domains of activated and non-activated platelet plasma membrane. By lipidomics analysis, we identified cholesterol- and sphingomyelin-enriched areas as lipid rafts. Platelets were activated by thrombin. Proteomics analysis provided an overview of the pathways in which proteins of rafts and non-rafts participated in the interaction network of FXIII-A1, a catalytic subunit of FXIII. "Platelet activation" was the principal pathway among KEGG pathways for proteins of rafts, both before and after activation. Network analysis showed four types of interactions (activation, binding, reaction, and catalysis) in raft and non-raft domains in interactive network of FXIII-A1. FXIII-A1 interactions with other proteins in raft domains and their role in homeostasis highlight the specialization of the raft domain in clot retraction via the Factor XIII protein network.

  19. 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.

  20. Active control of vibration using a neural network.

    PubMed

    Snyder, S D; Tanaka, N

    1995-01-01

    Feedforward control of sound and vibration using a neural network-based control system is considered, with the aim being to derive an architecture/algorithm combination which is capable of supplanting the commonly used finite impulse response filter/filtered-x least mean square (LMS) linear arrangement for certain nonlinear problems. An adaptive algorithm is derived which enables stable adaptation of the neural controller for this purpose, while providing the capacity to maintain causality within the control scheme. The algorithm is shown to be simply a generalization of the linear filtered-x LMS algorithm. Experiments are undertaken which demonstrate the utility of the proposed arrangement, showing that it performs as well as a linear control system for a linear control problem and better for a nonlinear control problem. The experiments also lead to the conclusion that more work is required to improve the predictability and consistency of the performance before the neural network controller becomes a practical alternative to the current linear feedforward systems.

  1. Hierarchical self-organization of cytoskeletal active networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Daniel; Bernheim-Groswasser, Anne; Keasar, Chen; Farago, Oded

    2012-04-01

    The structural reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is facilitated through the action of motor proteins that crosslink the actin filaments and transport them relative to each other. Here, we present a combined experimental-computational study that probes the dynamic evolution of mixtures of actin filaments and clusters of myosin motors. While on small spatial and temporal scales the system behaves in a very noisy manner, on larger scales it evolves into several well distinct patterns such as bundles, asters and networks. These patterns are characterized by junctions with high connectivity, whose formation is possible due to the organization of the motors in ‘oligoclusters’ (intermediate-size aggregates). The simulations reveal that the self-organization process proceeds through a series of hierarchical steps, starting from local microscopic moves and ranging up to the macroscopic large scales where the steady-state structures are formed. Our results shed light on the mechanisms involved in processes such as cytokinesis and cellular contractility, where myosin motors organized in clusters operate cooperatively to induce the structural organization of cytoskeletal networks.

  2. A topological study of repetitive co-activation networks in in vitro cortical assemblies.

    PubMed

    Pirino, Virginia; Riccomagno, Eva; Martinoia, Sergio; Massobrio, Paolo

    2015-02-01

    To address the issue of extracting useful information from large data-set of large scale networks of neurons, we propose an algorithm that involves both algebraic-statistical and topological tools. We investigate the electrical behavior of in vitro cortical assemblies both during spontaneous and stimulus-evoked activity coupled to Micro-Electrode Arrays (MEAs). Our goal is to identify core sub-networks of repetitive and synchronous patterns of activity and to characterize them. The analysis is performed at different resolution levels using a clustering algorithm that reduces the network dimensionality. To better visualize the results, we provide a graphical representation of the detected sub-networks and characterize them with a topological invariant, i.e. the sequence of Betti numbers computed on the associated simplicial complexes. The results show that the extracted sub-populations of neurons have a more heterogeneous firing rate with respect to the entire network. Furthermore, the comparison of spontaneous and stimulus-evoked behavior reveals similarities in the identified clusters of neurons, indicating that in both conditions similar activation patterns drive the global network activity. PMID:25559130

  3. Frequency Count Attribute Oriented Induction of Corporate Network Data for Mapping Business Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanutama, Lukas

    2014-03-01

    Companies increasingly rely on Internet for effective and efficient business communication. As Information Technology infrastructure backbone for business activities, corporate network connects the company to Internet and enables its activities globally. It carries data packets generated by the activities of the users performing their business tasks. Traditionally, infrastructure operations mainly maintain data carrying capacity and network devices performance. It would be advantageous if a company knows what activities are running in its network. The research provides a simple method of mapping the business activity reflected by the network data. To map corporate users' activities, a slightly modified Attribute Oriented Induction (AOI) approach to mine the network data was applied. The frequency of each protocol invoked were counted to show what the user intended to do. The collected data was samples taken within a certain sampling period. Samples were taken due to the enormous data packets generated. Protocols of interest are only Internet related while intranet protocols are ignored. It can be concluded that the method could provide the management a general overview of the usage of its infrastructure and lead to efficient, effective and secure ICT infrastructure.

  4. Dynamical Behaviors of Multiple Equilibria in Competitive Neural Networks With Discontinuous Nonmonotonic Piecewise Linear Activation Functions.

    PubMed

    Nie, Xiaobing; Zheng, Wei Xing

    2016-03-01

    This paper addresses the problem of coexistence and dynamical behaviors of multiple equilibria for competitive neural networks. First, a general class of discontinuous nonmonotonic piecewise linear activation functions is introduced for competitive neural networks. Then based on the fixed point theorem and theory of strict diagonal dominance matrix, it is shown that under some conditions, such n -neuron competitive neural networks can have 5(n) equilibria, among which 3(n) equilibria are locally stable and the others are unstable. More importantly, it is revealed that the neural networks with the discontinuous activation functions introduced in this paper can have both more total equilibria and locally stable equilibria than the ones with other activation functions, such as the continuous Mexican-hat-type activation function and discontinuous two-level activation function. Furthermore, the 3(n) locally stable equilibria given in this paper are located in not only saturated regions, but also unsaturated regions, which is different from the existing results on multistability of neural networks with multiple level activation functions. A simulation example is provided to illustrate and validate the theoretical findings.

  5. A GA-based PID active queue management control design for TCP/IP networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, H.-H.; Chen, C.-K.; Yan, J.-J.; Liao, T.-L.

    2008-02-01

    In this paper, a genetic algorithm-based (GA-based) proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller as an active queue manager for Internet routers is proposed to reduce packet loss and improve network utilization in TCP/IP networks. Based on the window-based nonlinear dynamics, the TCP network was modeled as a time-delayed system with a saturated input due to the limitations of packet-dropping probability and the effects of propagation delays in TCP networks. An improved genetic algorithm is employed to derive optimal or near optimal PID control gains such that a performance index of integrated-absolute error (IAE) in terms of the error between the router queue length and the desired queue length is minimized. The performance of the proposed control scheme was evaluated in various network scenarios via a series of numerical simulations. The simulation results confirm that the proposed scheme outperforms other AQM schemes.

  6. School-based friendship networks and children's physical activity: A spatial analytical approach.

    PubMed

    Macdonald-Wallis, Kyle; Jago, Russell; Page, Angie S; Brockman, Rowan; Thompson, Janice L

    2011-07-01

    Despite the known health benefits, the majority of children do not meet physical activity guidelines, with past interventions to increase physical activity yielding little success. Social and friendship networks have been shown to influence obesity, smoking and academic achievement, and peer-led interventions have successfully reduced the uptake of adolescent smoking. However, the role of social networks on physical activity is not clear. This paper investigates the extent to which friendship networks influence children's physical activity, and attempts to quantify the association using spatial analytical techniques to account for the social influence. Physical activity data were collected for 986 children, aged 10-11 years old, from 40 schools in Bristol, UK. Data from 559 children were used for analysis. Mean accelerometer counts per minute (CPM) and mean minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day (MVPA) were calculated as objective measures of physical activity. Children nominated up to 4 school-friends, and school-based friendship networks were constructed from these nominations. Networks were tested to assess whether physical activity showed spatial dependence (in terms of social proximity in social space) using Moran's I statistic. Spatial autoregressive modelling was then used to assess the extent of spatial dependence, whilst controlling for other known predictors of physical activity. This model was compared with linear regression models for improvement in goodness-of-fit. Results indicated spatial autocorrelation of both mean MVPA (I = .346) and mean CPM (I = .284) in the data, indicating that children clustered in friendship groups with similar activity levels. Spatial autoregressive modelling of mean MVPA concurred that spatial dependence was present (ρ = .26, p < .001), and improved model fit by 31% on the linear regression model. These results demonstrate an association between physical activity levels of children and their

  7. Path planning on cellular nonlinear network using active wave computing technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeniçeri, Ramazan; Yalçın, Müstak E.

    2009-05-01

    This paper introduces a simple algorithm to solve robot path finding problem using active wave computing techniques. A two-dimensional Cellular Neural/Nonlinear Network (CNN), consist of relaxation oscillators, has been used to generate active waves and to process the visual information. The network, which has been implemented on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chip, has the feature of being programmed, controlled and observed by a host computer. The arena of the robot is modelled as the medium of the active waves on the network. Active waves are employed to cover the whole medium with their own dynamics, by starting from an initial point. The proposed algorithm is achieved by observing the motion of the wave-front of the active waves. Host program first loads the arena model onto the active wave generator network and command to start the generation. Then periodically pulls the network image from the generator hardware to analyze evolution of the active waves. When the algorithm is completed, vectorial data image is generated. The path from any of the pixel on this image to the active wave generating pixel is drawn by the vectors on this image. The robot arena may be a complicated labyrinth or may have a simple geometry. But, the arena surface always must be flat. Our Autowave Generator CNN implementation which is settled on the Xilinx University Program Virtex-II Pro Development System is operated by a MATLAB program running on the host computer. As the active wave generator hardware has 16, 384 neurons, an arena with 128 × 128 pixels can be modeled and solved by the algorithm. The system also has a monitor and network image is depicted on the monitor simultaneously.

  8. Network-Based Business Simulation Activities in Technical Professional Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vescoukis, Vassilios C.; Retalis, Symeon; Anagnostopoulos, Dimosthenis

    2003-01-01

    For a long time on-the-job training has been considered as the single point of contact of technical education with the real world job market. Indeed, traditional on-the-job training activities are of great educational value and complement uniquely any classroom-based learning activity. However, it has been observed that several obstacles arise…

  9. Analysis and synthesis of distributed-lumped-active networks by digital computer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    The use of digital computational techniques in the analysis and synthesis of DLA (distributed lumped active) networks is considered. This class of networks consists of three distinct types of elements, namely, distributed elements (modeled by partial differential equations), lumped elements (modeled by algebraic relations and ordinary differential equations), and active elements (modeled by algebraic relations). Such a characterization is applicable to a broad class of circuits, especially including those usually referred to as linear integrated circuits, since the fabrication techniques for such circuits readily produce elements which may be modeled as distributed, as well as the more conventional lumped and active ones.

  10. Passive and active microrheology for cross-linked F-actin networks in vitro.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyungsuk; Ferrer, Jorge M; Nakamura, Fumihiko; Lang, Matthew J; Kamm, Roger D

    2010-04-01

    Actin filament (F-actin) is one of the dominant structural constituents in the cytoskeleton. Orchestrated by various actin-binding proteins (ABPs), F-actin is assembled into higher-order structures such as bundles and networks that provide mechanical support for the cell and play important roles in numerous cellular processes. Although mechanical properties of F-actin networks have been extensively studied, the underlying mechanisms for network elasticity are not fully understood, in part because different measurements probe different length and force scales. Here, we developed both passive and active microrheology techniques using optical tweezers to estimate the mechanical properties of F-actin networks at a length scale comparable to cells. For the passive approach we tracked the motion of a thermally fluctuating colloidal sphere to estimate the frequency-dependent complex shear modulus of the network. In the active approach, we used an optical trap to oscillate an embedded microsphere and monitored the response in order to obtain network viscoelasticity over a physiologically relevant force range. While both active and passive measurements exhibit similar results at low strain, the F-actin network subject to high strain exhibits non-linear behavior which is analogous to the strain-hardening observed in macroscale measurements. Using confocal and total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy, we also characterize the microstructure of reconstituted F-actin networks in terms of filament length, mesh size and degree of bundling. Finally, we propose a model of network connectivity by investigating the effect of filament length on the mechanical properties and structure. PMID:19883801

  11. Controlling self-sustained spiking activity by adding or removing one network link

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Kesheng; Huang, Wenwen; Li, Baowen; Dhamala, Mukesh; Liu, Zonghua

    2013-06-01

    Being able to control the neuronal spiking activity in specific brain regions is central to a treatment scheme in several brain disorders such as epileptic seizures, mental depression, and Parkinson's diseases. Here, we present an approach for controlling self-sustained oscillations by adding or removing one directed network link in coupled neuronal oscillators, in contrast to previous approaches of adding stimuli or noise. We find that such networks can exhibit a variety of activity patterns such as on-off switch, sustained spikes, and short-term spikes. We derive the condition for a specific link to be the controller of the on-off effect. A qualitative analysis is provided to facilitate the understanding of the mechanism for spiking activity by adding one link. Our findings represent the first report on generating spike activity with the addition of only one directed link to a network and provide a deeper understanding of the microscopic roots of self-sustained spiking.

  12. Multistability and Instability of Neural Networks With Discontinuous Nonmonotonic Piecewise Linear Activation Functions.

    PubMed

    Nie, Xiaobing; Zheng, Wei Xing

    2015-11-01

    In this paper, we discuss the coexistence and dynamical behaviors of multiple equilibrium points for recurrent neural networks with a class of discontinuous nonmonotonic piecewise linear activation functions. It is proved that under some conditions, such n -neuron neural networks can have at least 5(n) equilibrium points, 3(n) of which are locally stable and the others are unstable, based on the contraction mapping theorem and the theory of strict diagonal dominance matrix. The investigation shows that the neural networks with the discontinuous activation functions introduced in this paper can have both more total equilibrium points and more locally stable equilibrium points than the ones with continuous Mexican-hat-type activation function or discontinuous two-level activation functions. An illustrative example with computer simulations is presented to verify the theoretical analysis.

  13. Nanoscale charge transport in cytochrome c3/DNA network: Comparative studies between redox-active molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamaguchi, Harumasa; Che, Dock-Chil; Hirano, Yoshiaki; Suzuki, Masayuki; Higuchi, Yoshiki; Matsumoto, Takuya

    2015-09-01

    The redox-active molecule of a cytochrome c3/DNA network exhibits nonlinear current-voltage (I-V) characteristics with a threshold bias voltage at low temperature and zero-bias conductance at room temperature. I-V curves for the cytochrome c3/DNA network are well matched with the Coulomb blockade network model. Comparative studies of the Mn12 cluster, cytochrome c, and cytochrome c3, which have a wide variety of redox potentials, indicate no difference in charge transport, which suggests that the conduction mechanism is not directly related to the redox states. The charge transport mechanism has been discussed in terms of the newly-formed electronic energy states near the Fermi level, induced by the ionic interaction between redox-active molecules with the DNA network.

  14. Application of neural networks with orthogonal activation functions in control of dynamical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolić, Saša S.; Antić, Dragan S.; Milojković, Marko T.; Milovanović, Miroslav B.; Perić, Staniša Lj.; Mitić, Darko B.

    2016-04-01

    In this article, we present a new method for the synthesis of almost and quasi-orthogonal polynomials of arbitrary order. Filters designed on the bases of these functions are generators of generalised quasi-orthogonal signals for which we derived and presented necessary mathematical background. Based on theoretical results, we designed and practically implemented generalised first-order (k = 1) quasi-orthogonal filter and proved its quasi-orthogonality via performed experiments. Designed filters can be applied in many scientific areas. In this article, generated functions were successfully implemented in Nonlinear Auto Regressive eXogenous (NARX) neural network as activation functions. One practical application of the designed orthogonal neural network is demonstrated through the example of control of the complex technical non-linear system - laboratory magnetic levitation system. Obtained results were compared with neural networks with standard activation functions and orthogonal functions of trigonometric shape. The proposed network demonstrated superiority over existing solutions in the sense of system performances.

  15. Activation of a lobster motor rhythm-generating network by disinhibition of permissive modulatory inputs.

    PubMed

    Faumont, S; Simmers, J; Meyrand, P

    1998-11-01

    Rhythm generation by the gastric motor network in the stomatogastric ganglion (STG) of the lobster Homarus gammarus is controlled by modulatory projection neurons from rostral commissural ganglia (CoGs); blocking action potential conduction in these inputs to the STG of a stomatogastric nervous system in vitro rapidly renders the gastric network silent. However, exposure of the CoGs to low Ca2+ saline to block chemical synapses activates a spontaneously silent gastric network or enhances an ongoing gastric rhythm. A similar permissive effect was observed when picrotoxin was also superfused on these ganglia. We conclude that in the CoGs continuous synaptic inhibition is exerted on modulatory projection neuron(s) and that release from this inhibition allows strong activation of the gastric network. PMID:9819280

  16. SAPIENS: Spreading Activation Processor for Information Encoded in Network Structures. Technical Report No. 296.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ortony, Andrew; Radin, Dean I.

    The product of researchers' efforts to develop a computer processor which distinguishes between relevant and irrelevant information in the database, Spreading Activation Processor for Information Encoded in Network Structures (SAPIENS) exhibits (1) context sensitivity, (2) efficiency, (3) decreasing activation over time, (4) summation of…

  17. The Contribution of Extracurricular Activities to Adolescent Friendships: New Insights through Social Network Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaefer, David R.; Simpkins, Sandra D.; Vest, Andrea E.; Price, Chara D.

    2011-01-01

    Extracurricular activities are settings that are theorized to help adolescents maintain existing friendships and develop new friendships. The overarching goal of the current investigation was to examine whether coparticipating in school-based extracurricular activities supported adolescents' school-based friendships. We used social network methods…

  18. A Study of Cooperative, Networking, and Computer Activities in Southwestern Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corbin, John

    The Southwestern Library Association (SWLA) conducted an inventory and study of the SWLA libraries in cooperative, network, and computer activities to collect data for use in planning future activities and in minimizing duplication of efforts. Questionnaires were mailed to 2,060 academic, public, and special libraries in the six SWLA states.…

  19. [Functional cerebral activity in a state of rest: connectivity networks].

    PubMed

    Proal, Erika; Alvarez-Segura, Mar; de la Iglesia-Vayá, María; Martí-Bonmatí, Luis; Castellanos, F Xavier

    2011-03-01

    Functional connectivity can be measured during task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), or in the absence of specific stimuli or tasks. In either case, the study of low frequency fluctuations in the BOLD signal reveals patterns of synchronization which delineate the intrinsic functional architecture of the brain. The scientific community now has available shared resources to accelerate the exploitation of resting state fMRI with the objectives of improving diagnostic methods and leading to better treatments grounded in neuroscience. Fomenting a collaborative scientific culture will accelerate our understanding of the underlying phenonmemna. Recently, the Spanish Resting State Network (SRSN) has joined this collaborative effort by creating a setting to facilitate collaboration among the various neuroscience research groups working in Spanish (http://www.nitrc.org/projects/srsn). PMID:21365601

  20. Selective Activation of Resting-State Networks following Focal Stimulation in a Connectome-Based Network Model of the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract When the brain is stimulated, for example, by sensory inputs or goal-oriented tasks, the brain initially responds with activities in specific areas. The subsequent pattern formation of functional networks is constrained by the structural connectivity (SC) of the brain. The extent to which information is processed over short- or long-range SC is unclear. Whole-brain models based on long-range axonal connections, for example, can partly describe measured functional connectivity dynamics at rest. Here, we study the effect of SC on the network response to stimulation. We use a human whole-brain network model comprising long- and short-range connections. We systematically activate each cortical or thalamic area, and investigate the network response as a function of its short- and long-range SC. We show that when the brain is operating at the edge of criticality, stimulation causes a cascade of network recruitments, collapsing onto a smaller space that is partly constrained by SC. We found both short- and long-range SC essential to reproduce experimental results. In particular, the stimulation of specific areas results in the activation of one or more resting-state networks. We suggest that the stimulus-induced brain activity, which may indicate information and cognitive processing, follows specific routes imposed by structural networks explaining the emergence of functional networks. We provide a lookup table linking stimulation targets and functional network activations, which potentially can be useful in diagnostics and treatments with brain stimulation. PMID:27752540

  1. Microscopic theory of the glassy dynamics of passive and active network materials.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shenshen; Wolynes, Peter G

    2013-03-28

    Signatures of glassy dynamics have been identified experimentally for a rich variety of materials in which molecular networks provide rigidity. Here we present a theoretical framework to study the glassy behavior of both passive and active network materials. We construct a general microscopic network model that incorporates nonlinear elasticity of individual filaments and steric constraints due to crowding. Based on constructive analogies between structural glass forming liquids and random field Ising magnets implemented using a heterogeneous self-consistent phonon method, our scheme provides a microscopic approach to determine the mismatch surface tension and the configurational entropy, which compete in determining the barrier for structural rearrangements within the random first order transition theory of escape from a local energy minimum. The influence of crosslinking on the fragility of inorganic network glass formers is recapitulated by the model. For active network materials, the mapping, which correlates the glassy characteristics to the network architecture and properties of nonequilibrium motor processes, is shown to capture several key experimental observations on the cytoskeleton of living cells: Highly connected tense networks behave as strong glass formers; intense motor action promotes reconfiguration. The fact that our model assuming a negative motor susceptibility predicts the latter suggests that on average the motorized processes in living cells do resist the imposed mechanical load. Our calculations also identify a spinodal point where simultaneously the mismatch penalty vanishes and the mechanical stability of amorphous packing disappears.

  2. Rapid hippocampal network adaptation to recurring synchronous activity – a role for calcineurin

    PubMed Central

    Casanova, Jose R.; Nishimura, M.; Le, J.; Lam, T. T.; Swann, J. W.

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal networks are thought to gradually adapt to altered neuronal activity over many hours and days. For instance, when activity is increased by suppressing synaptic inhibition, excitatory synaptic transmission is reduced. The underlying compensatory cellular and molecular mechanisms are thought to contribute in important ways to maintaining normal network operations. Seizures, due to their massive and highly synchronized discharging, probably challenge the adaptive properties of neurons, especially when seizures are frequent and intense – a condition common in early childhood. In the experiments reported here, we used hippocampal slice cultures to explore the effects that recurring seizure-like activity had on the developing hippocampus. We found that developing networks adapted rapidly to recurring synchronized activity in that the duration of seizure-like events was reduced by 42% after 4 h of activity. At the same time, the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents in pyramidal cells, the expression of biochemical biomarkers for glutamatergic synapses and the branching of pyramidal cell dendrites were all dramatically reduced. Experiments also showed that the reduction in N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits and postsynaptic density protein 95 expression were N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-dependent. To explore calcium signaling mechanisms in network adaptation, we tested inhibitors of calcineurin, a protein phosphatase known to play roles in synaptic plasticity and activity-dependent dendrite remodeling. We found that FK506 was able to prevent all of the electrophysiological, biochemical, and anatomical changes produced by synchronized network activity. Our results showed that hippocampal pyramidal cells and their networks adapted rapidly to intense synchronized activity and that calcineurin played an important role in the underlying processes. PMID:23879713

  3. Contagion processes on the static and activity-driven coupling networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Yanjun; Jiang, Xin; Guo, Quantong; Ma, Yifang; Li, Meng; Zheng, Zhiming

    2016-03-01

    The evolution of network structure and the spreading of epidemic are common coexistent dynamical processes. In most cases, network structure is treated as either static or time-varying, supposing the whole network is observed in the same time window. In this paper, we consider the epidemics spreading on a network which has both static and time-varying structures. Meanwhile, the time-varying part and the epidemic spreading are supposed to be of the same time scale. We introduce a static and activity-driven coupling (SADC) network model to characterize the coupling between the static ("strong") structure and the dynamic ("weak") structure. Epidemic thresholds of the SIS and SIR models are studied using the SADC model both analytically and numerically under various coupling strategies, where the strong structure is of homogeneous or heterogeneous degree distribution. Theoretical thresholds obtained from the SADC model can both recover and generalize the classical results in static and time-varying networks. It is demonstrated that a weak structure might make the epidemic threshold low in homogeneous networks but high in heterogeneous cases. Furthermore, we show that the weak structure has a substantive effect on the outbreak of the epidemics. This result might be useful in designing some efficient control strategies for epidemics spreading in networks.

  4. Analysis of Time-Dependent Brain Network on Active and MI Tasks for Chronic Stroke Patients

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Won Hyuk; Kim, Yun-Hee; Lee, Seong-Whan; Kwon, Gyu Hyun

    2015-01-01

    Several researchers have analyzed brain activities by investigating brain networks. However, there is a lack of the research on the temporal characteristics of the brain network during a stroke by EEG and the comparative studies between motor execution and imagery, which became known to have similar motor functions and pathways. In this study, we proposed the possibility of temporal characteristics on the brain networks of a stroke. We analyzed the temporal properties of the brain networks for nine chronic stroke patients by the active and motor imagery tasks by EEG. High beta band has a specific role in the brain network during motor tasks. In the high beta band, for the active task, there were significant characteristics of centrality and small-worldness on bilateral primary motor cortices at the initial motor execution. The degree centrality significantly increased on the contralateral primary motor cortex, and local efficiency increased on the ipsilateral primary motor cortex. These results indicate that the ipsilateral primary motor cortex constructed a powerful subnetwork by influencing the linked channels as compensatory effect, although the contralateral primary motor cortex organized an inefficient network by using the connected channels due to lesions. For the MI task, degree centrality and local efficiency significantly decreased on the somatosensory area at the initial motor imagery. Then, there were significant correlations between the properties of brain networks and motor function on the contralateral primary motor cortex and somatosensory area for each motor execution/imagery task. Our results represented that the active and MI tasks have different mechanisms of motor acts. Based on these results, we indicated the possibility of customized rehabilitation according to different motor tasks. We expect these results to help in the construction of the customized rehabilitation system depending on motor tasks by understanding temporal functional

  5. Central European MetEor NeTwork: Current status and future activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srba, J.; Koukal, J.; Ferus, M.; Lenža, L.; Gorková, S.; Civiš, S.; Simon, J.; Csorgei, T.; Jedlièka, M.; Korec, M.; Kaniansky, S.; Polák, J.; Spurný, M.; Brázdil, T.; Mäsiar, J.; Zima, M.; Delinèák, P.; Popek, M.; Bahýl, V.; Piffl, R.; Èechmánek, M.

    2016-06-01

    The Central European video Meteor Network (CEMeNt) established in 2010 is a platform for cross-border cooperation in the field of video meteor observations between Czech Republic and Slovakia. During five years of operation the CEMeNt network went through an extensive development. In total, 37 video systems were working on 20 permanent stations located in Czech Republic and Slovakia during 2015. In this paper we summarize CEMeNt current status and introduce some future activities.

  6. A Network-Based Multi-Target Computational Estimation Scheme for Anticoagulant Activities of Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Li, Canghai; Chen, Lirong; Song, Jun; Tang, Yalin; Xu, Xiaojie

    2011-01-01

    Background Traditional virtual screening method pays more attention on predicted binding affinity between drug molecule and target related to a certain disease instead of phenotypic data of drug molecule against disease system, as is often less effective on discovery of the drug which is used to treat many types of complex diseases. Virtual screening against a complex disease by general network estimation has become feasible with the development of network biology and system biology. More effective methods of computational estimation for the whole efficacy of a compound in a complex disease system are needed, given the distinct weightiness of the different target in a biological process and the standpoint that partial inhibition of several targets can be more efficient than the complete inhibition of a single target. Methodology We developed a novel approach by integrating the affinity predictions from multi-target docking studies with biological network efficiency analysis to estimate the anticoagulant activities of compounds. From results of network efficiency calculation for human clotting cascade, factor Xa and thrombin were identified as the two most fragile enzymes, while the catalytic reaction mediated by complex IXa:VIIIa and the formation of the complex VIIIa:IXa were recognized as the two most fragile biological matter in the human clotting cascade system. Furthermore, the method which combined network efficiency with molecular docking scores was applied to estimate the anticoagulant activities of a serial of argatroban intermediates and eight natural products respectively. The better correlation (r = 0.671) between the experimental data and the decrease of the network deficiency suggests that the approach could be a promising computational systems biology tool to aid identification of anticoagulant activities of compounds in drug discovery. Conclusions This article proposes a network-based multi-target computational estimation method for

  7. Filamentous Biopolymers on Surfaces: Atomic Force Microscopy Images Compared with Brownian Dynamics Simulation of Filament Deposition

    PubMed Central

    Mücke, Norbert; Klenin, Konstantin; Kirmse, Robert; Bussiek, Malte; Herrmann, Harald; Hafner, Mathias; Langowski, Jörg

    2009-01-01

    Nanomechanical properties of filamentous biopolymers, such as the persistence length, may be determined from two-dimensional images of molecules immobilized on surfaces. For a single filament in solution, two principal adsorption scenarios are possible. Both scenarios depend primarly on the interaction strength between the filament and the support: i) For interactions in the range of the thermal energy, the filament can freely equilibrate on the surface during adsorption; ii) For interactions much stronger than the thermal energy, the filament will be captured by the surface without having equilibrated. Such a ‘trapping’ mechanism leads to more condensed filament images and hence to a smaller value for the apparent persistence length. To understand the capture mechanism in more detail we have performed Brownian dynamics simulations of relatively short filaments by taking the two extreme scenarios into account. We then compared these ‘ideal’ adsorption scenarios with observed images of immobilized vimentin intermediate filaments on different surfaces. We found a good agreement between the contours of the deposited vimentin filaments on mica (‘ideal’ trapping) and on glass (‘ideal’ equilibrated) with our simulations. Based on these data, we have developed a strategy to reliably extract the persistence length of short worm-like chain fragments or network forming filaments with unknown polymer-surface interactions. PMID:19888472

  8. 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.

  9. - 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. [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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. [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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Online Social Networks That Connect Users to Physical Activity Partners: A Review and Descriptive Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Passarella, Ralph Joseph; Appel, Lawrence J

    2014-01-01

    Background The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified a lack of encouragement, support, or companionship from family and friends as a major barrier to physical activity. To overcome this barrier, online social networks are now actively leveraging principles of companion social support in novel ways. Objective The aim was to evaluate the functionality, features, and usability of existing online social networks which seek to increase physical activity and fitness among users by connecting them to physical activity partners, not just online, but also face-to-face. Methods In September 2012, we used 3 major databases to identify the website addresses for relevant online social networks. We conducted a Google search using 8 unique keyword combinations: the common keyword “find” coupled with 1 of 4 prefix terms “health,” “fitness,” “workout,” or “physical” coupled with 1 of 2 stem terms “activity partners” or “activity buddies.” We also searched 2 prominent technology start-up news sites, TechCrunch and Y Combinator, using 2 unique keyword combinations: the common keyword “find” coupled with 1 of 2 stem terms “activity partners” and “activity buddies.” Sites were defined as online social health activity networks if they had the ability to (1) actively find physical activity partners or activities for the user, (2) offer dynamic, real-time tracking or sharing of social activities, and (3) provide virtual profiles to users. We excluded from our analysis sites that were not Web-based, publicly available, in English, or free. Results Of the 360 initial search results, we identified 13 websites that met our complete criteria of an online social health activity network. Features such as physical activity creation (13/13, 100%) and private messaging (12/13, 92%) appeared almost universally among these websites. However, integration with Web 2.0 technologies such as Facebook and Twitter (9/13, 69%) and the option of

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Drug target identification using network analysis: Taking active components in Sini decoction as an example

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Si; Jiang, Hailong; Cao, Yan; Wang, Yun; Hu, Ziheng; Zhu, Zhenyu; Chai, Yifeng

    2016-01-01

    Identifying the molecular targets for the beneficial effects of active small-molecule compounds simultaneously is an important and currently unmet challenge. In this study, we firstly proposed network analysis by integrating data from network pharmacology and metabolomics to identify targets of active components in sini decoction (SND) simultaneously against heart failure. To begin with, 48 potential active components in SND against heart failure were predicted by serum pharmacochemistry, text mining and similarity match. Then, we employed network pharmacology including text mining and molecular docking to identify the potential targets of these components. The key enriched processes, pathways and related diseases of these target proteins were analyzed by STRING database. At last, network analysis was conducted to identify most possible targets of components in SND. Among the 25 targets predicted by network analysis, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) was firstly experimentally validated in molecular and cellular level. Results indicated that hypaconitine, mesaconitine, higenamine and quercetin in SND can directly bind to TNF-α, reduce the TNF-α-mediated cytotoxicity on L929 cells and exert anti-myocardial cell apoptosis effects. We envisage that network analysis will also be useful in target identification of a bioactive compound. PMID:27095146

  10. Recognition of Physical Activities in Overweight Hispanic Youth Using KNOWME Networks

    PubMed Central

    Emken, BA; Li, M; Thatte, G; Lee, S; Annavaram, M; Mitra, U; Narayanan, S; Spruijt-Metz, D

    2011-01-01

    Background KNOWME Networks is a wireless body area network with two tri-axial accelerometers, a heart rate monitor, and mobile phone that acts as the data collection hub. One function of KNOWME Networks is to detect physical activity (PA) in overweight Hispanic youth. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the in-lab recognition accuracy of KNOWME. Methods Twenty overweight Hispanic participants (10 males; age 14.6±1.8 years), underwent four data collection sessions consisting of nine activities/session: lying down, sitting, sitting fidgeting, standing, standing fidgeting, standing playing an active video game, slow walking, brisk walking, and running. Data was used to train activity recognition models. The accuracy of personalized and generalized models is reported. Results Overall accuracy for personalized models was 84%. The most accurately detected activity was running (96%). The models had difficulty distinguishing between the static and fidgeting categories of sitting and standing. When static and fidgeting activity categories were collapsed, the overall accuracy improved to 94%. Personalized models demonstrated higher accuracy than generalized models. Conclusions KNOWME Networks can accurately detect a range of activities. KNOWME has the ability to collect and process data in real-time, building the foundation for tailored, real-time interventions to increase PA or decrease sedentary time. PMID:21934162

  11. Biopolymers under large external forces and mean-field RNA virus evolutionary dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahsan, Syed Amir

    The modeling of the mechanical response of single-molecules of DNA and RNA under large external forces through statistical mechanical methods is central to this thesis with a small portion devoted to modeling the evolutionary dynamics of positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. In order to develop and test models of biopolymer mechanics and illuminate the mechanisms underlying biological processes where biopolymers undergo changes in energy on the order of the thermal energy, , entails measuring forces and lengths on the scale of piconewtons (pN) and nanometers (nm), respectively. A capacity achieved in the past two decades at the single-molecule level through the development of micromanipulation techniques such as magnetic and optical tweezers, atomic force microscopy, coupled with advances in micro- and nanofabrication. The statistical mechanical models of biopolymers developed in this dissertation are dependent upon and the outcome of these advancements and resulting experiments. The dissertation begins in chapter 1 with an introduction to the structure and thermodynamics of DNA and RNA, highlighting the importance and effectiveness of simple, two-state models in their description as a prelude to the emergence of two-state models in the research manuscripts. In chapter 2 the standard models of the elasticity of polymers and of a polymer gel are reviewed, characterizing the continuum and mean-field models, including the scaling behavior of DNA in confined spaces. The research manuscript presented in the last section of chapter 2 (section 2.5), subsequent to a review of a Flory gel and in contrast to it, is a model of the elasticity of RNA as a gel, with viral RNA illustrating an instance of such a network, and shown to exhibit anomalous elastic behavior, a negative Poisson ratio, and capable of facilitating viral RNA encapsidation with further context provided in section 5.1. In chapter 3 the experimental methods and behavior of DNA and RNA under mechanical

  12. Sensory-related neural activity regulates the structure of vascular networks in the cerebral cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lacoste, Baptiste; Comin, Cesar H.; Ben-Zvi, Ayal; Kaeser, Pascal S.; Xu, Xiaoyin; Costa, Luciano da F.; Gu, Chenghua

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Neurovascular interactions are essential for proper brain function. While the effect of neural activity on cerebral blood flow has been extensively studied, whether neural activity influences vascular patterning remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that neural activity promotes the formation of vascular networks in the early postnatal mouse barrel cortex. Using a combination of genetics, imaging, and computational tools to allow simultaneous analysis of neuronal and vascular components, we found that vascular density and branching were decreased in the barrel cortex when sensory input was reduced by either a complete deafferentation, a genetic impairment of neurotransmitter release at thalamocortical synapses, or a selective reduction of sensory-related neural activity by whisker plucking. In contrast, enhancement of neural activity by whisker stimulation led to an increase in vascular density and branching. The finding that neural activity is necessary and sufficient to trigger alterations of vascular networks reveals a novel feature of neurovascular interactions. PMID:25155955

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Lactate Effectively Covers Energy Demands during Neuronal Network Activity in Neonatal Hippocampal Slices

    PubMed Central

    Ivanov, Anton; Mukhtarov, Marat; Bregestovski, Piotr; Zilberter, Yuri

    2011-01-01

    Although numerous experimental data indicate that lactate is efficiently used for energy by the mature brain, the direct measurements of energy metabolism parameters during neuronal network activity in early postnatal development have not been performed. Therefore, the role of lactate in the energy metabolism of neurons at this age remains unclear. In this study, we monitored field potentials and contents of oxygen and NAD(P)H in correlation with oxidative metabolism during intense network activity in the CA1 hippocampal region of neonatal brain slices. We show that in the presence of glucose, lactate is effectively utilized as an energy substrate, causing an augmentation of oxidative metabolism. Moreover, in the absence of glucose lactate is fully capable of maintaining synaptic function. Therefore, during network activity in neonatal slices, lactate can be an efficient energy substrate capable of sustaining and enhancing aerobic energy metabolism. PMID:21602909

  17. New exponential synchronization criteria for time-varying delayed neural networks with discontinuous activations.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zuowei; Huang, Lihong; Zhang, Lingling

    2015-05-01

    This paper investigates the problem of exponential synchronization of time-varying delayed neural networks with discontinuous neuron activations. Under the extended Filippov differential inclusion framework, by designing discontinuous state-feedback controller and using some analytic techniques, new testable algebraic criteria are obtained to realize two different kinds of global exponential synchronization of the drive-response system. Moreover, we give the estimated rate of exponential synchronization which depends on the delays and system parameters. The obtained results extend some previous works on synchronization of delayed neural networks not only with continuous activations but also with discontinuous activations. Finally, numerical examples are provided to show the correctness of our analysis via computer simulations. Our method and theoretical results have a leading significance in the design of synchronized neural network circuits involving discontinuous factors and time-varying delays.

  18. Detecting protein complexes from active protein interaction networks constructed with dynamic gene expression profiles

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Protein interaction networks (PINs) are known to be useful to detect protein complexes. However, most available PINs are static, which cannot reflect the dynamic changes in real networks. At present, some researchers have tried to construct dynamic networks by incorporating time-course (dynamic) gene expression data with PINs. However, the inevitable background noise exists in the gene expression array, which could degrade the quality of dynamic networkds. Therefore, it is needed to filter out contaminated gene expression data before further data integration and analysis. Results Firstly, we adopt a dynamic model-based method to filter noisy data from dynamic expression profiles. Then a new method is proposed for identifying active proteins from dynamic gene expression profiles. An active protein at a time point is defined as the protein the expression level of whose corresponding gene at that time point is higher than a threshold determined by a standard variance involved threshold function. Furthermore, a noise-filtered active protein interaction network (NF-APIN) is constructed. To demonstrate the efficiency of our method, we detect protein complexes from the NF-APIN, compared with those from other dynamic PINs. Conclusion A dynamic model based method can effectively filter out noises in dynamic gene expression data. Our method to compute a threshold for determining the active time points of noise-filtered genes can make the dynamic construction more accuracy and provide a high quality framework for network analysis, such as protein complex prediction. PMID:24565281

  19. Synaptic GABA release prevents GABA transporter type-1 reversal during excessive network activity

    PubMed Central

    Savtchenko, Leonid; Megalogeni, Maria; Rusakov, Dmitri A.; Walker, Matthew C.; Pavlov, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    GABA transporters control extracellular GABA, which regulates the key aspects of neuronal and network behaviour. A prevailing view is that modest neuronal depolarization results in GABA transporter type-1 (GAT-1) reversal causing non-vesicular GABA release into the extracellular space during intense network activity. This has important implications for GABA uptake-targeting therapies. Here we combined a realistic kinetic model of GAT-1 with experimental measurements of tonic GABAA receptor currents in ex vivo hippocampal slices to examine GAT-1 operation under varying network conditions. Our simulations predict that synaptic GABA release during network activity robustly prevents GAT-1 reversal. We test this in the 0 Mg2+ model of epileptiform discharges using slices from healthy and chronically epileptic rats and find that epileptiform activity is associated with increased synaptic GABA release and is not accompanied by GAT-1 reversal. We conclude that sustained efflux of GABA through GAT-1 is unlikely to occur during physiological or pathological network activity. PMID:25798861

  20. Buried ionizable networks are an ancient hallmark of G protein-coupled receptor activation

    PubMed Central

    Isom, Daniel G.; Dohlman, Henrik G.

    2015-01-01

    Seven-transmembrane receptors (7TMRs) have evolved in prokaryotes and eukaryotes over hundreds of millions of years. Comparative structural analysis suggests that these receptors may share a remote evolutionary origin, despite their lack of sequence similarity. Here we used structure-based computations to compare 221 7TMRs from all domains of life. Unexpectedly, we discovered that these receptors contain spatially conserved networks of buried ionizable groups. In microbial 7TMRs these networks are used to pump ions across the cell membrane in response to light. In animal 7TMRs, which include light- and ligand-activated G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), homologous networks were found to be characteristic of activated receptor conformations. These networks are likely relevant to receptor function because they connect the ligand-binding pocket of the receptor to the nucleotide-binding pocket of the G protein. We propose that agonist and G protein binding facilitate the formation of these electrostatic networks and promote important structural rearrangements such as the displacement of transmembrane helix-6. We anticipate that robust classification of activated GPCR structures will aid the identification of ligands that target activated GPCR structural states. PMID:25902551

  1. Increased activity of pre-motor network does not change the excitability of motoneurons during protracted scratch initiation.

    PubMed

    Guzulaitis, Robertas; Alaburda, Aidas; Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2013-04-01

    Intrinsic response properties of neurons change during network activity. These changes may reinforce the initiation of particular forms of network activity. If so, the involvement of neurons in particular behaviours in multifunctional networks could be determined by up- or down-regulation of their intrinsic excitability. Here we employed an experimental paradigm of protracted scratch initiation in the integrated carapace-spinal cord preparation of adult turtles (Chrysemys scripta elegans). The protracted initiation of scratch network activity allows us to investigate the excitability of motoneurons and pre-motor network activity in the time interval from the start of sensory stimulation until the onset of scratch activity. Our results suggest that increased activity in the pre-motor network facilitates the onset of scratch episodes but does not change the excitability of motoneurons at the onset of scratching.

  2. Active influence in dynamical models of structural balance in social networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Summers, Tyler H.; Shames, Iman

    2013-07-01

    We consider a nonlinear dynamical system on a signed graph, which can be interpreted as a mathematical model of social networks in which the links can have both positive and negative connotations. In accordance with a concept from social psychology called structural balance, the negative links play a key role in both the structure and dynamics of the network. Recent research has shown that in a nonlinear dynamical system modeling the time evolution of “friendliness levels” in the network, two opposing factions emerge from almost any initial condition. Here we study active external influence in this dynamical model and show that any agent in the network can achieve any desired structurally balanced state from any initial condition by perturbing its own local friendliness levels. Based on this result, we also introduce a new network centrality measure for signed networks. The results are illustrated in an international-relations network using United Nations voting record data from 1946 to 2008 to estimate friendliness levels amongst various countries.

  3. Relation between single neuron and population spiking statistics and effects on network activity.

    PubMed

    Câteau, Hideyuki; Reyes, Alex D

    2006-02-10

    To simplify theoretical analyses of neural networks, individual neurons are often modeled as Poisson processes. An implicit assumption is that even if the spiking activity of each neuron is non-Poissonian, the composite activity obtained by summing many spike trains limits to a Poisson process. Here, we show analytically and through simulations that this assumption is invalid. Moreover, we show with Fokker-Planck equations that the behavior of feedforward networks is reproduced accurately only if the tendency of neurons to fire periodically is incorporated by using colored noise whose autocorrelation has a negative component.

  4. Asymptotic theory of time-varying social networks with heterogeneous activity and tie allocation

    PubMed Central

    Ubaldi, Enrico; Perra, Nicola; Karsai, Márton; Vezzani, Alessandro; Burioni, Raffaella; Vespignani, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    The dynamic of social networks is driven by the interplay between diverse mechanisms that still challenge our theoretical and modelling efforts. Amongst them, two are known to play a central role in shaping the networks evolution, namely the heterogeneous propensity of individuals to i) be socially active and ii) establish a new social relationships with their alters. Here, we empirically characterise these two mechanisms in seven real networks describing temporal human interactions in three different settings: scientific collaborations, Twitter mentions, and mobile phone calls. We find that the individuals’ social activity and their strategy in choosing ties where to allocate their social interactions can be quantitatively described and encoded in a simple stochastic network modelling framework. The Master Equation of the model can be solved in the asymptotic limit. The analytical solutions provide an explicit description of both the system dynamic and the dynamical scaling laws characterising crucial aspects about the evolution of the networks. The analytical predictions match with accuracy the empirical observations, thus validating the theoretical approach. Our results provide a rigorous dynamical system framework that can be extended to include other processes shaping social dynamics and to generate data driven predictions for the asymptotic behaviour of social networks. PMID:27774998

  5. Update on the activities of the GGOS Bureau of Networks and Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, Michael R.; Pavlis, Erricos C.; Ma, Chopo; Noll, Carey; Thaller, Daniela; Richter, Bernd; Gross, Richard; Neilan, Ruth; Mueller, Juergen; Barzaghi, Ricardo; Bergstrand, Sten; Saunier, Jerome; Tamisiea, Mark

    2016-01-01

    The recently reorganized GGOS Bureau of Networks and Observations has many elements that are associated with building and sustaining the infrastructure that supports the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) through the development and maintenance of the International Terrestrial and Celestial Reference Frames, improved gravity field models and their incorporation into the reference frame, the production of precision orbits for missions of interest to GGOS, and many other applications. The affiliated Service Networks (IVS, ILRS, IGS, IDS, and now the IGFS and the PSMSL) continue to grow geographically and to improve core and co-location site performance with newer technologies. Efforts are underway to expand GGOS participation and outreach. Several groups are undertaking initiatives and seeking partnerships to update existing sites and expand the networks in geographic areas void of coverage. New satellites are being launched by the Space Agencies in disciplines relevant to GGOS. Working groups now constitute an integral part of the Bureau, providing key service to GGOS. Their activities include: projecting future network capability and examining trade-off options for station deployment and technology upgrades, developing metadata collection and online availability strategies; improving coordination and information exchange with the missions for better ground-based network response and space-segment adequacy for the realization of GGOS goals; and standardizing site-tie measurement, archiving, and analysis procedures. This poster will present the progress in the Bureau's activities and its efforts to expand the networks and make them more effective in supporting GGOS.

  6. Neural oscillations: beta band activity across motor networks.

    PubMed

    Khanna, Preeya; Carmena, Jose M

    2015-06-01

    Local field potential (LFP) activity in motor cortical and basal ganglia regions exhibits prominent beta (15-40Hz) oscillations during reaching and grasping, muscular contraction, and attention tasks. While in vitro and computational work has revealed specific mechanisms that may give rise to the frequency and duration of this oscillation, there is still controversy about what behavioral processes ultimately drive it. Here, simultaneous behavioral and large-scale neural recording experiments from non-human primate and human subjects are reviewed in the context of specific hypotheses about how beta band activity is generated. Finally, a new experimental paradigm utilizing operant conditioning combined with motor tasks is proposed as a way to further investigate this oscillation. PMID:25528615

  7. Optimal Recognition Method of Human Activities Using Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oniga, Stefan; József, Sütő

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this research is an exhaustive analysis of the various factors that may influence the recognition rate of the human activity using wearable sensors data. We made a total of 1674 simulations on a publically released human activity database by a group of researcher from the University of California at Berkeley. In a previous research, we analyzed the influence of the number of sensors and their placement. In the present research we have examined the influence of the number of sensor nodes, the type of sensor node, preprocessing algorithms, type of classifier and its parameters. The final purpose is to find the optimal setup for best recognition rates with lowest hardware and software costs.

  8. Reciprocal Reinforcement Between Wearable Activity Trackers and Social Network Services in Influencing Physical Activity Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Wearable activity trackers (WATs) are emerging consumer electronic devices designed to support physical activities (PAs), which are based on successful behavior change techniques focusing on goal-setting and frequent behavioral feedbacks. Despite their utility, data from both recent academic and market research have indicated high attrition rates of WAT users. Concurrently, evidence shows that social support (SS), delivered/obtained via social network services or sites (SNS), could increase adherence and engagement of PA intervention programs. To date, relatively few studies have looked at how WATs and SS may interact and affect PAs. Objective The purpose of this study was to explore how these two Internet and mobile technologies, WATs and SNS, could work together to foster sustainable PA behavior changes and habits among middle-aged adults (40-60 years old) in Taiwan. Methods We used purposive sampling of Executive MBA Students from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology to participate in our qualitative research. In-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with a total of 15 participants, including 9 WAT users and 6 nonusers. Analysis of the collected materials was done inductively using the thematic approach with no preset categories. Two authors from different professional backgrounds independently annotated and coded the transcripts, and then discussed and debated until consensus was reached on the final themes. Results The thematic analysis revealed six themes: (1) WATs provided more awareness than motivation in PA with goal-setting and progress monitoring, (2) SS, delivered/obtained via SNS, increased users’ adherence and engagement with WATs and vice versa, (3) a broad spectrum of configurations would be needed to deliver WATs with appropriately integrated SS functions, (4) WAT design, style, and appearance mattered even more than those of smartphones, as they are body-worn devices, (5) the user interfaces of WATs left a

  9. New stability and stabilization criteria for fuzzy neural networks with various activation functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathiyalagan, K.; Sakthivel, R.; Anthoni, S. Marshal

    2011-07-01

    In this paper, the stability analysis and control design of Takagi-Sugeno (TS) fuzzy neural networks with various activation functions and continuously distributed time delays are addressed. By implementing the delay-fractioning technique together with the linear matrix inequality (LMI) approach , a new set of sufficient conditions is derived in terms of linear matrix inequalities, which ensure the stability of the considered fuzzy neural networks. Further, based on the above-mentioned techniques, a control law with an appropriate gain control matrix is derived to achieve stabilization of the fuzzy neural networks. In addition, the results are extended to the study of the stability and stabilization results for TS fuzzy uncertain neural networks with parameter uncertainties. The stabilization criteria are obtained in terms LMIs and hence the gain control matrix can be easily determined by the MATLAB LMI control toolbox. Two numerical examples with simulation results are given to illustrate the effectiveness of the obtained result.

  10. Optimizing delivery systems for cationic biopolymers: competitive interactions of cationic polylysine with anionic κ-carrageenan and pectin.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Pena, Cynthia Lyliam; McClements, David Julian

    2014-06-15

    Polylysine is a cationic biopolymer with a strong antimicrobial activity against a wide range of microorganisms, however, its functional performance is influenced by its interactions with anionic biopolymers. We examined the stability of polylysine-pectin complexes in the presence of carrageenan, and vice versa. Polylysine-pectin or polylysine-carrageenan complexes were formed at mass ratios of 1:0 to 1:32 (pH 3.5), and then micro-electrophoresis, turbidity, microscopy, and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) were used to characterise them. Solutions containing polylysine-pectin complexes were slightly turbid and relatively stable to aggregation at high mass ratios, whereas those containing polylysine-carrageenan complexes were turbid and unstable to aggregation and precipitation. Pectin did not strongly interact with polylysine-carrageenan complexes, whereas carrageenan displaced pectin from polylysine-pectin complexes, which was attributed to differences in electrostatic attraction between polylysine, carrageenan, and pectin. These results have important implications for the design of effective antimicrobial delivery systems for foods and beverages.

  11. Signal Enhancement of Abiotically-Synthesized RNA Oligonucleotides and other Biopolymers using Unmodified Fused Silica in MALDI-MS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, Lauren M.; Dong, Yingying; Joshi, Prakash C.; Aldersley, Michael F.; Ferris, James P.; McGown, Linda B.

    2011-06-01

    Metal is the standard desorption platform for MALDI-MS but other surfaces have been shown to offer advantages for particular types of analytes or applications. One such substrate is fused silica, which has been employed for matrix-free detection of low mass analytes and for affinity MALDI-MS in which binding ligands are immobilized at the fused silica surface. The present work reports improved MALDI-MS detection of RNA oligonucleotides, including polyA, polyU, and polyA/U, at the high end of the mass range when unmodified fused silica is used instead of stainless steel as the MALDI target. The RNA oligonucleotides were abiotically synthesized from activated monomers on catalytic clay surfaces. Further investigation found enhanced signals as well for other anionic biopolymers, including DNA oligonucleotides and heparin. Enhancement also was observed for dextran, which is neutral, indicating that the effect is not restricted to anionic biopolymers. Among more general analytical applications, the results are particularly relevant to rapid screening of abiotic RNA polymerization toward elucidating pathways to life on Earth.

  12. Network activity-independent coordinated gene expression program for synapse assembly

    PubMed Central

    Valor, Luis M.; Charlesworth, Paul; Humphreys, Lawrence; Anderson, Chris N. G.; Grant, Seth G. N.

    2007-01-01

    Global biological datasets generated by genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics provide new approaches to understanding the relationship between the genome and the synapse. Combined transcriptome analysis and multielectrode recordings of neuronal network activity were used in mouse embryonic primary neuronal cultures to examine synapse formation and activity-dependent gene regulation. Evidence for a coordinated gene expression program for assembly of synapses was observed in the expression of 642 genes encoding postsynaptic and plasticity proteins. This synaptogenesis gene expression program preceded protein expression of synapse markers and onset of spiking activity. Continued expression was followed by maturation of morphology and electrical neuronal networks, which was then followed by the expression of activity-dependent genes. Thus, two distinct sequentially active gene expression programs underlie the genomic programs of synapse function. PMID:17360580

  13. A decaying factor accounts for contained activity in neuronal networks with no need of hierarchical or modular organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amancio, Diego R.; Oliveira, Osvaldo N., Jr.; Costa, Luciano da F.

    2012-11-01

    The mechanisms responsible for containing activity in systems represented by networks are crucial in various phenomena, for example, in diseases such as epilepsy that affect the neuronal networks and for information dissemination in social networks. The first models to account for contained activity included triggering and inhibition processes, but they cannot be applied to social networks where inhibition is clearly absent. A recent model showed that contained activity can be achieved with no need of inhibition processes provided that the network is subdivided into modules (communities). In this paper, we introduce a new concept inspired in the Hebbian theory, through which containment of activity is achieved by incorporating a dynamics based on a decaying activity in a random walk mechanism preferential to the node activity. Upon selecting the decay coefficient within a proper range, we observed sustained activity in all the networks tested, namely, random, Barabási-Albert and geographical networks. The generality of this finding was confirmed by showing that modularity is no longer needed if the dynamics based on the integrate-and-fire dynamics incorporated the decay factor. Taken together, these results provide a proof of principle that persistent, restrained network activation might occur in the absence of any particular topological structure. This may be the reason why neuronal activity does not spread out to the entire neuronal network, even when no special topological organization exists. .

  14. Coordinated motor activity in simulated spinal networks emerges from simple biologically plausible rules of connectivity.

    PubMed

    Dale, Nicholas

    2003-01-01

    The spinal motor circuits of the Xenopus embryo have been simulated in a 400-neuron network. To explore the consequences of differing patterns of synaptic connectivity within the network for the generation of the motor rhythm, a system of biologically plausible rules was devised to control synapse formation by three parameters. Each neuron had an intrinsic probability of synapse formation (P(soma), specified by a space constant lambda) that was a monotonically decreasing function of its soma location in the rostro-caudal axis of the simulated network. The neurons had rostral and caudal going axons of specified length (L(axon)) associated with a probability of synapse formation (P(axon)). The final probability of synapse formation was the product of P(soma) and P(axon). Realistic coordinated activity only occurred when L(axon) and the probabilities of interconnection were sufficiently high. Increasing the values of the three network parameters reduced the burst duration, cycle period, and rostro-caudal delay and increased the reliability with which the network functioned as measured by the coefficient of variance of these parameters. Whereas both L(axon) and P(axon) had powerful and consistent effects on network output, the effects of lambda on burst duration and rostro-caudal delay were more variable and depended on the values of the other two parameters. This network model can reproduce the rostro-caudal coordination of swimming without using coupled oscillator theory. The changes in network connectivity and resulting changes in activity explored by the model mimic the development of the motor pattern for swimming in the real embryo.

  15. Glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation in neurons and astrocytes during network activity in hippocampal slices.

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Anton I; Malkov, Anton E; Waseem, Tatsiana; Mukhtarov, Marat; Buldakova, Svetlana; Gubkina, Olena; Zilberter, Misha; Zilberter, Yuri

    2014-03-01

    Network activation triggers a significant energy metabolism increase in both neurons and astrocytes. Questions of the primary neuronal energy substrate (e.g., glucose vs. lactate) as well as the relative contributions of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation and their cellular origin (neurons vs. astrocytes) are still a matter of debates. Using simultaneous measurements of electrophysiological and metabolic parameters during synaptic stimulation in hippocampal slices from mature mice, we show that neurons and astrocytes use both glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation to meet their energy demands. Supplementation or replacement of glucose in artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) with pyruvate or lactate strongly modifies parameters related to network activity-triggered energy metabolism. These effects are not induced by changes in ATP content, pH(i), [Ca(2+)](i) or accumulation of reactive oxygen species. Our results suggest that during network activation, a significant fraction of NAD(P)H response (its overshoot phase) corresponds to glycolysis and the changes in cytosolic NAD(P)H and mitochondrial FAD are coupled. Our data do not support the hypothesis of a preferential utilization of astrocyte-released lactate by neurons during network activation in slices--instead, we show that during such activity glucose is an effective energy substrate for both neurons and astrocytes.

  16. Glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation in neurons and astrocytes during network activity in hippocampal slices

    PubMed Central

    Ivanov, Anton I; Malkov, Anton E; Waseem, Tatsiana; Mukhtarov, Marat; Buldakova, Svetlana; Gubkina, Olena; Zilberter, Misha; Zilberter, Yuri

    2014-01-01

    Network activation triggers a significant energy metabolism increase in both neurons and astrocytes. Questions of the primary neuronal energy substrate (e.g., glucose vs. lactate) as well as the relative contributions of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation and their cellular origin (neurons vs. astrocytes) are still a matter of debates. Using simultaneous measurements of electrophysiological and metabolic parameters during synaptic stimulation in hippocampal slices from mature mice, we show that neurons and astrocytes use both glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation to meet their energy demands. Supplementation or replacement of glucose in artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) with pyruvate or lactate strongly modifies parameters related to network activity-triggered energy metabolism. These effects are not induced by changes in ATP content, pHi, [Ca2+]i or accumulation of reactive oxygen species. Our results suggest that during network activation, a significant fraction of NAD(P)H response (its overshoot phase) corresponds to glycolysis and the changes in cytosolic NAD(P)H and mitochondrial FAD are coupled. Our data do not support the hypothesis of a preferential utilization of astrocyte-released lactate by neurons during network activation in slices—instead, we show that during such activity glucose is an effective energy substrate for both neurons and astrocytes. PMID:24326389

  17. Nonsmooth finite-time stabilization of neural networks with discontinuous activations.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoyang; Park, Ju H; Jiang, Nan; Cao, Jinde

    2014-04-01

    This paper is concerned with the finite-time stabilization for a class of neural networks (NNs) with discontinuous activations. The purpose of the addressed problem is to design a discontinuous controller to stabilize the states of such neural networks in finite time. Unlike the previous works, such stabilization objective will be realized for neural networks when the activations and controllers are both discontinuous. Based on the famous finite-time stability theorem of nonlinear systems and nonsmooth analysis in mathematics, sufficient conditions are established to ensure the finite-time stability of the dynamics of NNs. Then, the upper bound of the settling time for stabilization can be estimated in two forms due to two different methods of proof. Finally, two numerical examples are given to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed design method.

  18. Default-Mode Network Activity Identified by Group Independent Component Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Conghui; Zhuang, Jie; Peng, Danling; Yu, Guoliang; Yang, Yanhui

    Default-mode network activity refers to some regional increase in blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal during baseline than cognitive tasks. Recent functional imaging studies have found co-activation in a distributed network of cortical regions, including ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PPC) that characterize the default mode of human brain. In this study, general linear model and group independent component analysis (ICA) were utilized to analyze the fMRI data obtained from two language tasks. Both methods yielded similar, but not identical results and detected a resting deactivation network at some midline regions including anterior and posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus. Particularly, the group ICA method segregated functional elements into two separate maps and identified ventral cingulate component and fronto-parietal component. These results suggest that these two components might be linked to different mental function during "resting" baseline.

  19. Transient epileptiform signaling during neuronal network development: regulation by external stimulation and bimodal GABAergic activity.

    PubMed

    Zemianek, Jill M; Shultz, Abraham M; Lee, Sangmook; Guaraldi, Mary; Yanco, Holly A; Shea, Thomas B

    2013-04-01

    A predominance of excitatory activity, with protracted appearance of inhibitory activity, accompanies cortical neuronal development. It is unclear whether or not inhibitory neuronal activity is solicited exclusively by excitatory neurons or whether the transient excitatory activity displayed by developing GABAergic neurons contributes to an excitatory threshold that fosters their conversion to inhibitory activity. We addressed this possibility by culturing murine embryonic neurons on multi-electrode arrays. A wave of individual 0.2-0.4 mV signals ("spikes") appeared between approx. 20-30 days in culture, then declined. A transient wave of high amplitude (>0.5 mV) epileptiform activity coincided with the developmental decline in spikes. Bursts (clusters of ≥3 low-amplitude spikes within 0.7s prior to returning to baseline) persisted following this decline. Addition of the GABAergic antagonist bicuculline initially had no effect on signaling, consistent with delayed development of GABAergic synapses. This was followed by a period in which bicuculline inhibited overall signaling, confirming that GABAergic neurons initially display excitatory activity in ex vivo networks. Following the transient developmental wave of epileptiform signaling, bicuculline induced a resurgence of epileptiform signaling, indicating that GABAergic neurons at this point displayed inhibitory activity. The appearance of transition after the developmental and decline of epileptiform activity, rather than immediately after the developmental decline in lower-amplitude spikes, suggests that the initial excitatory activity of GABAergic neurons contributes to their transition into inhibitory neurons, and that inhibitory GABAergic activity is essential for network development. Prior studies indicate that a minority (25%) of neurons in these cultures were GABAergic, suggesting that inhibitory neurons regulate multiple excitatory neurons. A similar robust increase in signaling following cessation of

  20. Memory-induced mechanism for self-sustaining activity in networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allahverdyan, A. E.; Steeg, G. Ver; Galstyan, A.

    2015-12-01

    We study a mechanism of activity sustaining on networks inspired by a well-known model of neuronal dynamics. Our primary focus is the emergence of self-sustaining collective activity patterns, where no single node can stay active by itself, but the activity provided initially is sustained within the collective of interacting agents. In contrast to existing models of self-sustaining activity that are caused by (long) loops present in the network, here we focus on treelike structures and examine activation mechanisms that are due to temporal memory of the nodes. This approach is motivated by applications in social media, where long network loops are rare or absent. Our results suggest that under a weak behavioral noise, the nodes robustly split into several clusters, with partial synchronization of nodes within each cluster. We also study the randomly weighted version of the models where the nodes are allowed to change their connection strength (this can model attention redistribution) and show that it does facilitate the self-sustained activity.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Adolescent Friendships, BMI, and Physical Activity: Untangling Selection and Influence Through Longitudinal Social Network Analysis.

    PubMed

    Simpkins, Sandra D; Schaefer, David R; Price, Chara D; Vest, Andrea E

    2013-09-01

    Bioecological theory suggests that adolescents' health is a result of selection and socialization processes occurring between adolescents and their microsettings. This study examines the association between adolescents' friends and health using a social network model and data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 1,896, mean age = 15.97 years). Results indicated evidence of friend influence on BMI and physical activity. Friendships were more likely among adolescents who engaged in greater physical activity and who were similar to one another in BMI and physical activity. These effects emerged after controlling for alternative friend selection factors, such as endogenous social network processes and propinquity through courses and activities. Some selection effects were moderated by gender, popularity, and reciprocity.

  6. Adolescent Friendships, BMI, and Physical Activity: Untangling Selection and Influence Through Longitudinal Social Network Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Simpkins, Sandra D.; Schaefer, David R.; Price, Chara D.; Vest, Andrea E.

    2012-01-01

    Bioecological theory suggests that adolescents’ health is a result of selection and socialization processes occurring between adolescents and their microsettings. This study examines the association between adolescents’ friends and health using a social network model and data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 1,896, mean age = 15.97 years). Results indicated evidence of friend influence on BMI and physical activity. Friendships were more likely among adolescents who engaged in greater physical activity and who were similar to one another in BMI and physical activity. These effects emerged after controlling for alternative friend selection factors, such as endogenous social network processes and propinquity through courses and activities. Some selection effects were moderated by gender, popularity, and reciprocity. PMID:24222971

  7. GABA depolarizes immature neurons and inhibits network activity in the neonatal neocortex in vivo.

    PubMed

    Kirmse, Knut; Kummer, Michael; Kovalchuk, Yury; Witte, Otto W; Garaschuk, Olga; Holthoff, Knut

    2015-01-01

    A large body of evidence from in vitro studies suggests that GABA is depolarizing during early postnatal development. However, the mode of GABA action in the intact developing brain is unknown. Here we examine the in vivo effects of GABA in cells of the upper cortical plate using a combination of electrophysiological and Ca(2+)-imaging techniques. We report that at postnatal days (P) 3-4, GABA depolarizes the majority of immature neurons in the occipital cortex of anaesthetized mice. At the same time, GABA does not efficiently activate voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels and fails to induce action potential firing. Blocking GABA(A) receptors disinhibits spontaneous network activity, whereas allosteric activation of GABA(A) receptors has the opposite effect. In summary, our data provide evidence that in vivo GABA acts as a depolarizing neurotransmitter imposing an inhibitory control on network activity in the neonatal (P3-4) neocortex. PMID:26177896

  8. Analytically tractable studies of traveling waves of activity in integrate-and-fire neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jie; Osan, Remus

    2016-05-01

    In contrast to other large-scale network models for propagation of electrical activity in neural tissue that have no analytical solutions for their dynamics, we show that for a specific class of integrate and fire neural networks the acceleration depends quadratically on the instantaneous speed of the activity propagation. We use this property to analytically compute the network spike dynamics and to highlight the emergence of a natural time scale for the evolution of the traveling waves. These results allow us to examine other applications of this model such as the effect that a nonconductive gap of tissue has on further activity propagation. Furthermore we show that activity propagation also depends on local conditions for other more general connectivity functions, by converting the evolution equations for network dynamics into a low-dimensional system of ordinary differential equations. This approach greatly enhances our intuition into the mechanisms of the traveling waves evolution and significantly reduces the simulation time for this class of models.

  9. Prediction of active nodes in the transcriptional network of neural tube patterning

    PubMed Central

    Kioussi, Chrissa; Shih, Hung-Ping; Loflin, John; Gross, Michael K.

    2006-01-01

    A transcriptional network governs patterning in the developing spinal cord. As the developmental program runs, the levels of sequence-specific DNA-binding transcription factors (SSTFs) in each progenitor cell type change to ultimately define a set of postmitotic populations with combinatorial codes of expressed SSTFs. A network description of the neural tube (NT) transcriptional patterning process will require definition of nodes (SSTFs and target enhancers) and edges (interactions between nodes). There are 1,600 SSTF nodes in a given mammalian genome. To limit the complexity of a network description, it will be useful to discriminate between active and passive SSTF nodes. We define active SSTF nodes as those that are differentially expressed within the system. Our system, the developing NT, was partitioned into two pools of genetically defined populations by using flow sorting. Microarray comparisons across the partition led to an estimate of 500–700 active SSTF nodes in the transcriptional network of the developing NT. These included most of the 66 known SSTFs assembled from review articles and recent reports on NT patterning. Empirical cutoffs based on the performance of knowns were used to identify 188 further active SSTFs nodes that performed similarly. The general utility and limitations of the population-partitioning paradigm are discussed. PMID:17132738

  10. Effects of Organophosphorus Flame Retardants on Spontaneous Activity in Neuronal Networks Grown on Microelectrode Arrays

    EPA Science Inventory

    EFFECTS OF ORGANOPHOSPHORUS FLAME RETARDANTS ON SPONTANEOUS ACTIVITY IN NEURONAL NETWORKS GROWN ON MICROELECTRODE ARRAYS TJ Shafer1, K Wallace1, WR Mundy1, M Behl2,. 1Integrated Systems Toxicology Division, NHEERL, USEPA, RTP, NC, USA, 2National Toxicology Program, NIEHS, RTP, NC...

  11. Model for a flexible motor memory based on a self-active recurrent neural network.

    PubMed

    Boström, Kim Joris; Wagner, Heiko; Prieske, Markus; de Lussanet, Marc

    2013-10-01

    Using recent recurrent network architecture based on the reservoir computing approach, we propose and numerically simulate a model that is focused on the aspects of a flexible motor memory for the storage of elementary movement patterns into the synaptic weights of a neural network, so that the patterns can be retrieved at any time by simple static commands. The resulting motor memory is flexible in that it is capable to continuously modulate the stored patterns. The modulation consists in an approximately linear inter- and extrapolation, generating a large space of possible movements that have not been learned before. A recurrent network of thousand neurons is trained in a manner that corresponds to a realistic exercising scenario, with experimentally measured muscular activations and with kinetic data representing proprioceptive feedback. The network is "self-active" in that it maintains recurrent flow of activation even in the absence of input, a feature that resembles the "resting-state activity" found in the human and animal brain. The model involves the concept of "neural outsourcing" which amounts to the permanent shifting of computational load from higher to lower-level neural structures, which might help to explain why humans are able to execute learned skills in a fluent and flexible manner without the need for attention to the details of the movement.

  12. Analytically tractable studies of traveling waves of activity in integrate-and-fire neural networks.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Osan, Remus

    2016-05-01

    In contrast to other large-scale network models for propagation of electrical activity in neural tissue that have no analytical solutions for their dynamics, we show that for a specific class of integrate and fire neural networks the acceleration depends quadratically on the instantaneous speed of the activity propagation. We use this property to analytically compute the network spike dynamics and to highlight the emergence of a natural time scale for the evolution of the traveling waves. These results allow us to examine other applications of this model such as the effect that a nonconductive gap of tissue has on further activity propagation. Furthermore we show that activity propagation also depends on local conditions for other more general connectivity functions, by converting the evolution equations for network dynamics into a low-dimensional system of ordinary differential equations. This approach greatly enhances our intuition into the mechanisms of the traveling waves evolution and significantly reduces the simulation time for this class of models.

  13. Model for a flexible motor memory based on a self-active recurrent neural network.

    PubMed

    Boström, Kim Joris; Wagner, Heiko; Prieske, Markus; de Lussanet, Marc

    2013-10-01

    Using recent recurrent network architecture based on the reservoir computing approach, we propose and numerically simulate a model that is focused on the aspects of a flexible motor memory for the storage of elementary movement patterns into the synaptic weights of a neural network, so that the patterns can be retrieved at any time by simple static commands. The resulting motor memory is flexible in that it is capable to continuously modulate the stored patterns. The modulation consists in an approximately linear inter- and extrapolation, generating a large space of possible movements that have not been learned before. A recurrent network of thousand neurons is trained in a manner that corresponds to a realistic exercising scenario, with experimentally measured muscular activations and with kinetic data representing proprioceptive feedback. The network is "self-active" in that it maintains recurrent flow of activation even in the absence of input, a feature that resembles the "resting-state activity" found in the human and animal brain. The model involves the concept of "neural outsourcing" which amounts to the permanent shifting of computational load from higher to lower-level neural structures, which might help to explain why humans are able to execute learned skills in a fluent and flexible manner without the need for attention to the details of the movement. PMID:24120277

  14. Mechanisms Underlying Adaptation of Respiratory Network Activity to Modulatory Stimuli in the Mouse Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Chevalier, Marc; De Sa, Rafaël; Cardoit, Laura; Thoby-Brisson, Muriel

    2016-01-01

    Breathing is a rhythmic behavior that requires organized contractions of respiratory effector muscles. This behavior must adapt to constantly changing conditions in order to ensure homeostasis, proper body oxygenation, and CO2/pH regulation. Respiratory rhythmogenesis is controlled by neural networks located in the brainstem. One area considered to be essential for generating the inspiratory phase of the respiratory rhythm is the preBötzinger complex (preBötC). Rhythmogenesis emerges from this network through the interplay between the activation of intrinsic cellular properties (pacemaker properties) and intercellular synaptic connections. Respiratory activity continuously changes under the impact of numerous modulatory substances depending on organismal needs and environmental conditions. The preBötC network has been shown to become active during the last third of gestation. But only little is known regarding the modulation of inspiratory rhythmicity at embryonic stages and even less on a possible role of pacemaker neurons in this functional flexibility during the prenatal period. By combining electrophysiology and calcium imaging performed on embryonic brainstem slice preparations, we provide evidence showing that embryonic inspiratory pacemaker neurons are already intrinsically sensitive to neuromodulation and external conditions (i.e., temperature) affecting respiratory network activity, suggesting a potential role of pacemaker neurons in mediating rhythm adaptation to modulatory stimuli in the embryo. PMID:27239348

  15. Opposing Effects of Intrinsic Conductance and Correlated Synaptic Input on Vm-Fluctuations during Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kolind, Jens; Hounsgaard, Jørn; Berg, Rune W.

    2012-01-01

    Neurons often receive massive concurrent bombardment of synaptic inhibition and excitation during functional network activity. This increases membrane conductance and causes fluctuations in membrane potential (Vm) and spike timing. The conductance increase is commonly attributed to synaptic conductance, but also includes the intrinsic conductances recruited during network activity. These two sources of conductance have contrasting dynamic properties at sub-threshold membrane potentials. Synaptic transmitter gated conductance changes abruptly and briefly with each presynaptic action potential. If the spikes arrive at random times the changes in synaptic conductance are therefore stochastic and rapid during intense network activity. In comparison, sub-threshold intrinsic conductances vary smoothly in time. In the present study this discrepancy is investigated using two conductance-based models: a (1) compartment model and a (2) compartment with realistic slow intrinsic conductances. We examine the effects of varying the relative contributions of non-fluctuating intrinsic conductance with fluctuating concurrent inhibitory and excitatory synaptic conductance. For given levels of correlation in the synaptic input we find that the magnitude of the membrane fluctuations uniquely determines the relative contribution of synaptic and intrinsic conductance. We also quantify how Vm-fluctuations vary with synaptic correlations for fixed ratios of synaptic and intrinsic conductance. Interestingly, the levels of Vm -fluctuations and conductance observed experimentally during functional network activity leave little room for intrinsic conductance to contribute. Even without intrinsic conductances the variance in Vm -fluctuations can only be explained by a high degree of correlated firing among presynaptic neurons. PMID:22783184

  16. A Model of Active Ageing through Elder Learning: The Elder Academy Network in Hong Kong

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tam, Maureen

    2013-01-01

    This article presents the Elder Academy (EA) Network as the policy and practice in promoting active ageing through elder learning in Hong Kong. First, the article examines how the change in demographics and the prevalent trend of an ageing population have propelled the government in Hong Kong to tackle issues and challenges brought about by an…

  17. Enterococcus faecalis reconfigures its gene regulatory network activation under copper exposure

    PubMed Central

    Latorre, Mauricio; Galloway-Peña, Jessica; Roh, Jung Hyeob; Budinich, Marko; Reyes-Jara, Angélica; Murray, Barbara E.; Maass, Alejandro; González, Mauricio

    2014-01-01

    A gene regulatory network was generated in the bacterium Enterococcus faecalis in order to understand how this organism can activate its expression under different copper concentrations. The topological evaluation of the network showed common patterns described in other organisms. Integrating microarray experiments allowed the identification of sub-networks activated under low (0.05 mM CuSO4) and high (0.5 mM CuSO4) copper concentrations. The analysis indicates the presence of specific functionally activated modules induced by copper, highlighting the regulons LysR, ArgR as global regulators and CopY, Fur and LexA as local regulators. Taking advantage of the fact that E. faecalis presented a homeostatic module isolated, we produced an in vivo intervention removing this system from the cell without affecting the connectivity of the global transcriptional network. This strategy led us to find that this bacterium can reconfigure its gene expression to maintain cellular homeostasis, activating new modules principally related to glucose metabolism and transcriptional processes. Finally, these results position E. faecalis as the organism having the most complete and controllable systemic model of copper homeostasis available to date. PMID:24382465

  18. Spreading Activation in an Attractor Network with Latching Dynamics: Automatic Semantic Priming Revisited

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lerner, Itamar; Bentin, Shlomo; Shriki, Oren

    2012-01-01

    Localist models of spreading activation (SA) and models assuming distributed representations offer very different takes on semantic priming, a widely investigated paradigm in word recognition and semantic memory research. In this study, we implemented SA in an attractor neural network model with distributed representations and created a unified…

  19. Dendritic integration in pyramidal neurons during network activity and disease.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Lucy M

    2014-04-01

    Neurons have intricate dendritic morphologies which come in an array of shapes and sizes. Not only do they give neurons their unique appearance, but dendrites also endow neurons with the ability to receive and transform synaptic inputs. We now have a wealth of information about the functioning of dendrites which suggests that the integration of synaptic inputs is highly dependent on both dendritic properties and neuronal input patterns. It has been shown that dendrites can perform non-linear processing, actively transforming synaptic input into Na(+) spikes, Ca(2+) plateau spikes and NMDA spikes. These membrane non-linearities can have a large impact on the neuronal output and have been shown to be regulated by numerous factors including synaptic inhibition. Many neuropathological diseases involve changes in how dendrites receive and package synaptic input by altering dendritic spine characteristics, ion channel expression and the inhibitory control of dendrites. This review focuses on the role of dendrites in integrating and transforming input and what goes wrong in the case of neuropathological diseases.

  20. EXTRACTION AND ANALYSIS OF ACTIN NETWORKS BASED ON OPEN ACTIVE CONTOUR MODELS

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Li, Hongsheng; Shen, Tian; Ojkic, Nikola; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2011-01-01

    Network structures formed by actin filaments are present in many kinds of fluorescence microscopy images. In order to quantify the conformations and dynamics of such actin filaments, we propose a fully automated method to extract actin networks from images and analyze network topology. The method handles well intersecting filaments and, to some extent, overlapping filaments. First we automatically initialize a large number of Stretching Open Active Contours (SOACs) from ridge points detected by searching for plus-to-minus sign changes in the gradient map of the image. These initial SOACs then elongate simultaneously along the bright center-lines of filaments by minimizing an energy function. During their evolution, they may merge or stop growing, thus forming a network that represents the topology of the filament ensemble. We further detect junction points in the network and break the SOACs at junctions to obtain “SOAC segments”. These segments are then re-grouped using a graph-cut spectral clustering method to represent the configuration of actin filaments. The proposed approach is generally applicable to extracting intersecting curvilinear structures in noisy images. We demonstrate its potential using two kinds of data: (1) actin filaments imaged by Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM) in vitro; (2) actin cytoskeleton networks in fission yeast imaged by spinning disk confocal microscopy. PMID:21822463