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Sample records for active biopolymer network

  1. Coupled biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz, J. M.; Zhang, Tao

    2015-03-01

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

  2. Heterogeneous Force Chains in Cellularized Biopolymer Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

    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. Strain stiffening in synthetic and biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

    Erk, Kendra A; Henderson, Kevin J; Shull, Kenneth R

    2010-05-10

    Strain-stiffening behavior common to biopolymer networks is difficult to reproduce in synthetic networks. Physically associating synthetic polymer networks can be an exception to this rule and can demonstrate strain-stiffening behavior at relatively low values of strain. Here, the stiffening behavior of model elastic networks of physically associating triblock copolymers is characterized by shear rheometry. Experiments demonstrate a clear correlation between network structure and strain-stiffening behavior. Stiffening is accurately captured by a constitutive model with a single fitting parameter related to the midblock length. The same model is also effective for describing the stiffening of actin, collagen, and other biopolymer networks. Our synthetic polymer networks could be useful model systems for biological materials due to (1) the observed similarity in strain-stiffening behavior, which can be quantified and related to network structure, and (2) the tunable structure of the physically associating network, which can be manipulated to yield a desired response.

  5. Special Feature: Liquids and Structural Glasses Special Feature: An active biopolymer network controlled by molecular motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenderink, Gijsje H.; Dogic, Zvonimir; Nakamura, Fumihiko; Bendix, Poul M.; MacKintosh, Frederick C.; Hartwig, John H.; Stossel, Thomas P.; Weitz, David A.

    2009-09-01

    We describe an active polymer network in which processive molecular motors control network elasticity. This system consists of actin filaments cross-linked by filamin A (FLNa) and contracted by bipolar filaments of muscle myosin II. The myosin motors stiffen the network by more than two orders of magnitude by pulling on actin filaments anchored in the network by FLNa cross-links, thereby generating internal stress. The stiffening response closely mimics the effects of external stress applied by mechanical shear. Both internal and external stresses can drive the network into a highly nonlinear, stiffened regime. The active stress reaches values that are equivalent to an external stress of 14 Pa, consistent with a 1-pN force per myosin head. This active network mimics many mechanical properties of cells and suggests that adherent cells exert mechanical control by operating in a nonlinear regime where cell stiffness is sensitive to changes in motor activity. This design principle may be applicable to engineering novel biologically inspired, active materials that adjust their own stiffness by internal catalytic control.

  6. 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

  7. Emergent properties of composite semiflexible biopolymer networks

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Mikkel H.; Morris, Eliza J.; Goldman, Robert D.; Weitz, David A.

    2014-01-01

    The semiflexible polymers filamentous actin (F-actin) and intermediate filaments (IF) both form complex networks within the cell, and together are key determinants of cellular stiffness. While the mechanics of F-actin networks together with stiff microtubules have been characterized, the interplay between F-actin and IF networks is largely unknown, necessitating the study of composite networks using mixtures of semiflexible biopolymers. We employ bulk rheology in a simplified in vitro system to uncover the fundamental mechanical interactions between networks of the 2 semiflexible polymers, F-actin and vimentin IF. Surprisingly, co-polymerization of actin and vimentin can produce composite networks either stronger or weaker than pure F-actin networks. We show that this effect occurs through steric constraints imposed by IF on F-actin during network formation and filament crosslinking, highlighting novel emergent behavior in composite semiflexible networks. PMID:25759912

  8. 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

  9. Mechanically induced helix-coil transition in biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  10. Constitutive modelling of composite biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

    Fallqvist, B; Kroon, M

    2016-04-21

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

  11. Coupled actin-lamin biopolymer networks and protecting DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  12. Active biopolymers confer fast reorganization kinetics.

    PubMed

    Swanson, Douglas; Wingreen, Ned S

    2011-11-18

    Many cytoskeletal biopolymers are "active," consuming energy in large quantities. In this Letter, we identify a fundamental difference between active polymers and passive, equilibrium polymers: for equal mean lengths, active polymers can reorganize faster than equilibrium polymers. We show that equilibrium polymers are intrinsically limited to linear scaling between mean lifetime (or mean first-passage time, or MFPT) and mean length, MFPT∼, by analogy to 1D Potts models. By contrast, we present a simple active-polymer model that improves upon this scaling, such that MFPT∼(1/2). Since, to be biologically useful, structural biopolymers must typically be many monomers long yet respond dynamically to the needs of the cell, the difference in reorganization kinetics may help to justify the active polymers' greater energy cost.

  13. 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.

  14. Investigation of biopolymer networks by means of AFM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. 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.

  16. Strain induced critical behavior in athermal biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Abhinav; Licup, Albert; Rens, Robbie; Sheinman, Michael; Jansen, Karin; Koenderink, Gijse; Mackintosh, Fred

    2015-03-01

    Biopolymer networks exhibit highly interesting mechanical behavior. An instructive model system is that of a network composed of rope-like filaments-zero resistance to compression but finite resistance to stretching. For networks with connectivity below Maxwell point,there is no elastic modulus for small deformations. However,when networks are subjected to an external strain, stiffness emerges spontaneously beyond a critical strain. We demonstrate that the spontaneous emergence of elasticity is analogous to a continuous phase transition. The critical point is not fixed but depends on the geometry of the underlying network.The elastic behavior near the critical point can be described analogous to that of Magnetization in ferromagnetic material near the curie temperature.Surprisingly, the critical exponents are independent of the dimensionality and depend only on the average connectivity in the network.By including bending interactions in the rope network, we can capture the mechanical behavior of biologically relevant networks.Bending rigidity acts as a coupling constant analogous to the external magnetic field in a ferromagnetic system.We show that nonlinear mechanics of collagen are successfully captured by our framework of regarding nonlinear mechanics as a critical phenomenon

  17. Length regulation of active biopolymers by molecular motors.

    PubMed

    Johann, Denis; Erlenkämper, Christoph; Kruse, Karsten

    2012-06-22

    For biopolymers like cytoskeletal actin filaments and microtubules, assembly and disassembly are inherently dissipative processes. Molecular motors can affect the rates of subunit removal at filament ends. We introduce a driven lattice-gas model to study the effects of motor-induced depolymerization on the length of active biopolymers and find that increasing motor activity sharpens unimodal steady-state length distributions. Furthermore, for sufficiently fast moving motors, the relative width of the length distribution is determined only by the attachment rate of motors. Our results show how established molecular processes can be used to robustly regulate the size of cytoskeletal structures like mitotic spindles.

  18. Active biopolymer gels: from cells to tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenderink, Gijsje

    2009-03-01

    Living cells are active soft materials that are far out of thermodynamic equilibrium. They continuously use up chemical energy in order to generate forces that drive processes such as cell migration and division. Moreover, cells actively remodel their surrounding extracellular matrix (primarily collagen), so whole tissues can also be regarded as active soft materials. The aim of our research is to understand the physical mechanisms underlying the self-organization and mechanics of cells and tissues. To this end we use an experimental approach and study simplified model systems for the cytoskeleton (purified actin, tubulin, and accessory proteins) and for tissues (fibroblast-populated collagen and fibrin gels). We use microscopy and rheology to investigate the structure and mechanics on different length scales, from the single protein up to macroscopic level. I will discuss two examples of active mechanical behavior, namely in purified actin-myosin networks, and in purified fibrin matrices with embedded contractile fibroblasts. In both cases we observe active contraction and active stiffening. We quantify the active forces and examine how the structure and mechanics of the active gels depend on motor/cell density.

  19. Early stiffening and softening of collagen: interplay of deformation mechanisms in biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

    Kurniawan, Nicholas A; Wong, Long Hui; Rajagopalan, Raj

    2012-03-12

    Collagen networks, the main structural/mechanical elements in biological tissues, increasingly serve as biomimetic scaffolds for cell behavioral studies, assays, and tissue engineering, and yet their full spectrum of nonlinear behavior remains unclear. Here, with self-assembled type-I collagen as model, we use metrics beyond those in standard single-harmonic analysis of rheological measurements to reveal strain-softening and strain-stiffening of collagen networks both in instantaneous responses and at steady state. The results show how different deformation mechanisms, such as deformation-induced increase in the elastically active fibrils, nonlinear extension of individual fibrils, and slips in the physical cross-links in the network, can lead to the observed complex nonlinearity. We demonstrate how comprehensive rheological analyses can uncover the rich mechanical properties of biopolymer networks, including the above-mentioned softening as well as an early strain-stiffening, which are important for understanding physiological response of biological materials to mechanical loading.

  20. Structure-property relationships of a biopolymer network: the eggshell membrane.

    PubMed

    Torres, Fernando G; Troncoso, Omar P; Piaggio, Franco; Hijar, Alfredo

    2010-09-01

    The eggshell membrane (ESM) is a biopolymer network that may have potential applications in biomedicine, but it also may reveal important details regarding the behaviour of biopolymer networks. In this paper, we have studied the mechanical and morphological properties of the ESM in order to reveal important structure-property relationships. Light optical microscopy and atomic force microscopy were used to assess the morphology of the ESM. The mechanical properties of membranes and individual fibres were studied by means of tensile tests and nanoindentation tests, respectively. The mechanical behaviour of ESM networks in different environmental conditions showed a non-linear and a linear regime. As for elastomers and other biopolymer systems, the non-linear regime was modelled by the Mooney-Rivlin relation. The Young's modulus in the linear regime of the network was related to the Young's modulus of the individual fibres using Gibson and Ashby analysis for cellular solids. The results of morphological characterization were used to relate the properties of individual fibres to the properties of the whole networks. This enabled us to predict the macroscopical properties of the network based on the properties of the individual fibres. It was found that the ESM networks behaved as both Mooney-Rivlin and Hookean materials in different environmental conditions. This study helps elucidate the properties of the biopolymer networks found in nature and describes important mechanical properties for the use of the ESM as a biomaterial. 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Assessment of respiration activity and ecotoxicity of composts containing biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Kopeć, Michał; Gondek, Krzysztof; Baran, Agnieszka

    2013-03-01

    The research was conducted to determine if introducing biodegradable polymer materials to the composting process would affect selected biological properties of mature compost. Determination of biological properties of composts composed of testing their respiration activity and toxicity. Respiration activity was measured in material from the composting process by means of OxiTop Control measuring system. The ecotoxicity of composts was estimated by means of a set of biotests composed of three microbiotests using five test organisms. Introduction of polymer materials caused a decrease in respiration activity of mature compost. Similar dependencies as in the case of mass loss were registered. Compost to which a biodegradable polymer with the highest content of starch was added revealed the smallest difference in comparison with organic material composted without polymers. Lower content of starch in a polymer caused lower respiration activity of composts, whereas microorganism vaccine might have accelerated maturing of composts, thus contributing to the smallest respiration of compost. In composts containing biopolymers the following were observed: an increase in germination inhibition--2.5 times, roots growth inhibition--1.8 times, growth inhibition of Heterocypris incongruens--four times and luminescence inhibition of Vibrio fischeri--1.6 times in comparison with the control (compost K1). Composts containing biopolymers were classified as toxicity class III, whereas the compost without polymer addition as class II. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Estimating the 3D Pore Size Distribution of Biopolymer Networks from Directionally Biased Data

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  4. Frequency-dependent micromechanics of cellularized biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-13

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Quantitative characterization of the microstructure and transport properties of biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiao, Yang; Torquato, Salvatore

    2012-06-01

    Biopolymer networks are of fundamental importance to many biological processes in normal and tumorous tissues. In this paper, we employ the panoply of theoretical and simulation techniques developed for characterizing heterogeneous materials to quantify the microstructure and effective diffusive transport properties (diffusion coefficient De and mean survival time τ) of collagen type I networks at various collagen concentrations. In particular, we compute the pore-size probability density function P(δ) for the networks and present a variety of analytical estimates of the effective diffusion coefficient De for finite-sized diffusing particles, including the low-density approximation, the Ogston approximation and the Torquato approximation. The Hashin-Strikman upper bound on the effective diffusion coefficient De and the pore-size lower bound on the mean survival time τ are used as benchmarks to test our analytical approximations and numerical results. Moreover, we generalize the efficient first-passage-time techniques for Brownian-motion simulations in suspensions of spheres to the case of fiber networks and compute the associated effective diffusion coefficient De as well as the mean survival time τ, which is related to nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation times. Our numerical results for De are in excellent agreement with analytical results for simple network microstructures, such as periodic arrays of parallel cylinders. Specifically, the Torquato approximation provides the most accurate estimates of De for all collagen concentrations among all of the analytical approximations we consider. We formulate a universal curve for τ for the networks at different collagen concentrations, extending the work of Torquato and Yeong (1997 J. Chem. Phys. 106 8814). We apply rigorous cross-property relations to estimate the effective bulk modulus of collagen networks from a knowledge of the effective diffusion coefficient computed here. The use of cross-property relations

  12. Quantitative characterization of the microstructure and transport properties of biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Yang; Torquato, Salvatore

    2012-06-01

    Biopolymer networks are of fundamental importance to many biological processes in normal and tumorous tissues. In this paper, we employ the panoply of theoretical and simulation techniques developed for characterizing heterogeneous materials to quantify the microstructure and effective diffusive transport properties (diffusion coefficient D(e) and mean survival time τ) of collagen type I networks at various collagen concentrations. In particular, we compute the pore-size probability density function P(δ) for the networks and present a variety of analytical estimates of the effective diffusion coefficient D(e) for finite-sized diffusing particles, including the low-density approximation, the Ogston approximation and the Torquato approximation. The Hashin-Strikman upper bound on the effective diffusion coefficient D(e) and the pore-size lower bound on the mean survival time τ are used as benchmarks to test our analytical approximations and numerical results. Moreover, we generalize the efficient first-passage-time techniques for Brownian-motion simulations in suspensions of spheres to the case of fiber networks and compute the associated effective diffusion coefficient D(e) as well as the mean survival time τ, which is related to nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation times. Our numerical results for D(e) are in excellent agreement with analytical results for simple network microstructures, such as periodic arrays of parallel cylinders. Specifically, the Torquato approximation provides the most accurate estimates of D(e) for all collagen concentrations among all of the analytical approximations we consider. We formulate a universal curve for τ for the networks at different collagen concentrations, extending the work of Torquato and Yeong (1997 J. Chem. Phys. 106 8814). We apply rigorous cross-property relations to estimate the effective bulk modulus of collagen networks from a knowledge of the effective diffusion coefficient computed here. The use of cross

  13. 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

  14. Effect and mechanism of cellulose nanofibrils on the active functions of biopolymer-based nanocomposite films.

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhilong; Alsammarraie, Fouad K; Nayigiziki, Francois Xavier; Wang, Wei; Vardhanabhuti, Bongkosh; Mustapha, Azlin; Lin, Mengshi

    2017-09-01

    Cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) are superfine cellulose fibrils with a nanoscale diameter and have gained increasing attention due to their great potential in the food industry. However, the applications of CNFs in active food packaging are still limited. The objectives of this study were to develop biopolymer-based edible nanocomposite films using CNFs, corn starch, and chitosan, and to investigate the effect and mechanisms of CNFs on the active functions and properties of the nanocomposite films. Important functional properties of the films were measured and the films were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and Zetasizer. The results demonstrate that CNFs increased the rigidity of the films due to more hydrogen bonds being induced by CNFs (≥60%). Incorporating a high content of CNFs (≥60%) in the film resulted in enhanced filling effect on the structure of the biopolymer films, which significantly improved the light barrier, oxygen barrier and water vapor barrier capacities. As CNF content increased to 100%, the film opacity increased by 59%, while the peroxide value of corn oil protected with edible films was reduced by 23%. Furthermore, the antimicrobial properties of the edible films with 80% and 100% CNFs were increased by up to 2logCFU/g on day 8 in a beef model, due to more positive charges in the films and improved blocking effects on oxygen. These results demonstrate that CNFs can effectively enhance the antimicrobial effect and barrier properties of biopolymer-based nanocomposite films and have great potential in applications of active packaging for food products. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Metrologically Traceable Determination of the Water Content in Biopolymers: INRiM Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolle, F.; Beltramino, G.; Fernicola, V.; Sega, M.; Verdoja, A.

    2017-03-01

    Water content in materials is a key factor affecting many chemical and physical properties. In polymers of biological origin, it influences their stability and mechanical properties as well as their biodegradability. The present work describes the activity carried out at INRiM on the determination of water content in samples of a commercial starch-derived biopolymer widely used in shopping bags (Mater-Bi^{circledR }). Its water content, together with temperature, is the most influencing parameter affecting its biodegradability, because of the considerable impact on the microbial activity which is responsible for the biopolymer degradation in the environment. The main scope of the work was the establishment of a metrologically traceable procedure for the determination of water content by using two electrochemical methods, namely coulometric Karl Fischer (cKF) titration and evolved water vapour (EWV) analysis. The obtained results are presented. The most significant operational parameters were considered, and a particular attention was devoted to the establishment of metrological traceability of the measurement results by using appropriate calibration procedures, calibrated standards and suitable certified reference materials. Sample homogeneity and oven-drying temperature were found to be the most important influence quantities in the whole water content measurement process. The results of the two methods were in agreement within the stated uncertainties. Further development is foreseen for the application of cKF and EWV to other polymers.

  18. Synthesis and evaluation of antibacterial activity of quaternized biopolymer from Klebsiella terrigena.

    PubMed

    Khaira, G K; Ganguli, A; Ghosh, M

    2014-03-01

    Microbial exopolymer with antimicrobial properties, in particular, has gathered considerable interest due to their enormous scope of modification and wide gamut of application. The purpose of present study was to evaluate the antibacterial spectrum of a chemically modified biopolymeric flocculant produced by Klebsiella terrigena. N,N,N trimethyl biopolymer (TMB) was synthesized using dimethyl sulfate as methylating agent and was characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopic analysis, which confirmed the presence of quaternary ammonium groups on the TMB structure. The antibacterial activity of TMB was investigated against three selected bacterial pathogens viz. Aeromonas hydrophila ATCC 35654, Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 19111 and Escherichia coli O157:H7 ATCC 32150. An inactivation of 3 log CFU ml(-1) of all pathogens was noticed for TMB when compared to native polymer over a short contact time (60 min) and low dosage (60-80 μg ml(-1) ) at ambient temperature. A marked increase in glucose level, protein content and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity was observed concurrently in the cell supernatant suggesting damage of the cell membranes to be a possible reason for inactivation. The quaternization of amino rich biopolymer isolated from a bacterium led to a water-soluble bioactive agent with enhanced inhibitive capability against all the selected bacterial pathogens. The results of this study suggest a potential application of TMB as an effective disinfectant in water treatment. © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  19. Functional biopolymer-based matrices for modulation of chronic wound enzyme activities.

    PubMed

    Francesko, Antonio; Soares da Costa, Diana; Reis, Rui L; Pashkuleva, Iva; Tzanov, Tzanko

    2013-02-01

    Collagen, collagen/hyaluronic acid (HA) and collagen/HA/chitosan (CS) sponges loaded with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), catechin (CAT) and gallic acid (GA) were developed and evaluated as active chronic wound dressings. Their physico-mechanical properties, biostability, biocompatibility and ability to inhibit in vitro myeloperoxidase (MPO) and collagenase--major enzymes related with the persistent inflammation in chronic wounds--were investigated as a function of the biopolymer composition and the polyphenolic compound used. The results demonstrated that the molecular weight of HA influences significantly the bulk properties of the obtained materials: higher elastic modulus, swelling ability and biostability against collagenase were measured when HA with higher molecular weights (830 and 2000 kDa) were added to the collagen matrices. The addition of CS and the polyphenols increased further the biostability of the sponges. Preliminary in vitro tests with fibroblasts revealed that the cells were able to adhere to all sponges. Cell viability was not affected significantly by the addition of the polyphenols; however, the presence of CS or high molecular weight HA in the sponge composition was associated with lower cellular viability. Finally, all specimens containing polyphenols efficiently inhibited the MPO activity. The highest inhibition capacity was observed for EGCG (IC₅₀=15±1μM) and it was coupled to the highest extent of binding to the biopolymers (>80%) and optimal release profile from the sponges that allowed for prolonged (up to 3-5 days) effects.

  20. 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

  1. Bactericidal activity of elastin-like polypeptide biopolymer with polyhistidine domain and silver.

    PubMed

    Krishnani, Kishore K; Chen, Wilfred; Mulchandani, Ashok

    2014-07-01

    In the present study, elastin-like biopolymer (ELP) composed of a polyhistidine domain has been investigated as a silver binding agent for antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, a model test strain for Gram-negative bacteria for antibacterial assays of nanoparticles, and Vibrio harveyi, an opportunistic pathogen which cause mass mortality in shrimp Penaeus monodon reared in coastal aquaculture. The concentration dependent antimicrobial activity of ELPH-Ag on E. coli and V. harveyi was examined by agar well diffusion method and further confirmed through growth curves using spectrophotometer assisted absorption observations. The increased concentrations of ELP-Ag effectively checked the bacterial growth and increased the diameter of inhibition zone. The results showed a minimum inhibitory concentration of 37 μg/ml. This study has an application in formulating artificial protein based antibacterial in diverse fields of healthcare and management of disease in coastal aquaculture. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Active biopolymer film based on carboxymethyl cellulose and ascorbic acid for food preservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halim, Al Luqman Abdul; Kamari, Azlan

    2017-05-01

    In the present study, an active biopolymer film based on carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and ascorbic acid (AA) was synthesised at an incorporation rate of 15% (w/w). Several analytical instruments such as Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR), Thermogravimetry Analyser (TGA), UV-Visible Spectrophotometer (UV-Vis), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Universal Testing Machine were used to characterise the physical and chemical properties of CMC-AA film. The addition of AA significantly reduced elongation at break (322%) and tensile strength (10 MPa) of CMC-AA film. However, CMC-AA film shows a better antimicrobial property against two bacteria, namely Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) as compared to CMC film. The CMC-AA film was able to preserve cherry tomato with low weight loss and browning index. Overall, results from this study highlight the feasibility of CSAA film for food preservation.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Antibacterial activity of combination of synthetic and biopolymer non-woven structures.

    PubMed

    Bhullar, Sukhwinder K; Özsel, Burcak Kaya; Yadav, Ramesh; Kaur, Ginpreet; Chintamaneni, Meena; Buttar, Harpal S

    2015-12-01

    Fibrous structures and synthetic polymer blends offer potential usages in making biomedical devices, textiles used in medical practices, food packaging, tissue engineering, environmental applications and biomedical arena. These products are also excellent candidates for building scaffolds to grow stem cells for implantation, to make tissue engineering grafts, to make stents to open up blood vessels caused by atherosclerosis or narrowed by blood clots, for drug delivery systems for micro- to nano-medicines, for transdermal patches, and for healing of wounds and burn care. The current study was designed to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of woven and non-woven forms of nano- and macro-scale blended polymers having biocompatible and biodegradable characteristics. The antimicrobial activity of non-woven fibrous structures created with the combination of synthetic and biopolymer was assessed using Gram-negative, Gram-positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris, Escherichia coli and Enterobacter aerogenes using pour plate method. Structural evaluation of the fabricated samples was performed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Broad spectrum antibacterial activities were found from the tested materials consisting of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) with chitosan and nylon-6 combined with chitosan and formic acid. The combination of PVA with chitosan was more bactericidal or bacteriostatic than that of nylon-6 combined with chitosan and formic acid. PVA combination with chitosan appears to be a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent.

  7. 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

    2016-03-07

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Microencapsulation effectiveness of small active molecules in biopolymer by ultrasonic atomization technique.

    PubMed

    Cascone, Sara; Lamberti, Gaetano; Titomanlio, Giuseppe; Barba, Anna Angela; d'Amore, Matteo

    2012-12-01

    A method to produce biopolymeric (alginate) microparticles by ultrasonic assisted atomization, previously developed, has been applied to the production of microparticles loaded with a small active molecule (theophylline). Fine loaded alginate droplets have been cross-linked with divalent ions to produce microparticles. Once produced, the particles have been separated by centrifugation or filtration and then they have been dried. Drug release has been evaluated by dissolution tests, dissolving the dried particles in acidic solution at pH 1 for a given time and then at pH 7 to simulate the stomach and intestinal environment, respectively. The encapsulation efficiency and the drug loading have been investigated and the operating conditions have been changed to clarify the role of the transport phenomena on the overall process. To increase the drug loading, shorter separation time and better network's structure were identified as the key operating parameters to allow the process to gain interest from a practical point of view.

  10. Interfacial rheology of surface-active biopolymers: Acacia senegal gum versus hydrophobically modified starch.

    PubMed

    Erni, Philipp; Windhab, Erich J; Gunde, Rok; Graber, Muriel; Pfister, Bruno; Parker, Alan; Fischer, Peter

    2007-11-01

    Acacia gum is a hybrid polyelectrolyte containing both protein and polysaccharide subunits. We study the interfacial rheology of its adsorption layers at the oil/water interface and compare it with adsorbed layers of hydrophobically modified starch, which for economic and political reasons is often used as a substitute for Acacia gum in technological applications. Both the shear and the dilatational rheological responses of the interfaces are considered. In dilatational experiments, the viscoelastic response of the starch derivative is just slightly weaker than that for Acacia gum, whereas we found pronounced differences in shear flow: The interfaces covered with the plant gum flow like a rigid, solidlike material with large storage moduli and a linear viscoelastic regime limited to small shear deformations, above which we observe apparent yielding behavior. In contrast, the films formed by hydrophobically modified starch are predominantly viscous, and the shear moduli are only weakly dependent on the deformation. Concerning their most important technological use as emulsion stabilizers, the dynamic interfacial responses imply not only distinct interfacial dynamics but also different stabilizing mechanisms for these two biopolymers.

  11. Chemical characteristics and immuno-modulating activities of exo-biopolymers produced by Grifola frondosa during submerged fermentation process.

    PubMed

    Yang, Byung-Keun; Gu, Young-Ah; Jeong, Yong-Tae; Jeong, Hun; Song, Chi-Hyun

    2007-08-01

    The immuno-modulating activities and chemical characteristics of exo-biopolymer (EX-GF) produced by a submerged mycelial culture of Grifola frondosa were studied. The EX-GF was fractionated into EX-GF-Fr.I, II, and III by Sephadex G-100 gel chromatography. Anti-complementary activity of EX-GF-Fr.III was highest (71.1%) among them, and its activation system occurred through both classical and alternative pathways, where the classical pathway found to be major one. Lysosomal enzyme activity and nitric oxide production ability of macrophage were also found to be mediated by EX-GF-Fr.III. The molecular weight of the EX-GF-Fr.I, II, and III was estimated to be about 163, 40, and 2.8 kDa, respectively. Total sugar and protein contents of the three fractions were 80.3, 61.9 and 89.3%, and 17.3, 35.2, and 10.7%, respectively. The sugar and amino acid compositions of the EX-GF-Fr.I, II, and III were also analyzed in detail.

  12. Linker-Assisted Biopolymer Aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borukhov, Itamar

    2003-03-01

    The cellular cytoskeleton relies on structural elements formed from F-actin, a highly charged, stiff biopolymer, linked together by actin-binding proteins (linkers) that can bind two actin filaments together. The resulting structures can have very different morphologies, depending on the concentrations of biopolymers and linkers. In crawling cells such as blood platelets, F-actin primarily assembles into a network but can alternatively assemble into bundles; this is important to cell motility and adhesion. This suggests that the system could be near a phase transition between networks and bundles. I will present a theoretical study that elucidates the physical mechanisms that control these structures and their stability. The study is based on a generalized Onsager theory that includes linker-mediated attractions between charged filaments, and that yields phase diagrams as a function of actin concentration and linker concentration.

  13. 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.

  14. Actively stressed marginal networks.

    PubMed

    Sheinman, M; Broedersz, C P; MacKintosh, F C

    2012-12-07

    We study the effects of motor-generated stresses in disordered three-dimensional fiber networks using a combination of a mean-field theory, scaling analysis, and a computational model. We find that motor activity controls the elasticity in an anomalous fashion close to the point of marginal stability by coupling to critical network fluctuations. We also show that motor stresses can stabilize initially floppy networks, extending the range of critical behavior to a broad regime of network connectivities below the marginal point. Away from this regime, or at high stress, motors give rise to a linear increase in stiffness with stress. Finally, we demonstrate that our results are captured by a simple, constitutive scaling relation highlighting the important role of nonaffine strain fluctuations as a susceptibility to motor stress.

  15. Actively Stressed Marginal Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheinman, M.; Broedersz, C. P.; MacKintosh, F. C.

    2012-12-01

    We study the effects of motor-generated stresses in disordered three-dimensional fiber networks using a combination of a mean-field theory, scaling analysis, and a computational model. We find that motor activity controls the elasticity in an anomalous fashion close to the point of marginal stability by coupling to critical network fluctuations. We also show that motor stresses can stabilize initially floppy networks, extending the range of critical behavior to a broad regime of network connectivities below the marginal point. Away from this regime, or at high stress, motors give rise to a linear increase in stiffness with stress. Finally, we demonstrate that our results are captured by a simple, constitutive scaling relation highlighting the important role of nonaffine strain fluctuations as a susceptibility to motor stress.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Biopolymer-stabilized Pt nanoparticles colloid: a highly active and recyclable catalyst for biphasic catalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yujia; Shen, Yueyue; Qiu, Yunfei; Zhang, Ting; Liao, Yang; Zhao, Shilin; Ma, Jun; Mao, Hui

    2016-10-01

    Noble metal nanoparticles are promising candidates to replace conventional bulk counterparts owing to their high activity and selectivity. To enable catalyst recovery, noble metal nanoparticles are often supported onto solid matrices to prepare heterogeneous catalyst. Although recycle of noble metal nanoparticles is realized by heterogenization, a loss of activity is usually encountered. In the present investigation, Pt nanoparticles with tunable particle size (1.85-2.80 nm) were facilely prepared by using polyphenols as amphiphilic stabilizers. The as-prepared Pt nanoparticles colloid solution could be used as highly active catalyst in aqueous-organic biphasic catalysis. The phenolic hydroxyls of polyphenols could constrain Pt nanoparticles in aqueous phase, and simultaneously, the aromatic scaffold of polyphenols ensured effective interactions between substrates and Pt nanoparticles. As a consequence, the obtained polyphenols-stabilized Pt nanoparticles exhibited high activity and cycling stability in biphasic hydrogenation of a series of unsaturated compounds. Compared with conventional heterogeneous Pt-C and Pt-Al2O3 catalysts, polyphenols-stabilized Pt nanoparticles showed obvious advantage both in activity and cycling stability.

  19. Preparation of Hollow Biopolymer Nanospheres Employing Starch Nanoparticle Templates for Enhancement of Phenolic Acid Antioxidant Activities.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaojing; Li, Man; Liu, Jing; Ji, Na; Liang, Caifeng; Sun, Qingjie; Xiong, Liu

    2017-05-17

    Phenolic acids have been extensively studied because of their bioactive properties and disease prevention and control capacities. However, undesired odors and taste, low aqueous solubility, and thermal and ultraviolet (UV) light instability severely restrict their application. The aim of this work was to evaluate the enhancement in antioxidative activities of phenolic acids in hollow nanospheres and their stability in terms of their antioxidative activities under harsh conditions. For the first time, we have successfully fabricated hollow short linear glucan (SLG)@gum arabic (GA) nanospheres and hollow in situ SLG/GA hybrid nanospheres by removing the sacrificial starch nanoparticle templates through α-amylase treatment and Ostwald ripening. These two hollow nanospheres had a huge cavity area for the encapsulation of phenolic acids, and their loading capacities were >20%. Furthermore, they can be used as nanoreactors to immobilize phenolic acids, enhance their antioxidative activities, and improve their stability when exposed to high salt concentrations, UV light, or heat treatments.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  1. Nanoparticles based on crocin loaded chitosan-alginate biopolymers: Antioxidant activities, bioavailability and anticancer properties.

    PubMed

    Rahaiee, Somayeh; Hashemi, Maryam; Shojaosadati, Seyed Abbas; Moini, Sohrab; Razavi, Seyed Hadi

    2017-06-01

    Crocin, a water-soluble carotenoid in saffron, is a highly bioactive compound with limited use due to instability to pH variations, heat and oxidative stress, rapid absorption and low bioavailability. In this study, chitosan-alginate nanoparticles, considered as a new vehicle for crocin to improve properties in terms of antioxidant activity, bioavailability and anticancer activity. The swelling of crocin loaded nanoparticles was pH-dependent so that the highest swelling ratio (16g/g) was observed in acidic condition (pH=1.2) after 24h. The antioxidant activity of the crocin loaded nanoparticles was the same effective as pure crocin on DPPH free radical scavenging and ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP). In vitro crocin release profile from composite nanoparticles was investigated under simulated physiological conditions during incubation time. The experimental reports collected in this study strongly indicate that nanoparticles loaded with crocin could be the prospective candidates for the future anti-cancer therapeutics that deserve additional investigations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Adsorption of valuable metals from leachates of mobile phone wastes using biopolymers and activated carbon.

    PubMed

    Zazycki, Maria A; Tanabe, Eduardo H; Bertuol, Daniel A; Dotto, Guilherme L

    2017-03-01

    In this work, chitin (CTN), chitosan (CTS) and activated carbon (AC) were used as adsorbents to recover valuable metals from leachates of mobile phone wastes. The mobile phone wastes (contactors) were collected and characterized. The valuable metals were extracted by thiourea leaching. The adsorption of valuable metals from leachates was studied according to the kinetic and equilibrium viewpoints. It was found that the contactors were composed by Au, Ni, Cu and Sn. The thiourea leaching provided extraction percentages of 68.6% for Au, 22.1% for Ni and 2.8% for Cu. Sn was not extracted. The leachate presented 17.5 mg L(-1) of Au, 324.9 mg L(-1) of Ni and 573.1 mg L(-1) of Cu. The adsorption was fast, being the equilibrium attained within 120 min. The adsorption of Au, Ni and Cu onto CTN and AC followed the Langmuir model, while, the adsorption of these metals onto CTS, followed the Freundlich model. Removal percentages higher than 95% were obtained for all metals, depending of the type and amount of adsorbent. It was demonstrated that the adsorption onto chitin, chitosan and activated carbon can be an alternative to recover valuable metals from leachates of mobile phone wastes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  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. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Fast two-dimensional bubble analysis of biopolymer filamentous networks pore size from confocal microscopy thin data stacks.

    PubMed

    Molteni, Matteo; Magatti, Davide; Cardinali, Barbara; Rocco, Mattia; Ferri, Fabio

    2013-03-05

    The average pore size ξ0 of filamentous networks assembled from biological macromolecules is one of the most important physical parameters affecting their biological functions. Modern optical methods, such as confocal microscopy, can noninvasively image such networks, but extracting a quantitative estimate of ξ0 is a nontrivial task. We present here a fast and simple method based on a two-dimensional bubble approach, which works by analyzing one by one the (thresholded) images of a series of three-dimensional thin data stacks. No skeletonization or reconstruction of the full geometry of the entire network is required. The method was validated by using many isotropic in silico generated networks of different structures, morphologies, and concentrations. For each type of network, the method provides accurate estimates (a few percent) of the average and the standard deviation of the three-dimensional distribution of the pore sizes, defined as the diameters of the largest spheres that can be fit into the pore zones of the entire gel volume. When applied to the analysis of real confocal microscopy images taken on fibrin gels, the method provides an estimate of ξ0 consistent with results from elastic light scattering data.

  7. Neural Network Analysis Identifies Scaffold Properties Necessary for In Vitro Chondrogenesis in Elastin-like Polypeptide Biopolymer Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Nettles, Dana L.; Haider, Mansoor A.; Chilkoti, Ashutosh

    2010-01-01

    The successful design of biomaterial scaffolds for articular cartilage tissue engineering requires an understanding of the impact of combinations of material formulation parameters on diverse and competing functional outcomes of biomaterial performance. This study sought to explore the use of a type of unsupervised artificial network, a self-organizing map, to identify relationships between scaffold formulation parameters (crosslink density, molecular weight, and concentration) and 11 such outcomes (including mechanical properties, matrix accumulation, metabolite usage and production, and histological appearance) for scaffolds formed from crosslinked elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) hydrogels. The artificial neural network recognized patterns in functional outcomes and provided a set of relationships between ELP formulation parameters and measured outcomes. Mapping resulted in the best mean separation amongst neurons for mechanical properties and pointed to crosslink density as the strongest predictor of most outcomes, followed by ELP concentration. The map also grouped formulations together that simultaneously resulted in the highest values for matrix production, greatest changes in metabolite consumption or production, and highest histological scores, indicating that the network was able to recognize patterns amongst diverse measurement outcomes. These results demonstrated the utility of artificial neural network tools for recognizing relationships in systems with competing parameters, toward the goal of optimizing and accelerating the design of biomaterial scaffolds for articular cartilage tissue engineering. PMID:19754250

  8. Fiber networks amplify active stress

    PubMed Central

    Ronceray, Pierre; Broedersz, Chase P.

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Taste masking of azithromycin by resin complex and sustained release through interpenetrating polymer network with functionalized biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Rajesh, A Michael; Popat, Kiritkumar Mangaldas

    2017-05-01

    The objective was to evaluate taste masking of azithromycin (AZI) by ion exchange resins (IERs) and the formation of covalent semi interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) beads using chitosan (CS) and sodium carboxylated agarose (SCAG) for sustained release of drug. Methacrylic acid (MAA)-based IERs were prepared by suspension polymerization method. Drug release complexes (DRCs) were prepared by different drug:resin ratios i.e. 1:1, 1:2 and 1:4. The resultant DRCs were characterized using DSC, FTIR, PXRD, in vivo and in vitro taste masking, and in vitro drug release at gastric pH. IPN beads were prepared by entrapping DRCs with bio polymers and cross linked with trisodium citrate (NaCIT), and further cross-linked with glutaraldehyde (GA) for sustained release of AZI. In vitro and in vivo taste masking studies showed that MD1:4 DRC formulation was optimal. The release of AZI from DRC was found to be very fast at gastric pH i.e. 97.37 ± 1.02% within 45 min. The formation of IPN beads was confirmed by FTIR. The release of drug from IPN beads at gastric and intestinal pH was found to be "<28% and <60%", respectively. The release kinetics showed Fickian diffusion profile for ionically cross-linked beads and zero-order release mechanism for GA cross-linking beads. DRCs can be effectively used for taste masking and newly formulated IPN beads demonstrated sustained release of AZI.

  10. Insights into the sorption properties of cutin and cutan biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Shechter, Michal; Chefetz, Benny

    2008-02-15

    Plant cuticles have been reported as highly efficient sorbents for organic compounds. The objective of this study was to elucidate the sorption and desorption behavior of polar and nonpolar organic compounds with the major structural components of the plant cuticle: the biopolymers cutin and cutan. The sorption affinity values of the studied compounds followed the order: phenanthrene > atrazine > chlorotoluron > carbamazepine. A higher sorption affinity of phenanthrene and atrazine to cutin was probably due to the higher level of amorphous paraffinic carbon in this biopolymer. Phenanthrene exhibited reversible sorption behavior and a high ratio of organic-carbon-normalized distribution coefficient (Koc) to carbon-normalized octanol-water partitioning coefficients (Kowc) with both biopolymers. This suggests that both biopolymers provide phenanthrene with a partition medium for hydrophobic interactions with the flexible long alkyl-chain moieties of the biopolymers. The low Koc/Kowc ratios obtained for the polar sorbates suggest that the polar sites in the biopolymers are not accessible for sorption interactions. Atrazine and carbamazepine exhibited sorption-desorption hysteresis with both sorbents, indicating that both sorbates interact with cutin and cutan via both hydrophobic and specific interactions. In general, the sorptive properties of the studied biopolymers were similar, signifying that the active sorption sites are similar even though the biopolymers exhibit different properties.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Innovative Active Networking Services

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-03-01

    Integrating IKE We use the “ pluto ” implementation from Freeswan [Freeswan] as our IKE module. Pluto runs as a daemon on a Linux Network node. This base...implementation though incomplete with respect to some features of IKE is still sufficient in order to inter-operate with other pluto implementations...and many other IKE 30 implementations. Commands to pluto are given using a control interface to the daemon, called “whack”. Pluto uses either shared

  14. Biosurfactant-biopolymer driven microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) and its optimization by an ANN-GA hybrid technique.

    PubMed

    Dhanarajan, Gunaseelan; Rangarajan, Vivek; Bandi, Chandrakanth; Dixit, Abhivyakti; Das, Susmita; Ale, Kranthikiran; Sen, Ramkrishna

    2017-08-20

    A lipopeptide biosurfactant produced by marine Bacillus megaterium and a biopolymer produced by thermophilic Bacillus licheniformis were tested for their application potential in the enhanced oil recovery. The crude biosurfactant obtained after acid precipitation effectively reduced the surface tension of deionized water from 70.5 to 28.25mN/m and the interfacial tension between lube oil and water from 18.6 to 1.5mN/m at a concentration of 250mgL(-1). The biosurfactant exhibited a maximum emulsification activity (E24) of 81.66% against lube oil. The lipopeptide micelles were stabilized by addition of Ca(2+) ions to the biosurfactant solution. The oil recovery efficiency of Ca(2+) conditioned lipopeptide solution from a sand-packed column was optimized by using artificial neural network (ANN) modelling coupled with genetic algorithm (GA) optimization. Three important parameters namely lipopeptide concentration, Ca(2+) concentration and solution pH were considered for optimization studies. In order to further improve the recovery efficiency, a water soluble biopolymer produced by Bacillus licheniformis was used as a flooding agent after biosurfactant incubation. Upon ANN-GA optimization, 45% tertiary oil recovery was achieved, when biopolymer at a concentration of 3gL(-1) was used as a flooding agent. Oil recovery was only 29% at optimal conditions predicted by ANN-GA, when only water was used as flooding solution. The important characteristics of biopolymers such as its viscosity, pore plugging capabilities and bio-cementing ability have also been tested. Thus, as a result of biosurfactant incubation and biopolymer flooding under the optimal process conditions, a maximum oil recovery of 45% was achieved. Therefore, this study is novel, timely and interesting for it showed the combined influence of biosurfactant and biopolymer on solubilisation and mobilization of oil from the soil. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.…

  16. 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.…

  17. Sorption of organic contaminants by biopolymer-derived chars.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xilong; Xing, Baoshan

    2007-12-15

    Sorption of phenanthrene and naphthalene by chitin and cellulose, as well as these biopolymer-derived chars, was examined. Carbon contents were much higher in the chars than their respective biopolymers, and nitrogen was dramatically accumulated in the chitin-derived chars. After charring, sorption of these two compounds was greatly increased, which was attributed to the newly created surface area, porosity, and aromatic components. The aromatic carbon content of the biopolymer chars increased with an increase in the charring temperature. Sorption of phenanthrene and naphthalene to chitin and cellulose was dominated by partitioning. However, after charring, sorption of these two compounds became much more of an adsorption process, because of the newly created surfaces and micropores. The maximum mass sorption capacity of phenanthrene and naphthalene by the original biopolymers and their chars was positively correlated with their surface areas, suggesting that active sorption sites were largely on the surfaces of chars. At low solute concentrations, sorption of phenanthrene and naphthalene by biopolymer chars was dominated by the micropore-filling mechanism; with an increase in the solute concentration, sorption of these two compounds by biopolymer chars shifted to a surface-sorption-dominant process. The maximum mass sorption capacity and K(ow)-normalized sorption amount of phenanthrene were lower than those of naphthalene by the biopolymers and their chars, showing the influence of molecular dimension on sorption. This study demonstrates the significantly enhanced sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds by highly polar biopolymers through charring and the joint roles of surface area, porosity, and surface functionalities of biopolymer-derived chars in governing sorption.

  18. Production of novel microbial biopolymers

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Adsorption of lead ions on composite biopolymer adsorbent

    SciTech Connect

    Seki, Hideshi; Suzuki, Akira

    1996-04-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Chemical stability of biopolymer solutions

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-01-01

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

  4. Biopolymer gels containing fructooligosaccharides.

    PubMed

    Silva, Karen Cristina Guedes; Sato, Ana Carla Kawazoe

    2017-11-01

    The influence of the addition of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) in an external gelated alginate/gelatin biopolymer matrix, was evaluated in order to produce biopolymeric structures with functional effects. Solutions were characterized regarding their rheological properties, macrogels regarding their microstructure and mechanical properties and microgels were characterized in relation to their particle size distribution and morphology. Close relationship was found between the microstructure, rheological and mechanical properties of the biopolymeric systems. An increased viscosity and accentuated elastic and pseudoplastic behavior were associated to denser microstructures. The FOS addition caused changes in the evaluated properties, resulting in more cohesive structures, with smaller pores and higher viscosity, compared to alginate-gelatin gels. The addition of 3% FOS to biopolymeric system provided an optimal condition, allowing the formation of stronger gels, with smaller pores and beads with smaller sizes, indicating the potential use of these functional systems as texture modifiers or encapsulation systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. HELM Software for Biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Milton, Jeff; Zhang, Tianhong; Bellamy, Claire; Swayze, Eric; Hart, Christopher; Weisser, Markus; Hecht, Sabrina; Rotstein, Sergio

    2017-06-26

    Hierarchical Editing Language for Macromolecules (HELM version 2.0) is a molecular line notation similar to SMILEs but specifically for communicating and managing biopolymer structures. The HELM project, part of the Pistoia Alliance nonprofit organization, has been tasked to develop and promote HELM as a global exchange format and recently released version 2.0 of the specification. Here we will describe the specifics of the HELM v2.0 notation along with the large ecosystem of software to support HELM-based structure management. We will highlight a recent open-source software and database for HELM monomers and a new, simpler approach to deploying a large complicated molecular management system.

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2005-04-05

    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. Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Active contractility in actomyosin networks.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shenshen; Wolynes, Peter G

    2012-04-24

    Contractile forces are essential for many developmental processes involving cell shape change and tissue deformation. Recent experiments on reconstituted actomyosin networks, the major component of the contractile machinery, have shown that active contractility occurs above a threshold motor concentration and within a window of cross-link concentration. We present a microscopic dynamic model that incorporates two essential aspects of actomyosin self-organization: the asymmetric load response of individual actin filaments and the correlated motor-driven events mimicking myosin-induced filament sliding. Using computer simulations, we examine how the concentration and susceptibility of motors contribute to their collective behavior and interplay with the network connectivity to regulate macroscopic contractility. Our model is shown to capture the formation and dynamics of contractile structures and agree with the observed dependence of active contractility on microscopic parameters, including the contractility onset. Cooperative action of load-resisting motors in a force-percolating structure integrates local contraction/buckling events into a global contractile state via an active coarsening process, in contrast to the flow transition driven by uncorrelated kicks of susceptible motors.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ji, Sungchul; Ciobanu, Gabriel

    2003-07-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. A modified expression of the major hydrolase activator in Hypocrea jecorina (Trichoderma reesei) changes enzymatic catalysis of biopolymer degradation.

    PubMed

    Pucher, Marion E; Steiger, Matthias G; Mach, Robert L; Mach-Aigner, Astrid R

    2011-06-10

    Hypocrea jecorina (anamorph Trichoderma reesei) is a saprophytic fungus that produces hydrolases, which are applied in different types of industries and used for the production of biofuel. A recombinant Hypocrea strain, which constantly expresses the main transcription activator of hydrolases (Xylanase regulator 1), was found to grow faster on xylan and its monomeric backbone molecule d-xylose. This strain also showed improved ability of clearing xylan medium on plates. Furthermore, this strain has a changed transcription profile concerning genes encoding for hydrolases and enzymes associated with degradation of (hemi)celluloses. We demonstrated that enzymes of this strain from a xylan cultivation favoured break down of hemicelluloses to the monomer d-xylose compared to the parental strain, while the enzymes of the latter one formed more xylobiose. Applying supernatants from cultivation on carboxymethylcellulose in enzymatic conversion of hemicelluloses, the enzymes of the recombinant strain were clearly producing more of both, d-xylose and xylobiose, compared to the parental strain. Altogether, these results point to a changed hydrolase expression profile, an enhanced capability to form the xylan-monomer d-xylose and the assumption that there is a disordered induction pattern if the Xylanase regulator 1 is de-regulated in Hypocrea.

  13. The adsorption interaction of a rutin-biopolymer complex with nanosized silica particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedyanina, T. V.; Barvinchenko, V. N.; Lipkovskaya, N. A.; Pogorelyi, V. K.

    2008-10-01

    The influence of complex formation with biopolymers on the optical and acid properties of natural flavonoid rutin was studied. The adsorption interaction of biologically active flavonoids from officinal plants with the surface of nanosized silica particles was found to depend on the chemical nature of the biopolymer and adsorbate and solution properties.

  14. Lignin biopolymer based triboelectric nanogenerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bao, Yukai; Wang, Ruoxing; Lu, Yunmei; Wu, Wenzhuo

    2017-07-01

    Ongoing research in triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) focuses on increasing power generation, but obstacles concerning economical and eco-friendly utilization of TENGs continue to prevail. Being the second most abundant biopolymer on earth, lignin offers a valuable opportunity for low-cost TENG applications in biomedical devices, benefitting from its biodegradability and biocompatibility. Here, we develop for the first time a lignin biopolymer based TENGs for harvesting mechanical energy in the environment, which shows great potential for self-powered biomedical devices among other applications and opens doors to new technologies that utilize otherwise wasted materials for economically feasible and ecologically friendly production of energy devices.

  15. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Proton conduction in biopolymer exopolysaccharide succinoglycan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

    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 1H NMR measurements have elucidated the nature of the protonic conduction, activation of the protonic motion being associated with a glass transition.

  17. 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.

  18. Microfluidic generation and selective degradation of biopolymer-based Janus microbeads.

    PubMed

    Marquis, Mélanie; Renard, Denis; Cathala, Bernard

    2012-04-09

    We describe a microfluidic approach for generating Janus microbeads from biopolymer hydrogels. A flow-focusing device was used to emulsify the coflow of aqueous solutions of one or two different biopolymers in an organic phase to synthesize homo or hetero Janus microbeads. Biopolymer gelation was initiated, in the chip, by diffusion-controlled ionic cross-linking of the biopolymers. Pectin-pectin (homo Janus) and, for the first time, pectin-alginate (hetero Janus) microbeads were produced. The efficiency of separation of the two hemispheres, which reflected mixing and convection phenomena, was investigated by confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM) of previously labeled biopolymers. The interface of the hetero Janus structure was clearly defined, whereas that of the homo Janus microbeads was poorly defined. The Janus structure was confirmed by subjecting each microbead hemisphere to specific enzymatic degradation. These new and original microbeads from renewable resources will open up opportunities for studying relationships between combined enzymatic hydrolysis and active compound release.

  19. Stochastic cycle selection in active flow networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. Stochastic cycle selection in active flow networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodhouse, Francis; Forrow, Aden; Fawcett, Joanna; Dunkel, Jorn

    2016-11-01

    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 non-equilibrium networks. By connecting concepts from lattice field theory, graph theory and transition rate theory, we show how topology controls dynamics in a generic model for actively driven flow on a network. Through theoretical and numerical analysis we identify symmetry-based rules to classify and predict the selection statistics of complex flow cycles from the network topology. Our conceptual framework is applicable to a broad class of biological and non-biological far-from-equilibrium networks, including actively controlled information flows, and establishes a new correspondence between active flow networks and generalized ice-type models.

  1. Mode Selection in Compressible Active Flow Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forrow, Aden; Woodhouse, Francis G.; Dunkel, Jörn

    2017-07-01

    Coherent, large-scale dynamics in many nonequilibrium physical, biological, or information transport networks are driven by small-scale local energy input. Here, we introduce and explore an analytically tractable nonlinear model for compressible active flow networks. In contrast to thermally driven systems, we find that active friction selects discrete states with a limited number of oscillation modes activated at distinct fixed amplitudes. Using perturbation theory, we systematically predict the stationary states of noisy networks and find good agreement with a Bayesian state estimation based on a hidden Markov model applied to simulated time series data. Our results suggest that the macroscopic response of active network structures, from actomyosin force networks to cytoplasmic flows, can be dominated by a significantly reduced number of modes, in contrast to energy equipartition in thermal equilibrium. The model is also well suited to study topological sound modes and spectral band gaps in active matter.

  2. Biopolymer based nanosystem for doxorubicin targeted delivery

    PubMed Central

    Csikós, Zsuzsanna; Kerekes, Krisztina; Fazekas, Erika; Kun, Sándor; Borbély, János

    2017-01-01

    This study describes formation of an actively and passively targeted, water-soluble drug delivery system (DDS) which contains doxorubicin (DOX). The system comprises two biocompatible and biodegradable polymers: poly-γ-glutamic acid (PGA) and chitosan (CH). Self-assembly of these biopolymers in aqueous medium results stable nanoparticles (NPs) with a hydrodynamic size of 80-150 nm and slightly negative surface charge. Folic acid (FA) was used as targeting agent bonded to the polyanion (PA) and also to the surface of the NPs. The NP’s physical stability, active targeting effect, cellular toxicity, release profile and in vivo anti-tumor efficacy were investigated. It was found that the targeted, self-assembled nanoparticles are stable at 4°C for several months, cause better in vitro toxicity effect on folate receptor (FR) positive cell lines than the doxorubicin or the non-targeted nanosystem and based on its release profile it is expected, that the nanosystem will remain stable during the circulation in the body. Pharmacodynamic studies demonstrated that the DOX-loaded nanoparticles can deliver greater tumor growth inhibition than the free drug molecules and the liposomal compound, with less general toxicity. It was observed that the overall survival is the main benefit of the biopolymer based drug delivery system. PMID:28401023

  3. 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.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Scleroglucan biopolymer enhances WMB performances

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-12-31

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

  6. Biopolymer Processing Using Ionic Liquids

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-08-07

    AFRL-OSR-VA-TR-2014-0181 (YIP-11) BIOPOLYMER PROCESSING USING IONIC LIQUIDS William Reichert UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA 08/07/2014 Final Report...3. DATES COVERED (From - To) May 2011-May 2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE iopolymer Processing using Ionic Liquids for Feedstock Chemicals 5a...reaction and degradation products of the conversion of chitin and chitosan, and 3) investigate the effects of various reaction conditions, such as

  7. Biopolymers suitable for space environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouchen, Fahima; Yaney, Perry; Rau, Ileana; Kajzar, François; Grote, James

    2014-09-01

    This paper is a review of the properties of bio-based materials, to assess their suitability for space-based environments. Materials under investigation included salmon deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-based biopolymers and preliminary results of nucleobase materials. We will present optical damage thresholds, stability to ultraviolet light exposure, photodegradation, temperature stability for both the bulk and film form of the materials and gamma-ray irradiation. We have also included comparisons with more traditional polymers.

  8. Biocompatibility of plasma nanostructured biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  9. 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. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Controlling contagion processes in activity driven networks.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-21

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

  11. Complex Network for Solar Active Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daei, Farhad; Safari, Hossein; Dadashi, Neda

    2017-08-01

    In this paper we developed a complex network of solar active regions (ARs) to study various local and global properties of the network. The values of the Hurst exponent (0.8-0.9) were evaluated by both the detrended fluctuation analysis and the rescaled range analysis applied on the time series of the AR numbers. The findings suggest that ARs can be considered as a system of self-organized criticality (SOC). We constructed a growing network based on locations, occurrence times, and the lifetimes of 4227 ARs recorded from 1999 January 1 to 2017 April 14. The behavior of the clustering coefficient shows that the AR network is not a random network. The logarithmic behavior of the length scale has the characteristics of a so-called small-world network. It is found that the probability distribution of the node degrees for undirected networks follows the power law with exponents of about 3.7-4.2. This indicates the scale-free nature of the AR network. The scale-free and small-world properties of the AR network confirm that the system of ARs forms a system of SOC. Our results show that the occurrence probability of flares (classified by GOES class C> 5, M, and X flares) in the position of the AR network hubs takes values greater than that obtained for other nodes.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Noise enhanced activity in a complex network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhary, Anshul; Kohar, Vivek; Sinha, Sudeshna

    2014-09-01

    We consider the influence of local noise on a generalized network of populations having positive and negative feedbacks. The population dynamics at the nodes is nonlinear, typically chaotic, and allows cessation of activity if the population falls below a threshold value. We investigate the global stability of this large interactive system, as indicated by the average number of nodal populations that manage to remain active. Our central result is that the probability of obtaining active nodes in this network is significantly enhanced under fluctuations. Further, we find a sharp transition in the number of active nodes as noise strength is varied, along with clearly evident scaling behaviour near the critical noise strength. Lastly, we also observe noise induced temporal coherence in the active sub-network, namely, there is an enhancement in synchrony among the nodes at an intermediate noise strength.

  16. [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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Satyanarayana, M.; Kumar, V. Sunil; Gobi, K. Vengatajalabathy E-mail: satyam.nitw@gmail.com

    2016-04-13

    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.

  19. Management of synchronized network activity by highly active neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shein, Mark; Volman, Vladislav; Raichman, Nadav; Hanein, Yael; Ben-Jacob, Eshel

    2008-09-01

    Increasing evidence supports the idea that spontaneous brain activity may have an important functional role. Cultured neuronal networks provide a suitable model system to search for the mechanisms by which neuronal spontaneous activity is maintained and regulated. This activity is marked by synchronized bursting events (SBEs)—short time windows (hundreds of milliseconds) of rapid neuronal firing separated by long quiescent periods (seconds). However, there exists a special subset of rapidly firing neurons whose activity also persists between SBEs. It has been proposed that these highly active (HA) neurons play an important role in the management (i.e. establishment, maintenance and regulation) of the synchronized network activity. Here, we studied the dynamical properties and the functional role of HA neurons in homogeneous and engineered networks, during early network development, upon recovery from chemical inhibition and in response to electrical stimulations. We found that their sequences of inter-spike intervals (ISI) exhibit long time correlations and a unimodal distribution. During the network's development and under intense inhibition, the observed activity follows a transition period during which mostly HA neurons are active. Studying networks with engineered geometry, we found that HA neurons are precursors (the first to fire) of the spontaneous SBEs and are more responsive to electrical stimulations.

  20. Aberrant Network Activity in Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Hunt, Mark J; Kopell, Nancy J; Traub, Roger D; Whittington, Miles A

    2017-06-01

    Brain dynamic changes associated with schizophrenia are largely equivocal, with interpretation complicated by many factors, such as the presence of therapeutic agents and the complex nature of the syndrome itself. Evidence for a brain-wide change in individual network oscillations, shared by all patients, is largely equivocal, but stronger for lower (delta) than for higher (gamma) bands. However, region-specific changes in rhythms across multiple, interdependent, nested frequencies may correlate better with pathology. Changes in synaptic excitation and inhibition in schizophrenia disrupt delta rhythm-mediated cortico-cortical communication, while enhancing thalamocortical communication in this frequency band. The contrasting relationships between delta and higher frequencies in thalamus and cortex generate frequency mismatches in inter-regional connectivity, leading to a disruption in temporal communication between higher-order brain regions associated with mental time travel. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Preparation of Biopolymer Aerogels Using Green Solvents.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-04

    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).

  5. 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

  6. [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.

  7. Supramolecular self-assembly of biopolymers with carbon nanotubes for biomimetic and bio-inspired sensing and actuation.

    PubMed

    Lu, Luhua; Chen, Wei

    2011-06-01

    Biopolymers are important natural multifunctional macromolecules for biomimetic and bio-inspired advanced functional material design. They are not only simple dispersants for carbon nanotube stabilization as they have been found to have specific interactions with carbon nanotubes. Their molecular activity, orientation and crystallization are influenced by the CNTs, which endow their composites with a variety of novel sensing and actuation performances. This review focuses on the progress in supramolecular self-assembly of biopolymers with carbon nanotubes, and their advances in sensing and actuation. To promote the development of advanced biopolymer/CNT functional materials, new electromechanical characteristics of biopolymer/CNT composites are discussed in detail based on the relationship between the microscopic biopolymer structures and the macroscopic composite properties.

  8. Topology and geometry of biopolymers

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-12-31

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

  9. 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

  10. Modeling CPU Demand in Heterogeneous Active Networks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-05-01

    Flexibility on Exokernel Systems", 16th Symposium on Operating System Principles, ACM Press, New York, 1997, pp. 52-65. [7] B. Ford, G. Back, G. Benson, J...Spatscheck, “Joust: A Platform for Liquid Software”, IEEE Computer, 1999. [32] S. Schwab, “AMP – Enabling Active Networks via Secure Exokernel

  11. Soil Improvement Using MICP and Biopolymers: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohail Ashraf, Muhammad; Baharom Azahar, Syed; Zulaikha Yusof, Nur

    2017-08-01

    Ground improvement techniques provide strong natural platforms for construction activities and save the need for designing more resistant structures which would have been necessary on weak ground. This paper discusses the biogeotechnical techniques for improving the resistance of unsaturated sand dunes against surficial erosion by natural processes of wave actions and storm surges. Mechanism of microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) and its optimization by utilizing sea water and minimal urea usage is discussed. Common factors affecting the MICP process are briefly discussed. Biomineralization using biopolymers is also described along with the soil strengthening mechanisms. Geotechnical applications of some commonly available biopolymers are described briefly. Advantages and limitations in both these mineralization methods are analyzed and some research opportunities are pointed out for future research.

  12. Sloppiness in spontaneously active neuronal networks.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-03

    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.

  13. Biosynthesis of emulsan biopolymers from agro-based feedstocks.

    PubMed

    Panilaitis, B; Castro, G R; Solaiman, D; Kaplan, D L

    2007-02-01

    The need for biocompatible, biodegradable, and versatile biopolymers permeates many fields including environmental and food technology. The goal of the study presented here is to establish the utility of agricultural oils as an inexpensive carbon source to produce materials useful for biomedical materials and offer positive attributes in terms of green chemistry. Structural variants of the complex acylated polysaccharide, emulsan, secreted from Acinetobacter venetianus RAG-1, were biosynthesized in cultures supplemented with agricultural feedstocks to examine the feasibility of conversion of these substrates into value-added biopolymers. Acinetobacter venetianus produced chemically and biologically distinct emulsan variants in culture on soy molasses and tallow oil. These variants possess significant biological function, including macrophage activation and adjuvant activity, in similar range to that observed for the standard emulsan formed on ethanol-fed A. venetianus. The results indicate that this novel family of biopolymers can be produced in significant quantities from the readily available renewable agricultural feedstocks and the resulting structures and functions can be correlated to the chemistry of these feedstocks. The significant quantities of agricultural oils produced annually represent an untapped source for bioconversion to valuable products. The results of this study confirm that the important polymer emulsan can be synthesized from this inexpensive carbon source.

  14. Use of succinoglycan biopolymer for gravel packing

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-06-01

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

  15. Mixed biopolymer systems based on starch.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-09

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

  16. System for measuring radioactivity of labelled biopolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Gross, V.

    1980-07-08

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

  17. 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.

  18. Motor Behavior Activates Bergmann Glial Networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. A temperature responsive biopolymer for mercury remediation.

    PubMed

    Kostal, Jan; Mulchandani, Ashok; Gropp, Katie E; Chen, Wilfred

    2003-10-01

    Tunable biopolymers based on elastin-like polypeptides (ELP) were engineered for the selective removal of mercury. ELP undergoes a reversible thermal precipitation within a wide range of temperatures and was exploited to enable easy recovery of the sequestered mercury. A bacterial metalloregulatory protein, MerR, which binds mercury with an unusually high affinity and selectivity, was fused to the ELP to provide the highly selective nature of the biopolymers. Selective binding of mercury was demonstrated at an expected ratio of 0.5 mercury/biopolymer, and minimal binding of competing heavy metals (cadmium, nickel, and zinc), even at 100-fold excess, was observed. The sequestered mercury was extracted easily, enabling continuous reuse of the biopolymers. In repeating cycles, mercury concentration was reduced to ppb levels, satisfying even drinking water limits. Utility of the biopolymers with mercury-contaminated Lake Elsinore water was demonstrated with no decrease in efficiency. The nanoscale biopolymers reported here using metalloregulatory proteins represent a "green" technology for environmentally benign mercury removal. As nature offers a wide selection of specific metalloregulatory proteins, this technology offers promising solutions to remediation of other important pollutants such as arsenic or chromium.

  20. Multilayered materials based on biopolymers as drug delivery systems.

    PubMed

    Vilela, Carla; Figueiredo, Ana R P; Silvestre, Armando J D; Freire, Carmen S R

    2017-02-01

    The design of efficient therapeutic delivery devices has become a tremendously active area of research with a strong contribution from the layer-by-layer (LbL) technology. The application of this simple yet firmly established technique for the design of drug reservoirs originates a multitude of multilayered systems of tailored architecture and with a high level of control of drug administration. Areas covered: This review will focus on the most recent and original research on LbL assemblies based on biopolymers including polysaccharides, polypeptides and proteins, with potential use in drug delivery. Herein, drug reservoirs consisting of multilayered planar films and capsules will be examined with emphasis on the ones benefiting from the non-cytotoxic and biocompatible nature of biopolymers, which are suitable to load, protect and release a high payload of toxic and fragile drugs. Expert opinion: The combination of biopolymers with LbL technology has undergone extensive research, still, there is a multitude of R&D opportunities for the design of smart drug delivery systems with distinct multilayered morphologies, low immunological response, non-invasive drug release devices, as well as the design of theranostic systems combining diagnostics and therapeutic features. Further developments in terms of scaling towards mass production in the pharmaceutical industry are expected in the long-term.

  1. 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.

  2. Invited review nonmulberry silk biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Kundu, S C; Kundu, Banani; Talukdar, Sarmistha; Bano, Subia; Nayak, Sunita; Kundu, Joydip; Mandal, Biman B; Bhardwaj, Nandana; Botlagunta, Mahendran; Dash, Biraja C; Acharya, Chitrangada; Ghosh, Ananta K

    2012-06-01

    The silk produced by silkworms are biopolymers and can be classified into two types--mulberry and nonmulberry. Mulberry silk of silkworm Bombyx mori has been extensively explored and used for century old textiles and sutures. But for the last few decades it is being extensively exploited for biomedical applications. However, the transformation of nonmulberry silk from being a textile commodity to biomaterials is relatively new. Within a very short period of time, the combination of load bearing capability and tensile strength of nonmulberry silk has been equally envisioned for bone, cartilage, adipose, and other tissue regeneration. Adding to its advantage is its diverse morphology, including macro to nano architectures with controllable degradation and biocompatibility yields novel natural material systems in vitro. Its follow on applications involve sustained release of model compounds and anticancer drugs. Its 3D cancer models provide compatible microenvironment systems for better understanding of the cancer progression mechanism and screening of anticancer compounds. Diversely designed nonmulberry matrices thus provide an array of new cutting age technologies, which is unattainable with the current synthetic materials that lack biodegradability and biocompatibility. Scientific exploration of nonmulberry silk in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and biotechnological applications promises advancement of sericulture industries in India and China, largest nonmulberry silk producers of the world. This review discusses the prospective biomedical applications of nonmulberry silk proteins as natural biomaterials. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. 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

  4. Transmission of information in active networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baptista, M. S.; Kurths, J.

    2008-02-01

    Shannon’s capacity theorem is the main concept behind the theory of communication. It says that if the amount of information contained in a signal is smaller than the channel capacity of a physical media of communication, it can be transmitted with arbitrarily small probability of error. This theorem is usually applicable to ideal channels of communication in which the information to be transmitted does not alter the passive characteristics of the channel that basically tries to reproduce the source of information. For an active channel, a network formed by elements that are dynamical systems (such as neurons, chaotic or periodic oscillators), it is unclear if such theorem is applicable, once an active channel can adapt to the input of a signal, altering its capacity. To shed light into this matter, we show, among other results, how to calculate the information capacity of an active channel of communication. Then, we show that the channel capacity depends on whether the active channel is self-excitable or not and that, contrary to a current belief, desynchronization can provide an environment in which large amounts of information can be transmitted in a channel that is self-excitable. An interesting case of a self-excitable active channel is a network of electrically connected Hindmarsh-Rose chaotic neurons.

  5. Endogenous Electric Fields May Guide Neocortical Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Fröhlich, Flavio; McCormick, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Local field potentials and the underlying endogenous electric fields (EFs) are traditionally considered to be epiphenomena of structured neuronal network activity. Recently, however, externally applied EFs have been shown to modulate pharmacologically evoked network activity in rodent hippocampus. In contrast, very little is known about the role of endogenous EFs during physiological activity states in neocortex. Here we used the neocortical slow oscillation in vitro as a model system to show that weak sinusoidal and naturalistic EFs enhance and entrain physiological neocortical network activity with an amplitude threshold within the range of in vivo endogenous field strengths. Modulation of network activity by positive and negative feedback fields based on the network activity in real-time provide direct evidence for a feedback loop between neuronal activity and endogenous EF. This significant susceptibility of active networks to EFs that only cause small changes in membrane potential in individual neurons suggests that endogenous EFs could guide neocortical network activity. PMID:20624597

  6. Efficient control of membrane fouling in MF by removal of biopolymers: Comparison of various pretreatments.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Katsuki; Oki, Yasumitsu

    2017-05-15

    In recent studies on membrane fouling in microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) for drinking water production, hydrophilic macromolecular organics referred to as biopolymers have been shown to be major players in the fouling. In this study, various pretreatments were compared to maximize removal of biopolymers and to control membrane fouling efficiently. Multiple water samples were collected from different drinking water sources and were used in this study. Coagulation using polyaluminum chloride (PACl) was carried out under conditions of different dosages and different pHs and was also carried out in combination with the use of powdered activated carbon (PAC) or magnetic ion exchange (MIEX(®)) resin. The efficiency of removal of biopolymers was highest by the combination of MIEX(®) and coagulation regardless of the type of sample. Efficient removal of biopolymers achieved by the combination of MIEX(®) and coagulation led to efficient control of membrane fouling in MF, which was confirmed by bench-scale filtration tests conducted under a constant flux of 62.5 LMH using commercially available hollow-fiber membranes. Enhanced coagulation with increased coagulant dosage or acidic coagulation (pH = 6) also exhibited good removal of biopolymers in some cases and led to control of fouling. In contrast, the combination of PAC and coagulation sometimes caused more rapid evolution of fouling by forming cake layers on the membrane surface. Results of bench-scale tests showed that the concentration of biopolymers in the feed water correlated well with the degree of physically irreversible fouling, which was dominant in this study. The strong correlation was shown with multiple water samples treated by various pretreatments, demonstrating that biopolymer concentration in feed water is a good index for fouling studies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Recent advances in biopolymers and biopolymer-based nanocomposites for food packaging materials.

    PubMed

    Tang, X Z; Kumar, P; Alavi, S; Sandeep, K P

    2012-01-01

    Plastic packaging for food and non-food applications is non-biodegradable, and also uses up valuable and scarce non-renewable resources like petroleum. With the current focus on exploring alternatives to petroleum and emphasis on reduced environmental impact, research is increasingly being directed at development of biodegradable food packaging from biopolymer-based materials. The proposed paper will present a review of recent developments in biopolymer-based food packaging materials including natural biopolymers (such as starches and proteins), synthetic biopolymers (such as poly lactic acid), biopolymer blends, and nanocomposites based on natural and synthetic biopolymers. The paper will discuss the various techniques that have been used for developing cost-effective biodegradable packaging materials with optimum mechanical strength and oxygen and moisture barrier properties. This is a timely review as there has been a recent renewed interest in research studies, both in the industry and academia, towards development of a new generation of biopolymer-based food packaging materials with possible applications in other areas.

  9. Molecular entanglement and electrospinnability of biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Kong, Lingyan; Ziegler, Gregory R

    2014-09-03

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Stiff substrates enhance cultured neuronal network activity.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-08-28

    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 Ca(2+) channel currents determined by patch-clamp recording were greater in neurons on stiff substrates than on soft substrates. Ca(2+) 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.

  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. Alignment and nonlinear elasticity in biopolymer gels.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  15. Semiflexible biopolymers: Microrheology and single filament condensation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnurr, Bernhard

    Polymers and their elementary subunits, called monomers, come in an immense variety of structures and sizes, and are of great importance for their material properties as well as a multitude of biological functions. The emphasis here is on semiflexible polymers, which are identified by their intermediate degree of stiffness. Their individual as well as their collective properties when assembled into entangled networks is a topic of great interest to polymer physics, materials science, and biology. Some of the most important semiflexible polymers are biopolymers, with such prominent examples as DNA, F-actin, and microtubules. Their functions range from their use as structural elements in the cytoskeleton of most plant and animal cells, to their role as transport tracks for molecular motors, and the storage of genetic information in their linear sequence. The two parts of this experimental and theoretical thesis address single filament aspects as well as network properties of solutions of semiflexible polymers. In the first part, we describe an optical technique for measuring the bulk properties of soft materials at the local scale. We apply it to a solution of entangled, filamentous actin, a particularly difficult material to characterize with conventional techniques. Beyond a description of measurements and apparatus, we also discuss, from a theoretical point of view, the interpretation and fundamental limitations of this and other microrheological techniques. In the second part, we describe the condensation dynamics of a single, semiflexible filament, induced by changing solvent conditions. A biologically important example of this phenomenon is the condensation of DNA into toroidal structures, which occurs, for instance, in viral capsids. Our observations of a molecular simulation motivate an unexpected pathway of collapse via a series of metastable intermediates we call ``racquet'' states. The analysis of the conformational energies of these structures in the

  16. ''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.

  17. ''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.

  18. ''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.

  19. 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 (R 2 = 0.989 for BSA, 0.985 for ASBP). PMID:24194678

  20. The chemical profile and pharmacodynamic properties of extracellular Wollea saccata biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Šutovská, Martina; Kočmálová, Michaela; Pappová, Lenka; Fraňová, Soňa; Chyba, Andrej; Kopecký, Jiří; Lukavský, Jaromír; Cepák, Vladislav; Capek, Peter

    2017-10-01

    Microalgae organisms are of interest for many biotechnology applications due to the production of a wide range of biologically active compounds. Incubation of Wollea saccata in a large scale afforded a mucilaginous, high molecular weight biopolymer composed of carbohydrate, protein and phenolic compounds. Sugar moiety was rich in hexoses (60%) and 6-deoxyhexoses (31%), while only 9% of pentoses was identified. Methylation analysis revealed about 40 types of methylated sugar derivatives, suggesting a very complex structure of Wollea biopolymer. Pharmacological studies revealed new pharmacodynamic properties of cyanobacteria biopolymer, i.e. antitussive and bronchodilatory. Biopolymer was able to suppress the cough reflex induced by chemical tussigen, but its effect was lower than that of codeine, the strongest antitussive agent. The bronchodilatory effect was similar or higher than the effect of salbutamol, a bronchodilatory drug used in a clinical practice. In pharmacological studies, there were no signs of toxicity or side effects in the animals following administration of Wollea biopolymer. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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 comparing 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. Together, our findings suggest 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. PMID:20600998

  5. 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.

  6. Production of biopolymer composites by particle bonding

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  7. Production of biopolymer composites by particle bonding

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  8. Exploring Modifications of Cotton with Biopolymers

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  9. [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.

  10. 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

  11. Gel Point Determination of Biopolymer Based Semi-IPN Hydrogels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhary, Soumitra; Bhatia, Surita R.

    2008-07-01

    Water-based semi-IPNs (Interpenetrating Polymer Networks) were prepared by mixing two biopolymers, alginate and hydrophobically modified ethylhydroxy ethyl cellulose (HMEHEC), followed by crosslinking the alginate by in-situ release of calcium ions. By altering two different parameters, molecular weight of HMEHEC and calcium crosslinker concentration, we were able to fine tune the rheological properties of the semi-IPNs. Rheological studies in the linear viscoelastic region indicate storage moduli comparable to soft tissue for hydrogels having 90 wt% water. The system is found to be stable over a prolonged period of time, i.e. no phase separation is observed. Uniformity of the structure is confirmed by monotonic behavior of the intensity-q slope in SAXS and SANS over the entire length scale.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Random walks on activity-driven networks with attractiveness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alessandretti, Laura; Sun, Kaiyuan; Baronchelli, Andrea; Perra, Nicola

    2017-05-01

    Virtually all real-world networks are dynamical entities. In social networks, the propensity of nodes to engage in social interactions (activity) and their chances to be selected by active nodes (attractiveness) are heterogeneously distributed. Here, we present a time-varying network model where each node and the dynamical formation of ties are characterized by these two features. We study how these properties affect random-walk processes unfolding on the network when the time scales describing the process and the network evolution are comparable. We derive analytical solutions for the stationary state and the mean first-passage time of the process, and we study cases informed by empirical observations of social networks. Our work shows that previously disregarded properties of real social systems, such as heterogeneous distributions of activity and attractiveness as well as the correlations between them, substantially affect the dynamical process unfolding on the network.

  15. Models of neural networks with fuzzy activation functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, A. T.; Korikov, A. M.

    2017-02-01

    This paper investigates the application of a new form of neuron activation functions that are based on the fuzzy membership functions derived from the theory of fuzzy systems. On the basis of the results regarding neuron models with fuzzy activation functions, we created the models of fuzzy-neural networks. These fuzzy-neural network models differ from conventional networks that employ the fuzzy inference systems using the methods of neural networks. While conventional fuzzy-neural networks belong to the first type, fuzzy-neural networks proposed here are defined as the second-type models. The simulation results show that the proposed second-type model can successfully solve the problem of the property prediction for time - dependent signals. Neural networks with fuzzy impulse activation functions can be widely applied in many fields of science, technology and mechanical engineering to solve the problems of classification, prediction, approximation, etc.

  16. Biopolymer Green Lubricant for Sustainable Manufacturing

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Shih-Chen; Lu, Fu-I

    2016-01-01

    We report on the preparation of a biopolymer thin film by hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), which can be used as a dry green lubricant in sustainable manufacturing. The thin films were characterized through scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy; the films showed desirable levels of thickness, controllability, and uniformity. Tribology tests also showed desirable tribological and antiwear behaviors, caused by the formation of transfer layers. Zebrafish embryo toxicity studies showed that HPMC has excellent solubility and biocompatibility, which may show outstanding potential for applications as a green lubricant. The results of the present study show that these techniques for biopolymer HPMC provide an ecologically responsible and convenient method for preparing functional thin films, which is particularly applicable to sustainable manufacturing. PMID:28773462

  17. Scleroglucan biopolymer production, properties, and economics

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Electrogelation of Biopolymers for New Functional Materials

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-08-31

    TERMS silk , materials, electrogelation, egeJ.. biopolymers, tropoelastin 1.8. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. UMITATION OF a. REPORT b. ABSTRACT c...assembly, disassembly (reversibility) and functions of silk protein polymers was identified. We plan to elucidate the mechanistic basis for this process...copolymer elastin- silk systems to evaluate e-gel impact on assembly and material functions. Further, we will explore the application space for these new

  1. "Practical" Electrospinning of Biopolymers in Ionic Liquids.

    PubMed

    Shamshina, Julia L; Zavgorodnya, Oleksandra; Bonner, Jonathan R; Gurau, Gabriela; Di Nardo, Thomas; Rogers, Robin D

    2017-01-10

    To address the need to scale up technologies for electrospinning of biopolymers from ionic liquids to practical volumes, a setup for the multi-needle electrospinning of chitin using the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate, [C2 mim]-[OAc], was designed, built, and demonstrated. Materials with controllable and high surface area were prepared at the nanoscale using ionic-liquid solutions of high-molecular-weight chitin extracted with the same ionic liquid directly from shrimp shells.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Menon, Tanya; Smith, Edward Bishop

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Workflow Modeling Using Stochastic Activity Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javadi Mottaghi, Fatemeh; Abdollahi Azgomi, Mohammad

    The essence of workflow systems is workflow patterns. The aim is to use an existing powerful formal modeling language with workflow systems. Stochastic activity networks (SANs) are a powerful extension of Petri nets. Having the SAN model of a system, one can verify the functional aspects and evaluate the operational measures, both on a same model. SANs have already been used in a wide range of applications. As a new application area, we have used SANs for modeling workflow systems. The results show that the most important workflow patterns can be modeled in SANs. In addition, the resulting SAN models of workflow systems can be used for model checking and/or performance evaluation purposes using the existing tools. In this paper, we will present the results of this work. For this purpose, we will present the SAN submodels corresponding to the most important workflow patterns. Then, the proposed SAN submodels are used in a case study for workflow modeling, which will also be presented in this paper. Finally, we will present the results of the evaluation of the model using the Möbius modeling tool.

  5. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Mesoscale architecture shapes initiation and richness of spontaneous network activity.

    PubMed

    Okujeni, Samora; Kandler, Steffen; Egert, Ulrich

    2017-03-14

    Spontaneous activity in the absence of external input, including propagating waves of activity, is a robust feature of neuronal networks in vivo and in vitro. The neurophysiological and anatomical requirements for initiation and persistence of such activity, however, are poorly understood, as is their role in the function of neuronal networks. Computational network studies indicate that clustered connectivity may foster the generation, maintenance and richness of spontaneous activity. Since this mesoscale architecture cannot be systematically modified in intact tissue, testing these predictions is impracticable in vivo. Here, we investigate how the mesoscale structure shapes spontaneous activity in generic networks of rat cortical neurons in vitro. In these networks, neurons spontaneously arrange into local clusters with high neurite density and form fasciculating long-range axons. We modified this structure by modulation of protein kinase C, an enzyme regulating neurite growth and cell migration. Inhibition of protein kinase C reduced neuronal aggregation and fasciculation of axons, i.e. promoted uniform architecture. Conversely, activation of protein kinase C promoted aggregation of neurons into clusters, local connectivity and bundling of long-range axons. Supporting predictions from theory, clustered networks were more spontaneously active and generated diverse activity patterns. Neurons within clusters received stronger synaptic inputs and displayed increased membrane potential fluctuations. Intensified clustering promoted the initiation of synchronous bursting events but entailed incomplete network recruitment. Moderately clustered networks appear optimal for initiation and propagation of diverse patterns of activity. Our findings support a crucial role of the mesoscale architectures in the regulation of spontaneous activity dynamics.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTComputational studies predict richer and persisting spatio-temporal patterns of spontaneous activity in

  9. 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.

  10. Finding Quasi-Optimal Network Topologies for Information Transmission in Active Networks

    PubMed Central

    Baptista, Murilo S.; de Carvalho, Josué X.; Hussein, Mahir S.

    2008-01-01

    This work clarifies the relation between network circuit (topology) and behaviour (information transmission and synchronization) in active networks, e.g. neural networks. As an application, we show how one can find network topologies that are able to transmit a large amount of information, possess a large number of communication channels, and are robust under large variations of the network coupling configuration. This theoretical approach is general and does not depend on the particular dynamic of the elements forming the network, since the network topology can be determined by finding a Laplacian matrix (the matrix that describes the connections and the coupling strengths among the elements) whose eigenvalues satisfy some special conditions. To illustrate our ideas and theoretical approaches, we use neural networks of electrically connected chaotic Hindmarsh-Rose neurons. PMID:18941516

  11. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  14. Network-dependent modulation of brain activity during sleep.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Kan, Shigeyuki; Koike, Takahiko; Misaki, Masaya; Konishi, Seiki; Miyauchi, Satoru; Miyahsita, Yasushi; Masuda, Naoki

    2014-09-01

    Brain activity dynamically changes even during sleep. A line of neuroimaging studies has reported changes in functional connectivity and regional activity across different sleep stages such as slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. However, it remains unclear whether and how the large-scale network activity of human brains changes within a given sleep stage. Here, we investigated modulation of network activity within sleep stages by applying the pairwise maximum entropy model to brain activity obtained by functional magnetic resonance imaging from sleeping healthy subjects. We found that the brain activity of individual brain regions and functional interactions between pairs of regions significantly increased in the default-mode network during SWS and decreased during REM sleep. In contrast, the network activity of the fronto-parietal and sensory-motor networks showed the opposite pattern. Furthermore, in the three networks, the amount of the activity changes throughout REM sleep was negatively correlated with that throughout SWS. The present findings suggest that the brain activity is dynamically modulated even in a sleep stage and that the pattern of modulation depends on the type of the large-scale brain networks.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. A novel therapeutic design of microporous-structured biopolymer scaffolds for drug loading and delivery.

    PubMed

    Dorj, Biligzaya; Won, Jong-Eun; Purevdorj, Odnoo; Patel, Kapil D; Kim, Joong-Hyun; Lee, Eun-Jung; Kim, Hae-Won

    2014-03-01

    Three-dimensional (3-D) open-channeled scaffolds of biopolymers are a promising candidate matrix for tissue engineering. When scaffolds have the capacity to deliver bioactive molecules the potential for tissue regeneration should be greatly enhanced. In order to improve drug-delivery capacity, we exploit 3-D poly(lactic acid) (PLA) scaffolds by creating microporosity within the scaffold network. Macroporous channeled PLA with a controlled pore configuration was obtained by a robotic dispensing technique. In particular, a room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) bearing hydrophilic counter-anions, such as OTf and Cl, was introduced to the biopolymer solution at varying ratios. The RTIL-biopolymer slurry was homogenized by ultrasonication, and then solidified through the robotic dispensing process, during which the biopolymer and RTIL formed a bicontinuous interpenetrating network. After ethanol wash-out treatment the RTIL was completely removed to leave highly microporous open channels throughout the PLA network. The resultant pore size was observed to be a few micrometers (average 2.43 μm) and microporosity was determined to be ∼ 70%. The microporous surface was also shown to favor initial cell adhesion, stimulating cell anchorage on the microporous structure. Furthermore, in vivo tissue responses assessed in rat subcutaneous tissue revealed good tissue compatibility, with minimal inflammatory reactions, while gathering a larger population of fibroblastic cells than the non-microporous scaffolds, and even facilitating invasion of the cells within the microporous structure. The efficacy of the micropore networks generated within the 3-D scaffolds in loading and releasing therapeutic molecules was addressed using antibiotic sodium ampicillin and protein cytochrome C as model drugs. The microporous scaffolds exhibited significantly enhanced drug loading capacity: 4-5 times increase in ampicillin and 9-10 times increase in cytochrome C compared to the non

  19. Assessing state-level active living promotion using network analysis.

    PubMed

    Buchthal, Opal Vanessa; Taniguchi, Nicole; Iskandar, Livia; Maddock, Jay

    2013-01-01

    Physical inactivity is a growing problem in the United States, one that is being addressed through the development of active living communities. However, active living promotion requires collaboration among organizations that may not have previously shared goals. A network analysis was conducted to assess Hawaii's active living promotion network. Twenty-six organizations playing a significant role in promoting active living in Hawaii were identified and surveyed about their frequency of contact, level of collaboration, and funding flow with other agencies. A communication network was identified linking all agencies. This network had many long pathways, impeding information flow. The Department of Health (DOH) and the State Nutrition and Physical Activity Coalition (NPAC) were central nodes, but DOH connected state agencies while NPAC linked county and voluntary organizations. Within the network, information sharing was common, but collaboration and formal partnership were low. Linkages between county and state agencies, between counties, and between state agencies with different core agendas were particularly low. Results suggest that in the early stages of development, active living networks may be divided by geography and core missions, requiring work to bridge these divides. Network mapping appears helpful in identifying areas for network development.

  20. Structure and Properties of Polysaccharide Based BioPolymer Gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prud'Homme, Robert K.

    2000-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Creative elements: network-based predictions of active centres in proteins and cellular and social networks.

    PubMed

    Csermely, Peter

    2008-12-01

    Active centres and hot spots of proteins have a paramount importance in enzyme action, protein-complex formation and drug design. Recently, several publications successfully applied the analysis of residue networks to predict active centres in proteins. Most real-world networks show several properties, such as small-worldness or scale-free degree distribution, which are rather general features of networks, from molecules to society at large. Using analogy, I propose that existing findings and methodology already enable us to detect active centres in cells and can be expanded to social networks and ecosystems. Members of these active centres are termed here as 'creative elements' of their respective networks, which can help them to survive unprecedented, novel challenges and play a key part in the development, survival and evolvability of complex systems.

  3. 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.

  4. Beam finite-element model of a molecular motor for the simulation of active fibre networks

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Kei W.; Birzle, Anna M.; Wall, Wolfgang A.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular motors are proteins that excessively increase the efficiency of subcellular transport processes. They allow for cell division, nutrient transport and even macroscopic muscle movement. In order to understand the effect of motors in large biopolymer networks, e.g. the cytoskeleton, we require a suitable model of a molecular motor. In this contribution, we present such a model based on a geometrically exact beam finite-element formulation. We discuss the numerical model of a non-processive motor such as myosin II, which interacts with actin filaments. Based on experimental data and inspired by the theoretical understanding offered by the power-stroke model and the swinging-cross-bridge model, we parametrize our numerical model in order to achieve the effect that a physiological motor has on its cargo. To this end, we introduce the mechanical and mathematical foundations of the model, then discuss its calibration, prove its usefulness by conducting finite-element simulations of actin–myosin motility assays and assess the influence of motors on the rheology of semi-flexible biopolymer networks. PMID:26997891

  5. Microfluidic partition with in situ biofabricated semipermeable biopolymer membranes for static gradient generation.

    PubMed

    Luo, Xiaolong; Vo, Thanh; Jambi, Fahad; Pham, Phu; Choy, John S

    2016-09-21

    We report an in situ biofabrication strategy that conveniently partitions microfluidic networks into physically separated while chemically communicating microchannels with semipermeable biopolymer membranes, which enable the facile generation of static gradients for biomedical applications. The biofabrication of parallel biopolymer membranes was initiated with the dissipation of trapped air bubbles in parallel apertures in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic devices, followed by tunable membrane growth with precise temporal and spatial control to the desired thickness. Static gradients were generated within minutes and well maintained over time by pure diffusion of molecules through the biofabricated semipermeable membranes. As an example application, the static gradient of alpha factor was generated to study the development of the "shmoo" morphology of yeast over time. The in situ biofabrication provides a simple approach to generate static gradients and an ideal platform for biological applications where flow-free static gradients are indispensable.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-23

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

  7. How to Identify Success Among Networks That Promote Active Living.

    PubMed

    Litt, Jill; Varda, Danielle; Reed, Hannah; Retrum, Jessica; Tabak, Rachel; Gustat, Jeanette; O'Hara Tompkins, Nancy

    2015-11-01

    We evaluated organization- and network-level factors that influence organizations' perceived success. This is important for managing interorganizational networks, which can mobilize communities to address complex health issues such as physical activity, and for achieving change. In 2011, we used structured interview and network survey data from 22 states in the United States to estimate multilevel random-intercept models to understand organization- and network-level factors that explain perceived network success. A total of 53 of 59 "whole networks" met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis (89.8%). Coordinators identified 559 organizations, with 3 to 12 organizations from each network taking the online survey (response rate = 69.7%; range = 33%-100%). Occupying a leadership position (P < .01), the amount of time with the network (P < .05), and support from community leaders (P < .05) emerged as correlates of perceived success. Organizations' perceptions of success can influence decisions about continuing involvement and investment in networks designed to promote environment and policy change for active living. Understanding these factors can help leaders manage complex networks that involve diverse memberships, varied interests, and competing community-level priorities.

  8. 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

  9. Bayesian Inference Networks and Spreading Activation in Hypertext Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savoy, Jacques

    1992-01-01

    Describes a method based on Bayesian networks for searching hypertext systems. Discussion covers the use of Bayesian networks for structuring index terms and representing user information needs; use of link semantics based on constrained spreading activation to find starting points for browsing; and evaluation of a prototype system. (64…

  10. 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.

  11. Intrinsically-generated fluctuating activity in excitatory-inhibitory networks.

    PubMed

    Mastrogiuseppe, Francesca; Ostojic, Srdjan

    2017-04-01

    Recurrent networks of non-linear units display a variety of dynamical regimes depending on the structure of their synaptic connectivity. A particularly remarkable phenomenon is the appearance of strongly fluctuating, chaotic activity in networks of deterministic, but randomly connected rate units. How this type of intrinsically generated fluctuations appears in more realistic networks of spiking neurons has been a long standing question. To ease the comparison between rate and spiking networks, recent works investigated the dynamical regimes of randomly-connected rate networks with segregated excitatory and inhibitory populations, and firing rates constrained to be positive. These works derived general dynamical mean field (DMF) equations describing the fluctuating dynamics, but solved these equations only in the case of purely inhibitory networks. Using a simplified excitatory-inhibitory architecture in which DMF equations are more easily tractable, here we show that the presence of excitation qualitatively modifies the fluctuating activity compared to purely inhibitory networks. In presence of excitation, intrinsically generated fluctuations induce a strong increase in mean firing rates, a phenomenon that is much weaker in purely inhibitory networks. Excitation moreover induces two different fluctuating regimes: for moderate overall coupling, recurrent inhibition is sufficient to stabilize fluctuations; for strong coupling, firing rates are stabilized solely by the upper bound imposed on activity, even if inhibition is stronger than excitation. These results extend to more general network architectures, and to rate networks receiving noisy inputs mimicking spiking activity. Finally, we show that signatures of the second dynamical regime appear in networks of integrate-and-fire neurons.

  12. Criticalities in crosslinked actin networks due to myosin activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheinman, Michael

    2013-03-01

    Many essential processes in cells and tissues, like motility and morphogenesis, are orchestrated by molecular motors applying internal, active stresses on crosslinked networks of actin filaments. Using scaling analysis, mean-field calculation, numerical modelling and in vitro experiments of such active networks we predict and observe different mechanical regimes exhibiting interesting critical behaviours with non-trivial power-law dependencies. Firstly, we find that the presence of active stresses can dramatically increase the stiffness of a floppy network, as was observed in reconstituted intracellular F-actin networks with myosin motors and extracellular gels with contractile cells. Uniform internal stress results in an anomalous, critical mechanical regime only in the vicinity of the rigidity percolation points of the network. However, taking into account heterogeneity of motors, we demonstrate that the motors, stiffening any floppy network, induce large non-affine fluctuations, giving rise to a critical mechanical regime. Secondly, upon increasing motor concentration, the resulting large internal stress is able to significantly enhance unbinding of the network's crosslinks and, therefore, disconnect the initially well-connected network to isolated clusters. However, during this process, when the network approaches marginal connectivity the internal stresses are expected to drop drastically such that the connectivity stabilizes. This general argument and detailed numerical simulations show that motors should drive a well connected network to a close vicinity of a critical point of marginal connectivity. Experiments clearly confirm this conclusion and demonstrate robust critical connectivity of initially well-connected networks, ruptured by the motor activity for a wide range of parameters. M. Sheinman, C.P. Broedersz and F.C. MacKintosh, Phys. Rev. Lett, in press. J. Alvarado, M. Sheinman, A. Sharma, F.C. MacKintosh and G. Koenderink, in preparation.

  13. Fine Structure of Starch-Clay Composites as Biopolymers

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  14. 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.)

  15. Formulation of indomethacin emulsion using biopolymer of Prunus avium.

    PubMed

    Verma, Shivangi; Dabral, Prashant; Rana, Vinod; Upadhaya, Kumud; Bhardwaj

    2012-03-01

    The aim of the investigation was to formulate Indomethacin Emulsion using Bio-polymer as Emulsifier. Different batches of emulsions were prepared by varying concentration of biopolymer prunus avium. Based evaluation of the prepared polymers, a conclusion can be drawn that in the Prunus avium bio-material can serve as a promising film forming agent for formulating various drug.

  16. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Biopolymer based nanocomposites reinforced with graphene nanoplatelets

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-05-18

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-03-01

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

  20. How to Identify Success Among Networks That Promote Active Living

    PubMed Central

    Litt, Jill; Varda, Danielle; Reed, Hannah; Retrum, Jessica; Tabak, Rachel; Gustat, Jeanette; Tompkins, Nancy O’Hara

    2017-01-01

    Objectives We evaluated organization- and network-level factors that influence organizations’ perceived success. This is important for managing interorganizational networks, which can mobilize communities to address complex health issues such as physical activity, and for achieving change. Methods In 2011, we used structured interview and network survey data from 22 states in the United States to estimate multilevel random-intercept models to understand organization- and network-level factors that explain perceived network success. Results A total of 53 of 59 “whole networks” met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis (89.8%). Coordinators identified 559 organizations, with 3 to 12 organizations from each network taking the online survey (response rate: 69.7%; range: 33%–100%). Occupying a leadership position (P < .01), the amount of time with the network (P < .05), and support from community leaders (P < .05) emerged as correlates of perceived success. Conclusions Organizations’ perceptions of success can influence decisions about continuing involvement and investment in networks designed to promote environment and policy change for active living. Understanding these factors can help leaders manage complex networks that involve diverse memberships, varied interests, and competing community-level priorities. PMID:26378863

  1. Recent advances in microbial biopolymer production and purification.

    PubMed

    Kreyenschulte, Dirk; Krull, Rainer; Margaritis, Argyrios

    2014-03-01

    Over the past decades a large amount of biopolymers originating from various types of microorganisms have been reported. With ongoing research the number of possible applications has increased rapidly, ranging from use as food additives and biomedical agents to biodegradable plastics from renewable resources. In spite of the plethora of applications, the large-scale introduction of biopolymers into the market has often been forestalled by high production costs mainly due to complex or inefficient downstream processing. In this article, state-of-the-art methods and recent advances in the separation and purification of microbial polymers are reviewed, with special focus on the biopolymers, γ-polyglutamic acid and xanthan gum. Furthermore, a study of the general factors affecting production and purification is presented, including biopolymer rheology, enzymatic degradation and production of biopolymer mixtures.

  2. 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

  3. Network interventions on physical activity in an afterschool program: an agent-based social network study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jun; Shoham, David A; Tesdahl, Eric; Gesell, Sabina B

    2015-04-01

    We studied simulated interventions that leveraged social networks to increase physical activity in children. 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. 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. 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.

  4. Hub-activated signal transmission in complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jahnke, Sven; Memmesheimer, Raoul-Martin; Timme, Marc

    2014-03-01

    A wide range of networked systems exhibit highly connected nodes (hubs) as prominent structural elements. The functional roles of hubs in the collective nonlinear dynamics of many such networks, however, are not well understood. Here, we propose that hubs in neural circuits may activate local signal transmission along sequences of specific subnetworks. Intriguingly, in contrast to previous suggestions of the functional roles of hubs, here, not the hubs themselves, but nonhub subnetworks transfer the signals. The core mechanism relies on hubs and nonhubs providing activating feedback to each other. It may, thus, induce the propagation of specific pulse and rate signals in neuronal and other communication networks.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Unveiling causal activity of complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams-García, Rashid V.; Beggs, John M.; Ortiz, Gerardo

    2017-07-01

    We introduce a novel tool for analyzing complex network dynamics, allowing for cascades of causally-related events, which we call causal webs (c-webs), to be separated from other non-causally-related events. This tool shows that traditionally-conceived avalanches may contain mixtures of spatially-distinct but temporally-overlapping cascades of events, and dynamical disorder or noise. In contrast, c-webs separate these components, unveiling previously hidden features of the network and dynamics. We apply our method to mouse cortical data with resulting statistics which demonstrate for the first time that neuronal avalanches are not merely composed of causally-related events. The original version of this article was uploaded to the arXiv on March 17th, 2016 [1].

  8. Viking mission support. [Deep Space Network activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, D. W. H.

    1977-01-01

    Statistics listing the Deep Space Network tracking and command support and the discrepancy report status for 1 January through 28 February 1977 are presented in tables. The initial Viking extended mission period of normal DSN support, following the nonstandard operations during the solar conjunction period is included. Operational testing subsequent to the MK III data system installations at DSS 12, 44, and 62 during this period are also discussed.

  9. Cultured Neuronal Networks Express Complex Patterns of Activity and Morphological Memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raichman, Nadav; Rubinsky, Liel; Shein, Mark; Baruchi, Itay; Volman, Vladislav; Ben-Jacob, Eshel

    The following sections are included: * Cultured Neuronal Networks * Recording the Network Activity * Network Engineering * The Formation of Synchronized Bursting Events * The Characterization of the SBEs * Highly-Active Neurons * Function-Form Relations in Cultured Networks * Analyzing the SBEs Motifs * Network Repertoire * Network under Hypothermia * Summary * Acknowledgments * References

  10. How new biopolymers can improve muds

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-11-01

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

  11. Molecular Biodynamers: Dynamic Covalent Analogues of Biopolymers

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Conspectus Constitutional dynamic chemistry (CDC) features the use of reversible linkages at both molecular and supramolecular levels, including reversible covalent bonds (dynamic covalent chemistry, DCC) and noncovalent interactions (dynamic noncovalent chemistry, DNCC). Due to its inherent reversibility and stimuli-responsiveness, CDC has been widely utilized as a powerful tool for the screening of bioactive compounds, the exploitation of receptors or substrates driven by molecular recognition, and the fabrication of constitutionally dynamic materials. Implementation of CDC in biopolymer science leads to the generation of constitutionally dynamic analogues of biopolymers, biodynamers, at the molecular level (molecular biodynamers) through DCC or at the supramolecular level (supramolecular biodynamers) via DNCC. Therefore, biodynamers are prepared by reversible covalent polymerization or noncovalent polyassociation of biorelevant monomers. In particular, molecular biodynamers, biodynamers of the covalent type whose monomeric units are connected by reversible covalent bonds, are generated by reversible polymerization of bio-based monomers and can be seen as a combination of biopolymers with DCC. Owing to the reversible covalent bonds used in DCC, molecular biodynamers can undergo continuous and spontaneous constitutional modifications via incorporation/decorporation and exchange of biorelevant monomers in response to internal or external stimuli. As a result, they behave as adaptive materials with novel properties, such as self-healing, stimuli-responsiveness, and tunable mechanical and optical character. More specifically, molecular biodynamers combine the biorelevant characters (e.g., biocompatibility, biodegradability, biofunctionality) of bioactive monomers with the dynamic features of reversible covalent bonds (e.g., changeable, tunable, controllable, self-healing, and stimuli-responsive capacities), to realize synergistic properties in one system. In addition

  12. Molecular Biodynamers: Dynamic Covalent Analogues of Biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yun; Lehn, Jean-Marie; Hirsch, Anna K H

    2017-02-21

    Constitutional dynamic chemistry (CDC) features the use of reversible linkages at both molecular and supramolecular levels, including reversible covalent bonds (dynamic covalent chemistry, DCC) and noncovalent interactions (dynamic noncovalent chemistry, DNCC). Due to its inherent reversibility and stimuli-responsiveness, CDC has been widely utilized as a powerful tool for the screening of bioactive compounds, the exploitation of receptors or substrates driven by molecular recognition, and the fabrication of constitutionally dynamic materials. Implementation of CDC in biopolymer science leads to the generation of constitutionally dynamic analogues of biopolymers, biodynamers, at the molecular level (molecular biodynamers) through DCC or at the supramolecular level (supramolecular biodynamers) via DNCC. Therefore, biodynamers are prepared by reversible covalent polymerization or noncovalent polyassociation of biorelevant monomers. In particular, molecular biodynamers, biodynamers of the covalent type whose monomeric units are connected by reversible covalent bonds, are generated by reversible polymerization of bio-based monomers and can be seen as a combination of biopolymers with DCC. Owing to the reversible covalent bonds used in DCC, molecular biodynamers can undergo continuous and spontaneous constitutional modifications via incorporation/decorporation and exchange of biorelevant monomers in response to internal or external stimuli. As a result, they behave as adaptive materials with novel properties, such as self-healing, stimuli-responsiveness, and tunable mechanical and optical character. More specifically, molecular biodynamers combine the biorelevant characters (e.g., biocompatibility, biodegradability, biofunctionality) of bioactive monomers with the dynamic features of reversible covalent bonds (e.g., changeable, tunable, controllable, self-healing, and stimuli-responsive capacities), to realize synergistic properties in one system. In addition, molecular

  13. Systematic fluctuation expansion for neural network activity equations.

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  14. Systematic fluctuation expansion for neural network activity equations

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Stimulation triggers endogenous activity patterns in cultured cortical networks.

    PubMed

    Pasquale, Valentina; Martinoia, Sergio; Chiappalone, Michela

    2017-08-22

    Cultures of dissociated cortical neurons represent a powerful trade-off between more realistic experimental models and abstract modeling approaches, allowing to investigate mechanisms of synchronized activity generation. These networks spontaneously alternate periods of high activity (i.e. network bursts) with periods of quiescence in a dynamic state which recalls the fluctuation of in vivo UP and DOWN states. Network bursts can also be elicited by external stimulation and their spatial propagation patterns tracked by means of multi-channel micro-electrode arrays. In this study, we used rat cortical cultures coupled to micro-electrode arrays to investigate the similarity between spontaneous and evoked activity patterns. We performed experiments by applying electrical stimulation to different network locations and demonstrated that the rank orders of electrodes during evoked and spontaneous events are remarkably similar independently from the stimulation source. We linked this result to the capability of stimulation to evoke firing in highly active and "leader" sites of the network, reliably and rapidly recruited within both spontaneous and evoked bursts. Our study provides the first evidence that spontaneous and evoked activity similarity is reliably observed also in dissociated cortical networks.

  17. Systematic network assessment of the carcinogenic activities of cadmium.

    PubMed

    Chen, Peizhan; Duan, Xiaohua; Li, Mian; Huang, Chao; Li, Jingquan; Chu, Ruiai; Ying, Hao; Song, Haiyun; Jia, Xudong; Ba, Qian; Wang, Hui

    2016-11-01

    Cadmium has been defined as type I carcinogen for humans, but the underlying mechanisms of its carcinogenic activity and its influence on protein-protein interactions in cells are not fully elucidated. The aim of the current study was to evaluate, systematically, the carcinogenic activity of cadmium with systems biology approaches. From a literature search of 209 studies that performed with cellular models, 208 proteins influenced by cadmium exposure were identified. All of these were assessed by Western blotting and were recognized as key nodes in network analyses. The protein-protein functional interaction networks were constructed with NetBox software and visualized with Cytoscape software. These cadmium-rewired genes were used to construct a scale-free, highly connected biological protein interaction network with 850 nodes and 8770 edges. Of the network, nine key modules were identified and 60 key signaling pathways, including the estrogen, RAS, PI3K-Akt, NF-κB, HIF-1α, Jak-STAT, and TGF-β signaling pathways, were significantly enriched. With breast cancer, colorectal and prostate cancer cellular models, we validated the key node genes in the network that had been previously reported or inferred form the network by Western blotting methods, including STAT3, JNK, p38, SMAD2/3, P65, AKT1, and HIF-1α. These results suggested the established network was robust and provided a systematic view of the carcinogenic activities of cadmium in human. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Sparse Neural Network Models of Antimicrobial Peptide-Activity Relationships.

    PubMed

    Müller, Alex T; Kaymaz, Aral C; Gabernet, Gisela; Posselt, Gernot; Wessler, Silja; Hiss, Jan A; Schneider, Gisbert

    2016-12-01

    We present an adaptive neural network model for chemical data classification. The method uses an evolutionary algorithm for optimizing the network structure by seeking sparsely connected architectures. The number of hidden layers, the number of neurons in each layer and their connectivity are free variables of the system. We used the method for predicting antimicrobial peptide activity from the amino acid sequence. Visualization of the evolved sparse network structures suggested a high charge density and a low aggregation potential in solution as beneficial for antimicrobial activity. However, different training data sets and peptide representations resulted in greatly varying network structures. Overall, the sparse network models turned out to be less accurate than fully-connected networks. In a prospective application, we synthesized and tested 10 de novo generated peptides that were predicted to either possess antimicrobial activity, or to be inactive. Two of the predicted antibacterial peptides showed cosiderable bacteriostatic effects against both Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. None of the predicted inactive peptides possessed antibacterial properties. Molecular dynamics simulations of selected peptide structures in water and TFE suggest a pronounced peptide helicity in a hydrophobic environment. The results of this study underscore the applicability of neural networks for guiding the computer-assisted design of new peptides with desired properties.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Nuclear-Shell Biopolymers Initiated by Telomere Elongation for Individual Cancer Cell Imaging and Drug Delivery.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhen; Jiao, Yuting; Zhu, Mengting; Zhang, Shusheng

    2017-04-04

    Here, we propose a strategy for unique nuclear-shell biopolymers initiated by telomere elongation for telomerase activity detection and precise drug delivery to individual cancer cells. Telomerase-triggered DNA rolling-circle amplification (RCA) is used to assemble nuclear-shell biopolymers with signal molecules for selective cancer cell recognition and efficient drug delivery to targeted individual cells. This strategy not only should allow the creation of clustered 5-carboxyfluorescein (FAM)-fluorescence spots in response to human-telomerase activity in individual cancer cells but also could efficiently deliver drugs to reduce the undesired death of healthy cells. These findings offer new opportunities to improve the efficacy of cancer cell imaging and therapy.

  5. Goal-congruent default network activity facilitates cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Spreng, R Nathan; DuPre, Elizabeth; Selarka, Dhawal; Garcia, Juliana; Gojkovic, Stefan; Mildner, Judith; Luh, Wen-Ming; Turner, Gary R

    2014-10-15

    Substantial neuroimaging evidence suggests that spontaneous engagement of the default network impairs performance on tasks requiring executive control. We investigated whether this impairment depends on the congruence between executive control demands and internal mentation. We hypothesized that activation of the default network might enhance performance on an executive control task if control processes engage long-term memory representations that are supported by the default network. Using fMRI, we scanned 36 healthy young adult humans on a novel two-back task requiring working memory for famous and anonymous faces. In this task, participants (1) matched anonymous faces interleaved with anonymous face, (2) matched anonymous faces interleaved with a famous face, or (3) matched a famous faces interleaved with an anonymous face. As predicted, we observed a facilitation effect when matching famous faces, compared with anonymous faces. We also observed greater activation of the default network during these famous face-matching trials. The results suggest that activation of the default network can contribute to task performance during an externally directed executive control task. Our findings provide evidence that successful activation of the default network in a contextually relevant manner facilitates goal-directed cognition.

  6. Mechanisms of spontaneous activity in developing spinal networks.

    PubMed

    O'Donovan, M J; Chub, N; Wenner, P

    1998-10-01

    Developing networks of the chick spinal cord become spontaneously active early in development and remain so until hatching. Experiments using an isolated preparation of the spinal cord have begun to reveal the mechanisms responsible for this activity. Whole-cell and optical recordings have shown that spinal neurons receive a rhythmic, depolarizing synaptic drive and experience rhythmic elevations of intracellular calcium during spontaneous episodes. Activity is expressed throughout the neuraxis and can be produced by different parts of the cord and by the isolated brain stem, suggesting that it does not depend upon the details of network architecture. Two factors appear to be particularly important for the production of endogenous activity. The first is the predominantly excitatory nature of developing synaptic connections, and the second is the presence of prolonged activity-dependent depression of network excitability. The interaction between high excitability and depression results in an equilibrium in which episodes are expressed periodically by the network. The mechanism of the rhythmic bursting within an episode is not understood, but it may be due to a "fast" form of network depression. Spontaneous embryonic activity has been shown to play a role in neuron and muscle development, but is probably not involved in the initial formation of connections between spinal neurons. It may be important in refining the initial connections, but this possibility remains to be explored.

  7. A network model for activity-dependent sleep regulation.

    PubMed

    Roy, Sandip; Krueger, James M; Rector, David M; Wan, Yan

    2008-08-07

    We develop and characterize a dynamical network model for activity-dependent sleep regulation. Specifically, in accordance with the activity-dependent theory for sleep, we view organism sleep as emerging from the local sleep states of functional units known as cortical columns; these local sleep states evolve through integration of local activity inputs, loose couplings with neighboring cortical columns, and global regulation (e.g. by the circadian clock). We model these cortical columns as coupled or networked activity-integrators that transition between sleep and waking states based on thresholds on the total activity. The model dynamics for three canonical experiments (which we have studied both through simulation and system-theoretic analysis) match with experimentally observed characteristics of the cortical-column network. Most notably, assuming connectedness of the network graph, our model predicts the recovery of the columns to a synchronized state upon temporary overstimulation of a single column and/or randomization of the initial sleep and activity-integration states. In analogy with other models for networked oscillators, our model also predicts the possibility for such phenomena as mode-locking.

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

    PubMed Central

    Goel, Anubhuti

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  10. Patterns recognition of electric brain activity using artificial neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musatov, V. Yu.; Pchelintseva, S. V.; Runnova, A. E.; Hramov, A. E.

    2017-04-01

    An approach for the recognition of various cognitive processes in the brain activity in the perception of ambiguous images. On the basis of developed theoretical background and the experimental data, we propose a new classification of oscillating patterns in the human EEG by using an artificial neural network approach. After learning of the artificial neural network reliably identified cube recognition processes, for example, left-handed or right-oriented Necker cube with different intensity of their edges, construct an artificial neural network based on Perceptron architecture and demonstrate its effectiveness in the pattern recognition of the EEG in the experimental.

  11. Elastin-like polypeptides: biomedical applications of tunable biopolymers.

    PubMed

    MacEwan, Sarah R; Chilkoti, Ashutosh

    2010-01-01

    Artificial repetitive polypeptides have grown in popularity as a bioinspired alternative to synthetic polymers. The genetically encoded synthesis, monodispersity, potential lack of toxicity, and biocompatibility are attractive features of these biopolymers for biological applications. Elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) are one such class of biopolymers that are of particular interest because of their "smart"-stimuli responsive-properties. Herein, we discuss the genetically encoded design and recombinant synthesis of ELPs that enable precise control of their physicochemical properties and which have led to a wide range of biomedical applications of these biopolymers in the last decade. (c) 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Scalable Wavelet-Based Active Network Stepping Stone Detection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-03-22

    network and mask malicious actions from detection. This research focuses on a novel active watermark technique using Discrete Wavelet Transformations...to mark and detect interactive network sessions. This technique is scalable, nearly invisible and resilient to multi-flow attacks. The watermark is...technique accurately detects the presence of a watermark at a 5% False Positive and False Negative rate for both the extracted timestamps as well as the

  13. Synchronous neural activity in scale-free network models versus random network models

    PubMed Central

    Grinstein, Geoffrey; Linsker, Ralph

    2005-01-01

    Synchronous firing peaks at levels greatly exceeding background activity have recently been reported in neocortical tissue. A small subset of neurons is dominant in a large fraction of the peaks. To investigate whether this striking behavior can emerge from a simple model, we constructed and studied a model neural network that uses a modified Hopfield-type dynamical rule. We find that networks having a power-law (“scale-free”) node degree distribution readily generate extremely large synchronous firing peaks dominated by a small subset of nodes, whereas random (Erdös–Rényi) networks do not. This finding suggests that network topology may play an important role in determining the nature and magnitude of synchronous neural activity. PMID:15998732

  14. Plasticity of recurring spatiotemporal activity patterns in cortical networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhavan, Radhika; Chao, Zenas C.; Potter, Steve M.

    2007-09-01

    How do neurons encode and store information for long periods of time? Recurring patterns of activity have been reported in various cortical structures and were suggested to play a role in information processing and memory. To study the potential role of bursts of action potentials in memory mechanisms, we investigated patterns of spontaneous multi-single-unit activity in dissociated rat cortical cultures in vitro. Spontaneous spikes were recorded from networks of approximately 50 000 neurons and glia cultured on a grid of 60 extracellular substrate- embedded electrodes (multi-electrode arrays). These networks expressed spontaneous culture- wide bursting from approximately one week in vitro. During bursts, a large portion of the active electrodes showed elevated levels of firing. Spatiotemporal activity patterns within spontaneous bursts were clustered using a correlation-based clustering algorithm, and the occurrences of these burst clusters were tracked over several hours. This analysis revealed spatiotemporally diverse bursts occurring in well-defined patterns, which remained stable for several hours. Activity evoked by strong local tetanic stimulation resulted in significant changes in the occurrences of spontaneous bursts belonging to different clusters, indicating that the dynamical flow of information in the neuronal network had been altered. The diversity of spatiotemporal structure and long-term stability of spontaneous bursts together with their plastic nature strongly suggests that such network patterns could be used as codes for information transfer and the expression of memories stored in cortical networks.

  15. Poly(Capro-Lactone) Networks as Actively Moving Polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Yuan

    Shape-memory polymers (SMPs), as a subset of actively moving polymers, form an exciting class of materials that can store and recover elastic deformation energy upon application of an external stimulus. Although engineering of SMPs nowadays has lead to robust materials that can memorize multiple temporary shapes, and can be triggered by various stimuli such as heat, light, moisture, or applied magnetic fields, further commercialization of SMPs is still constrained by the material's incapability to store large elastic energy, as well as its inherent one-way shape-change nature. This thesis develops a series of model semi-crystalline shape-memory networks that exhibit ultra-high energy storage capacity, with accurately tunable triggering temperature; by introducing a second competing network, or reconfiguring the existing network under strained state, configurational chain bias can be effectively locked-in, and give rise to two-way shape-actuators that, in the absence of an external load, elongates upon cooling and reversibly contracts upon heating. We found that well-defined network architecture plays essential role on strain-induced crystallization and on the performance of cold-drawn shape-memory polymers. Model networks with uniform molecular weight between crosslinks, and specified functionality of each net-point, results in tougher, more elastic materials with a high degree of crystallinity and outstanding shape-memory properties. The thermal behavior of the model networks can be finely modified by introducing non-crystalline small molecule linkers that effectively frustrates the crystallization of the network strands. This resulted in shape-memory networks that are ultra-sensitive to heat, as deformed materials can be efficiently triggered to revert to its permanent state upon only exposure to body temperature. We also coupled the same reaction adopted to create the model network with conventional free-radical polymerization to prepare a dual-cure "double

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Compressive elasticity of polydisperse biopolymer gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xinpeng; Safran, Samuel A.

    2017-05-01

    We theoretically predict the nonlinear elastic responses of polydisperse biopolymer gels to uniaxial compression. We analyze the competition between compressive stiffening due to polymer densification by out-going solvent flow and compressive softening due to continuous polymer buckling. We point out that the polydispersity in polymer lengths can result in an intrinsic, equilibrium mode of nonaffine compression: nonuniform strain but with uniform force distribution, which is found to be more energetically preferable than affine deformation. In this case, the gel softens significantly after the onset of polymer buckling at small compression, but as compression increases, densification-induced stiffening becomes important and a modulus plateau should be observed for a large range of strain. We also relate our results to recent compression experiments on collagen gels and fibrin gels.

  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. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Stereolithographic models of the solvent-accessible surface of biopolymers. Topical report

    SciTech Connect

    Bradford, J.; Noel, P.; Emery, J.D.

    1996-11-01

    The solvent-accessible surfaces of several biopolymers were calculated. As part of the DOE education outreach activity, two high school students participated in this project. Computer files containing sets of triangles were produced. These files are called stl files and are the ISO 9001 standard. They have been written onto CD-ROMs for distribution to American companies. Stereolithographic models were made of some of them to ensure that the computer calculations were done correctly. Stereolithographic models were made of interleukin 1{beta} (IL-1{beta}), three antibodies (an anti-p-azobenzene arsonate, an anti-Brucella A cell wall polysaccharide, and an HIV neutralizing antibody), a triple stranded coiled coil, and an engrailed homeodomain. Also, the biopolymers and their files are described.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Studies of antibacterial efficacy of different biopolymer protected silver nanoparticles synthesized under reflux condition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Chia Hung; Velusamy, Palaniyandi; Kumar, Govindarajan Venkat; Adhikary, Shritama; Pandian, Kannaiyan; Anbu, Periyasamy

    2017-01-01

    In the present study, a simple method to impregnate silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) into carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and sodium alginate (SA) is reported for the first time. Single step synthesis of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and sodium alginate (SA) biopolymer protected silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using aniline as a reducing agent under reflux conditions was investigated. The synthesized nanoparticles were characterized by UV-Vis spectrophotometry, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). The FESEM results of CMC@AgNPs and SA@AgNPs showed the formation of spherical nanoparticles sized 30-60 nm. Testing of the antibiofilm efficacy of the polymer protected AgNPs against different bacterial strains such as Klebsiella pneumoniae MTCC 4032 and Streptococcus pyogenes MTCC 1924 revealed that the biopolymer protected AgNPs had excellent antibiofilm activity.

  6. Active elastic network: cytoskeleton of the red blood cell.

    PubMed

    Gov, Nir S

    2007-01-01

    In red blood cells there is a cortical cytoskeleton; a two-dimensional elastic network of membrane-attached proteins. We describe, using a simple model, how the metabolic activity of the cell, through the consumption of ATP, controls the stiffness of this elastic network. The unusual mechanical property of active strain softening is described and compared to experimental data. As a by-product of this activity there is also an active contribution to the amplitude of membrane fluctuations. We model this membrane as a field of independent "curvature motors," and calculate the spectrum of active fluctuations. We find that the active cytoskeleton contributes to the amplitude of the membrane height fluctuations at intermediate wavelengths, as observed experimentally.

  7. Correlated gene expression supports synchronous activity in brain networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Mechanisms Underlying Desynchronization of Cholinergic-Evoked Thalamic Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Pita-Almenar, Juan Diego; Yu, Dinghui; Lu, Hui-Chen

    2014-01-01

    Synchronous neuronal activity in the thalamocortical system is critical for a number of behaviorally relevant computations, but hypersynchrony can limit information coding and lead to epileptiform responses. In the somatosensory thalamus, afferent inputs are transformed by networks of reciprocally connected thalamocortical neurons in the ventrobasal nucleus (VB) and GABAergic neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN). These networks can generate oscillatory activity, and studies in vivo and in vitro have suggested that thalamic oscillations are often accompanied by synchronous neuronal activity, in part mediated by widespread divergence and convergence of both reticulothalamic and thalamoreticular pathways, as well as by electrical synapses interconnecting TRN neurons. However, the functional organization of thalamic circuits and its role in shaping input-evoked activity patterns remain poorly understood. Here we show that optogenetic activation of cholinergic synaptic afferents evokes near-synchronous firing in mouse TRN neurons that is rapidly desynchronized in thalamic networks. We identify several mechanisms responsible for desynchronization: (1) shared inhibitory inputs in local VB neurons leading to asynchronous and imprecise rebound bursting; (2) TRN-mediated lateral inhibition that further desynchronizes firing in the VB; and (3) powerful yet sparse thalamoreticular connectivity that mediates re-excitation of the TRN but preserves asynchronous firing. Our findings reveal how distinct local circuit features interact to desynchronize thalamic network activity. PMID:25339757

  10. Effects of Dietary Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Biopolymer Encapsulation on Lipid Metabolism in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Hur, Sun Jin; Kim, Doo Hwan; Chun, Se Chul; Lee, Si Kyung

    2013-01-01

    Forty mice were randomly divided into four groups on the basis of the diet to be fed as follows: 5% (low) fat diet (T1: LF); 20% (high) fat diet (T2: HF); 20% fat containing 1% conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (T3: HFC); and 20% fat containing 1% CLA with 0.5% biopolymers (T4: HFCB). The high-fat with CLA diet groups (HFC and HFCB) and the low-fat diet group (LF) tended to have lower body weights and total adipose tissue weights than those of the high-fat diet group (HF). Serum leptin and triglyceride were significantly lower in the high fat with CLA-fed groups (HFC and HFCB) and the low-fat diet group (LF) than those in the high-fat diet group (HF). It is noteworthy that the high-fat with CLA and biopolymers group (HFCB) showed the lowest serum triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations. In the high-fat-fed group (HF), voluntary travel distance as a measure of physical activity decreased after three weeks of feeding. However, the CLA-fed groups showed increased physical activity. The groups fed high-fat diets supplemented with CLA alone and with CLA and biopolymers had higher viscosity of small intestinal contents than that in the low- and high-fat dietary groups. PMID:23531540

  11. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. Laser-induced periodic surface structuring of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  14. Dynamic Mechanical Properties of Bio-Polymer Graphite Thin Films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saddam Kamarudin, M.; Rus, Anika Zafiah M.; Munirah Abdullah, Nur; Abdullah, M. F. L.

    2017-08-01

    Waste cooking oil is used as the main substances in producing graphite biopolymer thin films. Biopolymer is produce from the reaction of bio-monomer and cross linker with the ratio of 2:1 and addition of graphite with an increment of 2% through a slip casting method. The morphological surface properties of the samples are observed by using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). It is shown that the graphite particle is well mixed and homogenously dispersed in biopolymer matrix. Meanwhile, the mechanical response of materials by monitoring the change in the material properties in terms of frequency and temperature of the samples were determined using Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA). The calculated cross-linked density of biopolymer composites revealed the increment of graphite particle loading at 8% gives highest results with 260.012 x 103 M/m3.

  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. 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

  17. Linking structure and activity in nonlinear spiking networks

    PubMed Central

    Josić, Krešimir; Shea-Brown, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Recent experimental advances are producing an avalanche of data on both neural connectivity and neural activity. To take full advantage of these two emerging datasets we need a framework that links them, revealing how collective neural activity arises from the structure of neural connectivity and intrinsic neural dynamics. This problem of structure-driven activity has drawn major interest in computational neuroscience. Existing methods for relating activity and architecture in spiking networks rely on linearizing activity around a central operating point and thus fail to capture the nonlinear responses of individual neurons that are the hallmark of neural information processing. Here, we overcome this limitation and present a new relationship between connectivity and activity in networks of nonlinear spiking neurons by developing a diagrammatic fluctuation expansion based on statistical field theory. We explicitly show how recurrent network structure produces pairwise and higher-order correlated activity, and how nonlinearities impact the networks’ spiking activity. Our findings open new avenues to investigating how single-neuron nonlinearities—including those of different cell types—combine with connectivity to shape population activity and function. PMID:28644840

  18. Synaptic mechanisms of persistent reverberatory activity in neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Lau, Pak-Ming; Bi, Guo-Qiang

    2005-07-19

    For brain functions such as working memory and motor planning, neuronal circuits are able to sustain persistent activity after transient inputs. Theoretical studies have suggested that persistent activity can exist in recurrently connected networks as active reverberation. However, the actual cellular processes underlying such reverberation are not well understood. In this study, we investigated the basic synaptic mechanisms responsible for reverberatory activity in small networks of rat hippocampal neurons in vitro. We found that brief stimulation of one neuron in a network could evoke, in an all-or-none fashion, reverberatory activity lasting for seconds. The reverberation was likely to arise from recurrent excitation because it was eliminated by partial inhibition of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA)-type glutamate receptors (but not by blockade of NMDA receptors). In contrast, blocking inhibitory transmission with bicuculline enhanced the reverberation. Furthermore, paired-pulse stimuli with interpulse intervals of 200-400 ms were more effective than single pulses in triggering reverberation, apparently by eliciting higher levels of asynchronous transmitter release. Suppressing asynchronous release by EGTA-AM abolished reverberation, whereas elevating asynchronous release by strontium substantially enhanced reverberation. Finally, manipulating calcium uptake into or release from intracellular stores also modulated the level of reverberation. Thus, the oft-overlooked asynchronous phase of synaptic transmission plays a central role in the emergent phenomenon of network reverberation.

  19. Synaptic mechanisms of persistent reverberatory activity in neuronal networks

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Pak-Ming; Bi, Guo-Qiang

    2005-01-01

    For brain functions such as working memory and motor planning, neuronal circuits are able to sustain persistent activity after transient inputs. Theoretical studies have suggested that persistent activity can exist in recurrently connected networks as active reverberation. However, the actual cellular processes underlying such reverberation are not well understood. In this study, we investigated the basic synaptic mechanisms responsible for reverberatory activity in small networks of rat hippocampal neurons in vitro. We found that brief stimulation of one neuron in a network could evoke, in an all-or-none fashion, reverberatory activity lasting for seconds. The reverberation was likely to arise from recurrent excitation because it was eliminated by partial inhibition of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA)-type glutamate receptors (but not by blockade of NMDA receptors). In contrast, blocking inhibitory transmission with bicuculline enhanced the reverberation. Furthermore, paired-pulse stimuli with interpulse intervals of 200–400 ms were more effective than single pulses in triggering reverberation, apparently by eliciting higher levels of asynchronous transmitter release. Suppressing asynchronous release by EGTA-AM abolished reverberation, whereas elevating asynchronous release by strontium substantially enhanced reverberation. Finally, manipulating calcium uptake into or release from intracellular stores also modulated the level of reverberation. Thus, the oft-overlooked asynchronous phase of synaptic transmission plays a central role in the emergent phenomenon of network reverberation. PMID:16006530

  20. 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.

  1. Activity-Dependent Neuronal Model on Complex Networks

    PubMed Central

    de Arcangelis, Lucilla; Herrmann, Hans J.

    2012-01-01

    Neuronal avalanches are a novel mode of activity in neuronal networks, experimentally found in vitro and in vivo, and exhibit a robust critical behavior: these avalanches are characterized by a power law distribution for the size and duration, features found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems. We present a recent model inspired in self-organized criticality, which consists of an electrical network with threshold firing, refractory period, and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. The model reproduces the critical behavior of the distribution of avalanche sizes and durations measured experimentally. Moreover, the power spectra of the electrical signal reproduce very robustly the power law behavior found in human electroencephalogram (EEG) spectra. We implement this model on a variety of complex networks, i.e., regular, small-world, and scale-free and verify the robustness of the critical behavior. PMID:22470347

  2. 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.)

  3. Ion- and pH-dependent volume transitions in biopolymer gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horkay, Ference

    2008-03-01

    Swelling and collapse of polyelectrolyte gels are the result of a balance of different interactions that control the osmotic pressure and network elasticity. In biopolymer systems ions often play a central role in determining the phase behavior. For example, DNA condensation induced by multivalent cations is crucial for its packaging. It is known that biological processes, such as nerve excitation and muscle contraction, are mediated by divalent cations. In general, relatively little is known about the interaction between multivalent ions and charged biopolymers due to the lack of an appropriate theory and the absence of a sufficiently broad base of experimental data. Recent experimental observations made by anomalous small-angle X-ray scattering indicate that the spatial extent of the counterion cloud is significantly reduced in the case of divalent ions relative to the monovalent ions. An understanding of ion induced swelling/collapse transition in polyelectrolyte gels may shed light on the mechanism of important physiological processes. We compare the effects of pH, ionic strength and counterion valence on the structure and osmotic properties of biopolymer gels. Systematic studies made on DNA gels indicate that monovalent salts gradually reduce gel swelling but do not cause discontinuous volume transition. Introducing calcium ions into the gels produces a reversible volume change. Similarly, decreasing the pH in the surrounding environment leads to shrinkage of the swollen networks. Scattering observations reveal that cations mediate the equilibrium properties by modifying the local environment and the organization of the polymer chains. Osmotic pressure measurements detect significant differences between the effects of pH and ion valence.

  4. Rescaling metal molybdate nanostructures with biopolymer for energy storage having high capacitance with robust cycle stability.

    PubMed

    Minakshi, Manickam; Barmi, Maryam J; Jones, Robert T

    2017-03-14

    Hybrid capacitors can replace or complement batteries, while storing energy through ion adsorption and fast surface redox reactions. There is a growing demand in developing nanostructured materials as electrodes for hybrid systems that can enhance the specific capacitance by ion desolvation in the nanopores. Here, we demonstrate that rescaling the pore diameter with the aid of biopolymer at an optimal level during the synthesis of metal molybdate leads to high capacitance 124 F g(-1) giving robust capacitance retention of 80% over 2000 cycles for a constructed device (activated carbon vs. metal molybdate). The presence of biopolymer (l-glutamic acid) in the metal molybdate acts as a complexing agent of the metal ion while enhancing the mass transport and hence it's improved electrochemical performance. However, XPS and other elemental analyses illustrated no evidence for N doping but traces of other surface functional groups (i.e. C and O) could be present on the molybdate surface. The biopolymer synthetic approach has the advantage of yielding nanostructured material with a relatively narrow pore size distribution controlled by l-glutamic acid. This study will provide a generic route to rescale other metal molybdate, phosphate or oxide counterparts and be an added value to the database.

  5. Citation Networks as Indicators of Journalism Research Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tankard, James W.; And Others

    1984-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. RelEx: Visualization for Actively Changing Overlay Network Specifications.

    PubMed

    Sedlmair, M; Frank, A; Munzner, T; Butz, A

    2012-12-01

    We present a network visualization design study focused on supporting automotive engineers who need to specify and optimize traffic patterns for in-car communication networks. The task and data abstractions that we derived support actively making changes to an overlay network, where logical communication specifications must be mapped to an underlying physical network. These abstractions are very different from the dominant use case in visual network analysis, namely identifying clusters and central nodes, that stems from the domain of social network analysis. Our visualization tool RelEx was created and iteratively refined through a full user-centered design process that included a full problem characterization phase before tool design began, paper prototyping, iterative refinement in close collaboration with expert users for formative evaluation, deployment in the field with real analysts using their own data, usability testing with non-expert users, and summative evaluation at the end of the deployment. In the summative post-deployment study, which entailed domain experts using the tool over several weeks in their daily practice, we documented many examples where the use of RelEx simplified or sped up their work compared to previous practices.

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

    PubMed

    Gjorgjieva, Julijana; Evers, Jan Felix; Eglen, Stephen J

    2016-03-30

    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 inDrosophilalarvae, 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. How are neural circuits organized and tuned to maintain stable function and produce robust output

  10. Terrestrial plant biopolymers in marine sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gough, Mark A.; Fauzi, R.; Mantoura, C.; Preston, Martin

    1993-03-01

    The vascular land plant biopolymers lignin and cutin were surveyed in the surface sediments of coastal and open ocean waters by controlled alkaline CuO oxidation/reaction. Two contrasting oceanic regimes were studied: the northwest Mediterranean (NWM) Sea, which receives significant particulate terrigenous debris through riverine discharge; and the northeast Atlantic (NEA) Ocean, with poorly characterised terrestrial carbon inputs. In the NWM products of lignin and cutin co-occurred at all stations, elevated levels (ca. 0.5-3.0 mg lignin phenols/100 mg organic carbon; ca. 0.01-0.09 mg cutin acids/100 mg organic carbon) were observed for near-shore deltaic and shelf sediments. The influence of terrestrial land plant inputs extended across the shelf and through the slope to the abyssal plain, providing molecular evidence for advective offshore transfer of terrestrial carbon. Mass balance estimates for the basin suggest riverine inputs account for the majority of surface sedimentary lignin/cutin, most of which (>90%) is deposited on the shelf. Products of CuO oxidation of lignin and cutin were also detected in NEA surface sediments, at levels comparable to those observed for the NWM continental slope, and were detectable at low concentrations ( ca. 0.5 μgg-1 in the sediments of the abyssal plains (>4,000 m depth). While atmospheric deposition of lignin/cutin-derived material cannot be discounted in this open ocean system, lateral advective transfer of enriched shelf sediments is inferred as a possible transport process. A progressive enrichment in cutin-derived material relative to lignin was observed offshore, with evidence of an increase in the degree of oxidative alteration of lignin residues. To account for these observations, preferential offshore transport of finer and more degraded material is proposed. Nonspecific oxidation products dominated the gas chromatograms of NEA sediments, which appear to originate from marine sources of sedimentary organic carbon

  11. Self-regulated homoclinic chaos in neural networks activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volman, Vladislav; Baruchi, Itay; Ben-Jacob, Eshel

    2004-12-01

    We compare the recorded activity of cultured neuronal networks with hybridized model simulations, in which the model neurons are driven by the recorded activity of special neurons. The latter, named `spiker' neurons, that exhibit fast firing with homoclinic chaos like characteristics, are expected to play an important role in the networks' self regulation. The cultured networks are grown from dissociated mixtures of cortical neurons and glia cells. Despite the artificial manner of their construction, the spontaneous activity of these networks exhibits rich dynamical behavior, marked by the formation of temporal sequences of synchronized bursting events (SBEs), and additional features which seemingly reflect the action of underlying regulating mechanism, rather than arbitrary causes and effects. Our model neurons are composed of soma described by the two Morris-Lecar dynamical variables (voltage and fraction of open potassium channels), with dynamical synapses described by the Tsodyks-Markram three variables dynamics. To study the recorded and simulated activities we evaluated the inter-neuron correlation matrices, and analyzed them utilizing the functional holography approach: the correlations are re-normalized by the correlation distances — Euclidean distances between the matrix columns. Then, we project the N-dimensional (for N channels) space spanned by the matrix of re-normalized correlations, or correlation affinities, onto a corresponding 3-D causal manifold (3-D Cartesian space constructed by the 3 leading principal vectors of the N-dimensional space. The neurons are located by their principal eigenvalues and linked by their original (not-normalized) correlations. This reveals hidden causal motifs: the neuron locations and their links form simple structures. Similar causal motifs are exhibited by the model simulations when feeded by the recorded activity of the spiker neurons. We illustrate that the homoclinic chaotic behavior of the spiker neurons can be

  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. 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

    2016-11-05

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Activity flow over resting-state networks shapes cognitive task activations

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Michael W.; Ito, Takuya; Bassett, Danielle S.; Schultz, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    Resting-state functional connectivity (FC) has helped reveal the intrinsic network organization of the human brain, yet its relevance to cognitive task activations has been unclear. Uncertainty remains despite evidence that resting-state FC patterns are highly similar to cognitive task activation patterns. Identifying the distributed processes that shape localized cognitive task activations may help reveal why resting-state FC is so strongly related to cognitive task activations. We found that estimating task-evoked activity flow (the spread of activation amplitudes) over resting-state FC networks allows prediction of cognitive task activations in a large-scale neural network model. Applying this insight to empirical functional MRI data, we found that cognitive task activations can be predicted in held-out brain regions (and held-out individuals) via estimated activity flow over resting-state FC networks. This suggests that task-evoked activity flow over intrinsic networks is a large-scale mechanism explaining the relevance of resting-state FC to cognitive task activations. PMID:27723746

  15. Predicting forest insect flight activity: A Bayesian network approach.

    PubMed

    Pawson, Stephen M; Marcot, Bruce G; Woodberry, Owen G

    2017-01-01

    Daily flight activity patterns of forest insects are influenced by temporal and meteorological conditions. Temperature and time of day are frequently cited as key drivers of activity; however, complex interactions between multiple contributing factors have also been proposed. Here, we report individual Bayesian network models to assess the probability of flight activity of three exotic insects, Hylurgus ligniperda, Hylastes ater, and Arhopalus ferus in a managed plantation forest context. Models were built from 7,144 individual hours of insect sampling, temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, photon flux density, and temporal data. Discretized meteorological and temporal variables were used to build naïve Bayes tree augmented networks. Calibration results suggested that the H. ater and A. ferus Bayesian network models had the best fit for low Type I and overall errors, and H. ligniperda had the best fit for low Type II errors. Maximum hourly temperature and time since sunrise had the largest influence on H. ligniperda flight activity predictions, whereas time of day and year had the greatest influence on H. ater and A. ferus activity. Type II model errors for the prediction of no flight activity is improved by increasing the model's predictive threshold. Improvements in model performance can be made by further sampling, increasing the sensitivity of the flight intercept traps, and replicating sampling in other regions. Predicting insect flight informs an assessment of the potential phytosanitary risks of wood exports. Quantifying this risk allows mitigation treatments to be targeted to prevent the spread of invasive species via international trade pathways.

  16. Multichannel activity propagation across an engineered axon network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, H. Isaac; Wolf, John A.; Smith, Douglas H.

    2017-04-01

    Objective. Although substantial progress has been made in mapping the connections of the brain, less is known about how this organization translates into brain function. In particular, the massive interconnectivity of the brain has made it difficult to specifically examine data transmission between two nodes of the connectome, a central component of the ‘neural code.’ Here, we investigated the propagation of multiple streams of asynchronous neuronal activity across an isolated in vitro ‘connectome unit.’ Approach. We used the novel technique of axon stretch growth to create a model of a long-range cortico-cortical network, a modular system consisting of paired nodes of cortical neurons connected by axon tracts. Using optical stimulation and multi-electrode array recording techniques, we explored how input patterns are represented by cortical networks, how these representations shift as they are transmitted between cortical nodes and perturbed by external conditions, and how well the downstream node distinguishes different patterns. Main results. Stimulus representations included direct, synaptic, and multiplexed responses that grew in complexity as the distance between the stimulation source and recorded neuron increased. These representations collapsed into patterns with lower information content at higher stimulation frequencies. With internodal activity propagation, a hierarchy of network pathways, including latent circuits, was revealed using glutamatergic blockade. As stimulus channels were added, divergent, non-linear effects were observed in local versus distant network layers. Pairwise difference analysis of neuronal responses suggested that neuronal ensembles generally outperformed individual cells in discriminating input patterns. Significance. Our data illuminate the complexity of spiking activity propagation in cortical networks in vitro, which is characterized by the transformation of an input into myriad outputs over several network layers

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Customizable Biopolymers for Heavy Metal Remediation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostal, Jan; Prabhukumar, Giridhar; Lao, U. Loi; Chen, Alin; Matsumoto, Mark; Mulchandani, Ashok; Chen*, Wilfred

    2005-10-01

    Nanoscale materials have been gaining increasing interest in the area of environmental remediation because of their unique physical, chemical and biological properties. One emerging area of research has been the development of novel materials with increased affinity, capacity, and selectivity for heavy metals because conventional technologies are often inadequate to reduce concentrations in wastewater to acceptable regulatory standards. Genetic and protein engineering have emerged as the latest tools for the construction of nanoscale materials that can be controlled precisely at the molecular level. With the advent of recombinant DNA techniques, it is now possible to create `artificial' protein polymers with fundamentally new molecular organization. The most significant feature of these nanoscale biopolymers is that they are specifically pre-programmed within a synthetic gene template and can be controlled precisely in terms of sizes, compositions and functions at the molecular level. In this review, the use of specifically designed protein-based nano-biomaterials with both metal-binding and tunable properties for heavy metal removal is summarized. Several different strategies for the selective removal of heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury are highlighted.

  20. 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.

  1. Proton Conductivity Studies on Biopolymer Electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-07-07

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

  2. Fabrication, functionalization, and application of electrospun biopolymer nanofibers.

    PubMed

    Kriegel, Christina; Arecchi, Alessandra; Arrechi, Alessandra; Kit, Kevin; McClements, D J; Weiss, Jochen

    2008-09-01

    The use of novel nanostructured materials has attracted considerable interest in the food industry for their utilization as highly functional ingredients, high-performance packaging materials, processing aids, and food quality and safety sensors. Most previous application interest has focused on the development of nanoparticles. However, more recently, the ability to produce non-woven mats composed of nanofibers that can be used in food applications is beginning to be investigated. Electrospinning is a novel fabrication technique that can be used to produce fibers with diameters below 100 nm from (bio-) polymer solutions. These nanofibers have been shown to possess unique properties that distinguish them from non-woven fibers produced by other methods, e.g., melt-blowing. This is because first the process involved results in a high orientation of polymers within the fibers that leads to mechanically superior properties, e.g., increased tensile strengths. Second, during the spinning of the fibers from polymer solutions, the solvent is rapidly evaporated allowing the production of fibers composed of polymer blends that would typically phase separate if spun with other processes. Third, the small dimensions of the fibers lead to very high specific surface areas. Because of this the fiber properties may be greatly influenced by surface properties giving rise to fiber functionalities not found in fibers of larger sizes. For food applications, the fibers may find uses as ingredients if they are composed solely of edible polymers and GRAS ingredients, (e.g., fibers could contain functional ingredients such as nutraceuticals, antioxidants, antimicrobials, and flavors), as active packaging materials or as processing aids (e.g., catalytic reactors, membranes, filters (Lala et al., 2007), and sensors (Manesh et al., 2007; Ren et al., 2006; Sawicka et al., 2005). This review is therefore intended to introduce interested food and agricultural scientists to the concept of nano

  3. Age-related differences in brain network activation and co-activation during multiple object tracking.

    PubMed

    Dørum, Erlend S; Alnæs, Dag; Kaufmann, Tobias; Richard, Geneviève; Lund, Martina J; Tønnesen, Siren; Sneve, Markus H; Mathiesen, Nina C; Rustan, Øyvind G; Gjertsen, Øivind; Vatn, Sigurd; Fure, Brynjar; Andreassen, Ole A; Nordvik, Jan Egil; Westlye, Lars T

    2016-11-01

    Multiple object tracking (MOT) is a powerful paradigm for measuring sustained attention. Although previous fMRI studies have delineated the brain activation patterns associated with tracking and documented reduced tracking performance in aging, age-related effects on brain activation during MOT have not been characterized. In particular, it is unclear if the task-related activation of different brain networks is correlated, and also if this coordination between activations within brain networks shows differential effects of age. We obtained fMRI data during MOT at two load conditions from a group of younger (n = 25, mean age = 24.4 ± 5.1 years) and older (n = 21, mean age = 64.7 ± 7.4 years) healthy adults. Using a combination of voxel-wise and independent component analysis, we investigated age-related differences in the brain network activation. In order to explore to which degree activation of the various brain networks reflect unique and common mechanisms, we assessed the correlations between the brain networks' activations. Behavioral performance revealed an age-related reduction in MOT accuracy. Voxel and brain network level analyses converged on decreased load-dependent activations of the dorsal attention network (DAN) and decreased load-dependent deactivations of the default mode networks (DMN) in the old group. Lastly, we found stronger correlations in the task-related activations within DAN and within DMN components for younger adults, and stronger correlations between DAN and DMN components for older adults. Using MOT as means for measuring attentional performance, we have demonstrated an age-related attentional decline. Network-level analysis revealed age-related alterations in network recruitment consisting of diminished activations of DAN and diminished deactivations of DMN in older relative to younger adults. We found stronger correlations within DMN and within DAN components for younger adults and stronger correlations between DAN

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-23

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Multiview fusion for activity recognition using deep neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kavi, Rahul; Kulathumani, Vinod; Rohit, Fnu; Kecojevic, Vlad

    2016-07-01

    Convolutional neural networks (ConvNets) coupled with long short term memory (LSTM) networks have been recently shown to be effective for video classification as they combine the automatic feature extraction capabilities of a neural network with additional memory in the temporal domain. This paper shows how multiview fusion can be applied to such a ConvNet LSTM architecture. Two different fusion techniques are presented. The system is first evaluated in the context of a driver activity recognition system using data collected in a multicamera driving simulator. These results show significant improvement in accuracy with multiview fusion and also show that deep learning performs better than a traditional approach using spatiotemporal features even without requiring any background subtraction. The system is also validated on another publicly available multiview action recognition dataset that has 12 action classes and 8 camera views.

  7. 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

    2012-06-08

    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.

  8. High solar activity predictions through an artificial neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orozco-Del-Castillo, M. G.; Ortiz-Alemán, J. C.; Couder-Castañeda, C.; Hernández-Gómez, J. J.; Solís-Santomé, A.

    The effects of high-energy particles coming from the Sun on human health as well as in the integrity of outer space electronics make the prediction of periods of high solar activity (HSA) a task of significant importance. Since periodicities in solar indexes have been identified, long-term predictions can be achieved. In this paper, we present a method based on an artificial neural network to find a pattern in some harmonics which represent such periodicities. We used data from 1973 to 2010 to train the neural network, and different historical data for its validation. We also used the neural network along with a statistical analysis of its performance with known data to predict periods of HSA with different confidence intervals according to the three-sigma rule associated with solar cycles 24-26, which we found to occur before 2040.

  9. Voice activity detection based on deep neural networks and Viterbi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Liang; Zhang, Zhen; Hu, Jun

    2017-09-01

    Voice Activity Detection (VAD) is important in speech processing. In the applications, the systems usually need to separate speech/non-speech parts, so that only the speech part can be dealt with. How to improve the performances of VAD in different noisy environments is an important issue in speech processing. Deep Neural network, which proves its efficiency in speech recognition, has been widely used in recent years. This paper studies the present typical VAD algorithms, and presents a new VAD algorithm based on deep neural networks and Viterbi algorithm. The result demonstrates the effectiveness of the deep neural network with Viterbi used in VAD. In addition, it shows the flexibility and the real-time performance of the algorithms.

  10. 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.

  11. Evaluation of β-D-glucan biopolymer as a novel mycotoxin binder for fumonisin and deoxynivalenol in soybean feed.

    PubMed

    El-Naggar, Medhat A; Thabit, Tamer M

    2014-06-01

    The walls of yeast cells, which contain β-D-glucan biopolymers, have an active role in reducing mycotoxins in animal feed. This study aimed to evaluate the β-D-glucan biopolymers as a mycotoxin binder for fumonisin (FUM) and deoxynivalenol (DON) toxins as well as their effect on the nutritional value of soybean, which is considered one of the important feed row materials. The evaluation was carried out using some toxigenic Fusarium isolates (Fusarium solani, F. oxysporum, and F. verticillioides) in vitro and in vivo. The FUM and DON levels were determined by immune affinity column. The F. verticillioides was the most toxigenic, followed by F. oxysporum and lastly F. solani, while secretion of DON toxin was determined to be greater than FUM with all the tested fungi. The effectiveness of β-D-glucan biopolymers on FUM and DON absorption was greater than clay and calcium propionate. In vivo, treating soybean seeds with β-D-glucan biopolymers led to reduction in the level of FUM and DON toxins in seeds artificially inoculated by F. verticillioides. β-D-glucan treatment also has a low effect on nutritional components of the seeds compared to untreated ones. In conclusion, this study found a new approach to reduce Fusarium mycotoxins in feed to an allowable safe limit and at the same time maintaining the nutritional value of these materials.

  12. 3D actin network centerline extraction with multiple active contours.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2014-02-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Network ethnopharmacological evaluation of the immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera.

    PubMed

    Chandran, Uma; Patwardhan, Bhushan

    2017-02-02

    Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (Ashwagandha, WS) is one of the extensively explored Ayurvedic botanicals. Several properties including immunomodulation, anti-cancer and neuro-protection of the botanical have been reported. Even though, in indigenous medicine, WS is well known for its immunomodulatory activity, the molecular mechanism of immunomodulation has not been elucidated. This study aimed the evaluation of the immunomodulatory effect of WS using network ethnopharmacology technique to elucidate the in silico molecular mechanism. Databases- DPED, UNPD, PubChem, Binding DB, ChEMBL, KEGG and STRING were used to gather information to develop the networks. The networks were constructed using Cytoscape 3.2.1. Data analysis was performed with the help of Excel pivot table and Cytoscape network analyzer tool. Investigation for WS immune modulation mechanism identified five bioactives that are capable of regulating 15 immune system pathways through 16 target proteins by bioactive-target and protein-protein interactions. The study also unveils the potential of withanolide-phytosterol combination to achieve effective immunomodulation and seven novel bioactive-immune target combinations. The study elucidated an in silico molecular mechanism of immunomodulation of WS. It unveils the potential of withanolide-phytosterol combination to achieve a better immunomodulation. Experimental validation of the network findings would aid in understanding the rationale behind WS immunomodulation as well as aid in bioactive formulation based drug discovery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Scalable wavelet-based active network detection of stepping stones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, Joseph I.; Robinson, David J.; Butts, Jonathan W.; Lacey, Timothy H.

    2012-06-01

    Network intrusions leverage vulnerable hosts as stepping stones to penetrate deeper into a network and mask malicious actions from detection. Identifying stepping stones presents a significant challenge because network sessions appear as legitimate traffic. This research focuses on a novel active watermark technique using discrete wavelet transformations to mark and detect interactive network sessions. This technique is scalable, resilient to network noise, and difficult for attackers to discern that it is in use. Previously captured timestamps from the CAIDA 2009 dataset are sent using live stepping stones in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud service. The client system sends watermarked and unmarked packets from California to Virginia using stepping stones in Tokyo, Ireland and Oregon. Five trials are conducted in which the system sends simultaneous watermarked samples and unmarked samples to each target. The live experiment results demonstrate approximately 5% False Positive and 5% False Negative detection rates. Additionally, watermark extraction rates of approximately 92% are identified for a single stepping stone. The live experiment results demonstrate the effectiveness of discerning watermark traffic as applied to identifying stepping stones.

  17. Electromechanical actuation with controllable motion based on a single-walled carbon nanotube and natural biopolymer composite.

    PubMed

    Hu, Ying; Chen, Wei; Lu, Luhua; Liu, Jinghai; Chang, Chunrui

    2010-06-22

    This paper reports novel electromechanical behavior for a natural biopolymer film due to the incorporation of a conductive carbon nanotube network. Through simple solution blending and casting, high weight fraction single-walled carbon nanotube-chitosan composite films were fabricated and exhibited electromechanical actuation properties with motion controlled by low alternating voltage stimuli in atmospheric conditions. Of particular interest and importance is that the displacement output imitated perfectly the electrical input signal in terms of frequency (<10 Hz) and waveform. Operational reliability was confirmed by stable vibration testing in air for more than 3000 cycles. Proposed electrothermal mechanism considering the alternating current-induced periodic thermal expansion and contraction of the composite film was discussed. The unique actuation performance of the carbon nanotube-biopolymer composite, coupled with ease of fabrication, low driven voltage, tunable vibration, reliable operation, and good biocompatibility, shows great possibility for implementation of dry actuators in artificial muscle and microsystems for biomimetic applications.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Passive and Active Monitoring on a High Performance Research Network.

    SciTech Connect

    Matthews, Warren

    2001-05-01

    The bold network challenges described in ''Internet End-to-end Performance Monitoring for the High Energy and Nuclear Physics Community'' presented at PAM 2000 have been tackled by the intrepid administrators and engineers providing the network services. After less than a year, the BaBar collaboration has collected almost 100 million particle collision events in a database approaching 165TB (Tera=10{sup 12}). Around 20TB has been exported via the Internet to the BaBar regional center at IN2P3 in Lyon, France, for processing and around 40 TB of simulated events have been imported to SLAC from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). An unforseen challenge has arisen due to recent events and highlighted security concerns at DoE funded labs. New rules and regulations suggest it is only a matter of time before many active performance measurements may not be possible between many sites. Yet, at the same time, the importance of understanding every aspect of the network and eradicating packet loss for high throughput data transfers has become apparent. Work at SLAC to employ passive monitoring using netflow and OC3MON is underway and techniques to supplement and possibly replace the active measurements are being considered. This paper will detail the special needs and traffic characterization of a remarkable research project, and how the networking hurdles have been resolved (or not!) to achieve the required high data throughput. Results from active and passive measurements will be compared, and methods for achieving high throughput and the effect on the network will be assessed along with tools that directly measure throughput and applications used to actually transfer data.

  1. Generalized activity equations for spiking neural network dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Buice, Michael A.; Chow, Carson C.

    2013-01-01

    Much progress has been made in uncovering the computational capabilities of spiking neural networks. However, spiking neurons will always be more expensive to simulate compared to rate neurons because of the inherent disparity in time scales—the spike duration time is much shorter than the inter-spike time, which is much shorter than any learning time scale. In numerical analysis, this is a classic stiff problem. Spiking neurons are also much more difficult to study analytically. One possible approach to making spiking networks more tractable is to augment mean field activity models with some information about spiking correlations. For example, such a generalized activity model could carry information about spiking rates and correlations between spikes self-consistently. Here, we will show how this can be accomplished by constructing a complete formal probabilistic description of the network and then expanding around a small parameter such as the inverse of the number of neurons in the network. The mean field theory of the system gives a rate-like description. The first order terms in the perturbation expansion keep track of covariances. PMID:24298252

  2. Desynchronization of glutamate release prolongs synchronous CA3 network activity.

    PubMed

    Jones, Jethro; Stubblefield, Elizabeth A; Benke, Timothy A; Staley, Kevin J

    2007-05-01

    Periodic bursts of activity in the disinhibited in vitro hippocampal CA3 network spread through the neural population by the glutamatergic recurrent collateral axons that link CA3 pyramidal cells. It was previously proposed that these bursts of activity are terminated by exhaustion of releasable glutamate at the recurrent collateral synapses so that the next periodic burst of network activity cannot occur until the supply of glutamate has been replenished. As a test of this hypothesis, the rate of glutamate release at CA3 axon terminals was reduced by substitution of extracellular Ca(2+) with Sr(2+). Reduction of the rate of glutamate release reduces the rate of depletion and should thereby prolong bursts. Here we demonstrate that Sr(2+) substitution prolongs spontaneous bursts in the disinhibited adult CA3 hippocampal slices to 37.2 +/- 7.6 (SE) times the duration in control conditions. Sr(2+) also decreased the probability of burst initiation and the rate of burst onset, consistent with reduced synchrony of glutamate release and a consequent reduced rate of spread of excitation through the slice. These findings support the supply of releasable glutamate as an important determinant of the probability and duration of synchronous CA3 network activity.

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

    PubMed

    Nazerfard, Ehsan; Cook, Diane J

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nazerfard, Ehsan; Cook, Diane J.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Imperfection sensitivity of pressured buckling of biopolymer spherical shells.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Biopolymers as transdermal drug delivery systems in dermatology therapy.

    PubMed

    Basavaraj, K H; Johnsy, George; Navya, M A; Rashmi, R; Siddaramaiah

    2010-01-01

    The skin is considered a complex organ for drug delivery because of its structure. Drug delivery systems are designed for the controlled release of drugs through the skin into the systemic circulation, maintaining consistent efficacy and reducing the dose of the drugs and their related side effects. Transdermal drug delivery represents one of the most rapidly advancing areas of novel drug delivery. The excellent impervious nature of the skin is the greatest challenge that must be overcome for successful drug delivery. Today, polymers have been proven to be successful for long-term drug delivery applications as no single polymer can satisfy all of the requirements. Biopolymers in the field of dermal application are rare and the mechanisms that affect skin absorption are almost unknown. Biopolymers are widely used as drug delivery systems, but as such the use of biopolymers as drug delivery systems in dermatologic therapy is still in progress. Commonly used biopolymers include hydrocolloids, alginates, hydrogels, polyurethane, collagen, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), chitosan, proteins and peptides, pectin, siRNAs, and hyaluronic acid. These new and exciting methods for drug delivery are already increasing the number and quality of dermal and transdermal therapies. This article reviews current research on biopolymers and focuses on their potential as drug carriers, particularly in relation to the dermatologic aspects of their use.

  8. Quantitative analysis of biopolymers by matrix-assisted laser desorption

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, K.; Allman, S.L.; Jones, R.B.; Chen, C.H. )

    1993-08-01

    During the past few years, major efforts have been made to use mass spectrometry to measure biopolymers because of the great potential benefit to biological and medical research. Although the theoretical details of laser desorption and ionization mechanisms of MALDI are not yet fully understood, several models have been presented to explain the production of large biopolymer ions. In brief, it is very difficult to obtain reliable measurements of the absolute quantity of analytes by MALDI. If MALDI is going to become a routine analytical tool, it is obvious that quantitative measurement capability must be pursued. Oligonucleotides and protein samples used in this work were purchased from commercial sources. Nicotinic acid was used as matrix for both types of biopolymers. From this experiment, it is seen that it is difficult to obtain absolute quantitative measurements of biopolymers using MALDI. However, internal calibration with molecules having similar chemical properties can be used to resolve these difficulties. Chemical reactions between biopolymers must be avoided to prevent the destruction of the analyte materials. 10 refs., 8 figs.

  9. Effect of sugarcane biopolymer gel injected in rabbit vocal fold.

    PubMed

    Leão, Rodrigo Augusto de Souza; Assis, Raquel Coelho de; Caldas Neto, Silvio da Silva; Lira, Mariana Montenegro de Melo; Vasconcelos, Silvio José de

    2014-01-01

    Alterations in the vocal folds that involve volume reduction and glottal closure failure result in exaggerated air escape during speech. For such situations, the use of implants or grafts of different materials has been proposed. To define the effect of sugarcane biopolymer gel when implanted in the vocal folds of rabbits. This was an experimental study. The vocal folds of rabbits injected with sugarcane biopolymer and saline solution were histologically evaluated after 21 and 90 days. Mild to moderate inflammation and increased volume were observed in all vocal folds injected with biopolymer, when compared to controls. There were no cases of necrosis or calcification. This study showed higher inflammatory reaction in cases than in controls and biopolymer biointegration to the vocal fold. This fibrogenic response with absence of epithelial repercussions suggests that the biopolymer in its gel form can be bioactive and preserve the normal vibratory function of the epithelium. We show that in spite of producing an inflammatory reaction in vocal fold tissues, the material remained in vocal fold throughout the study period.

  10. The effect of the neural activity on topological properties of growing neural networks.

    PubMed

    Gafarov, F M; Gafarova, V R

    2016-09-01

    The connectivity structure in cortical networks defines how information is transmitted and processed, and it is a source of the complex spatiotemporal patterns of network's development, and the process of creation and deletion of connections is continuous in the whole life of the organism. In this paper, we study how neural activity influences the growth process in neural networks. By using a two-dimensional activity-dependent growth model we demonstrated the neural network growth process from disconnected neurons to fully connected networks. For making quantitative investigation of the network's activity influence on its topological properties we compared it with the random growth network not depending on network's activity. By using the random graphs theory methods for the analysis of the network's connections structure it is shown that the growth in neural networks results in the formation of a well-known "small-world" network.

  11. Dopamine depresses cholinergic oscillatory network activity in rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Torsten; Veh, Rüdiger W; Heinemann, Uwe

    2003-11-01

    The dopaminergic neuronal system is implicated in cognitive processes in a variety of brain regions including the mesolimbic system. We have investigated whether dopamine also affects synchronized network activity in the hippocampus, which has been ascribed to play a pivotal role in memory formation. Gamma frequency (20-80 Hz) oscillations were induced by the cholinergic agonist carbachol. Oscillatory activity was examined in area CA3 of Wistar rat hippocampal slices, employing field potential and intracellular recordings. Application of carbachol initiated synchronized population activity in the gamma band at 40 Hz. Induced gamma activity persisted over hours and required GABAA receptors. Dopamine reversibly decreased the integrated gamma band power of the carbachol rhythm by 62%, while its frequency was not changed. By contrast, individual pyramidal cells recorded during carbachol-induced field gamma activity exhibited theta frequency (5-15 Hz) membrane potential oscillations that were not altered by dopamine. The dopamine effect on the field gamma activity was mimicked by the D1 receptor agonist SKF-383393 and partially antagonized by the D1 antagonist SCH-23390. Conversely, the D2 receptor agonist quinpirole failed to depress the oscillations, and the D2 antagonist sulpiride did not prevent the suppressive dopamine effect. The data indicate that dopamine strongly depresses cholinergic gamma oscillations in area CA3 of rat hippocampus by activation of D1-like dopamine receptors and that this effect is most likely mediated via impairment of interneurons involved in generation and maintenance of the carbachol-induced network rhythm.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  13. Structural damage detection using active members and neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manning, R. A.

    1994-06-01

    The detection of damage in structures is a topic which has considerable interest in many fields. In the past many methods for detecting damage in structures has relied on finite element model refinement methods. This note presents a structural damage methodology in which only active member transfer function data are used in conjunction with an artificial neural network to detect damage in structures. Specifically, the method relies on training a neural network using active member transfer function pole/zero information to classify damaged structure measurements and to predict the degree of damage in the structure. The method differs from many of the past damage detection algorithms in that no attempt is made to update a finite element model or to match measured data with new finite element analyses of the structure in a damaged state.

  14. Activity clocks: spreading dynamics on temporal networks of human contact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gauvin, Laetitia; Panisson, André; Cattuto, Ciro; Barrat, Alain

    2013-10-01

    Dynamical processes on time-varying complex networks are key to understanding and modeling a broad variety of processes in socio-technical systems. Here we focus on empirical temporal networks of human proximity and we aim at understanding the factors that, in simulation, shape the arrival time distribution of simple spreading processes. Abandoning the notion of wall-clock time in favour of node-specific clocks based on activity exposes robust statistical patterns in the arrival times across different social contexts. Using randomization strategies and generative models constrained by data, we show that these patterns can be understood in terms of heterogeneous inter-event time distributions coupled with heterogeneous numbers of events per edge. We also show, both empirically and by using a synthetic dataset, that significant deviations from the above behavior can be caused by the presence of edge classes with strong activity correlations.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. An Assessment of Overt Malicious Activity Manifest in Residential Networks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-07-07

    also monitor for network-level signatures aimed at detecting three malware families, Zlob, Conficker, and Zeus . To take advantage of the long...compromise by flagging activity related to known malware families. To do so, we focused on Zlob, Conficker, and Zeus . The Zlob malware family [24] changes... Zeus Domainblocklist [25] to identify local systems infected with Zeus . Since the list does not only contain seemingly random domain names but also

  18. Genetic Networks Activated by Blast Injury to the Eye

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-08-01

    Major Finding: Collected retinas from 40 normal strains with 148 microarrays run. We have collected phenotypic data on corneal thickness, lOP and...pressure ( lOP ), central corneal thickness (CCT) and visual acuity. Task 2) Define the genetic networks activated by blast injury in the eye and in...retina. Accomplishments Under These Goals: Taskl: At the present time we have measured lOP and central corneal thickness on 27 strains of mice

  19. Cybersecurity Activities Support to DoD Information Network Operations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-03-07

    awareness ; and physical or logical segmentation of networks, services, and applications to allow mission owners and operators, from the tactical to...r)), and DoDI 8320.02 (Reference (s)) to maintain DoDIN situational awareness . DoD will: (1) Use automated capabilities and processes to... Awareness ........33 2. Notional View of Current and Future Integration of Cybersecurity Activities ..................34 DoDI 8530.01, March 7, 2016

  20. Interaction of a food-grade cationic surfactant (lauric arginate) with food-grade biopolymers (pectin, carrageenan, xanthan, alginate, dextran, and chitosan).

    PubMed

    Bonnaud, Marieange; Weiss, Jochen; McClements, David J

    2010-09-08

    Lauric arginate (LAE) is a food-grade cationic surfactant that is a highly potent antimicrobial active against a wide range of food pathogens and spoilage organisms. In compositionally complex environments, the antimicrobial activity of cationic LAE is likely to be impacted by its interactions with other charged components. The purpose of this study was to characterize the interactions between cationic LAE and various food grade biopolymers with different charge characteristics: anionic (pectin, alginate, carrageenan, xanthan), neutral (dextran), and cationic (chitosan). Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and turbidity measurements were used to characterize surfactant-biopolymer interactions and the solubility of any aggregates formed. ITC and turbidity measurements suggested that no complex formation occurred between the cationic LAE and the cationic or neutral biopolymers, although the critical micelle concentration (cmc) of the surfactant was changed because of excluded volume effects. On the other hand, ITC measurements indicated a strong binding interaction between cationic LAE and anionic biopolymers. The amount of surfactant bound and the solubility of the aggregates formed depended strongly on biopolymer type. The results of this study have important implications for the application of LAE in compositionally complex systems.

  1. Renewable cathode materials from biopolymer/conjugated polymer interpenetrating networks.

    PubMed

    Milczarek, Grzegorz; Inganäs, Olle

    2012-03-23

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milczarek, Grzegorz; Inganäs, Olle

    2012-03-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Energy-aware activity classification using wearable sensor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

    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.

  5. Energy-aware Activity Classification using Wearable Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Environmental applications of chitosan and cellulosic biopolymers: A comprehensive outlook.

    PubMed

    Kanmani, P; Aravind, J; Kamaraj, M; Sureshbabu, P; Karthikeyan, S

    2017-10-01

    Biopolymers are substances naturally produced by living organisms and are hence considered to be eco-friendly and sustainable. Chitosan and cellulose are of specific significance owing to their abundant availability, ease of modification, and application potential. On the environmental front, their coagulating and flocculating effects have helped in wastewater clarification, while minimizing the dependability on synthetic polyelectrolytes. Biopolymer based hydrogels and nanocomposite films have functioned as effective biosorbents in removing an array of organic and inorganic pollutants, including xenobiotics, from wastewater. Specifically, they have been vastly harnessed for heavy metal and dye adsorption. They have also played a pivotal part in other environmental applications including anti-desertification, natural bio-sealants for preventing concrete leaks and proton conducting membranes in electrochemical devices. Such recent research on the environmental applications of biopolymers has been comprehensively analysed, thus providing a fresh insight into the future prospects of research in this domain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Biopolymers and supramolecular polymers as biomaterials for biomedical applications

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Ronit; Boekhoven, Job; Dickerson, Matthew B.; Naik, Rajesh R.

    2015-01-01

    Protein- and peptide-based structural biopolymers are abundant building blocks of biological systems. Either in their natural forms, such as collagen, silk or fibronectin, or as related synthetic materials they can be used in various technologies. An emerging area is that of biomimetic materials inspired by protein-based biopolymers, which are made up of small molecules rather than macromolecules and can therefore be described as supramolecular polymers. These materials are very useful in biomedical applications because of their ability to imitate the extracellular matrix both in architecture and their capacity to signal cells. This article describes important features of the natural extracellular matrix and highlight how these features are being incorporated into biomaterials composed of biopolymers and supramolecular polymers. We particularly focus on the structures, properties, and functions of collagen, fibronectin, silk, and the supramolecular polymers inspired by them as biomaterials for regenerative medicine. PMID:26989295

  8. Homodimeric monomethine cyanine dyes as fluorescent probes of biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Timtcheva, I; Maximova, V; Deligeorgiev, T; Gadjev, N; Drexhage, K H; Petkova, I

    2000-11-01

    The fluorescence properties of newly synthesized homodimeric monomethine cyanine dyes in the presence of biopolymers are investigated. They do not fluoresce in TE buffer and bidistilled water but become strongly fluorescent (Q(F)=0.3-0.9) in the region 530-650 nm when bound to dsDNA and ssDNA. The detection limit of dsDNA is about 1.7 ng/ml. Some of dyes studied are able to distinguish between dsDNA and ssDNA, RNA, BSA in solution and gel electrophoresis. The influence of different factors (temperature, pH and viscosity of the medium, presence of histone) on the formation of the dye-biopolymer complexes is investigated. The results of steady-state and dynamic fluorescence measurements concerning the different types of binding between dyes and biopolymers show that the new dyes are applicable in molecular biology as highly sensitive fluorescence labels.

  9. 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.

  10. Biopolymers and supramolecular polymers as biomaterials for biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Ronit; Boekhoven, Job; Dickerson, Matthew B; Naik, Rajesh R; Stupp, Samuel I

    2015-12-01

    Protein- and peptide-based structural biopolymers are abundant building blocks of biological systems. Either in their natural forms, such as collagen, silk or fibronectin, or as related synthetic materials they can be used in various technologies. An emerging area is that of biomimetic materials inspired by protein-based biopolymers, which are made up of small molecules rather than macromolecules and can therefore be described as supramolecular polymers. These materials are very useful in biomedical applications because of their ability to imitate the extracellular matrix both in architecture and their capacity to signal cells. This article describes important features of the natural extracellular matrix and highlight how these features are being incorporated into biomaterials composed of biopolymers and supramolecular polymers. We particularly focus on the structures, properties, and functions of collagen, fibronectin, silk, and the supramolecular polymers inspired by them as biomaterials for regenerative medicine.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Spencer, Robert M; Blitz, Dawn M

    2016-06-01

    Modulatory projection neurons alter network neuron synaptic and intrinsic properties to elicit multiple different outputs. Sensory and other inputs elicit a range of modulatory neuron activity that is further shaped by network feedback, yet little is known regarding how the impact of network feedback on modulatory neurons regulates network output across a physiological range of modulatory neuron activity. Identified network neurons, a fully described connectome, and a well-characterized, identified modulatory projection neuron enabled us to address this issue in the crab (Cancer borealis) stomatogastric nervous system. The modulatory neuron modulatory commissural neuron 1 (MCN1) activates and modulates two networks that generate rhythms via different cellular mechanisms and at distinct frequencies. MCN1 is activated at rates of 5-35 Hz in vivo and in vitro. Additionally, network feedback elicits MCN1 activity time-locked to motor activity. We asked how network activation, rhythm speed, and neuron activity levels are regulated by the presence or absence of network feedback across a physiological range of MCN1 activity rates. There were both similarities and differences in responses of the two networks to MCN1 activity. Many parameters in both networks were sensitive to network feedback effects on MCN1 activity. However, for most parameters, MCN1 activity rate did not determine the extent to which network output was altered by the addition of network feedback. These data demonstrate that the influence of network feedback on modulatory neuron activity is an important determinant of network output and feedback can be effective in shaping network output regardless of the extent of network modulation. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  15. A small change in neuronal network topology can induce explosive synchronization transition and activity propagation in the entire network.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhenhua; Tian, Changhai; Dhamala, Mukesh; Liu, Zonghua

    2017-04-03

    We here study explosive synchronization transitions and network activity propagation in networks of coupled neurons to provide a new understanding of the relationship between network topology and explosive dynamical transitions as in epileptic seizures and their propagations in the brain. We model local network motifs and configurations of coupled neurons and analyze the activity propagations between a group of active neurons to their inactive neuron neighbors in a variety of network configurations. We find that neuronal activity propagation is limited to local regions when network is highly clustered with modular structures as in the normal brain networks. When the network cluster structure is slightly changed, the activity propagates to the entire network, which is reminiscent of epileptic seizure propagation in the brain. Finally, we analyze intracranial electroencephalography (IEEG) recordings of a seizure episode from a epilepsy patient and uncover that explosive synchronization-like transition occurs around the clinically defined onset of seizure. These findings may provide a possible mechanism for the recurrence of epileptic seizures, which are known to be the results of aberrant neuronal network structure and/or function in the brain.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  17. Multivariate neural network operators with sigmoidal activation functions.

    PubMed

    Costarelli, Danilo; Spigler, Renato

    2013-12-01

    In this paper, we study pointwise and uniform convergence, as well as order of approximation, of a family of linear positive multivariate neural network (NN) operators with sigmoidal activation functions. The order of approximation is studied for functions belonging to suitable Lipschitz classes and using a moment-type approach. The special cases of NN operators, activated by logistic, hyperbolic tangent, and ramp sigmoidal functions are considered. Multivariate NNs approximation finds applications, typically, in neurocomputing processes. Our approach to NN operators allows us to extend previous convergence results and, in some cases, to improve the order of approximation. The case of multivariate quasi-interpolation operators constructed with sigmoidal functions is also considered.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Adhesion of pancreatic beta cells to biopolymer films.

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  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. 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.

  3. Activation and dynamic network of the M2 muscarinic receptor

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Yinglong; Nichols, Sara E.; Gasper, Paul M.; Metzger, Vincent T.; McCammon, J. Andrew

    2013-01-01

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate cellular responses to various hormones and neurotransmitters and are important targets for treating a wide spectrum of diseases. Although significant advances have been made in structural studies of GPCRs, details of their activation mechanism remain unclear. The X-ray crystal structure of the M2 muscarinic receptor, a key GPCR that regulates human heart rate and contractile forces of cardiomyocytes, was determined recently in an inactive antagonist-bound state. Here, activation of the M2 receptor is directly observed via accelerated molecular dynamics simulation, in contrast to previous microsecond-timescale conventional molecular dynamics simulations in which the receptor remained inactive. Receptor activation is characterized by formation of a Tyr2065.58–Tyr4407.53 hydrogen bond and ∼6-Å outward tilting of the cytoplasmic end of transmembrane α-helix 6, preceded by relocation of Trp4006.48 toward Phe1955.47 and Val1995.51 and flipping of Tyr4307.43 away from the ligand-binding cavity. Network analysis reveals that communication in the intracellular domains is greatly weakened during activation of the receptor. Together with the finding that residue motions in the ligand-binding and G-protein-coupling sites of the apo receptor are correlated, this result highlights a dynamic network for allosteric regulation of the M2 receptor activation. PMID:23781107

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Application of neural networks to seismic active control

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Yu

    1995-07-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Beyond Statistical Significance: Implications of Network Structure on Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    Vlachos, Ioannis; Aertsen, Ad; Kumar, Arvind

    2012-01-01

    It is a common and good practice in experimental sciences to assess the statistical significance of measured outcomes. For this, the probability of obtaining the actual results is estimated under the assumption of an appropriately chosen null-hypothesis. If this probability is smaller than some threshold, the results are deemed statistically significant and the researchers are content in having revealed, within their own experimental domain, a “surprising” anomaly, possibly indicative of a hitherto hidden fragment of the underlying “ground-truth”. What is often neglected, though, is the actual importance of these experimental outcomes for understanding the system under investigation. We illustrate this point by giving practical and intuitive examples from the field of systems neuroscience. Specifically, we use the notion of embeddedness to quantify the impact of a neuron's activity on its downstream neurons in the network. We show that the network response strongly depends on the embeddedness of stimulated neurons and that embeddedness is a key determinant of the importance of neuronal activity on local and downstream processing. We extrapolate these results to other fields in which networks are used as a theoretical framework. PMID:22291581

  12. 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

  13. Voluntary control of intracortical oscillations for reconfiguration of network activity

    PubMed Central

    Corlier, Juliana; Valderrama, Mario; Navarrete, Miguel; Lehongre, Katia; Hasboun, Dominique; Adam, Claude; Belaid, Hayat; Clémenceau, Stéphane; Baulac, Michel; Charpier, Stéphane; Navarro, Vincent; Le Van Quyen, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Voluntary control of oscillatory activity represents a key target in the self-regulation of brain function. Using a real-time closed-loop paradigm and simultaneous macro- and micro-electrode recordings, we studied the effects of self-induced intracortical oscillatory activity (4–8 Hz) in seven neurosurgical patients. Subjects learned to robustly and specifically induce oscillations in the target frequency, confirmed by increased oscillatory event density. We have found that the session-to-session variability in performance was explained by the functional long-range decoupling of the target area suggesting a training-induced network reorganization. Downstream effects on more local activities included progressive cross-frequency-coupling with gamma oscillations (30–120 Hz), and the dynamic modulation of neuronal firing rates and spike timing, indicating an improved temporal coordination of local circuits. These findings suggest that effects of voluntary control of intracortical oscillations can be exploited to specifically target plasticity processes to reconfigure network activity, with a particular relevance for memory function or skill acquisition. PMID:27808225

  14. 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

  15. Social status modulates neural activity in the mentalizing network.

    PubMed

    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

    2012-04-15

    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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Flexural properties of glass fiber reinforced composite with multiphase biopolymer matrix.

    PubMed

    Väkiparta, M; Yli-Urpo, A; Vallittu, P K

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate flexural properties of glass fiber-reinforced composites with a multiphase biopolymer matrix. Continuous unidirectional E-glass fibers were preimpregnated with a novel biopolymer of poly(hydroxyproline) amide and ester. The preimpregnated fibers were then further impregnated in a co-monomer system of Bis-GMA-TEGDMA, which formed semi-interpenetrating polymer networks (semi-IPN) with the preimpregnated polymer. After light initiated polymerization of the monomer system, rectangular shaped bar specimens (n = 4) were tested by the three-point bending test. The control material was a fiber-reinforced composite with a Bis-GMA-TEDGMA-matrix only. The mean flexural strength of poly(hydroxyproline) amide preimpregnated fiber composite was higher than that of the control (FS = 888 vs. 805 MPa). The poly(hydroxyproline) ester preimpregnated fibers resulted in lower strength (FS = 541 MPa). The results of this study suggest that preimpregnation of glass fibers with poly(hydroxyproline) amide and the use of such fibers in fiber-reinforced composites with IPN polymer matrices, can reach relatively high mechanical properties.

  17. 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.

  18. Default-Mode-Like Network Activation in Awake Rodents

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22125628

  19. Xanthomonas biopolymer for use in displacement of oil from partially depleted reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Wernau, W.C.

    1982-10-05

    A mutant strain of the genus xanthomonas produces a pyruvatefree biopolymer. This biopolymer and the deacetylated form of this new biopolymer provide mobility control solutions which are especially useful for enhanced oil recovery where high brine applications are involved. The mobility control solutions of the present invention may be made from whole or filtered fermentation broth containing the pyrvuate-free biopolymer or its deacetylated form. Alternatively, the biopolymer or its deacetylated form may be recovered from the broth and the recovered product used to form the desired mobility control solutions.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Levetiracetam reduces abnormal network activations in temporal lobe epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Wandschneider, Britta; Stretton, Jason; Sidhu, Meneka; Centeno, Maria; Kozák, Lajos R.; Symms, Mark; Thompson, Pamela J.; Duncan, John S.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: We used functional MRI (fMRI) and a left-lateralizing verbal and a right-lateralizing visual-spatial working memory (WM) paradigm to investigate the effects of levetiracetam (LEV) on cognitive network activations in patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Methods: In a retrospective study, we compared task-related fMRI activations and deactivations in 53 patients with left and 54 patients with right TLE treated with (59) or without (48) LEV. In patients on LEV, activation patterns were correlated with the daily LEV dose. Results: We isolated task- and syndrome-specific effects. Patients on LEV showed normalization of functional network deactivations in the right temporal lobe in right TLE during the right-lateralizing visual-spatial task and in the left temporal lobe in left TLE during the verbal task. In a post hoc analysis, a significant dose-dependent effect was demonstrated in right TLE during the visual-spatial WM task: the lower the LEV dose, the greater the abnormal right hippocampal activation. At a less stringent threshold (p < 0.05, uncorrected for multiple comparisons), a similar dose effect was observed in left TLE during the verbal task: both hippocampi were more abnormally activated in patients with lower doses, but more prominently on the left. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that LEV is associated with restoration of normal activation patterns. Longitudinal studies are necessary to establish whether the neural patterns translate to drug response. Classification of evidence: This study provides Class III evidence that in patients with drug-resistant TLE, levetiracetam has a dose-dependent facilitation of deactivation of mesial temporal structures. PMID:25253743

  5. Infrared linear dichroism as a tool to monitor antitumor drug-induced changes of the conformational flexibility of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritzsche, H.

    1990-03-01

    Conformational changes of biopolymers are often a prerequisite for their biological functioning. Drugs are able to induce restrictions of the conformational flexibility of their biopolymer targets. We studied oriented films of DNA complexed with drugs of potential antitumor activity. The infrared linear dichroism reflects quantitatively the extent of restriction, in this case the repression of the conformational transition of DNA from the B to the A form which is driven by the water activity. The investigated drugs show very different capabilities to restrict the B-A transition of DNA. Strong effects have been found with several nonintercalating as well as intercalating antitumor antibiotics which "freeze" 10-24 DNA base pairs per drug molecule which is up to 2.5 turns of the double helix. The results contribute to a rationale drug design as well as to a better understanding of their antitumor action on the molecular level.

  6. Production of Degradable Biopolymer Composites by Particle-bonding

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Conventionally, polymer composites had been manufactured by mixing the component materials in the extruder at high temperature. Agricultural biopolymers are usually mixtures of many types of compounds; when used as raw materials, however, high-temperature process causes unwanted consequences such a...

  7. Development of correlations to predict biopolymer mobility in porous media

    SciTech Connect

    Hejri, S.; Willhite, G.P.; Green, D.W. )

    1991-02-01

    This paper describes the flow and rheological behavior of biopolymer solutions in sandpacks over a wide range of permeability and frontal advance rates. Empirical correlations were developed to estimate polymer mobility in porous media. The correlations are based on porous medium properties, polymer concentration, and rheological parameters for the polymer derived from steady-shear measurements.

  8. Polymer and biopolymer mediated self-assembly of gold nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Ofir, Yuval; Samanta, Bappaditya; Rotello, Vincent M

    2008-09-01

    Gold nanoparticle-polymer composites are versatile and diverse functional materials, with applications in optical, electronic and sensing devices. This tutorial review focuses on the use of polymers to control the assembly of gold nanoparticles. Examples of synthetic polymers and biopolymers are provided, as well as applications of the composite materials in sensing and memory devices.

  9. 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.)

  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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Rendered-protein hydrolysates for microbial synthesis of cyanophycin biopolymer

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  13. Biopolymers in controlled release devices for agricultural applications.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. 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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. Natural biopolymers : novel templates for the synthesis of nanostructures.

    Treesearch

    Sonal Padalkar; J.R. Capadona; S.J. Rowan; C. Weder; Yu-Ho Won; Lia A. Stanciu; Robert J. Moon

    2010-01-01

    Biological systems such as proteins, viruses, and DNA have been most often reported to be used as templates for the synthesis of functional nanomaterials, but the properties of widely available biopolymers, such as cellulose, have been much less exploited for this purpose. Here, we report for the first time that cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) have the capacity to assist...

  17. 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.)

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Construction of new biopolymer (chitosan)-based pincer-type Pd(II) complex and its catalytic application in Suzuki cross coupling reactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baran, Talat; Menteş, Ayfer

    2017-04-01

    In this paper we described the fabrication, characterization and application of a new biopolymer (chitosan)-based pincer-type Pd(II) catalyst in Suzuki cross coupling reactions using a non-toxic, cheap, eco-friendly and practical method. The catalytic activity tests showed remarkable product yields as well as TON (19800) and TOF (330000) values with a small catalyst loading. In addition, the catalyst indicated good recyclability in the Suzuki C-C reaction. This biopolymer supported catalyst can be used with various catalyst systems due to its unique properties, such as being inert, green in nature, low cost and chemically durable.

  4. Vibrational spectroscopic studies of newly developed synthetic biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Bista, Rajan K; Bruch, Reinhard F; Covington, Aaron M

    2010-05-01

    Vibrational spectroscopic techniques such as near-infrared (NIR), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and Raman spectroscopy are valuable diagnostic tools that can be used to elucidate comprehensive structural information of numerous biological samples. In this review article, we have highlighted the advantages of nanotechnology and biophotonics in conjunction with vibrational spectroscopic techniques in order to understand the various aspects of new kind of synthetic biopolymers termed as polyethylene glycol (PEG)ylated lipids. In contrast to conventional phospholipids, these novel lipids spontaneously form liposomes or nanovesicles upon hydration, without the supply of external activation energy. The amphiphiles considered in this study differ in their hydrophobic acyl chain length and contain different units of PEG hydrophilic headgroups. We have further explored the thermotropic phase behaviors and associated changes in the conformational order/disorder of such lipids by using variable-temperature FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. Phase transition temperature profiles and correlation between various spectral indicators have been identified by either monitoring the shifts in the vibrational peak positions or plotting vibrational peak intensity ratios in the C--H stretching region as a function of temperature. To supplement our observations of phase transformations, a thermodynamic approach known as differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) has been applied and revealed a good agreement with the infrared and Raman spectroscopic data. Finally, the investigation of thermal properties of lipids is extremely crucial for numerous purposes, thus the results obtained in this work may find application in a wide variety of studies including the development of PEGylated lipid based drug and substances delivery vehicles.

  5. 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

  6. Death and rebirth of neural activity in sparse inhibitory networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angulo-Garcia, David; Luccioli, Stefano; Olmi, Simona; Torcini, Alessandro

    2017-05-01

    Inhibition is a key aspect of neural dynamics playing a fundamental role for the emergence of neural rhythms and the implementation of various information coding strategies. Inhibitory populations are present in several brain structures, and the comprehension of their dynamics is strategical for the understanding of neural processing. In this paper, we clarify the mechanisms underlying a general phenomenon present in pulse-coupled heterogeneous inhibitory networks: inhibition can induce not only suppression of neural activity, as expected, but can also promote neural re-activation. In particular, for globally coupled systems, the number of firing neurons monotonically reduces upon increasing the strength of inhibition (neuronal death). However, the random pruning of connections is able to reverse the action of inhibition, i.e. in a random sparse network a sufficiently strong synaptic strength can surprisingly promote, rather than depress, the activity of neurons (neuronal rebirth). Thus, the number of firing neurons reaches a minimum value at some intermediate synaptic strength. We show that this minimum signals a transition from a regime dominated by neurons with a higher firing activity to a phase where all neurons are effectively sub-threshold and their irregular firing is driven by current fluctuations. We explain the origin of the transition by deriving a mean field formulation of the problem able to provide the fraction of active neurons as well as the first two moments of their firing statistics. The introduction of a synaptic time scale does not modify the main aspects of the reported phenomenon. However, for sufficiently slow synapses the transition becomes dramatic, and the system passes from a perfectly regular evolution to irregular bursting dynamics. In this latter regime the model provides predictions consistent with experimental findings for a specific class of neurons, namely the medium spiny neurons in the striatum.

  7. Dysregulated but not decreased salience network activity in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    White, Thomas P.; Gilleen, James; Shergill, Sukhwinder S.

    2013-01-01

    Effective estimation of the salience of environmental stimuli underlies adaptive behavior, while related aberrance is believed to undermine rational thought processes in schizophrenia. A network including bilateral frontoinsular cortex (FIC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) has been observed to respond to salient stimuli using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). To test the hypothesis that activity in this salience network (SN) is less discriminately modulated by contextually-relevant stimuli in schizophrenia than in healthy individuals, fMRI data were collected in 20 individuals with schizophrenia and 13 matched controls during performance of a modified monetary incentive delay (MID) task. After quantitatively identifying spatial components representative of the FIC and dACC features of the SN, two principal analyses were conducted. In the first, modulation of SN activity by salience was assessed by measuring response to trial outcome. First-level general linear models were applied to individual-specific time-courses of SN activity identified using spatial independent component analysis (ICA). This analysis revealed a significant salience-by-performance-by-group interaction on the best-fit FIC component's activity at trial outcome, whereby healthy individuals but not individuals with schizophrenia exhibited greater distinction between the response to hits and misses in high salience trials than in low salience trials. The second analysis aimed to ascertain whether SN component amplitude differed between the study groups over the duration of the experiment. Independent-samples T-tests on back-projected, percent-signal-change scaled SN component images importantly showed that the groups did not differ in the overall amplitude of SN expression over the entire dataset. These findings of dysregulated but not decreased SN activity in schizophrenia provide physiological support for mechanistic conceptual frameworks of delusional thought formation

  8. Sugarcane biopolymer patch in femoral vein angioplasty on dogs.

    PubMed

    de Barros-Marques, Silvio Romero; Marques-Lins, Esdras; de Albuquerque, Maria Cláudia Sodré; de Andrade-Aguiar, José Lamartine

    2012-02-01

    To evaluate the use of the sugarcane biopolymer membrane in femoral vein patch angioplasty on dogs. Eight dogs were submitted to bilateral femoral vein patch angioplasty with a sugarcane biopolymer membrane patch on one side and an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (e-PTFE) patch on the contralateral side. This research was performed at Experimental Surgical Research Laboratory of the Centro de Ciências da Saúde at Universidade Federal de Pernambuco. The dogs underwent new surgery at 180 days after the patch angioplasty in order to harvest the femoral vein. All the animals were evaluated by clinical examination, measure of femoral vein diameter, venogram, and Doppler fluxometry. The material harvested was sent for histologic study. Each animal served as its own control. In all veins of both groups, there were no cases of infection, rupture, or pseudoaneurysm formation and thrombosis. In both groups, a chronic inflammatory reaction was observed, with lymphocytes, neutrophils, and fibrosis in the outer surface of the patches. Fibrosis was seen in the inner surfaces of all the patches. In e-PTFE patches, invasion by fibroblasts occurred. The sugarcane biopolymer membrane can be used as a patch in femoral vein angioplasty on dogs. The sugarcane biopolymer membrane is easily synthesized with a low cost of production. This membrane has been used in many areas of experimental surgery as in the healing of skin wounds, in urinary reconstruction, in reconstruction of tympanic membrane, and as an arterial substitute, but there is no report of its use as a vein substitute. In order to evaluate the possibility of using the sugarcane biopolymer membrane in venous reconstructive surgery, this study analyzed its utilization in femoral vein patch angioplasty. Copyright © 2012 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Genetic Networks Controlling Structural Outcome of Glucosinolate Activation across Development

    PubMed Central

    Wentzell, Adam M.; Boeye, Ian; Zhang, Zhiyong; Kliebenstein, Daniel J.

    2008-01-01

    Most phenotypic variation present in natural populations is under polygenic control, largely determined by genetic variation at quantitative trait loci (QTLs). These genetic loci frequently interact with the environment, development, and each other, yet the importance of these interactions on the underlying genetic architecture of quantitative traits is not well characterized. To better study how epistasis and development may influence quantitative traits, we studied genetic variation in Arabidopsis glucosinolate activation using the moderately sized Bayreuth×Shahdara recombinant inbred population, in terms of number of lines. We identified QTLs for glucosinolate activation at three different developmental stages. Numerous QTLs showed developmental dependency, as well as a large epistatic network, centered on the previously cloned large-effect glucosinolate activation QTL, ESP. Analysis of Heterogeneous Inbred Families validated seven loci and all of the QTL×DPG (days post-germination) interactions tested, but was complicated by the extensive epistasis. A comparison of transcript accumulation data within 211 of these RILs showed an extensive overlap of gene expression QTLs for structural specifiers and their homologs with the identified glucosinolate activation loci. Finally, we were able to show that two of the QTLs are the result of whole-genome duplications of a glucosinolate activation gene cluster. These data reveal complex age-dependent regulation of structural outcomes and suggest that transcriptional regulation is associated with a significant portion of the underlying ontogenic variation and epistatic interactions in glucosinolate activation. PMID:18949035

  10. Neural Network Hydrological Modelling: Linear Output Activation Functions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abrahart, R. J.; Dawson, C. W.

    2005-12-01

    The power to represent non-linear hydrological processes is of paramount importance in neural network hydrological modelling operations. The accepted wisdom requires non-polynomial activation functions to be incorporated in the hidden units such that a single tier of hidden units can thereafter be used to provide a 'universal approximation' to whatever particular hydrological mechanism or function is of interest to the modeller. The user can select from a set of default activation functions, or in certain software packages, is able to define their own function - the most popular options being logistic, sigmoid and hyperbolic tangent. If a unit does not transform its inputs it is said to possess a 'linear activation function' and a combination of linear activation functions will produce a linear solution; whereas the use of non-linear activation functions will produce non-linear solutions in which the principle of superposition does not hold. For hidden units, speed of learning and network complexities are important issues. For the output units, it is desirable to select an activation function that is suited to the distribution of the target values: e.g. binary targets (logistic); categorical targets (softmax); continuous-valued targets with a bounded range (logistic / tanh); positive target values with no known upper bound (exponential; but beware of overflow); continuous-valued targets with no known bounds (linear). It is also standard practice in most hydrological applications to use the default software settings and to insert a set of identical non-linear activation functions in the hidden layer and output layer processing units. Mixed combinations have nevertheless been reported in several hydrological modelling papers and the full ramifications of such activities requires further investigation and assessment i.e. non-linear activation functions in the hidden units connected to linear or clipped-linear activation functions in the output unit. There are two

  11. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Therapeutic foam scaffolds incorporating biopolymer-shelled mesoporous nanospheres with growth factors.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae-Hyun; Eltohamy, Mohamed; Kim, Meeju; Perez, Roman A; Kim, Joong-Hyun; Yun, Ye-Rang; Jang, Jun-Hyeog; Lee, Eun-Jung; Knowles, Jonathan C; Kim, Hae-Won

    2014-06-01

    A novel therapeutic scaffolding system of engineered nanocarriers within a foam matrix for the long-term and sequential delivery of growth factors is reported. Mesoporous silica nanospheres were first functionalized to have an enlarged mesopore size (12.2nm) and aminated surface, which was then shelled by a biopolymer, poly(lactic acid) (PLA) or poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), via electrospraying. The hybrid nanocarrier was subsequently combined with collagen to produce foam scaffolds. Bovine serum albumin (BSA), used as a model protein, was effectively loaded within the enlarged nanospheres. The biopolymer shell substantially prolonged the release period of BSA (2-3weeks from shelled nanospheres vs. within 1week from bare nanospheres), and the release rate was highly dependent on the shell composition (PEG>PLA). Collagen foam scaffolding of the shelled nanocarrier further slowed down the protein release, while enabling the incorporation of a rapidly releasing protein, which is effective for sequential protein delivery. Acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF), loaded onto the shelled-nanocarrier scaffolds, was released over a month at a highly sustainable rate, profiling a release pattern similar to that of BSA. The biological activity of the aFGF was evidenced by the significant proliferation of osteoblastic precursor cells in the aFGF-releasing scaffolds. Furthermore, the aFGF-delivering scaffolds implanted in rat subcutaneous tissue for 2weeks showed a substantially enhanced invasion of fibroblasts with a homogeneous population. Taken together, it is concluded that the biopolymer encapsulation of mesoporous nanospheres effectively prolongs the release of growth factors over weeks to a month, providing a nanocarrier platform for a long-term growth factor delivery. Moreover, the foam scaffolding of the nanocarrier system is a potential therapeutic three-dimensional matrix for cell culture and tissue engineering. Copyright © 2014 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Design principles and specificity in biological networks with cross activation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Bo; Levine, Herbert; Rappel, Wouter-Jan

    2011-04-01

    Cells sense and respond to diverse environmental stimuli using a set of intracellular signaling components. Often, the signal transduction pathways contain shared components which lead to cross activation at different levels of the pathway. To discover the design principles that ensure signaling specificity is a challenging task, especially for pathways that contain numerous components. Here, we present an analysis of cross-activating pathways and show that a general inhibitory scheme, asymmetric hierarchical inhibition, is sufficient to ensure signaling specificity. Based on this inhibitory scheme, we are able to enumerate all possible network topologies containing two inhibitory links that guarantee specificity. Furthermore, we apply our methodology to the mating and filamentous growth pathways of the yeast model system Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We enumerate the possible ways to wire this model system and determine which topology is consistent with experimental data.

  17. 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.

  18. Modulation of Rhythmic Activity in Mammalian Spinal Networks Is Dependent on Excitability State

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Neuromodulators play an important role in activating rhythmically active motor networks; however, what remains unclear are the network interactions whereby neuromodulators recruit spinal motor networks to produce rhythmic activity. Evidence from invertebrate systems has demonstrated that the effect of neuromodulators depends on the pre-existing state of the network. We explored how network excitation state affects the ability of dopamine to evoke rhythmic locomotor activity in the neonatal mouse isolated spinal cord. We found that dopamine can evoke unique patterns of motor activity that are dependent on the excitability state of motor networks. Different patterns of motor activity ranging from tonic, nonrhythmic activity to multirhythmic, nonlocomotor activity to locomotor activity were produced by altering global motor network excitability through manipulations of the extracellular potassium and bath NMDA concentration. A similar effect was observed when network excitation was manipulated during an unstable multirhythm evoked by a low concentration (15 µm) of 5-HT, suggesting that our results are not neuromodulator specific. Our data show in vertebrate systems that modulation is a two-way street and that modulatory actions are largely influenced by the network state. The level of network excitation can account for variability between preparations and is an additional factor to be considered when circuit elements are removed from the network. PMID:28144626

  19. Detection of silent cells, synchronization and modulatory activity in developing cellular networks.

    PubMed

    Hjorth, Johannes J J; Dawitz, Julia; Kroon, Tim; Pires, Johny; Dassen, Valerie J; Berkhout, Janna A; Emperador Melero, Javier; Nadadhur, Aish G; Alevra, Mihai; Toonen, Ruud F; Heine, Vivi M; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Meredith, Rhiannon M

    2016-04-01

    Developing networks in the immature nervous system and in cellular cultures are characterized by waves of synchronous activity in restricted clusters of cells. Synchronized activity in immature networks is proposed to regulate many different developmental processes, from neuron growth and cell migration, to the refinement of synapses, topographic maps, and the mature composition of ion channels. These emergent activity patterns are not present in all cells simultaneously within the network and more immature "silent" cells, potentially correlated with the presence of silent synapses, are prominent in different networks during early developmental periods. Many current network analyses for detection of synchronous cellular activity utilize activity-based pixel correlations to identify cellular-based regions of interest (ROIs) and coincident cell activity. However, using activity-based correlations, these methods first underestimate or ignore the inactive silent cells within the developing network and second, are difficult to apply within cell-dense regions commonly found in developing brain networks. In addition, previous methods may ignore ROIs within a network that shows transient activity patterns comprising both inactive and active periods. We developed analysis software to semi-automatically detect cells within developing neuronal networks that were imaged using calcium-sensitive reporter dyes. Using an iterative threshold, modulation of activity was tracked within individual cells across the network. The distribution pattern of both inactive and active, including synchronous cells, could be determined based on distance measures to neighboring cells and according to different anatomical layers.

  20. Physical limits to biomechanical sensing in disordered fibre networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beroz, Farzan; Jawerth, Louise M.; Münster, Stefan; Weitz, David A.; Broedersz, Chase P.; Wingreen, Ned S.

    2017-07-01

    Cells actively probe and respond to the stiffness of their surroundings. Since mechanosensory cells in connective tissue are surrounded by a disordered network of biopolymers, their in vivo mechanical environment can be extremely heterogeneous. Here we investigate how this heterogeneity impacts mechanosensing by modelling the cell as an idealized local stiffness sensor inside a disordered fibre network. For all types of networks we study, including experimentally-imaged collagen and fibrin architectures, we find that measurements applied at different points yield a strikingly broad range of local stiffnesses, spanning roughly two decades. We verify via simulations and scaling arguments that this broad range of local stiffnesses is a generic property of disordered fibre networks. Finally, we show that to obtain optimal, reliable estimates of global tissue stiffness, a cell must adjust its size, shape, and position to integrate multiple stiffness measurements over extended regions of space.

  1. 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.

  2. The origin of spontaneous activity in developing networks of the vertebrate nervous system.

    PubMed

    O'Donovan, M J

    1999-02-01

    Spontaneous neuronal activity has been detected in many parts of the developing vertebrate nervous system. Recent studies suggest that this activity depends on properties that are probably shared by all developing networks. Of particular importance is the high excitability of recurrently connected, developing networks and the presence of activity-induced transient depression of network excitability. In the spinal cord, it has been proposed that the interaction of these properties gives rise to spontaneous, periodic activity.

  3. Emulation of the Active Immune Response in a Computer Network

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-15

    Dynamics of the Estimation Process 53 15 Dual Network Interface for concurrent execution of testbed experiments and lab management 57 16 Hardware Testbed...Two Physical Nodes 62 20 Network Security Testbed Management Software Stack 63 21 Virtual Network Topology for Worm Propagation Experiment Generated...system could be reformulated in terms of the characteristics of computer networks and interpreted as a set of instructions to a network manager . This

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-04

    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.

  6. Thermodynamic aspects of biopolymer functionality in biological systems, foods, and beverages.

    PubMed

    Tolstoguzov, Vladimir

    2002-01-01

    Molecular mimicry and molecular symbiosis are proposed to be the main factors controlling thermodynamic activity and phase behavior of macromolecular compounds in foods, beverages, and chyme. Molecular mimicry implies a chemical resemblance of hydrophilic surfaces of globular proteins with their chemical information hidden in the hydrophobic interior and low excluded volume of the globules. The molecular mimicry contributes to the efficiency of enzymes. Molecular symbiosis means that interactions attraction or repulsion) between biopolymer molecules greatly differing in conformation (globular and rod-like) favor the biological efficiency of one of them at least. The symbiosis is based on excluded volume effects of macromolecules in mixed solutions. Association-dissociation of rod-like macromolecules can dictate thermodynamic activity of an enzyme in the mixed solution. Thermodynamic incompatibility is typical of food macromolecules, whose denaturation, association, complexing, and chemical modification reduce their mimicry and co-solubility. Foods are normally phase-separated systems with highly volume-occupied phases. The phase-separated nature of the gel-like chyme is important to the efficiency of digestion of mixed diets. Phase separation of biopolymer mixtures, presumably, underlies mechanisms of nonspecific immune defense. The phase behavior-functionality relationships is presented through concrete examples of some foods (such as milk products, low-fat spreads, ice cream, wheat and rye doughs, thermoplastic extrudates, etc.), beverages (tea and coffee), and chyme.

  7. Development of Seaweed-based Biopolymers for Edible Films and Lectins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Praseptiangga, D.

    2017-04-01

    Marine macroalgae (seaweeds) as one of important groups of biopolymers play an important role in human life. Biopolymers have been studied regarding their film-forming properties to produce edible films intended as food packaging and active ingredient carriers. Edible film, a thin layer or which is an integral part of food and can be eaten together with, have been used to avoid food quality deterioration due to physico-chemical changes, texture changes, or chemical reactions. Film-forming materials can be utilized individually or as mixed composite blends. Proteins and polysaccharides used for their mechanical and structural properties, and hydrophobic substances (lipids, essential oils, and emulsifiers) to provide good moisture barrier properties. In addition, bioactive substances from marine natural products, including seaweeds, have been explored for being used in the fields of medicine, food science, pharmaceutical science, biochemistry, and glycobiology. Among them, lectins or carbohydrate-binding proteins from seaweeds have recently been remarked. Lectins (hemagglutinins) are widely distributed in nature and also good candidates in such prospecting of seaweeds. They are useful as convenient tools to discriminate differences in carbohydrate structures and reveal various biological activities through binding and interacting to carbohydrates, suggesting that they are promising candidates for medicinal and clinical application.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26089794

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc. extract and its biopolymer encapsulation on a mouse model of colitis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seung Yun; Lee, Seung-Jae; Hur, Sun Jin

    2017-01-01

    Prunus mume suppresses various diseases caused by inflammation response and exhibits antioxidant and free radical-scavenging activities. Therefore this study determined the effect of an aqueous P. mume (PM) extract in a mouse colitis model and investigated the value of biopolymer encapsulation, facilitating targeted delivery to the colon. Colitis was induced by administration of 30 g kg(-1) dextran sulfate sodium to male BALB/c mice for 7 days prior to treatment with vehicle, 50 mg kg(-1) PM extract or biopolymer-encapsulated PM extract, or 50 mg kg(-1) sulfasalazine. Histological examination of the colon in BALB/c mice showed epithelial destruction and mucosal infiltration of inflammatory cells. These changes were attenuated in PM-treated mice, which had lower levels of inflammatory cytokines, cyclooxygenase 2 and immunoglobulins (IgA, IgM and IgE) compared with the vehicle-treated colitis group. The PM extract showed concentration-dependent radical scavenging and superoxide dismutase-like antioxidant activities. These results indicated that the effects of the PM extract on colitis were not influenced by biopolymer encapsulation and that this PM extract could be a potential therapeutic agent for inflammatory bowel disease. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. Organization of prefrontal network activity by respiration-related oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Biskamp, Jonatan; Bartos, Marlene; Sauer, Jonas-Frederic

    2017-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) integrates information from cortical and sub-cortical areas and contributes to the planning and initiation of behaviour. A potential mechanism for signal integration in the mPFC lies in the synchronization of neuronal discharges by theta (6–12 Hz) activity patterns. Here we show, using in vivo local field potential (LFP) and single-unit recordings from awake mice, that prominent oscillations in the sub-theta frequency band (1–5 Hz) emerge during awake immobility in the mPFC. These oscillation patterns are distinct from but phase-locked to hippocampal theta activity and occur synchronized with nasal respiration (hence termed prefrontal respiration rhythm [PRR]). PRR activity modulates the amplitude of prefrontal gamma rhythms with greater efficacy than theta oscillations. Furthermore, single-unit discharges of putative pyramidal cells and GABAergic interneurons are entrained by prefrontal PRR and nasal respiration. Our data thus suggest that PRR activity contributes to information processing in the prefrontal neuronal network. PMID:28349959

  13. 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.

  14. Water flow based geometric active deformable model for road network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leninisha, Shanmugam; Vani, Kaliaperumal

    2015-04-01

    A width and color based geometric active deformable model is proposed for road network extraction from remote sensing images with minimal human interception. Orientation and width of road are computed from a single manual seed point, from which the propagation starts both right and left hand directions of the starting point, which extracts the interconnected road network from the aerial or high spatial resolution satellite image automatically. Here the propagation (like water flow in canal with defined boundary) is restricted with color and width of the road. Road extraction is done for linear, curvilinear (U shape and S shape) roads first, irrespective of width and color. Then, this algorithm is improved to extract road with junctions in a shape of L, T and X along with center line. Roads with small break or disconnected roads are also extracts by a modified version of this same algorithm. This methodology is tested and evaluated with various remote sensing images. The experimental results show that the proposed method is efficient and extracting roads accurately with less computation time. However, in complex urban areas, the identification accuracy declines due to the various sizes of obstacles, over bridges, multilane etc.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Rheology of Active Gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Daniel

    2015-03-01

    Active networks drive a diverse range of critical processes ranging from motility to division in living cells, yet a full picture of their rheological capabilities in non-cellular contexts is still emerging, e.g., How does the rheological response of a network capable of remodeling under internally-generated stresses differ from that of a passive biopolymer network? In order to address this and other basic questions, we have engineered an active gel composed of microtubules, bidirectional kinesin motors, and molecular depletant that self-organizes into a highly dynamic network of active bundles. The network continually remodels itself under ATP-tunable cycles of extension, buckling, fracturing, and self-healing. Using confocal rheometry we have simultaneously characterized the network's linear and non-linear rheological responses to shear deformation along with its dynamic morphology. We find several surprising and unique material properties for these active gels; most notably, rheological cloaking, the ability of the active gel to drive large-scale fluid mixing over several orders of flow magnitude while maintaining an invariant, solid-like rheological profile and spontaneous flow under confinement, the ability to exert micro-Newton forces to drive persistent directed motion of the rheometer tool. Taken together, these results and others to be discussed highlight the rich stress-structure-dynamics relationships in this class of biologically-derived active gels.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Kinetic study of lead adsorption to composite biopolymer adsorbent

    SciTech Connect

    Seki, H.; Suzuki, A.

    1999-03-15

    A kinetic study of lead adsorption to composite biopolymer adsorbents was carried out. Spherical and membranous adsorbents containing two biopolymers, humic acid and alginic acid, were used for lead adsorption in dilute acidic solutions. The shrinking core model derived by M.G. Rao and A.K. Gupta was applied to describe the rate process of lead adsorption to spherical adsorbents (average radii of 0.12, 0.15, and 0.16 cm). Furthermore, the shrinking core model was modified and adapted for description of the rate process of lead adsorption to membranous adsorbent (average thickness of 0.0216 cm). The adsorption rate process for both the cases was well described and average apparent lead diffusion coefficients of about 6 {times} 10{sup {minus}6} and 7 {times} 10{sup {minus}6} cm{sup 2}/s were found for the spherical and membranous adsorbents, respectively.

  5. Non-biodegradable biopolymers from renewable resources: perspectives and impacts.

    PubMed

    Steinbüchel, Alexander

    2005-12-01

    In recent years the biotechnological production of bulk biopolymers has focused on the synthesis of biodegradable polymers to replace their non-biodegradable counterparts derived from fossil resources. Examples include polyhydroxyalkanoates and polylactic acid, which act as substitutes for polyolefins. By contrast, the biotechnological production of non-biodegradable polymers from renewable resources has so far been scarcely considered, probably because this idea contradicts the paradigm that all natural compounds are biodegradable. Polythioesters, which were recently described as new biopolymers, do not follow this paradigm because although they are produced by bacteria, they are persistent to microbial degradation. Mankind has a need for both non-biodegradable and biodegradable polymers and methods to produce them from renewable resources will be of great value.

  6. Applications of biopolymers and other biotechnological products in building materials.

    PubMed

    Plank, Johann

    2004-11-01

    Bio admixtures are functional molecules used in building products to optimize material properties. They include natural or modified biopolymers, biotechnological and biodegradable products. Concrete and dry-mix mortars (e.g. wall plasters or tile adhesives) represent two major applications for bio admixtures. Examples of bio products used in concrete are lignosulfonate, sodium gluconate, pine root extract, protein hydrolysates and Welan gum; and in dry-mix mortar methyl hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl starch, guar gum, tartaric acid, casein, succinoglycan and Xanthan gum. In a number of applications, bio admixtures compete well with synthetic admixtures. Sometimes, they are indispensable in the formulation of certain building products. Their market share is expected to increase because of technological advances, particularly in the field of microbial biopolymers, and because of the growing trend to use naturally based or biodegradable products in building materials.

  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.

  9. Structure/function relationships of several biopolymers as related to invertase stability in dehydrated systems.

    PubMed

    Santagapita, Patricio R; Brizuela, Leissy Gómez; Mazzobre, M Florencia; Ramirez, Héctor L; Corti, Horacio R; Santana, Reynaldo Villalonga; Buera, M Pilar

    2008-02-01

    Structure/function relationships of different biopolymers (alginate, dextran, or beta-cyclodextrin) were analyzed as single excipients or combined with trehalose in relation to their efficiency as enzyme stabilizers in freeze-dried formulations and compared to trehalose. Particularly, a novel synthesized polymer beta-cyclodextrin-branched alginate (beta-CD-A) was employed as excipient. During freeze-drying, the polymers or their mixtures did not confer better protection to invertase compared to trehalose. Beta-CD-A (with or without trehalose), beta-cyclodextrin (beta-CD), or dextran with trehalose were the best protective agents during thermal treatment, while beta-CD and alginate showed a negative effect on invertase activity preservation. The beta-CD linked alginate combined the physical stability provided by alginate with the stabilization of hydrophobic regions of the enzyme provided by cyclodextrin. Beta-CD-A was effective even at conditions at which trehalose lost its protective effect. A relatively simple covalent combination of two biopolymers significantly affected their functionalities and, consequently, their interactions with proteins, modifying enzyme stability patterns.

  10. Biopolymer-coated nanoliposomes as carriers of rainbow trout skin-derived antioxidant peptides.

    PubMed

    Ramezanzade, Leila; Hosseini, Seyed Fakhreddin; Nikkhah, Maryam

    2017-11-01

    In this study, an antioxidant peptide fraction with a molecular mass<30kDa (PF30) isolated from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) skin gelatin hydrolysates was encapsulated in chitosan-coated nanoliposomes. The mean particle size of liposomal nanovesicles containing PF30 was found to be in the range 163.4-234nm with a low polydispersity index (PDI<0.5); furthermore, the ζ-potential changed from +3.9mV in uncoated liposomes to +45.5mV in biopolymer-coated liposomes. FTIR spectra showed electrostatic interactions as well as hydrogen bonding between phospholipid head groups and amine groups of chitosan. The entrapment efficiency of PF30 (2mg/ml) was found to be highest in nanoliposomes coated with 0.4% (w/v) chitosan. Biopolymer-coated liposomes demonstrated more sustained peptide release behavior in vitro. Moreover, the chitosan-coated nanoliposomes maintained the antioxidant activity of the PF30 and could be considered a potential candidate for efficient delivery of bioactive compounds in nutraceutical and functional foods. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Functional modules, structural topology, and optimal activity in metabolic networks.

    PubMed

    Resendis-Antonio, Osbaldo; Hernández, Magdalena; Mora, Yolanda; Encarnación, Sergio

    2012-01-01

    Modular organization in biological networks has been suggested as a natural mechanism by which a cell coordinates its metabolic strategies for evolving and responding to environmental perturbations. To understand how this occurs, there is a need for developing computational schemes that contribute to integration of genomic-scale information and assist investigators in formulating biological hypotheses in a quantitative and systematic fashion. In this work, we combined metabolome data and constraint-based modeling to elucidate the relationships among structural modules, functional organization, and the optimal metabolic phenotype of Rhizobium etli, a bacterium that fixes nitrogen in symbiosis with Phaseolus vulgaris. To experimentally characterize the metabolic phenotype of this microorganism, we obtained the metabolic profile of 220 metabolites at two physiological stages: under free-living conditions, and during nitrogen fixation with P. vulgaris. By integrating these data into a constraint-based model, we built a refined computational platform with the capability to survey the metabolic activity underlying nitrogen fixation in R. etli. Topological analysis of the metabolic reconstruction led us to identify modular structures with functional activities. Consistent with modular activity in metabolism, we found that most of the metabolites experimentally detected in each module simultaneously increased their relative abundances during nitrogen fixation. In this work, we explore the relationships among topology, biological function, and optimal activity in the metabolism of R. etli through an integrative analysis based on modeling and metabolome data. Our findings suggest that the metabolic activity during nitrogen fixation is supported by interacting structural modules that correlate with three functional classifications: nucleic acids, peptides, and lipids. More fundamentally, we supply evidence that such modular organization during functional nitrogen fixation is

  12. 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.

  13. Application of Raman spectroscopy method for analysis of biopolymer materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timchenko, Elena V.; Timchenko, Pavel E.; Volchkov, S. E.; Mahortova, Alexsandra O.; Asadova, Anna A.; Kornilin, Dmitriy V.

    2016-10-01

    This work presents the results of spectral analysis of biopolymer materials that are implemented in medical sphere. Polymer samples containing polycaprolactone and iron oxides of different valence were used in the studies. Raman spectroscopy method was used as a main control method. Relative content of iron and polycaprolactone in studied materials was assessed using ratio of RS intensities values at 604 cm-1 and 1726 cm-1 wavenumbers to intensity value of 1440 cm-1 line.

  14. Contrasting nanoparticles diffusion in synthetic and biopolymer solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alam, Sharmine; Kohli, Indermeet; Mukhopadhyay, Ashis

    2015-03-01

    We investigated the dynamics of gold nanospheres (AuNS) and nanorods (AuNR) in synthetic polymer (polyethylene glycol) and biopolymer (bovine serum albumin and mucin) solutions. The variables are particle size and shape, polymer volume fraction, etc. The fluctuation correlation spectroscopy (FCS) was used to measure the translational (DT) and rotational diffusion (DR) of gold nanoparticles. Comparison will be made for the nano-viscosities at different length scales. The nanoparticle dynamics within the mucus gel will be presented.

  15. Recent synchrotron radiation microdiffraction experiments on polymer and biopolymer fibers.

    PubMed

    Riekel, C; García Gutiérrez, M C; Gourrier, A; Roth, S

    2003-07-01

    The status of synchrotron radiation (SR) microdiffraction techniques developed at the ID13 beamline of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) is reviewed for polymer and biopolymer fiber applications. Beam sizes in the micrometer-range have been used to study the local structure of whole fibers such as viscose-rayon or poly(p-phenylene terephthalamide). The possibilities for in situ studies during stretching, extrusion, or indentation will be discussed.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The effects of biopolymer encapsulation on total lipids and cholesterol in egg yolk during in vitro human digestion.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-07

    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.

  19. 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

  20. A biofriendly silica gel for in situ protein entrapment: biopolymer-assisted formation and its kinetic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guan-Hai; Zhang, Li-Ming

    2009-03-05

    In an attempt to develop a biofriendly sol-gel route for the rapid formation of biofunctional silica gels, a biopolymer with good biocompatibility was used to assist the gelation of glycol-modified tetraethoxysilane (GMT) in aqueous system without the addition of any organic solvents. It was found that the biopolymer used could act as an effective accelerator for the sol-gel transition of GMT and an increase of its amount could shorten greatly the gelation time. For such a gelation reaction, its apparent activation energy was determined to be 64.9 kJ/mol according to the Arrhenius equation. In particular, the kinetic mechanism for the formation of the silica gel was investigated by using dynamic theological data and a scaling fractal model. It was revealed that the biopolymer used could change the sol-gel transition mechanism from reaction-limited kinetics to diffusion-limited kinetics. Circular dichroism analyses confirmed the suitability of using the resultant silica gel for the in situ protein encapsulation.

  1. [Sugarcane biopolymer membrane: experimental evaluation in the middle ear].

    PubMed

    Mayer, Débora Lopes Bunzen; Araújo, Juliana Gusmão de; Leal, Mariana de Carvalho; Caldas Neto, Silvio da Silva; Ataíde, Rafael Figueiredo; Mello, Roberto José Vieria de

    2011-01-01

    New developments on biomaterials are important in surgery. The behavior of a new membrane produced from sugarcane will be evaluated in the middle ear of rats. This study analyzed the results from the interaction of the sugarcane-base biopolymer membrane in the middle ear of a rat. We ran an experimental, prospective, paired study with 24 Wistar rats. The sugarcane-base polymer membrane was inoculated in the right ear; and an autologous fascia in the left ear. The rats were divided in 3 groups of 8, and slaughtered at 4, 8 and 12 weeks after surgery. Histological analyses were performed on the rats' middle ear mucosa and their tympanic membranes. There was an inflammatory reaction on the experimental group and middle ear subacute exudate in 50%of the cases; 30% chronic exudate; and 20% was normal. In the control group there was only one case of exudate. The inflammation was initially described as intense, but it decreased over time. Myringosclerosis was observed in both groups. The sugarcane biopolymer membrane was absorbed later when compared with fascia. The sugarcane biopolymer membrane induced an inflammatory reaction in the middle ear which decreased over time, and mild fibrosis. Future studies can indicate its use in otolaryngology.

  2. Adhesion of Pancreatic Beta Cells to Biopolymer Films

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Active and Reactive Power Optimal Dispatch Associated with Load and DG Uncertainties in Active Distribution Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, F.; Song, X. H.; Zhang, Y.; Li, J. F.; Zhao, S. S.; Ma, W. Q.; Jia, Z. Y.

    2017-05-01

    In order to reduce the adverse effects of uncertainty on optimal dispatch in active distribution network, an optimal dispatch model based on chance-constrained programming is proposed in this paper. In this model, the active and reactive power of DG can be dispatched at the aim of reducing the operating cost. The effect of operation strategy on the cost can be reflected in the objective which contains the cost of network loss, DG curtailment, DG reactive power ancillary service, and power quality compensation. At the same time, the probabilistic constraints can reflect the operation risk degree. Then the optimal dispatch model is simplified as a series of single stage model which can avoid large variable dimension and improve the convergence speed. And the single stage model is solved using a combination of particle swarm optimization (PSO) and point estimate method (PEM). Finally, the proposed optimal dispatch model and method is verified by the IEEE33 test system.

  6. Enhanced excitatory synaptic network activity following transient group I metabotropic glutamate activation.

    PubMed

    Pan, Y-Z; Rutecki, P A

    2014-09-05

    Prolonged activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) using the agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) produces long-lasting changes in the CA3 region of the hippocampal slice. Changes in CA3 pyramidal neuron excitability that follow DHPG exposure result in abnormal network activity manifest by epileptiform activity that consists of interictal and longer lasting ictal epileptiform discharges. In this study we evaluated changes in synaptic activity of CA3 neurons in rat hippocampal slices that occurred after exposure to DHPG. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings were made from visually identified CA3 neurons in control artificial cerebrospinal fluid at times greater than 1h after DHPG exposure. Compared to control slices, neurons from slices exposed to DHPG showed enhanced amplitude and frequency of spontaneously occurring excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) without a concurrent change in inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSC) amplitude or frequency. Miniature EPSCs were not affected by DHPG exposure but mIPSCs occurred less frequently and were of reduced amplitude. IPSCs recorded in the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptor blockade occurred less frequently in neurons that had been exposed to DHPG. Monosynaptic-evoked IPSPs were also reduced in amplitude in neurons that had been exposed to DHPG. Taken together, these findings demonstrated an enhanced network excitability of the CA3 region and failure of compensatory synaptic inhibition. We propose that prolonged activation of group I mGluR that may occur under conditions of pathological glutamate release results in long-lasting changes in CA3 synaptic network activity and epileptiform activity driven by excessive synaptic excitation.

  7. 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.

  8. Both novelty and expertise increase action observation network activity

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24062656

  9. Active Low Intrusion Hybrid Monitor for Wireless Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-18

    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.

  10. Polyphenols activate energy sensing network in insulin resistant models.

    PubMed

    Mutlur Krishnamoorthy, Radika; Carani Venkatraman, Anuradha

    2017-09-25

    Unhealthy diet deficient in fruits and vegetables but rich in calories is considered to be one factor responsible for the increased prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D). The consumption of fast foods and soft drinks increases fructose consumption per se and this is of major concern since prolonged fructose intake induces insulin resistance and thereby T2D. The energy homeostasis is regulated by a network consisting of "fuel gauze" called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), the NAD(+) dependent type III deacetylase (SIRT1) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) which is disrupted in T2D. The present study was aimed to investigate the action of naringenin and quercetin on energy sensing molecules in insulin resistant models. L6 myotubes and albino Wistar rats were rendered insulin resistant with palmitate and fructose respectively. Naringenin, quercetin or metformin were used for treatment. Fructose and palmitate treatment resulted in insulin resistance as evidenced by decreased glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) translocation. The translocation of GLUT4, phosphorylation of AMPK and the expression of SIRT1 and PGC-1α which were reduced in insulin resistant cells, were increased upon treatment with polyphenols. Further, naringenin and quercetin showed binding affinity with energy sensing molecules. We conclude that drugs from natural resources that target energy sensing molecules might be helpful to prevent insulin resistance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Active bacterial core surveillance of the emerging infections program network.

    PubMed Central

    Schuchat, A.; Hilger, T.; Zell, E.; Farley, M. M.; Reingold, A.; Harrison, L.; Lefkowitz, L.; Danila, R.; Stefonek, K.; Barrett, N.; Morse, D.; Pinner, R.

    2001-01-01

    Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs) is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several state health departments and universities participating in the Emerging Infections Program Network. ABCs conducts population-based active surveillance, collects isolates, and performs studies of invasive disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, group A and group B Streptococcus, Neisseria meningitidis, and Haemophilus influenzae for a population of 17 to 30 million. These pathogens caused an estimated 97,000 invasive cases, resulting in 10,000 deaths in the United States in 1998. Incidence rates of these pathogens are described. During 1998, 25% of invasive pneumococcal infections in ABCs areas were not susceptible to penicillin, and 13.3% were not susceptible to three classes of antibiotics. In 1998, early-onset group B streptococcal disease had declined by 65% over the previous 6 years. More information on ABCs is available at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/abcs. ABCs specimens will soon be available to researchers through an archive. PMID:11266299

  12. Persistent dynamic attractors in activity patterns of cultured neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagenaar, Daniel A.; Nadasdy, Zoltan; Potter, Steve M.

    2006-05-01

    Three remarkable features of the nervous system—complex spatiotemporal patterns, oscillations, and persistent activity—are fundamental to such diverse functions as stereotypical motor behavior, working memory, and awareness. Here we report that cultured cortical networks spontaneously generate a hierarchical structure of periodic activity with a strongly stereotyped population-wide spatiotemporal structure demonstrating all three fundamental properties in a recurring pattern. During these “superbursts,” the firing sequence of the culture periodically converges to a dynamic attractor orbit. Precursors of oscillations and persistent activity have previously been reported as intrinsic properties of the neurons. However, complex spatiotemporal patterns that are coordinated in a large population of neurons and persist over several hours—and thus are capable of representing and preserving information—cannot be explained by known oscillatory properties of isolated neurons. Instead, the complexity of the observed spatiotemporal patterns implies large-scale self-organization of neurons interacting in a precise temporal order even in vitro, in cultures usually considered to have random connectivity.

  13. 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

  14. Predicting Single-Neuron Activity in Locally Connected Networks

    PubMed Central

    Azhar, Feraz; Anderson, William S.

    2014-01-01

    The characterization of coordinated activity in neuronal populations has received renewed interest in the light of advancing experimental techniques that allow recordings from multiple units simultaneously. Across both in vitro and in vivo preparations, nearby neurons show coordinated responses when spontaneously active and when subject to external stimuli. Recent work (Truccolo, Hochberg, & Donoghue, 2010) has connected these coordinated responses to behavior, showing that small ensembles of neurons in arm-related areas of sensorimotor cortex can reliably predict single-neuron spikes in behaving monkeys and humans. We investigate this phenomenon using an analogous point process model, showing that in the case of a computational model of cortex responding to random background inputs, one is similarly able to predict the future state of a single neuron by considering its own spiking history, together with the spiking histories of randomly sampled ensembles of nearby neurons. This model exhibits realistic cortical architecture and displays bursting episodes in the two distinct connectivity schemes studied. We conjecture that the baseline predictability we find in these instances is characteristic of locally connected networks more broadly considered. PMID:22845824

  15. Effect of biopolymers on structure of hydroxyapatite and interfacial interactions in biomimetically synthesized hydroxyapatite/biopolymer nanocomposites.

    PubMed

    Verma, Devendra; Katti, Kalpana S; Katti, Dinesh R

    2008-06-01

    The interfacial interaction and effect of biopolymer on crystal structure of hydroxyapatite in biomimetically synthesized nanocomposites, chitosan/hydroxyapatite (ChiHAP50), polygalacturonic acid/hydroxyapatite (PgAHAP50), and chitosan/polygalacturonic acid/hydroxyapatite (ChiPgAHAP50) have been investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and Rietveld analysis. AFM phase images show nano-sized hydroxyapatite particles uniformly distributed in biopolymer. FTIR spectra indicate that chitosan interacts with hydroxyapatite through NH(3)(+) groups, whereas in polygalacturonic acid/hydroxyapatite, dissociated carboxylate groups (COO(-)) form unidentate chelate with calcium atoms. A change in lattice parameters of hydroxyapatite in all nanocomposites is observed using Rietveld analysis. The increase in lattice parameters was most prominent along c-axis in ChiHAP50 and ChiPgAHAP50 nanocomposites, which was 0.388% and 0.319%, respectively. Comparison between particle sizes of hydroxyapatite, determined from AFM and Rietveld analysis, indicates presence of amorphous phase in hydroxyapatite particles, which is believed to be present at the interface of hydroxyapatite and biopolymer.

  16. 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. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-03

    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.

  18. Composite biopolymer scaffolds shape muscle nucleus: Insights and perspectives from Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shuoshuo; Volk, Talila

    2015-01-01

    Contractile muscle fibers produce enormous intrinsic forces during contraction/relaxation waves. These forces are directly applied to their cytoplasmic organelles including mitochondria, sarcoplasmic reticulum, and multiple nuclei. Data from our analysis of Drosophila larval somatic muscle fibers suggest that an intricate network of organized microtubules (MT) intermingled with Spectrin-Repeat-Containing Proteins (SRCPs) are major structural elements that protect muscle organelles and maintain their structure and position during muscle contraction. Whereas the perinuclear MT network provides structural rigidity to the myonucleus, the SRCPs Nesprin and Spectraplakin form semiflexible filamentous biopolymer networks, providing nuclei with the elasticity required to resist the contractile cytoplasmic forces produced by the muscle. Spectrin repeats are domains found in numerous structural proteins, which are able to unfold under tension and are subject to mechanical stresses in the cell. This unique composite scaffold combines rigidity and resilience in order to neutralize the oscillating cellular forces occurring during muscle contraction/relaxation waves and thereby protect myonuclei. We suggest that the elastic properties of SRCPs are critical for nuclear protection and proper function in muscle fibers. PMID:26605802

  19. 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.

  20. Building Blocks of Self-Sustained Activity in a Simple Deterministic Model of Excitable Neural Networks

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Guadalupe C.; Lesne, Annick; Hütt, Marc-Thorsten; Hilgetag, Claus C.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the interplay of topology and dynamics of excitable neural networks is one of the major challenges in computational neuroscience. Here we employ a simple deterministic excitable model to explore how network-wide activation patterns are shaped by network architecture. Our observables are co-activation patterns, together with the average activity of the network and the periodicities in the excitation density. Our main results are: (1) the dependence of the correlation between the adjacency matrix and the instantaneous (zero time delay) co-activation matrix on global network features (clustering, modularity, scale-free degree distribution), (2) a correlation between the average activity and the amount of small cycles in the graph, and (3) a microscopic understanding of the contributions by 3-node and 4-node cycles to sustained activity. PMID:22888317

  1. Defeating Adversary Network Intelligence Efforts with Active Cyber Defense Techniques

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-06-01

    operational networks. These honeypots could then pop - up in ‘stale’ addresses vacated by operational networks (hopping through our address space) or at...their effects. However, the number of known vulnerabilities continues to rise with increasing system complexity, while exploit development time...Network attacks can consist of a wide variety of acts depending on the objective. Examples include denial of service, malware installation, and

  2. Optimal Hierarchical Modular Topologies for Producing Limited Sustained Activation of Neural Networks

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Marcus; Hilgetag, Claus C.

    2009-01-01

    An essential requirement for the representation of functional patterns in complex neural networks, such as the mammalian cerebral cortex, is the existence of stable regimes of network activation, typically arising from a limited parameter range. In this range of limited sustained activity (LSA), the activity of neural populations in the network persists between the extremes of either quickly dying out or activating the whole network. Hierarchical modular networks were previously found to show a wider parameter range for LSA than random or small-world networks not possessing hierarchical organization or multiple modules. Here we explored how variation in the number of hierarchical levels and modules per level influenced network dynamics and occurrence of LSA. We tested hierarchical configurations of different network sizes, approximating the large-scale networks linking cortical columns in one hemisphere of the rat, cat, or macaque monkey brain. Scaling of the network size affected the number of hierarchical levels and modules in the optimal networks, also depending on whether global edge density or the numbers of connections per node were kept constant. For constant edge density, only few network configurations, possessing an intermediate number of levels and a large number of modules, led to a large range of LSA independent of brain size. For a constant number of node connections, there was a trend for optimal configurations in larger-size networks to possess a larger number of hierarchical levels or more modules. These results may help to explain the trend to greater network complexity apparent in larger brains and may indicate that this complexity is required for maintaining stable levels of neural activation. PMID:20514144

  3. Dynamics on Networks: The Role of Local Dynamics and Global Networks on the Emergence of Hypersynchronous Neural Activity

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Helmut; Petkov, George; Richardson, Mark P.; Terry, John R.

    2014-01-01

    Graph theory has evolved into a useful tool for studying complex brain networks inferred from a variety of measures of neural activity, including fMRI, DTI, MEG and EEG. In the study of neurological disorders, recent work has discovered differences in the structure of graphs inferred from patient and control cohorts. However, most of these studies pursue a purely observational approach; identifying correlations between properties of graphs and the cohort which they describe, without consideration of the underlying mechanisms. To move beyond this necessitates the development of computational modeling approaches to appropriately interpret network interactions and the alterations in brain dynamics they permit, which in the field of complexity sciences is known as dynamics on networks. In this study we describe the development and application of this framework using modular networks of Kuramoto oscillators. We use this framework to understand functional networks inferred from resting state EEG recordings of a cohort of 35 adults with heterogeneous idiopathic generalized epilepsies and 40 healthy adult controls. Taking emergent synchrony across the global network as a proxy for seizures, our study finds that the critical strength of coupling required to synchronize the global network is significantly decreased for the epilepsy cohort for functional networks inferred from both theta (3–6 Hz) and low-alpha (6–9 Hz) bands. We further identify left frontal regions as a potential driver of seizure activity within these networks. We also explore the ability of our method to identify individuals with epilepsy, observing up to 80 predictive power through use of receiver operating characteristic analysis. Collectively these findings demonstrate that a computer model based analysis of routine clinical EEG provides significant additional information beyond standard clinical interpretation, which should ultimately enable a more appropriate mechanistic stratification of people

  4. 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

  5. Inhibition modifies the effects of slow calcium-activated potassium channels on epileptiform activity in a neuronal network model.

    PubMed

    Yang, K-H; Franaszczuk, Piotr J; Bergey, Gregory K

    2005-02-01

    Generation of epileptiform activity typically results from a change in the balance between network excitation and inhibition. Experimental evidence indicates that alterations of either synaptic activity or intrinsic membrane properties can produce increased network excitation. The slow Ca(2+)-activated K(+) currents (sI(AHP)) are important modulators of neuronal firing rate and excitability and have important established and potential roles in epileptogenesis. While the effects of changes in sI(AHP) on individual neuronal excitability are readily studied and well established, the effects of such changes on network behavior are less well known. The experiments here utilize a defined small network model of multicompartment pyramidal cells and an inhibitory interneuron to study the effects of changes in sI(AHP) on network behavior. The benefits of this model system include the ability to observe activity in all cells in a network and the effects of interactions of multiple simultaneous influences. In the model with no inhibitory interneuron, increasing sI(AHP) results in progressively decreasing burst activity. Adding an inhibitory interneuron changes the observed effects; at modest inhibitory strengths, increasing sI(AHP) in all network neurons actually results in increased network bursting (except at very high values). The duration of the burst activity is influenced by the length of delay in a feedback loop, with longer loops resulting in more prolonged bursting. These observations illustrate that the study of potential antiepileptogenic membrane effects must be extended to realistic networks. Network inhibition can dramatically alter the observations seen in pure excitatory networks.

  6. Active Readers--What Benefits Do They Gain from an Educational Telecommunications Network?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobs, Gloria; DiMauro, Vanessa

    "Active readers" are silent members of telecommunications networks who read but do not contribute. Often derided as lurkers, active readers benefit from their network participation and in turn professionally benefit others. A study, still in progress, is interviewing 20 silent participants of the LabNet community who have posted fewer…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Simultaneous multi-patch-clamp and extracellular-array recordings: Single neuron reflects network activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vardi, Roni; Goldental, Amir; Sardi, Shira; Sheinin, Anton; Kanter, Ido

    2016-11-01

    The increasing number of recording electrodes enhances the capability of capturing the network’s cooperative activity, however, using too many monitors might alter the properties of the measured neural network and induce noise. Using a technique that merges simultaneous multi-patch-clamp and multi-electrode array recordings of neural networks in-vitro, we show that the membrane potential of a single neuron is a reliable and super-sensitive probe for monitoring such cooperative activities and their detailed rhythms. Specifically, the membrane potential and the spiking activity of a single neuron are either highly correlated or highly anti-correlated with the time-dependent macroscopic activity of the entire network. This surprising observation also sheds light on the cooperative origin of neuronal burst in cultured networks. Our findings present an alternative flexible approach to the technique based on a massive tiling of networks by large-scale arrays of electrodes to monitor their activity.

  11. Simultaneous multi-patch-clamp and extracellular-array recordings: Single neuron reflects network activity

    PubMed Central

    Vardi, Roni; Goldental, Amir; Sardi, Shira; Sheinin, Anton; Kanter, Ido

    2016-01-01

    The increasing number of recording electrodes enhances the capability of capturing the network’s cooperative activity, however, using too many monitors might alter the properties of the measured neural network and induce noise. Using a technique that merges simultaneous multi-patch-clamp and multi-electrode array recordings of neural networks in-vitro, we show that the membrane potential of a single neuron is a reliable and super-sensitive probe for monitoring such cooperative activities and their detailed rhythms. Specifically, the membrane potential and the spiking activity of a single neuron are either highly correlated or highly anti-correlated with the time-dependent macroscopic activity of the entire network. This surprising observation also sheds light on the cooperative origin of neuronal burst in cultured networks. Our findings present an alternative flexible approach to the technique based on a massive tiling of networks by large-scale arrays of electrodes to monitor their activity. PMID:27824075

  12. 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…

  13. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Modeling of spontaneous activity in developing spinal cord using activity-dependent depression in an excitatory network.

    PubMed

    Tabak, J; Senn, W; O'Donovan, M J; Rinzel, J

    2000-04-15

    Spontaneous episodic activity is a general feature of developing neural networks. In the chick spinal cord, the activity comprises episodes of rhythmic discharge (duration 5-90 sec; cycle rate 0.1-2 Hz) that recur every 2-30 min. The activity does not depend on specialized connectivity or intrinsic bursting neurons and is generated by a network of functionally excitatory connections. Here, we develop an idealized, qualitative model of a homogeneous, excitatory recurrent network that could account for the multiple time-scale spontaneous activity in the embryonic chick spinal cord. We show that cycling can arise from the interplay between excitatory connectivity and fast synaptic depression. The slow episodic behavior is attributable to a slow activity-dependent network depression that is modeled either as a modulation of cellular excitability or as synaptic depression. Although the two descriptions share many features, the model with a slow synaptic depression accounts better for the experimental observations during blockade of excitatory synapses.

  16. Enhancement of CA3 hippocampal network activity by activation of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors.

    PubMed

    Ster, Jeanne; Mateos, José María; Grewe, Benjamin Friedrich; Coiret, Guyllaume; Corti, Corrado; Corsi, Mauro; Helmchen, Fritjof; Gerber, Urs

    2011-06-14

    Impaired function or expression of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRIIs) is observed in brain disorders such as schizophrenia. This class of receptor is thought to modulate activity of neuronal circuits primarily by inhibiting neurotransmitter release. Here, we characterize a postsynaptic excitatory response mediated by somato-dendritic mGluRIIs in hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells and in stratum oriens interneurons. The specific mGluRII agonists DCG-IV or LCCG-1 induced an inward current blocked by the mGluRII antagonist LY341495. Experiments with transgenic mice revealed a significant reduction of the inward current in mGluR3(-/-) but not in mGluR2(-/-) mice. The excitatory response was associated with periods of synchronized activity at theta frequency. Furthermore, cholinergically induced network oscillations exhibited decreased frequency when mGluRIIs were blocked. Thus, our data indicate that hippocampal responses are modulated not only by presynaptic mGluRIIs that reduce glutamate release but also by postsynaptic mGluRIIs that depolarize neurons and enhance CA3 network activity.

  17. The wear of two orthopaedic biopolymers against each other.

    PubMed

    Joyce, T J

    2005-01-01

    The potential for all-polymer prostheses has not been widely investigated. It might be expected that the wear of such biomaterial combinations would be excessive, but an in vivo study of all polymer knee prostheses reported that there were no failures due to wear, even after ten years of clinical use. This design of knee prosthesis used polyacetal and ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) as the biopolymers. Similarly, an earlier in vitro study of polyacetal and UHMWPE hip prostheses indicated lower wear than for a cobalt chrome and UHMWPE combination. Therefore this study set out to test the poly-acetal and UHMWPE combination in a wear screening rig which had previously been validated against clinical data for artificial hip joints. Two different motion conditions were applied to the test samples and each biopolymer was tested as both pin and plate. Interestingly it was found that, whatever the contribution from pin or plate, the total mean wear factors were 1.5 10 -6 mm 3/Nm under reciprocation-only, and 4.1 10 -6 mm 3 /Nm under multi-directional motion. These wear factors were greater than those found when a conventional metal-on-UHMWPE couple was tested under the same loading, motion and lu-bricant conditions. A comparison was also undertaken with the wear of other orthopaedic biopolymer combinations, namely cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) against itself, and UHMWPE against itself. The XLPE pairing showed somewhat lower wear than the polyacetal and UHMWPE couple, while the UHMWPE pairing showed the highest wear of all, approximately an or-der of magnitude greater than the polyacetal and UHMWPE combination.

  18. Shaping of gelling biopolymer drops in an elongation flow.

    PubMed

    Hamberg, Lars; Walkenström, Pernilla; Hermansson, Anne-Marie

    2002-08-15

    Shaping, defined as deformation in combination with gel formation of gelatine and kappa-carrageenan drops in an elongation flow, was studied. The focus was to investigate the possibility of shaping and fixating small drops in the diameter range 20 to 229 mum. In the shaping progress and the influence of experimental properties, the viscosity, temperature, and flow of the deforming fluid were examined on the final drop shape. In the experiments a hot emulsion of an aqueous biopolymer solution in silicone oil was injected into cold silicone oil where a deforming elongation flow field existed. After injection, a temperature decrease in the drops resulted in a gel formation of the biopolymer and a fixation of the deformed drop in the flow. The shape was measured and the effect on the drop aspect ratio was determined by image analysis. Over the total drop diameter range, kappa-carrageenan was more ellipsoid-shaped than gelatine, with a maximum aspect ratio of 6 compared to 4 for gelatine. For small drops, around 22 mum, it is possible to shape kappa-carrageenan, but for gelatine small drops tend to be unaffected. An increase in viscosity, temperature, and flow resulted in an increase in the final fixated shape of the drops. The differences in drop deformation between the biopolymers were explained by drop-viscosity/oil differences and differences in the kinetics of gel formation. The different gel formation kinetics resulted in a short, well-defined, shaping process for kappa-carrageenan, while for gelatine the process was more complex, with both deformation and relaxation present at different stages.

  19. The antipsychotic drugs olanzapine and haloperidol modify network connectivity and spontaneous activity of neural networks in vitro.

    PubMed

    Dzyubenko, Egor; Juckel, Georg; Faissner, Andreas

    2017-09-14

    Impaired neural synchronization is a hallmark of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia. It has been proposed that schizophrenia-related cognitive deficits are caused by an unbalance of reciprocal inhibitory and stimulatory signaling. This supposedly leads to decreased power of induced gamma oscillations during the performance of cognitive tasks. In light of this hypothesis an efficient antipsychotic treatment should modify the connectivity and synchronization of local neural circuits. To address this issue, we investigated a model of hippocampal neuronal networks in vitro. Inhibitory and excitatory innervation of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons was quantified using immunocytochemical markers and an automated routine to estimate network connectivity. The first generation (FGA) and second generation (SGA) antipsychotic drugs haloperidol and olanzapine, respectively, differentially modified the density of synaptic inputs. Based on the observed synapse density modifications, we developed a computational model that reliably predicted distinct changes in network activity patterns. The results of computational modeling were confirmed by spontaneous network activity measurements using the multiple electrode array (MEA) technique. When the cultures were treated with olanzapine, overall activity and synchronization were increased, whereas haloperidol had the opposite effect. We conclude that FGAs and SGAs differentially affect the balance between inhibition and excitation in hippocampal networks.

  20. Micro-Heterogeneity of Cellulosic Fiber Biopolymer Prepared from Corn Hulls

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...