Abstract: It is important to understand the physicochemical mechanisms that are responsible for the morphological changes in the cell membrane in the presence of various stimuli such as osmotic pressure. Lipid rafts are believed to play a crucial role in various cellular processes. It is well established that Ctb (Cholera toxin B subunit) recognizes and binds to GM1 (monosialotetrahexosylganglioside) on the cell surface with high specificity and affinity. Taking advantage of Ctb-GM1 interaction, we examined how Ctb and GM1 molecules affect the dynamic movement of liposomes. GM1 a natural ligand for cholera toxin, was incorporated into liposome and the interaction between fluorescent Ctb and the liposome was analyzed. The interaction plays an important role in determining the various surface interaction phenomena. Incorporation of GM1 into membrane leads to an increase of the line tension leading to either rupture of liposome membrane or change in the morphology of the membrane. This change in morphology was found to be GM1 concentration specific. The interaction between Ctb-GM1 leads to fast and easy rupture or to morphological changes of the liposome. The interactions of Ctb and the glycosyl chain are believed to affect the surface and the curvature of the membrane. Thus, the results are highly beneficial in the study of signal transduction processes.
Abstract: Low-pH cements are designed to be used in underground repositories for high level waste. When they are based on Ordinary Portland Cements (OPC), high mineral admixture contents must be used which significantly modify their microstructure properties and performance. This paper evaluates the microstructure evolution of low-pH cement pastes based on OPC plus silica fume and/or fly ashes, using Mid-Infrared and Near-Infrared spectroscopy to detect cement pastes mainly composed of high polymerized C-A-S-H gels with low C/S ratios. In addition, the lower pore solution pH of these special cementitious materials have been monitored with embedded metallic sensors. Besides, as the use of reinforced concrete can be required in underground repositories, the influence of low-pH cementitious materials on steel reinforcement corrosion was analysed. Due to their lower pore solution pH and their different pore solution chemical composition a clear influence on steel reinforcement corrosion was detected.
Abstract: In this report, a technique for rapid synthesis of ZnO microstructures by microwave-assisted heating of precursors at hydrothermal conditions is demonstrated. Further, the reaction mechanism for the growth of ZnO microstructures is analyzed. An accelerated rate of reaction obtained using microwaves enables a dissolution-recrystallization mechanism for generation of one dimensional (1D) rod-like structures, thereby showing that time of reaction can be used to dictate ZnO microstructure morphology.
Abstract: This study investigated the mechanisms, using microscopy and strength testing approaches, by which the addition of maleic anhydride grafted high-density polyethylene (MAPE) enhances the mechanical properties of basalt fiber-wood-plastic composites (BF-WPCs). The maximum values of the specific tensile and flexural strengths are achieved at a MAPE content of 5%–8%. The elongation increases rapidly at first and then continues slowly. The nearly complete integration of the wood fiber with the high-density polyethylene upon MAPE addition to WPC is examined, and two models of interfacial behavior are proposed. We examined the physical significance of both interfacial models and their ability to accurately describe the effects of MAPE addition. The mechanism of formation of the Model I interface and the integrated matrix is outlined based on the chemical reactions that may occur between the various components as a result of hydrogen bond formation or based on the principle of compatibility, resulting from similar polarity. The Model I fracture occurred on the outer surface of the interfacial layer, visually demonstrating the compatibilization effect of MAPE addition.
Abstract: Measurements of nuclear spin relaxation times over a wide temperature range have been used to determine the interaction energies and molecular dynamics of light molecular gases trapped in the cages of microporous structures. The experiments are designed so that, in the cases explored, the local excitations and the corresponding heat capacities determine the observed nuclear spin-lattice relaxation times. The results indicate well-defined excitation energies for low densities of methane and hydrogen deuteride in zeolite structures. The values obtained for methane are consistent with Monte Carlo calculations of A.V. Kumar et al. The results also confirm the high mobility and diffusivity of hydrogen deuteride in zeolite structures at low temperatures as observed by neutron scattering.
Abstract: We propose a specific procedure to compute the inductance of a toroidal ferrite core as a function of the excitation current. The study includes the linear, intermediate and saturation regions. The procedure combines the use of Finite Element Analysis in 2D and experimental measurements. Through the two dimensional (2D) procedure we are able to achieve convergence, a reduction of computational cost and equivalent results to those computed by three dimensional (3D) simulations. The validation is carried out by comparing 2D, 3D and experimental results.