Abstract: The agonist-induced endocytosis of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M2 is different from that of the other members of the muscarinic receptor family. The uptake of the M2 receptor involves the adapter proteins of the β-arrestin family and the small GTPase ADP-ribosylation factor 6. However, it has remained inconclusive if M2 endocytosis is dependent on clathrin or the large GTPase dynamin. We here show by means of knocking down the clathrin heavy chain that M2 uptake upon agonist stimulation requires clathrin. The expression of various dominant-negative dynamin-2 mutants and the use of chemical inhibitors of dynamin function revealed that dynamin expression and membrane localization as such appear to be necessary for M2 endocytosis, whereas dynamin GTPase activity is not required for this process. Based on the data from the present and from previous studies, we propose that M2 endocytosis takes place by means of an atypical clathrin-mediated pathway that may involve a specific subset of clathrin-coated pits/vesicles.
Abstract: Despite the ubiquity of transbilayer asymmetry in natural cell membranes, the vast majority of existing research has utilized chemically well-defined symmetric liposomes, where the inner and outer bilayer leaflets have the same composition. Here, we review various aspects of asymmetry in nature and in model systems in anticipation for the next phase of model membrane studies.
Abstract: The extraction efficiency of hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), from water has been investigated using a vegetable oil based emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) technique. The main purpose of this study was to create a novel ELM formulation by choosing a more environmentally friendly and non-toxic diluent such as palm oil. The membrane phase so formulated includes the mobile carrier tri-n-octylmethylammonium chloride (TOMAC), to facilitate the metal transport, and the hydrophilic surfactant Tween 80 to facilitate the dispersion of the ELM phase in the aqueous solution. Span 80 is used as surfactant and butanol as co-surfactant. Our results demonstrate that this novel ELM formulation, using the vegetable palm oil as diluent, is useful for the removal of hexavalent chromium with an efficiency of over 99% and is thus competitive with the already existing, yet less environmentally friendly, ELM formulations. This result was achieved with an optimal concentration of 0.1 M NaOH as stripping agent and an external phase pH of 0.5. Different water qualities have also been investigated showing that the type of water (deionized, distilled, or tap water) does not significantly influence the extraction rate.
Abstract: Water contamination with harmful arsenic compounds represents one of the most serious calamities of the last two centuries. Natural occurrence of the toxic metal has been revealed recently for 21 countries worldwide; the risk of arsenic intoxication is particularly high in Bangladesh and India but recently also Europe is facing similar problem. Liquid membranes (LMs) look like a promising alternative to the existing removal processes, showing numerous advantages in terms of energy consumption, efficiency, selectivity, and operational costs. The development of different LM configurations has been a matter of investigation by several researching groups, especially for the removal of As(III) and As(V) from aqueous solutions. Most of these LM systems are based on the use of phosphine oxides as carriers, when the metal removal is from sulfuric acid media. Particularly promising for water treatment is the hollow fiber supported liquid membrane (HFSLM) configuration, which offers high selectivity, easy transport of the targeted metal ions, large surface area, and non-stop flow process. The choice of organic extractant(s) plays an essential role in the efficiency of the arsenic removal. Emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) systems have not been extensively investigated so far, although encouraging results have started to appear in the literature. For such LM configuration, the most relevant step toward efficiency is the choice of the surfactant type and its concentration.
Abstract: Internal concentration polarization (ICP) in forward osmosis (FO) process is a characteristic problem for asymmetric thin-film composite (TFC) FO membrane which leads to lower water flux. To mitigate the ICP effect, modification of the substrates’ properties has been one of the most effective methods. A new polyethersulfone-based ultrafiltration membrane with increased surface porosity and high water flux was recently produced by incorporating Zn2GeO4 nanowires. The composite membrane was used as a substrate for the fabrication of TFC FO membrane, by coating a thin layer of polyamide on top of the substrate. The substrate and the nanowires were characterized by a range of techniques such as SEM, XRD, and contact angle goniometry. The water permeability and molecular weight cut-offs (MWCO) of the substrate; and the FO performance of the TFC membrane were also determined. The Zn2GeO4-modified membrane showed ~45% increase in water permeability and NaCl salt rejection of 80% under RO mode. In FO mode, the ratio of water flux to reverse solute flux was also improved. However, lower FO flux was obtained which could be due to ICP. The result shows that Zn2GO4 nanowire may be used as a modifier to the substrate to improve the quality of the polyamide layer on the substrate to improve the flux and selectivity, but not as effective in reducing ICP. This work demonstrates that the incorporation of nanomaterials to the membrane substrate may be an alternative approach to improve the formation of polyamide skin layer to achieve better FO performance.
Abstract: In this study, the separation properties of Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) hollow fiber hemodialysis membranes were improved by optimizing membrane morphology and structure. The results showed that the PVDF membrane had better mechanical and separation properties than Fresenius Polysulfone High-Flux (F60S) membrane. The PVDF membrane tensile stress at break, tensile elongation and bursting pressure were 11.3 MPa, 395% and 0.625 MPa, respectively. Ultrafiltration (UF) flux of pure water reached 108.2 L∙h−1∙m−2 and rejection of Albumin from bovine serum was 82.3%. The PVDF dialyzers were prepared by centrifugal casting. The influences of membrane area and simulate fluid flow rate on dialysis performance were investigated. The results showed that the clearance rate of urea and Lysozyme (LZM) were improved with increasing membrane area and fluid flow rate while the rejection of albumin from bovine serum (BSA) had little influence. The high-flux PVDF dialyzer UF coefficient reached 62.6 mL/h/mmHg. The PVDF dialyzer with membrane area 0.69 m2 has the highest clearance rate to LZM and urea. The clearance rate of LZM was 66.8% and urea was 87.7%.