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Membranes, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2015) – 9 articles , Pages 1-149

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Open AccessCommunication
Preparation and Characterization of Thin-Film Composite Membrane with Nanowire-Modified Support for Forward Osmosis Process
Membranes 2015, 5(1), 136-149; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5010136 - 20 Mar 2015
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4443
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from MSA ECR MemSym2014)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Preliminary Dialysis Performance Research of Polyvinylidene Fluoride Hollow Fiber Membranes
Membranes 2015, 5(1), 120-135; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5010120 - 19 Mar 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3179
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 [...] Read more.
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%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Silico Determination of Gas Permeabilities by Non-Equilibrium Molecular Dynamics: CO2 and He through PIM-1
Membranes 2015, 5(1), 99-119; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5010099 - 10 Mar 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4127
Abstract
We study the permeation dynamics of helium and carbon dioxide through an atomistically detailed model of a polymer of intrinsic microporosity, PIM-1, via non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations. This work presents the first explicit molecular modeling of gas permeation through a high free-volume [...] Read more.
We study the permeation dynamics of helium and carbon dioxide through an atomistically detailed model of a polymer of intrinsic microporosity, PIM-1, via non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations. This work presents the first explicit molecular modeling of gas permeation through a high free-volume polymer sample, and it demonstrates how permeability and solubility can be obtained coherently from a single simulation. Solubilities in particular can be obtained to a very high degree of confidence and within experimental inaccuracies. Furthermore, the simulations make it possible to obtain very specific information on the diffusion dynamics of penetrant molecules and yield detailed maps of gas occupancy, which are akin to a digital tomographic scan of the polymer network. In addition to determining permeability and solubility directly from NEMD simulations, the results shed light on the permeation mechanism of the penetrant gases, suggesting that the relative openness of the microporous topology promotes the anomalous diffusion of penetrant gases, which entails a deviation from the pore hopping mechanism usually observed in gas diffusion in polymers. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Road not Taken: Less Traveled Roads from the TGN to the Plasma Membrane
Membranes 2015, 5(1), 84-98; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5010084 - 10 Mar 2015
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3491
Abstract
The trans-Golgi network functions in the distribution of cargo into different transport vesicles that are destined to endosomes, lysosomes and the plasma membrane. Over the years, it has become clear that more than one transport pathway promotes plasma membrane localization of proteins. In [...] Read more.
The trans-Golgi network functions in the distribution of cargo into different transport vesicles that are destined to endosomes, lysosomes and the plasma membrane. Over the years, it has become clear that more than one transport pathway promotes plasma membrane localization of proteins. In spite of the importance of temporal and spatial control of protein localization at the plasma membrane, the regulation of sorting into and the formation of different transport containers are still poorly understood. In this review different transport pathways, with a special emphasis on exomer-dependent transport, and concepts of regulation and sorting at the TGN are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trafficking of Membrane Receptors 2015)
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Open AccessReview
Theoretical and Computational Studies of Peptides and Receptors of the Insulin Family
Membranes 2015, 5(1), 48-83; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5010048 - 11 Feb 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3330
Abstract
Synergistic interactions among peptides and receptors of the insulin family are required for glucose homeostasis, normal cellular growth and development, proliferation, differentiation and other metabolic processes. The peptides of the insulin family are disulfide-linked single or dual-chain proteins, while receptors are ligand-activated transmembrane [...] Read more.
Synergistic interactions among peptides and receptors of the insulin family are required for glucose homeostasis, normal cellular growth and development, proliferation, differentiation and other metabolic processes. The peptides of the insulin family are disulfide-linked single or dual-chain proteins, while receptors are ligand-activated transmembrane glycoproteins of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) superfamily. Binding of ligands to the extracellular domains of receptors is known to initiate signaling via activation of intracellular kinase domains. While the structure of insulin has been known since 1969, recent decades have seen remarkable progress on the structural biology of apo and liganded receptor fragments. Here, we review how this useful structural information (on ligands and receptors) has enabled large-scale atomically-resolved simulations to elucidate the conformational dynamics of these biomolecules. Particularly, applications of molecular dynamics (MD) and Monte Carlo (MC) simulation methods are discussed in various contexts, including studies of isolated ligands, apo-receptors, ligand/receptor complexes and intracellular kinase domains. The review concludes with a brief overview and future outlook for modeling and computational studies in this family of proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure and Function of Membrane Receptors)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Lipid Composition and Solution Conditions on the Mechanical Properties of Membrane Vesicles
Membranes 2015, 5(1), 22-47; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5010022 - 20 Jan 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3162
Abstract
The mechanical properties of cell-sized giant unilamellar liposomes were studied by manipulating polystyrene beads encapsulated within the liposomes using double-beam laser tweezers. Mechanical forces were applied to the liposomes from within by moving the beads away from each other, which caused the liposomes [...] Read more.
The mechanical properties of cell-sized giant unilamellar liposomes were studied by manipulating polystyrene beads encapsulated within the liposomes using double-beam laser tweezers. Mechanical forces were applied to the liposomes from within by moving the beads away from each other, which caused the liposomes to elongate. Subsequently, a tubular membrane projection was generated in the tip at either end of the liposome, or the bead moved out from the laser trap. The force required for liposome transformation reached maximum strength just before formation of the projection or the moving out of the bead. By employing this manipulation system, we investigated the effects of membrane lipid compositions and environment solutions on the mechanical properties. With increasing content of acidic phospholipids, such as phosphatidylglycerol or phosphatidic acid, a larger strength of force was required for the liposome transformation. Liposomes prepared with a synthetic dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine, which has uniform hydrocarbon chains, were transformed easily compared with liposomes prepared using natural phosphatidylcholine. Surprisingly, bovine serum albumin or fetuin (soluble proteins that do not bind to membranes) decreased liposomal membrane rigidity, whereas the same concentration of sucrose showed no particular effect. These results show that the mechanical properties of liposomes depend on their lipid composition and environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Supported Ionic Liquid Membranes and Ion-Jelly® Membranes with [BMIM][DCA]: Comparison of Its Performance for CO2 Separation
Membranes 2015, 5(1), 13-21; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5010013 - 14 Jan 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3371
Abstract
In this work, a supported ionic liquid membrane (SILM) was prepared by impregnating a PVDF membrane with 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide ([BMIM][DCA]) ionic liquid. This membrane was tested for its permeability to pure gases (CO2, N2 and O2) and ideal [...] Read more.
In this work, a supported ionic liquid membrane (SILM) was prepared by impregnating a PVDF membrane with 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide ([BMIM][DCA]) ionic liquid. This membrane was tested for its permeability to pure gases (CO2, N2 and O2) and ideal selectivities were calculated. The SILM performance was also compared to that of Ion-Jelly® membranes, a new type of gelled membranes developed recently. It was found that the PVDF membrane presents permeabilities for pure gases similar or lower to those presented by the Ion-Jelly® membranes, but with increased ideal selectivities. This membrane presents also the highest ideal selectivity (73) for the separation of CO2 from N2 when compared with SILMs using the same PVDF support but with different ionic liquids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Liquid Membranes)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Membranes in 2014
Membranes 2015, 5(1), 11-12; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5010011 - 08 Jan 2015
Viewed by 1697
Abstract
The editors of Membranes would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2014:[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Characteristics of PVDF Membranes Irradiated by Electron Beam
Membranes 2015, 5(1), 1-10; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5010001 - 05 Jan 2015
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3639
Abstract
Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes were exposed vertically to a high energy electron beam (EB) in air, at room temperature. The chemical changes were examined by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The surface morphologies were studied by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and showed [...] Read more.
Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes were exposed vertically to a high energy electron beam (EB) in air, at room temperature. The chemical changes were examined by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The surface morphologies were studied by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and showed some changes in the pore size. Thermogravimetric (TGA) analysis represented an increase in the thermal stability of PVDF due to irradiation. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) showed the presence of free radicals in the irradiated PVDF. The effect of EB irradiation on the electrical properties of the membranes was analyzed in order to determine the dielectric constant, and an increase in the dielectric constant was found on increasing the dose. The surface hydrophilicity of the modified membrane was characterized by water contact angle measurement. The contact angle decreased compared to the original angle, indicating an improvement of surface hydrophilicity. Filtration results also showed that the pure water flux (PWF) of the modified membrane was lower than that of the unirradiated membrane. Full article
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