Abstract: Fulvic (FAs) and humic acids (HAs) are chemically fascinating. In water, they have a strong propensity to aggregate, but this research reveals that tendency is regulated by ionic strength. In the environment, conductivity extremes occur naturally—freshwater to seawater—warranting consideration at low and high values. The flow field flow fractionation (flow FFF) of FAs and HAs is observed to be concentration dependent in low ionic strength solutions whereas the corresponding flow FFF fractograms in high ionic strength solutions are concentration independent. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) also reveals insight into the conductivity-dependent behavior of humic substances (HSs). Four particle size ranges for FAs and humic acid aggregates are examined: (1) <10 nm; (2) 10 nm–6 µm; (3) 6–100 µm; and (4) >100 µm. Representative components of the different size ranges are observed to dynamically coexist in solution. The character of the various aggregates observed—such as random-extended-coiled macromolecules, hydrogels, supramolecular, and micellar—as influenced by electrolytic conductivity, is discussed. The disaggregation/aggregation of HSs is proposed to be a dynamic equilibrium process for which the rate of aggregate formation is controlled by the electrolytic conductivity of the solution.
Abstract: This study sought to demonstrate the impact of surface-target interactions in a device bearing geometrical features through evaluations of chemical modification to the surface and alteration of the charge state of both surface and targets. The movement of commercial fluorescent nanoparticles through a field of geometric features was monitored based on the output of the field measured at different points transverse to the direction of flow. Modification of the device surfaces using carboxylate, amine, phenyl, and fluorinated groups was considered. The functional group on the surface was found to significantly impact biased particle movement in the device with amine groups leading to the greatest differences. Other factors, such as flow rate, pH, and initial particle concentration, were also found to have a significant impact on particle concentrations across the feature field.
Abstract: The magnesian smectite hectorite is a corrosion product frequently detected in nuclear waste glass alteration experiments. The structural incorporation of a single trivalent lanthanide was previously demonstrated. Hectorite was presently synthesized, for the first time, in the presence of several lanthanides (La, Eu, Yb) following a multi-step synthesis protocol. The smallest-sized particles (nanoparticles, NPs) were isolated by centrifugation and analyzed by asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (AsFlFFF) coupled to ICP-MS, in order to obtain information on the elemental composition and distribution as a function of the size. Nanoparticles can be separated from the bulk smectite phase. The particles are able to accommodate even the larger-sized lanthanides such as La, however, with lower efficiency. We, therefore, assume that the incorporation proceeds by substitution for octahedral Mg accompanied by a concomitant lattice strain that increases with the size of the lanthanides. The presence of a mixture does not seem to affect the incorporation extent of any specific element. Furthermore, syntheses were performed where in addition the tetravalent zirconium or thorium elements were admixed, as this oxidation state may prevail for many actinide ions in a nuclear waste repository. The results show that they can be incorporated as well.
Abstract: Although globotetraosylceramide (Gb4) is only recognized by a single member of the verotoxin family namely, the pig edema disease toxin (VT2e), removal of the acetyl group from the terminal N-acetyl hexosamine of Gb4 to generate the free amino sugar containing species (aminoGb4) results in the generation of a glycolipid preferentially recognized by all members of the verotoxin family (i.e., VT1, VT2, VT2c, and VT2e). GT3, a site-specific mutant of VT2e, in which Gb4 recognition is lost but Gb3 binding is retained, also binds aminoGb4. We have now compared the binding of VT1, VT2, VT2e, and GT3 to a series of aminoGb4 derivatives using a TLC overlay technique. DimethylaminoGb4 is bound by VT1 and VT2 but not VT2e or GT3; formylaminoGb4 binds all toxins but poorly to VT2 and preferentially VT2e; trifluoroacetylaminoGb4 binds only VT2e and GT3; isopropylaminoGb4 binds VT1 and poorly to VT2; benzylaminoGb4 binds all four toxins. Thus, there is a marked distinction between the permissible amino substitutions for VT1 and VT2e binding. GT3 is a hybrid between these in that, according to the substitution, it behaves similarly either to VT1 or to VT2e. For each species, GT3 does not however, show a hybrid binding between that of VT1 and VT2e. Analysis of the binding as a function of pH shows opposite effects for VT1 and VT2e: decreased pH increases VT1, but decreases VT2e receptor glycolipid binding.
Abstract: In the present work, the performance of carbon nanotubes (c-CNTs) functionalized polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) based coatings as extractive phases for in-tube solid phase microextraction (IT-SPME) coupled to Capillary LC (CapLC) has been evaluated. Carboxylic-single walled carbon nanotubes (c-SWNTs) and carboxylic-multi walled carbon nanotubes (c-MWNTs) have been immobilized on the activated surface of PDMS capillary columns. The effect of different percentages of diphenyl groups in the PDMS extractive phase has also been evaluated. The extraction capability of the capillary columns has been tested for different organic pollutants, nitrogen heterocyclic compounds and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs). The results indicated that the use of the c-CNTs-PDMS capillary columns improve pyriproxyfen and mainly PAH extraction. Triazines were better extracted by unmodified TRB-35 and modified c-CNTs-PDMSTRB-5. The results showed that the extraction capability of the c-CNT capillary columns depends not only on the polarity of the analytes (as it occurs with PDMS columns) but also on the interactions that the analytes can establish with the immobilized c-CNTs on the PDMS columns. The extraction efficiency has been evaluated on the basis of the preconcentration rate that can be achieved, and, in this sense, the best c-CNTs-PDMS capillary column for each group of compounds can be proposed.
Abstract: Large-size (4–5 µm) superficially porous particles yield lower plate heights (e.g., the minimal reduced plate height or hmin ≈ 1.5) than fully porous particles of a similar size when packed into large-bore columns. This property allows for better chromatographic performance without the higher pressures required for smaller particles. This study explores the use of such particles in microfluidic LC columns where materials and fitting pressure limits can constrain the size of particle used. The theoretically predicted performance improvements compared to fully porous particles were not demonstrated in capillary columns (with hmin ≈ 2 for both particle types), in agreement with previous studies that examined smaller superficially porous particles. Microfluidic columns were then compared to capillary columns. Capillary columns significantly outperformed microfluidic columns due to imperfections imposed by microfluidic channel asymmetry and world-to-chip connection at the optimal flow rate; however, superficially porous particles packed in microfluidic LC columns had flatter plate height versus flow rate curves indicating potential for better performance at high reduced velocities.