Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Search results for: crosslinkers

6 Molecular Implication of Interaction of Human Enteric Pathogens with Phylloplane of Tomato

Authors: Shilpi, Indu Gaur, Neha Bhadauria, Susmita Goswami, Prabir K. Paul


Cultivation and consumption of organically grown fruits and vegetables have increased by several folds. However, the presence of Human Enteric Pathogens on the surface of organically grown vegetables causing Gastro-intestinal diseases, are most likely due to contaminated water and fecal matter of farm animals. Human Enteric Pathogens are adapted to colonize the human gut, and also colonize plant surface. Microbes on plant surface communicate with each other to establish quorum sensing. The cross talk study is important because the enteric pathogens on phylloplane have been reported to mask the beneficial resident bacteria of plant. In the present study, HEPs and bacterial colonizers were identified using 16s rRNA sequencing. Microbial colonization patterns after interaction between Human Enteric Pathogens and natural bacterial residents on tomato phylloplane was studied. Tomato plants raised under aseptic conditions were inoculated with a mixture of Serratia fonticola and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The molecules involved in cross-talk between Human Enteric Pathogens and regular bacterial colonizers were isolated and identified using molecular techniques and HPLC. The colonization pattern was studied by leaf imprint method after 48 hours of incubation. The associated protein-protein interaction in the host cytoplasm was studied by use of crosslinkers. From treated leaves the crosstalk molecules and interaction proteins were separated on 1D SDS-PAGE and analyzed by MALDI-TOF-TOF analysis. The study is critical in understanding the molecular aspects of HEP’s adaption to phylloplane. The study revealed human enteric pathogens aggressively interact among themselves and resident bacteria. HEPs induced establishment of a signaling cascade through protein-protein interaction in the host cytoplasm. The study revealed that the adaptation of Human Enteric Pathogens on phylloplane of Solanum lycopersicum involves the establishment of complex molecular interaction between the microbe and the host including microbe-microbe interaction leading to an establishment of quorum sensing. The outcome will help in minimizing the HEP load on fresh farm produce, thereby curtailing incidences of food-borne diseases.

Keywords: crosslinkers, human enteric pathogens (HEPs), phylloplane, quorum sensing

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5 Ultrasonic Studies of Polyurea Elastomer Composites with Inorganic Nanoparticles

Authors: V. Samulionis, J. Banys, A. Sánchez-Ferrer


Inorganic nanoparticles are used for fabrication of various composites based on polymer materials because they exhibit a good homogeneity and solubility of the composite material. Multifunctional materials based on composites of a polymer containing inorganic nanotubes are expected to have a great impact on industrial applications in the future. An emerging family of such composites are polyurea elastomers with inorganic MoS2 nanotubes or MoSI nanowires. Polyurea elastomers are a new kind of materials with higher performance than polyurethanes. The improvement of mechanical, chemical and thermal properties is due to the presence of hydrogen bonds between the urea motives which can be erased at high temperature softening the elastomeric network. Such materials are the combination of amorphous polymers above glass transition and crosslinkers which keep the chains into a single macromolecule. Polyurea exhibits a phase separated structure with rigid urea domains (hard domains) embedded in a matrix of flexible polymer chains (soft domains). The elastic properties of polyurea can be tuned over a broad range by varying the molecular weight of the components, the relative amount of hard and soft domains, and concentration of nanoparticles. Ultrasonic methods as non-destructive techniques can be used for elastomer composites characterization. In this manner, we have studied the temperature dependencies of the longitudinal ultrasonic velocity and ultrasonic attenuation of these new polyurea elastomers and composites with inorganic nanoparticles. It was shown that in these polyurea elastomers large ultrasonic attenuation peak and corresponding velocity dispersion exists at 10 MHz frequency below room temperature and this behaviour is related to glass transition Tg of the soft segments in the polymer matrix. The relaxation parameters and Tg depend on the segmental molecular weight of the polymer chains between crosslinking points, the nature of the crosslinkers in the network and content of MoS2 nanotubes or MoSI nanowires. The increase of ultrasonic velocity in composites modified by nanoparticles has been observed, showing the reinforcement of the elastomer. In semicrystalline polyurea elastomer matrices, above glass transition, the first order phase transition from quasi-crystalline to the amorphous state has been observed. In this case, the sharp ultrasonic velocity and attenuation anomalies were observed near the transition temperature TC. Ultrasonic attenuation maximum related to glass transition was reduced in quasicrystalline polyureas indicating less influence of soft domains below TC. The first order phase transition in semicrystalline polyurea elastomer samples has large temperature hysteresis (> 10 K). The impact of inorganic MoS2 nanotubes resulted in the decrease of the first order phase transition temperature in semicrystalline composites.

Keywords: inorganic nanotubes, polyurea elastomer composites, ultrasonic velocity, ultrasonic attenuation

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4 Thermo-Elastic and Self-Healing Polyacrylamide: 2D Polymer Composite Hydrogels for Water Shutoff Treatment

Authors: Edreese H. Alsharaeh, Feven Mattews Michael, Ayman Almohsin


Self-healing hydrogels have many advantages since they can resist various types of stresses, including tension, compression, and shear, making them attractive for various applications. In this study, thermo-elastic and self-healing polymer composite hydrogels were prepared from polyacrylamide (PAM) and 2D fillers using in-situ method. In addition, the PAM and fillers were prepared in presence of organic crosslinkers, i.e., hydroquinone (HQ) and hexamethylenediamine (HMT). The swelling behavior of the prepared hydrogels was studied by hydrating the dried hydrogels. The thermal and rheological properties of the prepared hydrogels were evaluated before and after swelling study using thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetric technique and dynamic mechanical analysis. From the results obtained, incorporating fillers into the PAM matrix enhanced the swelling degree of the hydrogels with satisfactory mechanical properties, attaining up to 77% self-healing efficiency compared to the neat-PAM (i.e., 29%). This, in turn, indicates addition of 2D fillers improved self-healing properties of the polymer hydrogel, thus, making the prepared hydrogels applicable for water shutoff treatments under high temperature.

Keywords: polymer hydrogels, 2D fillers, elastic self-healing hydrogels, water shutoff, swelling properties

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3 Hydrofracturing for Low Temperature Waxy Reservoirs: Problems and Solutions

Authors: Megh Patel, Arjun Chauhan, Jay Thakkar


Hydrofracturing is the most prominent but at the same time expensive, highly skilled and time consuming well stimulation technique. Due to high cost and skilled labor involved, it is generally carried out as the consummate solution among other well stimulation techniques. Considering today’s global petroleum market, no gaffe or complications could be entertained during fracturing, as it would further hamper the current dwindling economy. The literature would be dealing with the challenges encountered during fracturing low temperature waxy reservoirs and the prominent solutions to overcome such teething troubles. During fracturing treatment for, shallow and high freezing point waxy oil reservoirs, the first line problems are to overcome uncompleted breakdown, uncompleted cleanup of fracturing fluids and cold damages to the formations by injecting cold fluid (fluid at ambient conditions). Injecting fracturing fluids at ambient conditions have the tendency to decrease the near wellbore reservoir temperature below the freezing point of oil reservoir and hence leading to wax deposition around the wellbore thereby hampering the fluid production as well as fracture propagation. To overcome such problems, solutions such as hot fracturing fluid injection, encapsulated heat generating hydraulic fracturing fluid system, and injection of wax inhibitor techniques would be discussed. The paper would also be throwing light on changes in rheological properties occurred during heating fracturing fluids and solutions to deal with it taking economic considerations into account.

Keywords: hydrofracturing, waxy reservoirs, low temperature, viscosity, crosslinkers

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2 Cryotopic Macroporous Polymeric Matrices for Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering Applications

Authors: Archana Sharma, Vijayashree Nayak, Ashok Kumar


Three-dimensional matrices were fabricated from blend of natural-natural polymers like carrageenan-gelatin and synthetic -natural polymers such as PEG- gelatin (PEG of different molecular weights (2,000 and 6,000) using two different crosslinkers; glutaraldehyde and EDC-NHS by cryogelation technique. Blends represented a feasible approach to design 3-D scaffolds with controllable mechanical, physical and biochemical properties without compromising biocompatibility and biodegradability. These matrices possessed interconnected porous structure, good mechanical strength, biodegradable nature, constant swelling kinetics, ability to withstand high temperature and visco-elastic behavior. Hemocompatibility of cryogel matrices was determined by coagulation assays and hemolytic activity assay which demonstrated that these cryogels have negligible effects on coagulation time and have excellent blood compatibility. In vitro biocompatibility (cell-matrix interaction) inferred good cell adhesion, proliferation, and secretion of ECM on matrices. These matrices provide a microenvironment for the growth, proliferation, differentiation and secretion of ECM of different cell types such as IMR-32, C2C12, Cos-7, rat bone marrow derived MSCs and human bone marrow MSCs. Hoechst 33342 and PI staining also confirmed that the cells were uniformly distributed, adhered and proliferated properly on the cryogel matrix. An ideal scaffold used for tissue engineering application should allow the cells to adhere, proliferate and maintain their functionality. Neurotransmitter analysis has been done which indicated that IMR-32 cells adhered, proliferated and secreted neurotransmitters when they interacted with these matrices which showed restoration of their functionality. The cell-matrix interaction up to molecular level was also evaluated so to check genotoxicity and protein expression profile which indicated that these cryogel matrices are non-genotoxic and maintained biofunctionality of cells growing on these matrices. All these cryogels, when implanted subcutaneously in balb/c mice, showed no adverse systemic or local toxicity effects at implantation site. There was no significant increase in inflammatory cell count has otherwise been observed after scaffold implantation. These cryogels are supermacroporous and this porous structure allows cell infiltration and proliferation of host cells. This showed the integration and presence of infiltrated cells into the cryogel implants. Histological analysis confirmed that the implanted cryogels do not have any adverse effect in spite of host immune system recognition at the site of implantation, on its surrounding tissues and other vital host organs. In vivo biocompatibility study after in vitro biocompatibility analysis has also concluded that these synthesized cryogels act as important biological substitutes, more adaptable and appropriate for transplantation. Thus, these cryogels showed their potential for soft tissue engineering applications.

Keywords: cryogelation, hemocompatibility, in vitro biocompatibility, in vivo biocompatibility, soft tissue engineering applications

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1 Cell-free Bioconversion of n-Octane to n-Octanol via a Heterogeneous and Bio-Catalytic Approach

Authors: Shanna Swart, Caryn Fenner, Athanasios Kotsiopoulos, Susan Harrison


Linear alkanes are produced as by-products from the increasing use of gas-to-liquid fuel technologies for synthetic fuel production and offer great potential for value addition. Their current use as low-value fuels and solvents do not maximize this potential. Therefore, attention has been drawn towards direct activation of these aliphatic alkanes to more useful products such as alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and derivatives. Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) can be used for activation of these aliphatic alkanes using whole-cells or cell-free systems. Some limitations of whole-cell systems include reduced mass transfer, stability and possible side reactions. Since the P450 systems are little studied as cell-free systems, they form the focus of this study. Challenges of a cell-free system include co-factor regeneration, substrate availability and enzyme stability. Enzyme immobilization offers a positive outlook on this dilemma, as it may enhance stability of the enzyme. In the present study, 2 different P450s (CYP153A6 and CYP102A1) as well as the relevant accessory enzymes required for electron transfer (ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase) and co-factor regeneration (glucose dehydrogenase) have been expressed in E. coli and purified by metal affinity chromatography. Glucose dehydrogenase (GDH), was used as a model enzyme to assess the potential of various enzyme immobilization strategies including; surface attachment on MagReSyn® microspheres with various functionalities and on electrospun nanofibers, using self-assembly based methods forming Cross Linked Enzymes (CLE), Cross Linked Enzyme Aggregates (CLEAs) and spherezymes as well as in a sol gel. The nanofibers were synthesized by electrospinning, which required the building of an electrospinning machine. The nanofiber morphology has been analyzed by SEM and binding will be further verified by FT-IR. Covalent attachment based methods showed limitations where only ferredoxin reductase and GDH retained activity after immobilization which were largely attributed to insufficient electron transfer and inactivation caused by the crosslinkers (60% and 90% relative activity loss for the free enzyme when using 0.5% glutaraldehyde and glutaraldehyde/ethylenediamine (1:1 v/v), respectively). So far, initial experiments with GDH have shown the most potential when immobilized via their His-tag onto the surface of MagReSyn® microspheres functionalized with Ni-NTA. It was found that Crude GDH could be simultaneously purified and immobilized with sufficient activity retention. Immobilized pure and crude GDH could be recycled 9 and 10 times, respectively, with approximately 10% activity remaining. The immobilized GDH was also more stable than the free enzyme after storage for 14 days at 4˚C. This immobilization strategy will also be applied to the P450s and optimized with regards to enzyme loading and immobilization time, as well as characterized and compared with the free enzymes. It is anticipated that the proposed immobilization set-up will offer enhanced enzyme stability (as well as reusability and easy recovery), minimal mass transfer limitation, with continuous co-factor regeneration and minimal enzyme leaching. All of which provide a positive outlook on this robust multi-enzyme system for efficient activation of linear alkanes as well as the potential for immobilization of various multiple enzymes, including multimeric enzymes for different bio-catalytic applications beyond alkane activation.

Keywords: alkane activation, cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, enzyme catalysis, enzyme immobilization

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