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Stability engineering

Marko Žnidarič, Marko Ljubotina
Integrable models form pillars of theoretical physics because they allow for full analytical understanding. Despite being rare, many realistic systems can be described by models that are close to integrable. Therefore, an important question is how small perturbations influence the behavior of solvable models. This is particularly true for many-body interacting quantum systems where no general theorems about their stability are known. Here, we show that no such theorem can exist by providing an explicit example of a one-dimensional many-body system in a quasiperiodic potential whose transport properties discontinuously change from localization to diffusion upon switching on interaction...
April 16, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Fang You, Ram Dalal, Longbin Huang
Field evidence has been scarce about soil (or technosol) formation and direct phytostabilization of base metal mine tailings under field conditions. The present study evaluated key attributes of soil formation in weathered and neutral Cu-Pb-Zn tailings subject to organic amendment (WC: woodchips) and colonization of pioneer native plant species (mixed native woody and grass plant species) in a 2.5-year field trial under subtropical and semi-arid climatic conditions. Key soil indicators of engineered soil formation process were characterized, including organic carbon fractions, aggregation, microbial community and key enzymatic activities...
April 11, 2018: Chemosphere
Chunqing Ma, Dong Shen, Tsz-Wai Ng, Ming-Fai Lo, Chun-Sing Lee
2D perovskites have emerged as one of the most promising photovoltaic materials owing to their excellent stability compared with their 3D counterparts. However, in typical 2D perovskites, the highly conductive inorganic layers are isolated by large organic cations leading to quantum confinement and thus inferior electrical conductivity across layers. To address this issue, the large organic cations are replaced with small propane-1,3-diammonium (PDA) cations to reduce distance between the inorganic perovskite layers...
April 17, 2018: Advanced Materials
Lara Cristóbal, Miguel A Ortega, Ángel Asúnsolo, Beatriz Romero, Melchor Álvarez-Mon, Julia Buján, Andrés A Maldonado, Natalio García-Honduvilla
Despite advances in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, human skin substitutes remain a clear goal to achieve. Autografts remain the principal clinical option. The long-term changes in dermis, as well as its response after injuries, are not well known. Research in this field has been hindered by a lack of experimental animal models. This study analyzes the architectural dermal scaffold (collagen and elastin fibers plus fibrillin-microfibrils) changes in a model of human skin pressure ulcers in mice...
April 17, 2018: Histology and Histopathology
Biao Yuan, Shanyue Guan, Xingming Sun, Xiaoming Li, Haibo Zeng, Zheng Xie, Ping Chen, Shuyun Zhou
Carbon dots (CDs) have potentials to be utilized in optoelectronic devices, bioimaging and photocatalysis. The majority of the current CDs with high quantum yield to date were limited in the blue light emission region. Herein, based on the surface electron state engineering, we report a kind of CDs with reversibly switching ability between green and red photoluminescence with quantum yield both up to 80%. Highly efficient green and red solid state luminescence are realized by doping CDs into highly transparent matrix methyltriethoxysilane and 3-Triethoxysilylpropylamine to form CDs/gel-glasses composites with quantum yield of 80% and 78%...
April 17, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Mamatha M Pillai, J Gopinathan, R Selvakumar, Amitava Bhattacharyya
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Lack of vascularity in the human knee meniscus often leads to surgical removal (total or partial meniscectomy) in the case of severe meniscal damage. However, complete recovery is in question after such removal as the meniscus plays an important role in knee stability. Thus, meniscus tissue regeneration strategies are of intense research interest in recent years. RECENT FINDINGS: The structural complexity and inhomogeneity of the meniscus have been addressed with processing technologies for precisely controlled three dimensional (3D) complex porous scaffold architectures, the use of biomolecules and nanomaterials...
April 16, 2018: Current Osteoporosis Reports
Liming Zeng, Xiangzhi Cui, Jianlin Shi
Finding highly active, low-cost and stable electro-catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction is challenging but crucial for several applications such as fuel cells and metal batteries. Herein, we report a novel electro-catalyst of crystalline CoOOH anchored on an N-doped carbon support through a facile method, and we explore its origin of activity via investigating the correlation between the composition of the catalyst and its electrochemical properties. Nitrogen is successfully incorporated into a carbon support, and CoOOH is desirably anchored on a carbon matrix forming Co-N coordination sites in the catalyst, which is revealed to be responsible for the much enhanced oxygen reduction activity compared to the oxygen reduction activities of the electrocatalysts having either single-doped nitrogen or anchored CoOOH species in a carbon support...
April 17, 2018: Dalton Transactions: An International Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
Henry R Maun, Peter S Liu, Yvonne Franke, Charles Eigenbrot, William F Forrest, Lawrence B Schwartz, Robert A Lazarus
Human β-tryptase, a tetrameric trypsin-like serine protease, is an important mediator of the allergic inflammatory responses in asthma. During acute hypersensitivity reactions, mast cells degranulate, releasing active tetramer as a complex with proteoglycans. Extensive efforts have focused on developing therapeutic β-tryptase inhibitors, but its unique activation mechanism is less well explored. Tryptase is active only after proteolytic removal of the pro-domain followed by tetramer formation via two distinct symmetry-related interfaces...
April 16, 2018: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Xiuqing Zhai, Zhongwu Li, Bin Huang, Ninglin Luo, Mei Huang, Qiu Zhang, Guangming Zeng
The remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils is a great challenge for global environmental sciences and engineering. To control the ecological risks of heavy metal-contaminated soil more effectively, the present study focused on the combination of soil washing (with FeCl3 ) and in situ immobilization (with lime, biochar, and black carbon). The results showed that the removal rate of Cd, Pb, Zn, and Cu was 62.9%, 52.1%, 30.0%, and 16.7%, respectively, when washed with FeCl3 . After the combined remediation (immobilization with 1% (w/w) lime), the contaminated soils showed 36...
April 13, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Valeria A Risso, Jose M Sanchez-Ruiz, S Banu Ozkan
Approximations to the sequences of ancestral proteins can be derived from the sequences of their modern descendants. Proteins encoded by such reconstructed sequences can be prepared in the laboratory and subjected to experimental scrutiny. These 'resurrected' ancestral proteins often display remarkable properties, reflecting ancestral adaptations to intra-cellular and extra-cellular environments that differed from the environments hosting modern/extant proteins. Recent experimental and computational work has specifically discussed high stability, substrate and catalytic promiscuity, conformational flexibility/diversity and altered patterns of interaction with other sub-cellular components...
April 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Structural Biology
Sara C Sukenik, Kalimuthu Karuppanan, Qiongyu Li, Carlito B Lebrilla, Somen Nandi, Karen A McDonald
Transient recombinant protein production is a promising alternative to stable transgenic systems, particularly for emergency situations in which rapid production of novel therapeutics is needed. In plants, Agrobacterium tumefaciens can be used as a gene delivery vector for transient expression. A potential barrier for plant-based production of human therapeutics is that different glycosylation patterns are found on plant and mammalian proteins. Since glycosylation can affect the efficacy, safety and stability of a therapeutic protein, methods to control glycan structures and distributions in plant-based systems would be beneficial...
April 16, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Franziska Koch, Michael Müller, Finja König, Nina Meyer, Jasmin Gattlen, Uwe Pieles, Kirsten Peters, Bernd Kreikemeyer, Stephanie Mathes, Sina Saxer
Self-assembling peptide hydrogels can be modified regarding their biodegradability, their chemical and mechanical properties and their nanofibrillar structure. Thus, self-assembling peptide hydrogels might be suitable scaffolds for regenerative therapies and tissue engineering. Owing to the use of various peptide concentrations and buffer compositions, the self-assembling peptide hydrogels might be influenced regarding their mechanical characteristics. Therefore, the mechanical properties and stability of a set of self-assembling peptide hydrogels, consisting of 11 amino acids, made from four beta sheet self-assembling peptides in various peptide concentrations and buffer compositions were studied...
March 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Dong Li, Yi Ran, Lin Chen, Qin Cao, Zhidong Li, Xiaofeng Liu
Effective process monitoring and instability diagnosis are important for stable anaerobic digestion (AD) of vegetable waste (VW). In order to evaluate the performance of thermophilic digestion of VW, to make early diagnosis for instability after organic overload, and to reveal the dynamics of microbial community under different running states, thermophilic AD of VW was carried out under improved organic loading rates (OLR) of 0.5-2.5 g volatile solid (VS)/(L ∙ d) in this study. Gaseous parameters including volumetric methane production rate (VMPR), CH4 , CO2 , and H2 concentrations, and liquid parameters including pH, oxidation-reduction potential, volatile fatty acid (VFA), and total alkalinity (TA), bicarbonate alkalinity (BA), intermediate alkalinity (IA), and ammonia, were monitored...
April 10, 2018: Water Research
Brahma N Singh, Braj R Singh, Vijai K Gupta, Ravindra N Kharwar, Lorenzo Pecoraro
Microbial hydrophobin (MH)-based surface coating is emerging as a novel protein engineering approach for drug nanoparticles to enhance the solubility and stability of therapeutic agents. These hydrophobins are amphiphilic proteins that can form self-assembled monolayers on hydrophobic materials and can coat nanoparticles for efficient drug delivery.
April 11, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Yoshitaka J Sei, Jungho Ahn, Taeyoung Kim, Eunjung Shin, Angel J Santiago-Lopez, Seung Soon Jang, Noo Li Jeon, Young C Jang, YongTae Kim
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a key regulator of lipid homeostasis through its native roles like reverse cholesterol transport. The reconstitution of this natural nanoparticle (NP) has become a nexus between nanomedicine and multi-disease therapies, for which a major portion of HDL functionality is attributed to its primary scaffolding protein, apolipoprotein A1 (apoA1). ApoA1-mimetic peptides were formulated as cost-effective alternatives to apoA1-based therapies; reverse-4F (r4F) is one such peptide used as part of a nanoparticle platform...
April 6, 2018: Biomaterials
Jack B Maguire, Scott E Boyken, David Baker, Brian Kuhlman
Hydrogen bond networks play a critical role in determining the stability and specificity of biomolecular complexes, and the ability to design such networks is important for engineering novel structures, interactions, and enzymes. One key feature of hydrogen bond networks that makes them difficult to rationally engineer is that they are highly cooperative and are not energetically favorable until the hydrogen bonding potential has been satisfied for all buried polar groups in the network. Existing computational methods for protein design are ill-equipped for creating these highly cooperative networks because they rely on energy functions and sampling strategies that are focused on pairwise interactions...
April 13, 2018: Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Zeng Zhen, Mingfen Wen, Boxuan Yu, Gang Ye, Xiaomei Huo, Yuexiang Lu, Jing Chen
Oxidant-regulated polymerization of dopamine was exploited, for the first time, for effective surface engineering of the well-defined cylindrical pores of nuclear track-etched membranes (NTEMs) to develop novel catalytic membrane reactor. Firstly, in the presence of strong oxidant, controlled synthesis of polydopamine (PDA) with tunable particle size was achieved, allowing a homogeneous deposition to the confined pore channels of NTEMs. The PDA interfaces rich in catechol and amine groups provided enhanced hydrophilicity to promote mass transport across the membrane and abundant nucleation sites for formation and stabilization of metallic nanoparticles (NPs)...
April 13, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Chen Zhang, Jianfeng Li, Fangqin Cheng, Yu Liu
In this study, a lignite activated coke (LAC)-assisted activated sludge (AS) process was developed for enhancing biodegradation of phenol, while the effects of LAC on sludge properties and microbial community structure were investigated. It was found that more than 90% of phenol was removed within 1 h in the LAC/AS, which was 3 times higher than the conventional AS process. Moreover, the floc size and settleability were also significantly improved in the LAC/AS. These results suggested that LAC could serve as the nucleating agent to promote the formation of compact floc, which was beneficial for toxicity mitigation and system stability...
March 29, 2018: Bioresource Technology
Kristin Støen Gunnarsen, Lene Støkken Høydahl, Ralf Stefan Neumann, Kaare Bjerregaard-Andersen, Nicolay Rustad Nilssen, Ludvig Magne Sollid, Inger Sandlie, Geir Åge Løset
There is a quest for production of soluble protein of high quality for the study of T-cell receptors (TCRs), but expression often results in low yields of functional molecules. In this study, we used an E. coli chaperone-assisted periplasmic production system and compared expression of 4 different soluble TCR formats: single-chain TCR (scTCR), two different disulfide-linked TCR (dsTCR) formats, and chimeric Fab (cFab). A stabilized version of scTCR was also included. Additionally, we evaluated the influence of host (XL1-Blue or RosettaBlueTM) and the effect of IPTG induction on expression profiles...
2018: PloS One
Francesca Telesio, Elisa Passaglia, Francesca Cicogna, Federica Costantino, Manuel Serrano-Ruiz, Maurizio Peruzzini, Stefan Heun
Hybrid materials, containing a 2D filler embedded in a polymeric matrix, are an interesting platform for several applications, because of the variety of properties that the filler can impart to the polymer matrix when dispersed at the nanoscale. Moreover, novel properties could arise from the interaction between the two. Mostly the bulk properties of these materials have been studied so far, especially
 focusing on how the filler changes the polymeric matrix properties. Here we propose a complete change of perspective by using the hybrid nanocomposite material as a platform suitable to engineer the properties of the filler and to exploit its potential in the fabrication of devices...
April 12, 2018: Nanotechnology
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