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Int. J. Mol. Sci., Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2009), Pages 4198-4574

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Effects of Acrylamide on the Activity and Structure of Human Brain Creatine Kinase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4210-4222; doi:10.3390/ijms10104210
Received: 4 September 2009 / Revised: 16 September 2009 / Accepted: 24 September 2009 / Published: 28 September 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (456 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Acrylamide is widely used worldwide in industry and it can also be produced by the cooking and processing of foods. It is harmful to human beings, and human brain CK (HBCK) has been proposed to be one of the important targets of [...] Read more.
Acrylamide is widely used worldwide in industry and it can also be produced by the cooking and processing of foods. It is harmful to human beings, and human brain CK (HBCK) has been proposed to be one of the important targets of acrylamide. In this research, we studied the effects of acrylamide on HBCK activity, structure and the potential binding sites. Compared to CKs from rabbit, HBCK was fully inactivated at several-fold lower concentrations of acrylamide, and exhibited distinct properties upon acrylamide-induced inactivation and structural changes. The binding sites of acrylamide were located at the cleft between the N- and C-terminal domains of CK, and Glu232 was one of the key binding residues. The effects of acrylamide on CK were proposed to be isoenzyme- and species-specific, and the underlying molecular mechanisms were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Depigmenting Activity by 8-Hydroxydaidzein in Mouse B16 Melanoma Cells and Human Volunteers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4257-4266; doi:10.3390/ijms10104257
Received: 27 August 2009 / Revised: 22 September 2009 / Accepted: 24 September 2009 / Published: 29 September 2009
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (78 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In our previous study, 8-hydroxydaidzein (8-OHDe) was demonstrated to be a potent and unique suicide substrate of mushroom tyrosinase. In this study, the compound was evaluated for in vitro cellular tyrosinase and melanogenesis inhibitory activities in mouse B16 melanoma cells and for [...] Read more.
In our previous study, 8-hydroxydaidzein (8-OHDe) was demonstrated to be a potent and unique suicide substrate of mushroom tyrosinase. In this study, the compound was evaluated for in vitro cellular tyrosinase and melanogenesis inhibitory activities in mouse B16 melanoma cells and for in vivo skin-whitening activity in human volunteers. Tyrosinase activity and melanogenesis in the cell culture incubated with 10 µM of 8-OHDe were decreased to 20.1% and 51.8% of control, respectively, while no obvious cytotoxicity was observed in this concentration. In contrast, a standard tyrosinase inhibitor, kojic acid, showed 69.9% and 71.3% of control in cellular tyrosinase and melanogenesis activity, respectively, at a concentration as high as 100 µM. Hence, 8-OHDe exhibited more than an inhibitory effects on melanin production in B16 cells 10-fold stronger than kojic acid. In addition, when a cream containing 4% 8-OHDe was applied to human skin in an in vivo study, significant increases in the dL*-values were observed after three weeks. Moreover, the increase in the dL*-values after 8-week treatment with 4% 8-OHDe (from -0.57 to 1.94) is stronger than those of 2% 8-OHDe treatment (from 0.26 to 0.94) and 2% ascorbic acid-2-glucoside treatment (from 0.07 to 1.54). From the results of the study, it was concluded that 8-OHDe, the potent suicide substrate of mushroom tyrosinase, has depigmenting activities in both mouse melanoma cells and in human volunteers. Thus, the compound has significant potential for use in cosmetics as a skin-whitening ingredient. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biodegradation of Poly(butylene succinate) Powder in a Controlled Compost at 58 °C Evaluated by Naturally-Occurring Carbon 14 Amounts in Evolved CO2 Based on the ISO 14855-2 Method
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4267-4283; doi:10.3390/ijms10104267
Received: 15 August 2009 / Revised: 10 September 2009 / Accepted: 27 September 2009 / Published: 30 September 2009
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (485 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The biodegradabilities of poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) powders in a controlled compost at 58 °C have been studied using a Microbial Oxidative Degradation Analyzer (MODA) based on the ISO 14855-2 method, entitled “Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled [...] Read more.
The biodegradabilities of poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) powders in a controlled compost at 58 °C have been studied using a Microbial Oxidative Degradation Analyzer (MODA) based on the ISO 14855-2 method, entitled “Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions—Method by analysis of evolved carbon dioxide—Part 2: Gravimetric measurement of carbon dioxide evolved in a laboratory-scale test”. The evolved CO2 was trapped by an additional aqueous Ba(OH)2 solution. The trapped BaCO3 was transformed into graphite via a serial vaporization and reduction reaction using a gas-tight tube and vacuum manifold system. This graphite was analyzed by accelerated mass spectrometry (AMS) to determine the percent modern carbon [pMC (sample)] based on the 14C radiocarbon concentration. By using the theory that pMC (sample) was the sum of the pMC (compost) (109.87%) and pMC (PBS) (0%) as the respective ratio in the determined period, the CO2 (respiration) was calculated from only one reaction vessel. It was found that the biodegradabilities determined by the CO2 amount from PBS in the sample vessel were about 30% lower than those based on the ISO method. These differences between the ISO and AMS methods are caused by the fact that part of the carbons from PBS are changed into metabolites by the microorganisms in the compost, and not changed into CO2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability of Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Theoretical Study on Reactions of Triplet Excited State Thioxanthone with Indole
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4284-4289; doi:10.3390/ijms10104284
Received: 11 August 2009 / Revised: 10 September 2009 / Accepted: 25 September 2009 / Published: 30 September 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (99 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present work, a theoretical study on the deactivation of triplet excited (T1) state thioxanthone (TX) by indole (INH) was performed, based on density functional theory calculations. Three feasible pathways, namely direct electron transfer from INH to T1 [...] Read more.
In the present work, a theoretical study on the deactivation of triplet excited (T1) state thioxanthone (TX) by indole (INH) was performed, based on density functional theory calculations. Three feasible pathways, namely direct electron transfer from INH to T1 state TX, electron transfer followed by proton transfer from INH·+ to TX· , and H-atom transfer from nitrogen of INH to keto oxygen of T1 state TX, were proposed theoretically to be involved in T1 state TX deactivation by INH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Density Functional Theory)
Open AccessArticle Extraction of Teucrium manghuaense and Evaluation of the Bioactivity of Its Extract
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4330-4341; doi:10.3390/ijms10104330
Received: 15 July 2009 / Revised: 9 September 2009 / Accepted: 24 September 2009 / Published: 9 October 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ethanol extract of Teucrium manghuaense grown in Hainan province (China) was analysed by GC and GC/MS. Of the constituents 84–96% were identified on the basis of their GC retention times and their mass spectra in regard to authentic compounds. The results [...] Read more.
The ethanol extract of Teucrium manghuaense grown in Hainan province (China) was analysed by GC and GC/MS. Of the constituents 84–96% were identified on the basis of their GC retention times and their mass spectra in regard to authentic compounds. The results revealed that it contained 9-methyl-9-azabicyclo[4.2.1]nonane (7.43%), 2-methylpyrrolidine (19.42%), 3,7,11,15-tetramethyl-2-hexadecen-1-ol (10.84%), and squalene (28.55%), as major components, constituting 66.24% of the extract. The chemical characterization of the ethanol extract by GC/MS also allowed identification of 1-octen-3-one (3.41%), 2-pentyl-piperidine (2.25%), 1-(2-methyl-1-propenyl)-piperidine (4.63%), 2,2'-diethoxy-5,5'-bi-1-pyrroline (0.41%), (Z,Z,Z)-9,12,15-octadecatrieniic acid, 2,3-dihydroxypropyl ester (1.56%), vitamin E (2.95%) and stigmasterol (1.39%). Finally, the antioxidant and anti-tumor activities of the ethanol extract have been evaluated. Results show that the extract of Teucrium manghuaense leaf possesses strong DPPH-, hydroxyl radical scavenging activity and anti-tumor activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle First-Principles Molecular Dynamics Calculations of the Equation of State for Tantalum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4342-4351; doi:10.3390/ijms10104342
Received: 7 August 2009 / Revised: 15 September 2009 / Accepted: 28 September 2009 / Published: 9 October 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (165 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The equation of state of tantalum (Ta) has been investigated to 100 GPa and 3,000 K using the first-principles molecular dynamics method. A large volume dependence of the thermal pressure of Ta was revealed from the analysis of our data. A significant [...] Read more.
The equation of state of tantalum (Ta) has been investigated to 100 GPa and 3,000 K using the first-principles molecular dynamics method. A large volume dependence of the thermal pressure of Ta was revealed from the analysis of our data. A significant temperature dependence of the calculated effective Grüneisen parameters was confirmed at high pressures. This indicates that the conventional approach to analyze thermal properties using the Mie-Grüneisen approximation is likely to have a significant uncertainty in determining the equation of state for Ta, and that an intrinsic anharmonicity should be considered to analyze the equation of state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Density Functional Theory)
Open AccessArticle Improved Adhesion, Growth and Maturation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells on Polyethylene Grafted with Bioactive Molecules and Carbon Particles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4352-4374; doi:10.3390/ijms10104352
Received: 9 July 2009 / Revised: 5 September 2009 / Accepted: 30 September 2009 / Published: 12 October 2009
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (1018 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High-density polyethylene (PE) foils were modified by an Ar+ plasma discharge and subsequent grafting with biomolecules, namely glycine (Gly), polyethylene glycol (PEG), bovine serum albumin (BSA), colloidal carbon particles (C) or BSA and C (BSA + C). As revealed by atomic [...] Read more.
High-density polyethylene (PE) foils were modified by an Ar+ plasma discharge and subsequent grafting with biomolecules, namely glycine (Gly), polyethylene glycol (PEG), bovine serum albumin (BSA), colloidal carbon particles (C) or BSA and C (BSA + C). As revealed by atomic force microscopy (AFM), goniometry and Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy (RBS), the surface chemical structure and surface morphology of PE changed dramatically after plasma treatment. The contact angle decreased for the samples treated by plasma, mainly in relation to the formation of oxygen structures during plasma irradiation. A further decrease in the contact angle was obvious after glycine and PEG grafting. The increase in oxygen concentration after glycine and PEG grafting proved that the two molecules were chemically linked to the plasma-activated surface. Plasma treatment led to ablation of the PE surface layer, thus the surface morphology was changed and the surface roughness was increased. The materials were then seeded with vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) derived from rat aorta and incubated in a DMEM medium with fetal bovine serum. Generally, the cells adhered and grew better on modified rather than on unmodified PE samples. Immunofluorescence showed that focal adhesion plaques containing talin, vinculin and paxillin were most apparent in cells on PE grafted with PEG or BSA + C, and the fibres containing α-actin, β-actin or SM1 and SM2 myosins were thicker, more numerous and more brightly stained in the cells on all modified PE samples than on pristine PE. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) revealed increased concentrations of focal adhesion proteins talin and vinculin and also a cytoskeletal protein β-actin in cells on PE modified with BSA + C. A contractile protein α-actin was increased in cells on PE grafted with PEG or Gly. These results showed that PE activated with plasma and subsequently grafted with bioactive molecules and colloidal C particles, especially with PEG and BSA + C, promotes the adhesion, proliferation and phenotypic maturation of VSMC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatibility of Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Peptide-Conjugated Near-Infrared Fluorescent Quantum Dots (NIRF-QDs) on the Invasion and Metastasis of Human Tongue Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cell Line Tca8113 in Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4418-4427; doi:10.3390/ijms10104418
Received: 10 August 2009 / Revised: 22 September 2009 / Accepted: 9 October 2009 / Published: 12 October 2009
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study we investigated the effect of near-infrared fluorescent quantum dots (NIRF-QDs, QTracker) on the proliferation, adherence, invasion and chemotaxis of human tongue squamous cell carcinoma cell line Tca8113 in vitro. Cell proliferation and colony formation rate were determined by [...] Read more.
In this study we investigated the effect of near-infrared fluorescent quantum dots (NIRF-QDs, QTracker) on the proliferation, adherence, invasion and chemotaxis of human tongue squamous cell carcinoma cell line Tca8113 in vitro. Cell proliferation and colony formation rate were determined by using a hemocytometer and culture plate. A transwell chamber assay was used to determine the cell invasion, adherence and chemotaxis. The results showed that there was no significant difference between the results of Tca8113 cells labeled with NIRF-QD800 and those of unlabeled Tca8113 cells, suggesting that the proliferation, invasion, adherence and chemotaxis of Tca8113 cells were not affected by NIRF-QD800. These results provide a basis for the further utilization of NIRF-QDs in non-invasive imaging and tracking of tumor cells in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
Open AccessArticle Robustness in Regulatory Interaction Networks. A Generic Approach with Applications at Different Levels: Physiologic, Metabolic and Genetic
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4437-4473; doi:10.3390/ijms10104437
Received: 15 September 2009 / Revised: 2 October 2009 / Accepted: 14 October 2009 / Published: 19 October 2009
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (2016 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regulatory interaction networks are often studied on their dynamical side (existence of attractors, study of their stability). We focus here also on their robustness, that is their ability to offer the same spatiotemporal patterns and to resist to external perturbations such as [...] Read more.
Regulatory interaction networks are often studied on their dynamical side (existence of attractors, study of their stability). We focus here also on their robustness, that is their ability to offer the same spatiotemporal patterns and to resist to external perturbations such as losses of nodes or edges in the networks interactions architecture, changes in their environmental boundary conditions as well as changes in the update schedule (or updating mode) of the states of their elements (e.g., if these elements are genes, their synchronous coexpression mode versus their sequential expression). We define the generic notions of boundary, core, and critical vertex or edge of the underlying interaction graph of the regulatory network, whose disappearance causes dramatic changes in the number and nature of attractors (e.g., passage from a bistable behaviour to a unique periodic regime) or in the range of their basins of stability. The dynamic transition of states will be presented in the framework of threshold Boolean automata rules. A panorama of applications at different levels will be given: brain and plant morphogenesis, bulbar cardio-respiratory regulation, glycolytic/oxidative metabolic coupling, and eventually cell cycle and feather morphogenesis genetic control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantitative Modelling in Molecular System Bioenergetics)
Open AccessArticle Köln-Timişoara Molecular Activity Combined Models toward Interspecies Toxicity Assessment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4474-4497; doi:10.3390/ijms10104474
Received: 4 August 2009 / Revised: 11 October 2009 / Accepted: 19 October 2009 / Published: 22 October 2009
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (507 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aiming to provide a unified picture of computed activity – quantitative structure activity relationships, the so called Köln (ESIP-ElementSpecificInfluenceParameter) model for activity and Timisoara (Spectral-SAR) formulation of QSAR were pooled in order [...] Read more.
Aiming to provide a unified picture of computed activity – quantitative structure activity relationships, the so called Köln (ESIP-ElementSpecificInfluenceParameter) model for activity and Timisoara (Spectral-SAR) formulation of QSAR were pooled in order to assess the toxicity modeling and inter-toxicity correlation maps for aquatic organisms against paradigmatic organic compounds. The Köln ESIP model for estimation of a compound toxicity is based on the experimental measurement expressing the direct action of chemicals on the organism Hydractinia echinata so that the structural influence parameters are reflected by the metamorphosis degree itself. As such, the calculation of the structural parameters is absolutely necessary for correct evaluation and interpretation of the evolution of M(easured) and the C(computed) values. On the other hand, the Timişoara Spectral-SAR analysis offers correlation models and paths for H.e. species as well as for four other different organisms with which the toxicity may be inter-changed by means of the same mechanism of action induced by certain common chemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle In-TFT-Array-Process Micro Defect Inspection Using Nonlinear Principal Component Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4498-4514; doi:10.3390/ijms10104498
Received: 3 September 2009 / Revised: 5 October 2009 / Accepted: 21 October 2009 / Published: 22 October 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1483 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Defect inspection plays a critical role in thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) manufacture, and has received much attention in the field of automatic optical inspection (AOI). Previously, most focus was put on the problems of macro-scale Mura-defect detection in cell [...] Read more.
Defect inspection plays a critical role in thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) manufacture, and has received much attention in the field of automatic optical inspection (AOI). Previously, most focus was put on the problems of macro-scale Mura-defect detection in cell process, but it has recently been found that the defects which substantially influence the yield rate of LCD panels are actually those in the TFT array process, which is the first process in TFT-LCD manufacturing. Defect inspection in TFT array process is therefore considered a difficult task. This paper presents a novel inspection scheme based on kernel principal component analysis (KPCA) algorithm, which is a nonlinear version of the well-known PCA algorithm. The inspection scheme can not only detect the defects from the images captured from the surface of LCD panels, but also recognize the types of the detected defects automatically. Results, based on real images provided by a LCD manufacturer in Taiwan, indicate that the KPCA-based defect inspection scheme is able to achieve a defect detection rate of over 99% and a high defect classification rate of over 96% when the imbalanced support vector machine (ISVM) with 2-norm soft margin is employed as the classifier. More importantly, the inspection time is less than 1 s per input image. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Crystals)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Regulation of Enzyme Activity through Interactions with Nanoparticles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4198-4209; doi:10.3390/ijms10104198
Received: 18 August 2009 / Revised: 15 September 2009 / Accepted: 21 September 2009 / Published: 28 September 2009
Cited by 42 | PDF Full-text (278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The structure and function of an enzyme can be altered by nanoparticles (NPs). The interaction between enzyme and NPs is governed by the key properties of NPs, such as structure, size, surface chemistry, charge and surface shape. Recent representative studies on the [...] Read more.
The structure and function of an enzyme can be altered by nanoparticles (NPs). The interaction between enzyme and NPs is governed by the key properties of NPs, such as structure, size, surface chemistry, charge and surface shape. Recent representative studies on the NP-enzyme interactions and the regulation of enzyme activity by NPs with different size, composition and surface modification are reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Nanoparticles (special issue))
Open AccessReview Recent Advances in Synthetic Bioelastomers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4223-4256; doi:10.3390/ijms10104223
Received: 4 August 2009 / Revised: 30 August 2009 / Accepted: 8 September 2009 / Published: 29 September 2009
Cited by 57 | PDF Full-text (330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article reviews the degradability of chemically synthesized bioelastomers, mainly designed for soft tissue repair. These bioelastomers involve biodegradable polyurethanes, polyphosphazenes, linear and crosslinked poly(ether/ester)s, poly(ε-caprolactone) copolymers, poly(1,3-trimethylene carbonate) and their copolymers, poly(polyol sebacate)s, poly(diol-citrates) and poly(ester amide)s. The in vitro and [...] Read more.
This article reviews the degradability of chemically synthesized bioelastomers, mainly designed for soft tissue repair. These bioelastomers involve biodegradable polyurethanes, polyphosphazenes, linear and crosslinked poly(ether/ester)s, poly(ε-caprolactone) copolymers, poly(1,3-trimethylene carbonate) and their copolymers, poly(polyol sebacate)s, poly(diol-citrates) and poly(ester amide)s. The in vitro and in vivo degradation mechanisms and impact factors influencing degradation behaviors are discussed. In addition, the molecular designs, synthesis methods, structure properties, mechanical properties, biocompatibility and potential applications of these bioelastomers were also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability of Materials)
Open AccessReview Polyphenols from Cocoa and Vascular Health—A Critical Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4290-4309; doi:10.3390/ijms10104290
Received: 31 August 2009 / Revised: 23 September 2009 / Accepted: 27 September 2009 / Published: 30 September 2009
Cited by 42 | PDF Full-text (352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cocoa is a rich source of dietary polyphenols. In vitro as well as cell culture data indicate that cocoa polyphenols may exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-atherogenic activity. Several molecular targets (e.g., nuclear factor kappa B, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, [...] Read more.
Cocoa is a rich source of dietary polyphenols. In vitro as well as cell culture data indicate that cocoa polyphenols may exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-atherogenic activity. Several molecular targets (e.g., nuclear factor kappa B, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, angiotensin converting enzyme) have been recently identified which may partly explain potential beneficial cardiovascular effects of cocoa polyphenols. However cocoa polyphenol concentrations, as used in many cell culture studies, are not physiologically achievable. Bioavailability studies indicate that plasma concentrations of cocoa polyphenols following dietary intake are low and in the nanomolar range. Human studies regarding the effect of cocoa polyphenols on vascular health are often underpowered and lack a rigorous study design. If dietary cocoa polyphenol intake is due to chocolate its high energy content needs to be taken into account. In order to determine potential health benefits of cocoa polyphenols large scale, long term, randomized, placebo controlled studies, (ideally with a cross-over design) as well as prospective studies are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phenolics and Polyphenolics)
Open AccessReview Modelling Catalyst Surfaces Using DFT Cluster Calculations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4310-4329; doi:10.3390/ijms10104310
Received: 5 August 2009 / Revised: 7 September 2009 / Accepted: 15 September 2009 / Published: 30 September 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (460 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We review our recent theoretical DFT cluster studies of a variety of industrially relevant catalysts such as TiO2, γ-Al2O3, V2O5-WO3-TiO2 and Ni/Al2O3. Aspects of the [...] Read more.
We review our recent theoretical DFT cluster studies of a variety of industrially relevant catalysts such as TiO2, γ-Al2O3, V2O5-WO3-TiO2 and Ni/Al2O3. Aspects of the metal oxide surface structure and the stability and structure of metal clusters on the support are discussed as well as the reactivity of surfaces, including their behaviour upon poisoning. It is exemplarily demonstrated how such theoretical considerations can be combined with DRIFT and XPS results from experimental studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Density Functional Theory)
Open AccessReview ECM-Based Materials in Cardiovascular Applications: Inherent Healing Potential and Augmentation of Native Regenerative Processes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4375-4417; doi:10.3390/ijms10104375
Received: 17 July 2009 / Revised: 7 September 2009 / Accepted: 30 September 2009 / Published: 12 October 2009
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (1063 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The in vivo healing process of vascular grafts involves the interaction of many contributing factors. The ability of vascular grafts to provide an environment which allows successful accomplishment of this process is extremely difficult. Poor endothelisation, inflammation, infection, occlusion, thrombosis, hyperplasia and [...] Read more.
The in vivo healing process of vascular grafts involves the interaction of many contributing factors. The ability of vascular grafts to provide an environment which allows successful accomplishment of this process is extremely difficult. Poor endothelisation, inflammation, infection, occlusion, thrombosis, hyperplasia and pseudoaneurysms are common issues with synthetic grafts in vivo. Advanced materials composed of decellularised extracellular matrices (ECM) have been shown to promote the healing process via modulation of the host immune response, resistance to bacterial infections, allowing re-innervation and reestablishing homeostasis in the healing region. The physiological balance within the newly developed vascular tissue is maintained via the recreation of correct biorheology and mechanotransduction factors including host immune response, infection control, homing and the attraction of progenitor cells and infiltration by host tissue. Here, we review the progress in this tissue engineering approach, the enhancement potential of ECM materials and future prospects to reach the clinical environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatibility of Materials)
Open AccessReview Role of the Ubiquitin Proteasome System in Regulating Skin Pigmentation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4428-4434; doi:10.3390/ijms10104428
Received: 3 September 2009 / Revised: 29 September 2009 / Accepted: 9 October 2009 / Published: 15 October 2009
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (120 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pigmentation of the skin, hair and eyes is regulated by tyrosinase, the critical rate-limiting enzyme in melanin synthesis by melanocytes. Tyrosinase is degraded endogenously, at least in part, by the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS). Several types of inherited hypopigmentary diseases, such as [...] Read more.
Pigmentation of the skin, hair and eyes is regulated by tyrosinase, the critical rate-limiting enzyme in melanin synthesis by melanocytes. Tyrosinase is degraded endogenously, at least in part, by the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS). Several types of inherited hypopigmentary diseases, such as oculocutaneous albinism and Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, involve the aberrant processing and/or trafficking of tyrosinase and its subsequent degradation which can occur due to the quality-control machinery. Studies on carbohydrate modifications have revealed that tyrosinase in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is proteolyzed via ER-associated protein degradation and that tyrosinase degradation can also occur following its complete maturation in the Golgi. Among intrinsic factors that regulate the UPS, fatty acids have been shown to modulate tyrosinase degradation in contrasting manners through increased or decreased amounts of ubiquitinated tyrosinase that leads to its accelerated or decelerated degradation by proteasomes. Full article
Open AccessReview Electromagnetic Biostimulation of Living Cultures for Biotechnology, Biofuel and Bioenergy Applications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4515-4558; doi:10.3390/ijms10104515
Received: 8 August 2009 / Revised: 17 September 2009 / Accepted: 19 October 2009 / Published: 23 October 2009
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (1067 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The surge of interest in bioenergy has been marked with increasing efforts in research and development to identify new sources of biomass and to incorporate cutting-edge biotechnology to improve efficiency and increase yields. It is evident that various microorganisms will play an [...] Read more.
The surge of interest in bioenergy has been marked with increasing efforts in research and development to identify new sources of biomass and to incorporate cutting-edge biotechnology to improve efficiency and increase yields. It is evident that various microorganisms will play an integral role in the development of this newly emerging industry, such as yeast for ethanol and Escherichia coli for fine chemical fermentation. However, it appears that microalgae have become the most promising prospect for biomass production due to their ability to grow fast, produce large quantities of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins, thrive in poor quality waters, sequester and recycle carbon dioxide from industrial flue gases and remove pollutants from industrial, agricultural and municipal wastewaters. In an attempt to better understand and manipulate microorganisms for optimum production capacity, many researchers have investigated alternative methods for stimulating their growth and metabolic behavior. One such novel approach is the use of electromagnetic fields for the stimulation of growth and metabolic cascades and controlling biochemical pathways. An effort has been made in this review to consolidate the information on the current status of biostimulation research to enhance microbial growth and metabolism using electromagnetic fields. It summarizes information on the biostimulatory effects on growth and other biological processes to obtain insight regarding factors and dosages that lead to the stimulation and also what kind of processes have been reportedly affected. Diverse mechanistic theories and explanations for biological effects of electromagnetic fields on intra and extracellular environment have been discussed. The foundations of biophysical interactions such as bioelectromagnetic and biophotonic communication and organization within living systems are expounded with special consideration for spatiotemporal aspects of electromagnetic topology, leading to the potential of multipolar electromagnetic systems. The future direction for the use of biostimulation using bioelectromagnetic, biophotonic and electrochemical methods have been proposed for biotechnology industries in general with emphasis on an holistic biofuel system encompassing production of algal biomass, its processing and conversion to biofuel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
Open AccessReview Application of Δ- and Λ-Isomerism of Octahedral Metal Complexes for Inducing Chiral Nematic Phases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4559-4574; doi:10.3390/ijms10104559
Received: 3 September 2009 / Revised: 29 September 2009 / Accepted: 22 October 2009 / Published: 23 October 2009
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Δ- and Λ-isomerism of octahedral metal complexes is employed as a source of chirality for inducing chiral nematic phases. By applying a wide range of chiral metal complexes as a dopant, it has been found that tris(β-diketonato)metal(III) complexes exhibit an extremely [...] Read more.
The Δ- and Λ-isomerism of octahedral metal complexes is employed as a source of chirality for inducing chiral nematic phases. By applying a wide range of chiral metal complexes as a dopant, it has been found that tris(β-diketonato)metal(III) complexes exhibit an extremely high value of helical twisting power. The mechanism of induction of the chiral nematic phase is postulated on the basis of a surface chirality model. The strategy for designing an efficient dopant is described, together with the results using a number of examples of Co(III), Cr(III) and Ru(III) complexes with C2 symmetry. The development of photo-responsive dopants to achieve the photo-induced structural change of liquid crystal by use of photo-isomerization of chiral metal complexes is also described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Crystals)

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Open AccessNew Book Received Stochastic Simulations of Clusters: Quantum Methods in Flat and Curved Spaces. By Emanuele Curotto, CRC Press, 2010; 696 pages, Hard Cover. Price:159.95 / CHF 257.00 ISBN 978-1-4200-8225-8
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(10), 4435-4436; doi:10.3390/ijms10104435
Received: 7 October 2009 / Published: 15 October 2009
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Abstract
Clusters hold the key to our understanding of intermolecular forces and how these affect the physical properties of bulk condensed matter. They can be found in a multitude of important applications, including novel fuel materials, atmospheric chemistry, semiconductors, nanotechnology, and computational biology. [...] Read more.
Clusters hold the key to our understanding of intermolecular forces and how these affect the physical properties of bulk condensed matter. They can be found in a multitude of important applications, including novel fuel materials, atmospheric chemistry, semiconductors, nanotechnology, and computational biology. Focusing on the class of weakly bound substances known as van derWaals clusters or complexes, Stochastic Simulations of Clusters: Quantum Methods in Flat and Curved Spaces presents advanced quantum simulation techniques for condensed matter. [...] Full article

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