Sedimentation Equilibrium
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2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Michelle Cutajar ◽  
Fabrizio Andriulo ◽  
Megan R. Thomsett ◽  
Jonathan C. Moore ◽  
Benoit Couturaud ◽  

AbstractThere is currently a pressing need for the development of novel bioinspired consolidants for waterlogged, archaeological wood. Bioinspired materials possess many advantages, such as biocompatibility and sustainability, which makes them ideal to use in this capacity. Based on this, a polyhydroxylated monomer was synthesised from α-pinene, a sustainable terpene feedstock derived from pine trees, and used to prepare a low molar mass polymer TPA5 through free radical polymerisation. This polymer was extensively characterised by NMR spectroscopy (chemical composition) and molecular hydrodynamics, primarily using analytical ultracentrifugation reinforced by gel filtration chromatography and viscometry, in order to investigate whether it would be suitable for wood consolidation purposes. Sedimentation equilibrium indicated a weight average molar mass Mw of (4.3 ± 0.2) kDa, with minimal concentration dependence. Further analysis with MULTISIG revealed a broad distribution of molar masses and this heterogeneity was further confirmed by sedimentation velocity. Conformation analyses with the Perrin P and viscosity increment ν universal hydrodynamic parameters indicated that the polymer had an elongated shape, with both factors giving consistent results and a consensus axial ratio of ~ 4.5. These collective properties—hydrogen bonding potential enhanced by an elongated shape, together with a small injectable molar mass—suggest this polymer is worthy of further consideration as a potential consolidant.

2021 ◽  
Jing Fang

<p>The release of biochar colloids considerably affects the stability of biochar in environment. Currently, information on the release behavior and suspension stability of biochar colloids in real soil solutions is scarce. In this study, 20 soils were collected from different districts in China and the release behavior of biochar colloids and their suspension stability in soil solutions were systematically examined. The results showed that both pyrolysis temperature and biomass source had important effects on the formation of biochar colloids in soil solutions. The formation amount of biochar colloids from low pyrolysis temperatures (400 ℃) (average amount of 9.33–16.41 mg/g) were significantly higher than those from high pyrolysis temperatures (700 ℃) (average amount of less than 2 mg/g). The formation amount of wheat straw-derived biochar colloids were higher than those of rice straw-derived biochar colloids probably due to the higher O/C ratio in wheat-straw biochar. Further, biochar colloidal formation amount was negatively correlated with comprehensive effect of dissolved organic carbon, Fe and Al in soil solutions. The sedimentation curve of biochar colloids in soil solutions is well described by an exponential model and demonstrated high suspension stability. Around 40% of the biochar colloids were maintained in the suspension at the final sedimentation equilibrium. The settling efficiency of biochar colloids was positively correlated with comprehensive effect of the ionic strength and K, Ca, Na, and Mg contents in soil solutions. Our findings help promote a deeper understanding of biochar loss and stability in the soil-water environment.</p>

2020 ◽  
Vol 477 (24) ◽  
pp. 4711-4728
Tora Biswas ◽  
Anurag Misra ◽  
Sreetama Das ◽  
Prity Yadav ◽  
Suryanarayanarao Ramakumar ◽  

The anchoring of the surface proteins to the cell wall in gram-positive bacteria involves a peptide ligation reaction catalyzed by transpeptidase sortase. Most bacterial genomes encode multiple sortases with dedicated functions. Streptococcus pneumoniae (Sp) carries four sortases; a housekeeping sortase (SrtA), and three pilin specific sortases (SrtC1, C2, C3) dedicated to the biosynthesis of covalent pilus. Interestingly, SrtA, meant for performing housekeeping roles, is also implicated in pilus assembly of Sp. The allegiance of SpSrtA to the pathogenic pilus assembly makes it an ideal target for clinical inhibitor development. In this paper, we describe biochemical characterization, crystal structure and peptide substrate preference of SpSrtA. Transpeptidation reaction with a variety of substrates revealed that the enzyme preferred elongated LPXTG sequences and transferred them equally well to both Ala- and Gly-terminated peptides. Curiously, the crystal structure of both wild type and an active site (Cys to Ala) mutant of SpSrtA displayed inter-twined 3D-swapped dimers in which each protomer generated a classic eight-stranded beta-barrel ‘sortase fold'. Size-exclusion chromatography and sedimentation equilibrium measurements revealed the predominant presence of a dimer in equilibrium with its monomer. The crystal structure-based Cys–Cys distance mapping with defined chemical cross-linkers established the existence of 3D-swapped structure in solution. The swapping in SpSrtA, unprecedented for sortase family, may be physiologically relevant and meant to perform regulatory functions.

2020 ◽  
Vol 46 (1) ◽  
pp. 77-90
Mohamed Bouzghaia ◽  
Ferhat Souidi ◽  
Zakaria Larbi

Abstract This study deals with the problem of diffusion for polydisperse colloids. The resolution of this complex problem usually requires computationally expensive numerical models. By considering the number of colloidal particles and their mass as independent variables, the equations of state for a dilute polydisperse colloid are derived on a statistical mechanics basis. Irreversible thermodynamics is then applied to obtain a simple two-moment diffusion model. The validity of the model is illustrated by comparing its results with those obtained by a classical size spectrum approach, in a sedimentation equilibrium problem and in an unsteady one-dimensional diffusion problem in Stokes–Einstein regime, and under the hypothesis that the size spectrum distribution is stochastic. In the first problem, the two-moment diffusion problem allows to represent rigorously the vertical size segregation induced by gravity, while in the second one, it allows a convenient description of the diffusion of polydisperse colloids by using two coupled diffusion equations, with an accuracy comparable with that of the classical size spectrum approach. The contribution of our work lies primarily in the application of a non-equilibrium thermodynamics methodology to a challenging issue of colloid modeling, namely, polydispersity, by going from statistical mechanics to the derivation of phenomenological coefficients, with the two-moment approach as a guideline.

2020 ◽  
Vol 49 (8) ◽  
pp. 781-789 ◽  
Jennifer M. K. Wakefield ◽  
Susan Braovac ◽  
Hartmut Kutzke ◽  
Robert A. Stockman ◽  
Stephen E. Harding

AbstractThe Oseberg ship is one of the most important archaeological testimonies of the Vikings. After excavation in 1904, the wooden gravegoods were conserved using alum salts. This resulted in extreme degradation of a number of the objects a hundred years later through acid depolymerisation of cellulose and lignin. The fragile condition of the artefacts requires a reconsolidation which has to be done avoiding water as solvent. We synthesized tert-butyldimethylsilyl (TBDMS) chitosan which is soluble in a 50:50 solution of ethyl acetate and toluene. Measurement of its molecular weight, to anticipate its penetration, provided a challenge as the density difference of the polymer and solvent was too small to provide adequate solute redistribution under a centrifugal field, so a two-stage process was implemented (i) determination of the weight-average molar mass of the aqueous soluble activated precursor, chitosan mesylate, Mw,mc using sedimentation equilibrium with the SEDFIT-MSTAR algorithm, and determination of the degree of polymerisation DP; (ii) measurement of the average degree of substitution DSTBDMS of the TBDMS group on each chitosan monosaccharide monomer unit using NMR, to augment the Mw,mc value to give the molar mass of the TBDMS-chitosan. For the preparation, we find Mw = 9.8 kg·mol−1, which is within the acceptable limit for penetration and consolidation of degraded wood. Future work will test this on archaeological wood from different sources.

2020 ◽  
Vol 49 (8) ◽  
pp. 791-798 ◽  
Jennifer M. K. Wakefield ◽  
Robert Hampe ◽  
Richard B. Gillis ◽  
Agnes Sitterli ◽  
Gary G. Adams ◽  

AbstractThe 6-deoxy-6-aminocelluloses—or “aminocelluloses”—are a class of synthetic natural cellulose derivatives which are mostly aqueous soluble and have excellent film-forming properties. Recent studies have connected these properties at the molecular level with protein-like self-associative behaviour for a range of aminocelluloses including a 6-deoxy-6-(ω-aminoethyl) aminocellulose AEA-1 with the association being a two-stage process—a reversible oligomerisation followed by further (semi-reversible) aggregation into larger structures. Here, we synthesise and compare a new 6-deoxy-6-(ω-aminoethyl) aminocellulose AEA-1′ with different degree of substitution with one with further alkyl derivatisation, namely 6-deoxy-6-(ω-hydroxyethyl) aminocellulose HEA-1′. As with AEA-1, sedimentation velocity and sedimentation equilibrium in the analytical ultracentrifuge still show a two-stage process for both AEA-1′ and HEA-1′, with the latter giving higher molar masses. The consequences of these properties for use as consolidants for archaeological wood are considered.

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