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1.  Assessment of Bioavailability of Soil-Sorbed Atrazine 
Bioavailability of pesticides sorbed to soils is an important determinant of their environmental fate and impact. Mineralization of sorbed atrazine was studied in soil and clay slurries, and a desorption-biodegradation-mineralization (DBM) model was developed to quantitatively evaluate the bioavailability of sorbed atrazine. Three atrazine-degrading bacteria that utilized atrazine as a sole N source (Pseudomonas sp. strain ADP, Agrobacterium radiobacter strain J14a, and Ralstonia sp. strain M91-3) were used in the bioavailability assays. Assays involved establishing sorption equilibrium in sterile soil slurries, inoculating the system with organisms, and measuring the CO2 production over time. Sorption and desorption isotherm analyses were performed to evaluate distribution coefficients and desorption parameters, which consisted of three desorption site fractions and desorption rate coefficients. Atrazine sorption isotherms were linear for mineral and organic soils but displayed some nonlinearity for K-saturated montmorillonite. The desorption profiles were well described by the three-site desorption model. In many instances, the mineralization of atrazine was accurately predicted by the DBM model, which accounts for the extents and rates of sorption/desorption processes and assumes biodegradation of liquid-phase, but not sorbed, atrazine. However, for the Houghton muck soil, which manifested the highest sorbed atrazine concentrations, enhanced mineralization rates, i.e., greater than those expected on the basis of aqueous-phase atrazine concentration, were observed. Even the assumption of instantaneous desorption could not account for the elevated rates. A plausible explanation for enhanced bioavailability is that bacteria access the localized regions where atrazine is sorbed and that the concentrations found support higher mineralization rates than predicted on the basis of aqueous-phase concentrations. Characteristics of high sorbed-phase concentration, chemotaxis, and attachment of cells to soil particles seem to contribute to the bioavailability of soil-sorbed atrazine.
PMCID: PMC161506  PMID: 12788728
2.  Preparation and Characterization of Asymmetric Planar Supported Bilayers Composed of Poly(bis-Sorbylphosphatidylcholine) on n-Octadecyltrichlorosilane SAMs 
Planar supported lipid bilayers (PSLBs) have been widely studied as biomembrane models and biosensor scaffolds. For technological applications, a major limitation of PSLBs composed of fluid lipids is that the bilayer structure is readily disrupted when exposed to chemical, mechanical, and thermal stresses. A number of asymmetric supported bilayer structures, such as the hybrid bilayer membrane (HBM) and the tethered bilayer lipid membrane (tBLM), have been created as an alternative to symmetric PSLBs. In both HBMs and tBLMs, the inner monolayer is covalently attached to the substrate while the outer monolayer is typically composed of a fluid lipid. Here we address if cross-linking polymerization of the lipids in the outer monolayer of an asymmetric supported bilayer can achieve the high degree of stability observed previously for symmetric PSLBs in which both monolayers are cross-linked [Ross, E. E., et al., Langmuir 2003, 19, 1752–1765]. To explore this issue, HBMs composed of an outer monolayer of a cross-linkable lipid, bis-Sorbylphosphatidylcholine (bis-SorbPC), and an inner SAM were prepared and characterized. Several experimental conditions were varied: vesicle fusion time, polymerization method, and polymerization time and temperature. Under most conditions, bis-SorbPC cross-linking stabilized the HBM such that its bilayer structure was largely preserved after drying; however these films invariably contained sub-micron scale defects that exposed the hydrophobic core of the HBM. The defects appear to be caused by desorption of low molecular weight oligomers when the film is removed from water, rinsed, and dried. In contrast, poly(bis-SorbPC) PSLBs prepared under similar conditions by Ross et al. were nearly defect free. This comparison shows that formation of a cross-linked network in the outer leaflet of an asymmetric supported bilayer is insufficient to prevent lipid desorption; inter-leaflet covalent linking appears to be necessary to create supported poly(lipid) assemblies that are impervious to repeated drying and rehydration. The difference in stability is attributed to inter-leaflet cross-linking between monolayers which can form in symmetric bis-SorbPC PSLBs.
PMCID: PMC2622739  PMID: 18755471
poly(lipid); lipo-polymer; asymmetric supported bilayer; hybrid bilayer membrane; lipid polymerization; bis-SorbPC; self-assembled monolayer; SAM
3.  Population-genetic comparison of the Sorbian isolate population in Germany with the German KORA population using genome-wide SNP arrays 
BMC Genetics  2011;12:67.
The Sorbs are an ethnic minority in Germany with putative genetic isolation, making the population interesting for disease mapping. A sample of N = 977 Sorbs is currently analysed in several genome-wide meta-analyses. Since genetic differences between populations are a major confounding factor in genetic meta-analyses, we compare the Sorbs with the German outbred population of the KORA F3 study (N = 1644) and other publically available European HapMap populations by population genetic means. We also aim to separate effects of over-sampling of families in the Sorbs sample from effects of genetic isolation and compare the power of genetic association studies between the samples.
The degree of relatedness was significantly higher in the Sorbs. Principal components analysis revealed a west to east clustering of KORA individuals born in Germany, KORA individuals born in Poland or Czech Republic, Half-Sorbs (less than four Sorbian grandparents) and Full-Sorbs. The Sorbs cluster is nearest to the cluster of KORA individuals born in Poland. The number of rare SNPs is significantly higher in the Sorbs sample. FST between KORA and Sorbs is an order of magnitude higher than between different regions in Germany. Compared to the other populations, Sorbs show a higher proportion of individuals with runs of homozygosity between 2.5 Mb and 5 Mb. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) at longer range is also slightly increased but this has no effect on the power of association studies.
Oversampling of families in the Sorbs sample causes detectable bias regarding higher FST values and higher LD but the effect is an order of magnitude smaller than the observed differences between KORA and Sorbs. Relatedness in the Sorbs also influenced the power of uncorrected association analyses.
Sorbs show signs of genetic isolation which cannot be explained by over-sampling of relatives, but the effects are moderate in size. The Slavonic origin of the Sorbs is still genetically detectable.
Regarding LD structure, a clear advantage for genome-wide association studies cannot be deduced. The significant amount of cryptic relatedness in the Sorbs sample results in inflated variances of Beta-estimators which should be considered in genetic association analyses.
PMCID: PMC3199861  PMID: 21798003
4.  Bioavailability of Sorbed 3-Chlorodibenzofuran 
One of the main factors impeding the bioremediation of polluted soils, sediments, and aquifers is the low bioavailability of chemicals which are sorbed by organic matter. To obtain more insight into the factors that control the degradation of sorbed compounds, we used a defined model system in which 3-chlorodibenzofuran (3CDF) was the organic contaminant, porous Teflon granules were the sorbent, and Sphingomonas sp. strain HH19k was the test organism. The sorption of 3CDF to Teflon reached equilibrium within 150 min. The curved shape of the sorption isotherm, the extent of sorption, and the desorption kinetics suggested that there was a surface interaction (adsorption) between 3CDF and Teflon which took place mainly inside the pores of the granules. The kinetics of desorption could be ascribed to sorption-retarded radial diffusion inside the granules since the desorption rate not only was correlated with the sorbed-phase concentration, but also depended on the equilibration status of sorption, since (i) the high initial desorption rate sharply declined because of the depletion of 3CDF in the outermost parts of the granules, but high rates were observed again after the system had been given time to reequilibrate, and (ii) the initial desorption rate was higher when the preceding contact time between sorbate and sorbent was shorter (i.e., most 3CDF was still located in the exterior parts of the granules). These characteristics were observed irrespective of whether the desorption was driven by percolating water through the sorbent or by attaching active bacteria to the sorbent. 3CDF consumption by attached cells drove 3CDF desorption to a considerable extent. The attached cells were thus efficiently supplied with desorbing 3CDF. On the basis of our results, we propose that the rate at which a sorbed substrate becomes available for organisms is influenced by (i) the specific affinity of the degrading organisms (i.e., their ability to reduce the aqueous substrate concentration) and (ii) the tendency of the organisms to adhere to the sorbent.
PMCID: PMC1388315  PMID: 16534908
5.  Effects of sorption on biological degradation rates of (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) acetic acid in soils. 
Three mathematical models were proposed to describe the effects of sorption of both bacteria and the herbicide (2,4-dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid (2,4-D) on the biological degradation rates of 2,4-D in soils. Model 1 assumed that sorbed 2,4-D is not degraded, that only bacteria in solution are capable of degrading 2,4-D in solution, and that sorbed bacteria are not capable of degrading either sorbed or solution 2,4-D. Model 2 stated that only bacteria in the solution phase degrade 2,4-D in solution and that only sorbed bacteria degrade sorbed 2,4-D. Model 3 proposed that sorbed 2,4-D is completely protected from degradation and that both sorbed and solution bacteria are capable of degrading 2,4-D in solution. These models were tested by a series of controlled laboratory experiments. Models 1 and 2 did not describe the data satisfactorily and were rejected. Model 3 described the experimental results quite well, indicating that sorbed 2,4-D was completely protected from biological degradation and that sorbed- and solution-phase bacteria degraded solution-phase 2,4-D with almost equal efficiencies.
PMCID: PMC373553  PMID: 3994366
6.  Sorption of Heavy Metals to the Filamentous Bacterium Thiothrix Strain A1 
A study was undertaken to determine the ability of the filamentous bacterium Thiothrix strain A1 to sorb heavy metals from solution. Cells of Thiothrix strain A1 were harvested, washed, and suspended in solutions of metals. After an equilibration period, biomass was separated from solution and the metal content in acid-digested cells and/or filtrates was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Sorption of nickel and zinc was very rapid; most of the sorbed metal was bound in less than 10 min. The sorption data for copper fit the Freundlich isotherm, and nickel and zinc data fit biphasic Freundlich isotherms. Sorption of both nickel and zinc was dependent on cell age. Cells harvested 24 h after inoculation sorbed approximately one-half of the amount of metal per gram cell protein than did cells harvested after 48, 72, or 96 h. Calcium and magnesium effectively competed with zinc for binding sites, whereas potassium had only a slight effect on the capacity of cells to sorb zinc. The primary mechanism of metal sorption apparently was ion exchange, because 66 to 75% of nickel or zinc could be desorbed by placing metal-laden cells in a solution of 5 mM CaCl2. A competition experiment with nickel and zinc indicated that both metals occupied the same sorption sites. The strong chelating agents EDTA and NTA effectively prevented metal uptake, but lactate enhanced the uptake of nickel. Thiothrix strain A1 grown in nickel-containing medium had a relatively low uptake of nickel compared with uptake by resting cells suspended in a simple buffer solution.
PMCID: PMC182077  PMID: 16348924
7.  Sorption of Heterotrophic and Enteric Bacteria to Glass Surfaces in the Continuous Culture of River Water 
Applied Microbiology  1974;28(4):572-578.
A natural population of heterotrophic bacteria, including enterics, was observed to sorb to glass surfaces and multiply during the continuous culture of river water. An initial rate of attachment equivalent to a doubling time of about 2 h was observed with a corresponding increase in the suspended population. After 24 h both the sorbed and suspended populations stabilized with a mass doubling time approximating 100 h at a dilution rate of 0.012/h. On the basis of respiration and degradative enzymatic data, the sorbed microorganisms appeared to be somewhat more metabolically active than the organisms in suspension.
PMCID: PMC186774  PMID: 4424694
8.  Isolation of Soil Bacteria Adapted To Degrade Humic Acid-Sorbed Phenanthrene 
The goal of these studies was to determine how sorption by humic acids affected the bioavailability of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to PAH-degrading microbes. Micellar solutions of humic acid were used as sorbents, and phenanthrene was used as a model PAH. Enrichments from PAH-contaminated soils established with nonsorbed phenanthrene yielded a total of 25 different isolates representing a diversity of bacterial phylotypes. In contrast, only three strains of Burkholderia spp. and one strain each of Delftia sp. and Sphingomonas sp. were isolated from enrichments with humic acid-sorbed phenanthrene (HASP). Using [14C]phenanthrene as a radiotracer, we verified that only HASP isolates were capable of mineralizing HASP, a phenotype hence termed “competence.” Competence was an all-or-nothing phenotype: noncompetent strains showed no detectable phenanthrene mineralization in HASP cultures, but levels of phenanthrene mineralization effected by competent strains in HASP and NSP cultures were not significantly different. Levels and rates of phenanthrene mineralization exceeded those predicted to be supported solely by the metabolism of phenanthrene in the aqueous phase of HASP cultures. Thus, competent strains were able to directly access phenanthrene sorbed by the humic acids and did not rely on desorption for substrate uptake. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of (i) a selective interaction between aerobic bacteria and humic acid molecules and (ii) differential bioavailability to bacteria of PAHs sorbed to a natural biogeopolymer.
PMCID: PMC1169045  PMID: 16000791
9.  Sorption of Cadmium by Microorganisms in Competition with Other Soil Constituents † 
The fate of cadmium in soil is influenced to a great extent by microbial activity. Microorganisms were compared with abiotic soil components for their ability to sorb Cd from a liquid medium. When the same amount (on a dry weight basis) of bacterial cells (Serratia marcescens and Paracoccus sp.), clay (montmorillonite), or sand was separately incubated in 0.05 M phosphate buffer, pH 7.2, containing 10 ppm of Cd (10 μg/ml), bacterial cells removed the largest quantity of Cd. Dead cells sorbed much more Cd from the medium than live cells. A comparative study of Cd removal from the medium by seven soil bacteria and four fungi did not indicate appreciable differences. With increasing microbial biomass, the relative efficiency of 0.1 M NaOH as an extractant of sorbed Cd increased, whereas the extraction efficiency of 0.005 M DTPA (diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid) decreased. It appeared that NaOH and DTPA extracted different chemical forms of Cd. This assumption was supported by vastly different correlation coefficients in the relative amount of Cd extracted by the two solvents.
PMCID: PMC244178  PMID: 16346002
10.  Theoretical aspects of antibiotic diffusion into microbial biofilms. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1996;40(11):2517-2522.
Antibiotic penetration into microbial biofilm was investigated theoretically by the solution of mathematical equations describing various combinations of the processes of diffusion, sorption, and reaction. Unsteady material balances on the antibiotic and on a reactive or sorptive biomass constituent, along with associated boundary and initial conditions, constitute the mathematical formulations. Five cases were examined: diffusion of a noninteracting solute; diffusion of a reversibly sorbing, nonreacting solute; diffusion of an irreversibly sorbing, nonreacting solute; diffusion of a stoichiometrically reacting solute; and diffusion of a catalytically reacting solute. A noninteracting solute was predicted to penetrate biofilms of up to 1 mm in thickness relatively quickly, within a matter of seconds or minutes. In the case of a solute that does not sorb or react in the biofilm, therefore, the diffusion barrier is not nearly large enough to account for the reduced susceptibility of biofilms to antibiotics. Reversible and irreversible sorption retards antibiotic penetration. On the basis of data available in the literature at this point, the extent of retardation of antibiotic diffusion due to sorption does not appear to be sufficient to account for reduced biofilm susceptibility. A catalytic (e.g., enzymatic) reaction, provided it is sufficiently rapid, can lead to severe antibiotic penetration failure. For example, calculation of beta-lactam penetration indicated that the reaction-diffusion mechanism may be a viable explanation for failure of certain of these agents to control biofilm infections. The theory presented in this study provides a framework for the design and analysis of experiments to test these mechanisms of reduced biofilm susceptibility to antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC163567  PMID: 8913456
11.  "Imposed" and "inherent" mucosal activity patterns. Their composite representation of olfactory stimuli 
The Journal of General Physiology  1987;90(5):625-650.
Both regional differences in mucosal sensitivity and a gas chromatography-like process along the mucosal sheet have been separately proposed in two sets of earlier studies to produce different odorant-dependent activity patterns across the olfactory mucosa. This investigation evaluated, in one study, whether and to what degree these two mechanisms contribute to the generation of these activity patterns. Summated multiunit discharges were simultaneously recorded from lateral (LN) and medial (MN) sites on the bullfrog's olfactory nerve to sample the mucosal activity occurring near the internal and external nares, respectively. Precisely controlled sniffs of four odorants (benzaldehyde, butanol, geraniol, and octane) were drawn through the frog's olfactory sac in both the forward (H1) and reverse (H2) hale directions. By combining the four resulting measurements, LNH1, LNH2, MNH1, and MNH2, in different mathematical expressions, indexes reflecting the relative effects of the chromatographic process, regional sensitivity, and hale direction could be calculated. Most importantly, the chromatographic process and the regional sensitivity differences both contributed significantly to the mucosal activity patterns. However, their relative roles varied markedly among the four odorants, ranging from complete dominance by either one to substantial contributions from each. In general, the more strongly an odorant was sorbed by the mucosa, the greater was the relative effect of the chromatographic process; the weaker the sorption, the greater the relative effect of regional sensitivity. Similarly, the greater an odorant's sorption, the greater was the effect of hale direction. Other stimulus variables (sniff volume, sniff duration, and the number of molecules within the sniff) had marked effects upon the overall size of the response. For strongly sorbed odorants, the effect of increasing volume was positive; for a weakly sorbed odorant, it was negative. The reverse may be true for duration. In contrast, the effect of increasing the number of molecules was uniformly positive for all four odorants. However, there was little evidence that these other stimulus variables had a major influence upon the effects of the chromatographic process and regional sensitivity differences in their generation of mucosal activity patterns.
PMCID: PMC2228878  PMID: 3500998
12.  Polymerized Planar Suspended Lipid Bilayers for Single Ion Channel Recordings: Comparison of Several Dienoyl Lipids 
The stabilization of suspended planar lipid membranes, or black lipid membranes (BLMs), through polymerization of mono- and bis-functionalized dienoyl lipids was investigated. Electrical properties, including capacitance, conductance, and dielectric breakdown voltage, were determined for BLMs composed of mono-DenPC, bis-DenPC, mono-SorbPC, and bis-SorbPC both prior to and following photopolymerization, with diphytanoyl phosphocholine (DPhPC) serving as a control. Poly(lipid) BLMs exhibited significantly longer lifetimes and increased the stability to air-water transfers. BLM stability followed the order: bis-DenPC > mono-DenPC ≈ mono-SorbPC > bis-SorbPC. The conductance of bis-SorbPC BLMs was significantly higher than that of the other lipids, which is attributed to a high density of hydrophilic pores, resulting in relatively unstable membranes. The use of poly(lipid) BLMs as matrices for supporting the activity of an ion channel protein (IC) was explored using α – hemolysin (α-HL), a model IC. Characteristic i-V plots of α-HL were maintained following photopolymerization of bis-DenPC, mono-DenPC, and mono-SorbPC, demonstrating the utility of these materials for preparing more durable BLMs for single channel recordings of reconstituted ICs.
PMCID: PMC3043114  PMID: 21226498
13.  Selective adherence as a determinant of the host tropisms of certain indigenous and pathogenic bacteria. 
Infection and Immunity  1976;13(1):238-246.
The relationship between the selective abilities of bacteria to adhere and their predilections for colonizing different mammalian hosts was investigated by using bacteria indigenous to the tongue dorsum of humans and rats as models. Streptococcus salivarius and S. sanguis averaged 22.6 and 2.8%, respectively, of the cultivable bacteria recovered from swab samples of the tonges of five humans, but these organisms were not indigenous on the tongues of rats (Charles River strain). S. faecalis and serum-requiring diphtheroids were consistently prominant on the tongues of rats, but they were not detected on the tongues of the humans examined. The ability of these organisms to adhere to the tongue surface of the hosts was compared by introducing mixtures of streptomycin-resistant strains into the mouths of human volunteers and rats. S. salivarius adhered in higher proportions to the dorsal tongue surface of humans than did strains of S. faecalis and the serum-requiring diphtheroid. S. sanguis also adhered to human tongues better than the serum-requiring diphtheroid. However, S. faecalis and the serum-requiring diphtheroid sorbed in higher proportions to the tongues of rats. In an in vivo assay, human strains of S. pyogenes and S. salivarius attached in higher numbers to buccal epithelial cells derived from humans than to those obtained from rats, whereas the reverse was observed with a serum-requiring diphtheroid derived from rats. Collectively, these studies show that bacteria sorb with a high degree of specificity to the tissues of different mammalian hosts, and the relative adherence of the organisms studied correlated with their natural host tropisms. The selective adherence of S. salvarius and S. faecalis was similar to the tongues of conventional and germ-free rats, suggesting that the presence of an indigenous bacterial flora did not significantly influence their attachment selectivity. Moreover, the ability of these organisms to colonize the tongues of gnotobiotic rats lacking an indigenous flora paralleled their adherence selectivity. Direct scanning microscopic observations indicated that the tongue dorsum of conventional rats is highly papillated but contains relatively sparse bacterial populations. Indigenous organisms colonized the bases of papillae on the anterior tip and lateral edges of the tongue as discrete microcolonies, but bacteria were rarely observed on other papillae. This localized and restricted pattern of colonization and the spatial distribution of the microcolonies of indigenous bacteria present also suggest that antagonistic interactions are unlikely to account for the bacterial tropisms observed for colonization of the tongues of rats.
PMCID: PMC420600  PMID: 814100
14.  Thermal porosity analysis of croscarmellose sodium and sodium starch glycolate by differential scanning calorimetry 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2003;4(4):531-538.
The aim of the study was to demonstrate the applicability of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) on porosity analysis for cellulose and starch. Croscarmellose sodium (CCS) and sodium starch glycolate (SSG) were allowed to sorb moisture in 85%, 90%, 95%, and 100% relative humidity (RH) at 40°C for 24 hours. The pretreated samples were then subjected to DSC running temperature ranging from 25°C to −50°C at a cooling rate of 10°C/min. The cooling traces of water crystallization, if present, were transformed to porosity distribution via capillary condensation using Kelvin's equation. The porosity analysis of CCS and SSG was also done using nitrogen adsorption as a reference method. It was found that sorbed water could not be frozen (in cases of 85% and 90% RH) until the moisture content exceeded a cutoff value (in cases of 95% and 100% RH). The nonfreezable moisture content was referred to tightly bound, plasticizing water, whereas the frozen one may be attributed to loosely bound water condensation in pore structure of CCS and SSG surfaces. Not only capillary condensation but also the tightly bound, nonfreezable monolayer water lying along the inner pores of the surface contributed to porosity determination. Good agreement with less than 5% deviation of mean pore size was observed when the results were compared with nitrogen adsorption. The narrower pore size distributions, however, were obtained because of the limitations of the technique. It was concluded that pore analysis by DSC could be successful. Further research needs to be done to account for limitations and to extend the applicability of the technique.
PMCID: PMC2750660  PMID: 15198562
thermoporometry; differential scanning calorimetry (DSC); croscarmellose sodium (CCS); sodium starch glycolate (SSG)
15.  The effect of microwave thermal denaturation on release properties of bovine serum albumin and gluten matrices 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2006;7(1):E104-E110.
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of denaturation by microwave irradiation on release properties of 2 physically different proteins. Matrices were prepared from water-soluble bovine serum albumin loaded with metoclopramide and sorbed with adequate amount of moisture were thermally denatured in a microwave oven. The release profile of the rather insoluble denatured albumin matrices followed the classical Fickian diffusion profile. The release rate was dependent on the degree of denaturation, which was highly dependent on the level of moisture originally absorbed by the albuminoidal matrices and the period of exposure to microwave energy. Consersely, attempts to reduce the rate of drug release through microwave irradiation of metoclopramide-loaded matrices prepared from water-insoluble gluten were futile. The denaturation process was shown to be limited to the relatively water-soluble protein core fraction, while aggregation between neighboring gluten proteins in the matrix was not achieved even in the presence of considerable amounts of sorbed water.
PMCID: PMC2750722  PMID: 16584145
microwave; denaturation; gluten; bovine serum albumin; controlled-release
16.  Microbial Links between Sulfate Reduction and Metal Retention in Uranium- and Heavy Metal-Contaminated Soil▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2010;76(10):3143-3152.
Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) can affect metal mobility either directly by reductive transformation of metal ions, e.g., uranium, into their insoluble forms or indirectly by formation of metal sulfides. This study evaluated in situ and biostimulated activity of SRB in groundwater-influenced soils from a creek bank contaminated with heavy metals and radionuclides within the former uranium mining district of Ronneburg, Germany. In situ activity of SRB, measured by the 35SO42− radiotracer method, was restricted to reduced soil horizons with rates of ≤142 ± 20 nmol cm−3 day−1. Concentrations of heavy metals were enriched in the solid phase of the reduced horizons, whereas pore water concentrations were low. X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) measurements demonstrated that ∼80% of uranium was present as reduced uranium but appeared to occur as a sorbed complex. Soil-based dsrAB clone libraries were dominated by sequences affiliated with members of the Desulfobacterales but also the Desulfovibrionales, Syntrophobacteraceae, and Clostridiales. [13C]acetate- and [13C]lactate-biostimulated soil microcosms were dominated by sulfate and Fe(III) reduction. These processes were associated with enrichment of SRB and Geobacteraceae; enriched SRB were closely related to organisms detected in soils by using the dsrAB marker. Concentrations of soluble nickel, cobalt, and occasionally zinc declined ≤100% during anoxic soil incubations. In contrast to results in other studies, soluble uranium increased in carbon-amended treatments, reaching ≤1,407 nM in solution. Our results suggest that (i) ongoing sulfate reduction in contaminated soil resulted in in situ metal attenuation and (ii) the fate of uranium mobility is not predictable and may lead to downstream contamination of adjacent ecosystems.
PMCID: PMC2869125  PMID: 20363796
17.  Molecular Analysis of Arsenate-Reducing Bacteria within Cambodian Sediments following Amendment with Acetate▿ ‡  
The health of millions is threatened by the use of groundwater contaminated with sediment-derived arsenic for drinking water and irrigation purposes in Southeast Asia. The microbial reduction of sorbed As(V) to the potentially more mobile As(III) has been implicated in release of arsenic into groundwater, but to date there have been few studies of the microorganisms that can mediate this transformation in aquifers. With the use of stable isotope probing of nucleic acids, we present evidence that the introduction of a proxy for organic matter (13C-labeled acetate) stimulated As(V) reduction in sediments collected from a Cambodian aquifer that hosts arsenic-rich groundwater. This was accompanied by an increase in the proportion of prokaryotes closely related to the dissimilatory As(V)-reducing bacteria Sulfurospirillum strain NP-4 and Desulfotomaculum auripigmentum. As(V) respiratory reductase genes (arrA) closely associated with those found in Sulfurospirillum barnesii and Geobacter uraniumreducens were also detected in active bacterial communities utilizing 13C-labeled acetate in microcosms. This study suggests a direct link between inputs of organic matter and the increased prevalence and activity of organisms which transform As(V) to the potentially more mobile and thus hazardous As(III) via dissimilatory As(V) reduction.
PMCID: PMC1828664  PMID: 17114326
18.  Effect of reducing groundwater on the retardation of redox-sensitive radionuclides 
Laboratory batch sorption experiments were used to investigate variations in the retardation behavior of redox-sensitive radionuclides. Water-rock compositions were designed to simulate subsurface conditions at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), where a suite of radionuclides were deposited as a result of underground nuclear testing. Experimental redox conditions were controlled by varying the oxygen content inside an enclosed glove box and by adding reductants into the testing solutions.
Under atmospheric (oxidizing) conditions, radionuclide distribution coefficients varied with the mineralogic composition of the sorbent and the water chemistry. Under reducing conditions, distribution coefficients showed marked increases for 99Tc (from 1.22 at oxidizing to 378 mL/g at mildly reducing conditions) and 237Np (an increase from 4.6 to 930 mL/g) in devitrified tuff, but much smaller variations in alluvium, carbonate rock, and zeolitic tuff. This effect was particularly important for 99Tc, which tends to be mobile under oxidizing conditions. A review of the literature suggests that iodine sorption should decrease under reducing conditions when I- is the predominant species; this was not consistently observed in batch tests. Overall, sorption of U to alluvium, devitrified tuff, and zeolitic tuff under atmospheric conditions was less than in the glove-box tests. However, the mildly reducing conditions achieved here were not likely to result in substantial U(VI) reduction to U(IV). Sorption of Pu was not affected by the decreasing Eh conditions achieved in this study, as the predominant sorbed Pu species in all conditions was expected to be the low-solubility and strongly sorbing Pu(OH)4.
Depending on the aquifer lithology, the occurrence of reducing conditions along a groundwater flowpath could potentially contribute to the retardation of redox-sensitive radionuclides 99Tc and 237Np, which are commonly identified as long-term dose contributors in the risk assessment in various radionuclide environmental contamination scenarios. The implications for increased sorption of 99Tc and 237Np to devitrified tuff under reducing conditions are significant as the fractured devitrified tuff serves as important water flow path at the NTS and the horizon for a proposed repository to store high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
PMCID: PMC2615433  PMID: 19077277
19.  Evaluation of powder and tableting properties of chitosan 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2006;7(3):E152-E161.
The aim of this study was to analyze the process of tablet formation and the properties of the resulting tablets for 3 N-deacetylated chitosans, with a degree of deacetylation of 80%, 85%, or 90%. Material properties, such as water content, particle size and morphology, glass transition temperature, and molecular weight were studied. The process of tablet formation was analyzed by 3-D modeling, Heckel analysis, the pressure time function, and energy calculations in combination with elastic recovery dependent on maximum relative density and time. The crushing force and the morphology of the final tablets were analyzed. Chitosans sorb twice as much water as microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), the particle size is comparable to Avicel PH 200, a special type of MCC, the particles look like shells, and the edges are bent. Molecular weight ranges from 80 000 to 210 000 kDa, the glass transition temperature (Tg) was not dependent on molecular weight. The chitosans deform ductilely as MCC; however, plastic deformation with regard to time and also pressure plasticity are higher than for MCC, especially for Chit 85, which has the lowest crystallinity and molecular weight. At high densification, fast elastic decompression is higher. 3-D modeling allowed the most precise analysis. Elastic recovery after tableting is higher than for MCC tablets and continues for some time after tableting. The crushing force of the resulting tablets is high owing to a reversible exceeding of Tg in the amorphous parts of the material. However, the crushing force is lower compared with MCC, since the crystallinity and the Tg of the chitosans are higher than for MCC. In summation, chitosans show plastic deformation during compression combined with high elasticity after tableting. Highly mechanically stable tablets result.
PMCID: PMC2750517  PMID: 17025255
3-D model; chitosans; compactibility; compression; elastic recovery; morphology
20.  Effects of cadmium on olfactory mediated behaviors and molecular biomarkers in coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) 
The olfactory system of salmonids is sensitive to the adverse effects of metals such as copper and cadmium. In the current study, we analyzed olfactory-mediated alarm responses, epithelial injury and recovery, and a suite of olfactory molecular biomarkers encoding genes critical in maintaining olfactory function in juvenile coho salmon receiving acute exposures to cadmium (Cd). The molecular biomarkers analyzed included four G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) representing the two major classes of odorant receptors (salmon olfactory receptor sorb and vomeronasal receptors svra, svrb, and gpr27), as well as markers of neurite outgrowth (nrn1) and antioxidant responses to metals, including heme oxygenase 1 (hmox1), and peroxiredoxin 1 (prdx1). Coho received acute (8–168 hr) exposures to 3.7 ppb and 347 ppb Cd, and a subset of fish was analyzed following a 16-day depuration. Coho exposed to 347 ppb Cd over 48 hrs exhibited a reduction in freeze responses, and an extensive loss of olfaction accompanied by histological injury to the olfactory epithelium. The olfactory injury in coho exposed to 347 ppb Cd was accompanied at the gene level by significant decreases in expression of the olfactory GPCRs and increased expression of hmox1. Persistent behavioral deficits, histological injury and altered expression of a subset of olfactory biomarkers were still evident in Cd-exposed coho following a 16-day depuration in clean water. Exposure to 3.7 ppb Cd also resulted in reduced freeze responses and histological changes to the olfactory epithelium within 48 hrs of Cd exposure, although the extent of olfactory injury was less severe than observed for fish in the high dose Cd group. Furthermore adverse behavioral effects were present in some coho receiving the low dose of Cd following a 16-day depuration. In summary, acute exposures to environmental levels of Cd can cause olfactory injury in coho salmon that may persist following depuration. Mechanism-based biomarkers of oxidative stress and olfactory structures can augment the evaluation of olfactory injury manifested at the physiological level.
PMCID: PMC3770528  PMID: 23851056
biomarkers; Coho salmon; olfaction; cadmium; G-protein coupled receptors; oxidative stress; alarm response
21.  Efficient sorption of polyphenols to soybean flour enables natural fortification of foods 
Food chemistry  2012;131(4):1193-1200.
The present study demonstrated that defatted soybean flour (DSF) can sorb polyphenols from blueberry and cranberry juices while separating them from sugars. Depending on DSF concentration and juice dilution, the concentration of blueberry anthocyanins and total polyphenols sorbed to DSF ranged from 2 – 22 mg/g and 10 – 95 mg/g, respectively while the concentration of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins in cranberry polyphenol-enriched DSF ranged from 2.5 – 17 mg/g and 21 – 101 mg/g, respectively. Blueberry polyphenols present in one serving of fresh blueberries (73g) were delivered in just 1.4 g of blueberry polyphenol-enriched DSF. Similarly, one gram of cranberry polyphenol-enriched DSF delivered the amount of proanthocyanidins available in three 240 ml servings of cranberry juice cocktail. The concentration of blueberry anthocyanins and total polyphenols eluted from DSF remained constant after 22 weeks of incubation at 37°C, demonstrating the high stability of the polyphenol-DSF matrix. LC-MS analysis of eluates confirmed DSF retained major cranberry and blueberry polyphenols remained intact. Blueberry polyphenol-enriched DSF exhibited significant hypoglycemic activities in C57bl/6J mice, and cranberry polyphenol-enriched DSF showed anti-microbial and anti-UTI activities in vitro, confirming its efficacy. The described sorption process provides a means to create protein-rich food ingredients containing concentrated plant bioactives without excess sugars, fats and water that can be incorporated in a variety of scientifically validated functional foods and dietary supplements.
PMCID: PMC3742044  PMID: 23950619
polyphenols; anthocyanins; proanthocyanidins; soybean flour; nutrition; diabetes; antibacterial
22.  Microbial degradation of acenaphthene and naphthalene under denitrification conditions in soil-water systems. 
This study examined the microbial degradation of acenaphthene and naphthalene under denitrification conditions at soil-to-water ratios of 1:25 and 1:50 with soil containing approximately 10(5) denitrifying organisms per g of soil. Under nitrate-excess conditions, both acenaphthene and naphthalene were degraded from initial aqueous-phase concentrations of about 1 and several mg/liter respectively, to nondetectable levels (less than 0.01 mg/liter) in less than 9 weeks. Acclimation periods of 12 to 36 days were observed prior to the onset of microbial degradation in tests with soil not previously exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds, whereas acclimation periods were absent in tests with soil reserved from prior PAH degradation tests. It was judged that the apparent acclimation period resulted from the time required for a small population of organisms capable of PAH degradation to attain sufficient densities to exhibit detectable PAH reduction, rather than being a result of enzyme induction, mutation, or use of preferential substrate. About 0.9% of the naturally occurring soil organic carbon could be mineralized under denitrification conditions, and this accounted for the greater proportion of the nitrate depletion. Mineralization of the labile fraction of the soil organic carbon via microbial denitrification occurred without an observed acclimation period and was rapid compared with PAH degradation. Under nitrate-limiting conditions the PAH compounds were stable owing to the depletion of nitrate via the more rapid process of soil organic carbon mineralization. Soil sorption tests showed at the initiation of a test that the total mass of PAH compound was divided in comparable proportions between solute in the aqueous phase and solute sorbed on the solid phase. The microbial degradation of the PAH compound depends on the interrelationships between (i) the desorption kinetics and the reversibility of desorption of sorbed compound from the soil, (ii) the concentration of PAH-degrading microorganisms, and (iii) the competing reaction for nitrate utilization via mineralization of the labile fraction of naturally occurring soil organic carbon.
PMCID: PMC202625  PMID: 3389812
23.  Inhibition of NO3− and NO2− Reduction by Microbial Fe(III) Reduction: Evidence of a Reaction between NO2− and Cell Surface-Bound Fe2+ 
A recent study (D. C. Cooper, F. W. Picardal, A. Schimmelmann, and A. J. Coby, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69:3517-3525, 2003) has shown that NO3− and NO2− (NOx−) reduction by Shewanella putrefaciens 200 is inhibited in the presence of goethite. The hypothetical mechanism offered to explain this finding involved the formation of a Fe(III) (hydr)oxide coating on the cell via the surface-catalyzed, abiotic reaction between Fe2+ and NO2−. This coating could then inhibit reduction of NOx− by physically blocking transport into the cell. Although the data in the previous study were consistent with such an explanation, the hypothesis was largely speculative. In the current work, this hypothesis was tested and its environmental significance explored through a number of experiments. The inhibition of ∼3 mM NO3− reduction was observed during reduction of a variety of Fe(III) (hydr)oxides, including goethite, hematite, and an iron-bearing, natural sediment. Inhibition of oxygen and fumarate reduction was observed following treatment of cells with Fe2+ and NO2−, demonstrating that utilization of other soluble electron acceptors could also be inhibited. Previous adsorption of Fe2+ onto Paracoccus denitrificans inhibited NOx− reduction, showing that Fe(II) can reduce rates of soluble electron acceptor utilization by non-iron-reducing bacteria. NO2− was chemically reduced to N2O by goethite or cell-sorbed Fe2+, but not at appreciable rates by aqueous Fe2+. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy showed an electron-dense, Fe-enriched coating on cells treated with Fe2+ and NO2−. The formation and effects of such coatings underscore the complexity of the biogeochemical reactions that occur in the subsurface.
PMCID: PMC1214636  PMID: 16151113
24.  Mechanism of Mucosal Permeability Enhancement of CriticalSorb® (Solutol® HS15) Investigated In Vitro in Cell Cultures 
Pharmaceutical Research  2014;32:516-527.
CriticalSorb™, with the principal component Solutol® HS15, is a novel mucosal drug delivery system demonstrated to improve the bioavailability of selected biotherapeutics. The intention of this study is to elucidate mechanism(s) responsible for the enhancement of trans-mucosal absorption of biological drugs by Solutol® HS15.
Micelle size and CMC of Solutol® HS15 were determined in biologically relevant media. Polarised airway Calu-3 cell layers were used to measure the permeability of a panel of biological drugs, and to assess changes in TEER, tight junction and F-actin morphology. The rate of cell endocytosis was measured in vitro in the presence of Solutol® HS15 using a membrane probe, FM 2–10.
This work initially confirms surfactant-like behaviour of Solutol® HS15 in aqueous media, while subsequent experiments demonstrate that the effect of Solutol® HS15 on epithelial tight junctions is different from a ‘classical’ tight junction opening agent and illustrate the effect of Solutol® HS15 on the cell membrane (endocytosis rate) and F-actin cytoskeleton.
Solutol® HS15 is the principle component of CriticalSorb™ that has shown an enhancement in permeability of medium sized biological drugs across epithelia. This study suggests that its mechanism of action arises primarily from effects on the cell membrane and consequent impacts on the cell cytoskeleton in terms of actin organisation and tight junction opening.
PMCID: PMC4300420  PMID: 25190006
absorption enhancers; calu-3 cells; mucosal protein delivery; solutol® HS15; surfactants
25.  Effect of inoculant strain and organic matter content on kinetics of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid degradation in soil. 
We monitored rates of degradation of soluble and sorbed 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) in low-organic-matter soil at field capacity amended with 1, 10, or 100 micrograms of 2,4-D per g of wet soil and inoculated with one of two bacterial strains (MI and 155) with similar maximum growth rates (mu max) but significantly different half-saturation growth constants (Ks). Concentrations of soluble 2,4-D were determined by analyzing samples of pore water pressed from soil, and concentrations of sorbed 2,4-D were determined by solvent extraction. Between 65 and 75% of the total 2,4-D was present in the soluble phase at equilibrium, resulting in soil solution concentrations of ca. 8, 60, and 600 micrograms of 2,4-D per ml, respectively. Soluble 2,4-D was metabolized preferentially; this was followed by degradation of both sorbed (after desorption) and soluble 2,4-D. Rates of degradation were comparable for the two strains at soil concentrations of 10 and 100 micrograms of 2,4-D per g; however, at 1 microgram/g of soil, 2,4-D was metabolized more rapidly by the strain with the lower Ks value (strain MI). We also monitored rates of biodegradation of soluble and sorbed 2,4-D in high-organic-matter soil at field capacity amended with 100 micrograms of 2,4-D per g of wet soil and inoculated with the low-Ks strain (strain MI). Ten percent of total 2,4-D was present in the soluble phase, resulting in a soil solution concentration of ca. 30 micrograms of 2,4-D per ml.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC195626  PMID: 1622212

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