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  • Boosting all-weather atmospheric water vapor harvesting with a solar-driven membrane system

    Jin, Yong; Ghaffour, NorEddine (Research Square Platform LLC, 2023-09-26) [Preprint]
    Atmospheric water vapor harvesting (AVH) is vital to supply fresh water in arid regions. Sorbent-based harvesting stands out because it can adapt to weather conditions and utilize lowgrade energy. Current harvesting research focuses on sorbent material preparation (especially solid sorbents, such as MOFs) without integrating them into advanced water production systems. Moreover, solid sorbents show poor adaptability to changing relative humidities and temperatures in real-world applications. Here, we propose a novel AVH membrane system (AVH-MS) driven by solar energy to address these challenges. Liquid hygroscopic solutions were utilized as the working fluid in the AVH-MS to avoid the solid sorbents’ limitations. The advanced design of the AVH-MS helped boost water production and adapt to all weather conditions simultaneously. The feasibility of the system was demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally. The system could produce 6.27, 2.41, and 0.82 kg freshwater/m2/day at relative humidities of 69%, 35%, and 19% at 25 °C, respectively, using solar energy. The production improved by almost 700% compared with the reported study under the same weather condition. Our system's converted water production capacity (kg/J) is also the highest under various relative humidities compared with the reported studies.
  • Horizon scanning the application of probiotics for wildlife

    Garcias-Bonet, Neus; Roik, Anna; Tierney, Braden; García, Francisca C.; Villela, Helena D.M.; Dungan, Ashley M.; Quigley, Kate M.; Sweet, Michael; Berg, Gabriele; Gram, Lone; Bourne, David G.; Ushijima, Blake; Sogin, Maggie; Hoj, Lone; Duarte, Gustavo; Hirt, Heribert; Smalla, Kornelia; Rosado, Alexandre S.; Carvalho, Susana; Thurber, Rebecca Vega; Ziegler, Maren; Mason, Christopher E.; van Oppen, Madeleine J.H.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Peixoto, Raquel S (Trends in Microbiology, Elsevier BV, 2023-09-25) [Article]
    The provision of probiotics benefits the health of a wide range of organisms, from humans to animals and plants. Probiotics can enhance stress resilience of endangered organisms, many of which are critically threatened by anthropogenic impacts. The use of so-called ‘probiotics for wildlife’ is a nascent application, and the field needs to reflect on standards for its development, testing, validation, risk assessment, and deployment. Here, we identify the main challenges of this emerging intervention and provide a roadmap to validate the effectiveness of wildlife probiotics. We cover the essential use of inert negative controls in trials and the investigation of the probiotic mechanisms of action. We also suggest alternative microbial therapies that could be tested in parallel with the probiotic application. Our recommendations align approaches used for humans, aquaculture, and plants to the emerging concept and use of probiotics for wildlife.
  • 3D Printed Triaxial Nozzles Fabricated by Stereolithography to Prevent Backflow in Soft Matter Biofabrication

    Albalawi, Hamed; Alhattab, Dana Majed; Konstantinidis, Aris P.; Shirazi, Khadija B.; Al-Tayeb, Yousef; Hauser, Charlotte (Accepted by Materials Science in Additive Manufacturing, 2023-09-24) [Article]
    Tissue engineering has been substantially impacted by 3D bioprinting due to its capacity to produce complicated structures with complex geometries that were challenging to recreate using conventional manufacturing methods. However, the nozzle design and fabrication remain a limitation within extrusion-based 3D bioprinting, restricting and compromising such technology's overall potential. The proposed nozzle design combines three Luer-Lok compatible inlets and an outlet within the printed body, eliminating manual assembly and enhancing fabrication consistency and quality. Furthermore, a finite element analysis of the fluid flow in the nozzle demonstrated the effectiveness of the nozzle to minimize backflow, compared to a traditional nozzle design. The tetrameric IIZK (Ac-Ile-IIe-Cha-Lys-NH2) and IIFK (Ac-Ile-IIe-Phe-Lys-NH2) peptide bioinks were used to 3D print a variety of 3D scaffolds of varying complexity, with good resolution and gel continuity. Hence, our work successfully demonstrates a novel design and fabrication and its potential, demonstrated ultimately via 3D bioprinting of cell-laden constructs and proving biocompatibility and cell viability post-assessed period. This study highlights the capability of the novel design, which aids the field of tissue engineering, allowing 3D extrusion-based bioprinting to be utilized to produce cell-incorporated constructions or scaffolds.
  • Mapping the potential for pumped storage using existing lower reservoirs

    Hunt, Julian; Lagore, Benoit; Brandão, Roberto; Diuana, Fabio A.; Quaranta, Emanuele; de Miranda, Murilo; Lacorte, Ana; Barbosa, Paulo Sergio; de Freitas, Marcos Aurélio Vasconcelos; Zakeri, Behnam; Castro, Nivalde José; Wada, Yoshihide (Journal of Energy Storage, Elsevier BV, 2023-09-23) [Article]
    The increasing utilization of wind and solar power sources to lower CO2 emissions in the electric sector is causing a growing disparity between electricity supply and demand. Consequently, there is a heightened interest in affordable energy storage solutions to address this issue. Pumped Hydropower Storage (PHS) emerges as a promising option, capable of providing both short and long-term energy storage at a reasonable cost, while also offering the advantage of freshwater storage. To identify potential PHS locations in Brazil existing hydroelectric reservoirs as the lower reservoirs, we employed an innovative methodology that combines (i) plant-siting model that leverages high-resolution topographical and hydrological data to identify the most promising sites for further studies. (ii) An economic methodology was applied to configure PSH projects identified by the plant-siting model in terms of their installed capacity and discharge time, and to select the most attractive projects. (iii) A comprehensive analysis of the socio-environmental impacts of the projects was carried out, which enables the elimination of projects with severe impacts. Results created a ranking of 5600 mutually exclusive projects by net present value (NPV). The highest NPV is 2145 USD which refers to a PHS plant in the Doce Basin and Salto Grande dam as the lower reservoir. The upper reservoir stores 0.36 km3 of water and a 75 m high dam, the PHS has a 2 km tunnel, a 1 GW power capacity and discharge rate of 220 h. The paper shows a vast potential for weekly, monthly, and seasonal PHS with existing lower reservoirs in Brazil.
  • Mesophotic and Bathyal Palaemonid Shrimp Diversity of the Red Sea, with the Establishment of Two New Genera and Two New Species

    Anker, Arthur; Vimercati, Silvia; Barreca, Federica; Marchese, Fabio; Chimienti, Giovanni; Terraneo, Tullia Isotta; Rodrigue, Mattie; Eweida, Ameer A.; Qurban, Mohammed; Duarte, Carlos M.; Pieribone, Vincent; Benzoni, Francesca (Diversity, MDPI AG, 2023-09-22) [Article]
    The diversity and evolution of the Red Sea invertebrates in mesophotic and deep-water benthic ecosystems remain largely unexplored. The Palaemonidae is a diversified family of caridean shrimps with numerous taxa in need of taxonomic revisions based on recent molecular analyses. The Red Sea mesophotic and bathyal palaemonid shrimps are largely unstudied. During recent expeditions off the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, several palaemonid specimens were collected at a depth range of 88–494 m, spanning the mesophotic and bathyal zones. This material was examined morphologically and genetically to infer phylogenetic relationships among the Red Sea taxa and several other palaemonid genera. The concordant morphological and genetic data led to the description of two new genera and two new species. Moreover, one species was recorded in the Red Sea for the first time, with a new host record, whereas three further deep-water species, which do not occur in the Red Sea, were formally transferred to a different genus. As more exploration efforts are deployed, research on the diversity and evolutionary relationships among marine invertebrates from the Red Sea will further underline the uniqueness of its mesophotic and bathyal fauna.
  • Observation and mitigation of perimeter artefacts in bench scale membrane characterization

    Blankert, Bastiaan; Martinez, Fernan; Vrouwenvelder, Johannes S.; Picioreanu, Cristian (Desalination, Elsevier BV, 2023-09-22) [Article]
    Perimeter artefacts, such as test cell induced membrane damage and unrepresentative hydrodynamics, can significantly affect bench scale performance evaluation using membrane coupons. By comparing separately collected center and perimeter permeate, the effect of perimeter artefacts can be identified. The additional salt passage in the perimeter area (i.e., along the edges of the membrane coupon) depends non-linearly on pressure, and is implicitly affected by flux, temperature and salinity (osmotic pressure), leading to a potential increase of the measured salt passage by a factor two. We observed a very slow dynamic response (τ ≈ 12 h) to changes in operational conditions, suggesting that in our case the perimeter artefact was diffusive in nature. Due to this slow response, the perimeter salt passage trails previously evaluated operational conditions, possibly resulting in a false trend, hysteresis or high variance, depending on the sequential ordering and duration of test condition intervals. The effect of perimeter artefacts can be largely mitigated by measuring salt rejection from only the central area of the coupon.
  • Engineering carbon sequestration on arid lands

    Hirt, Heribert; Boukcim, Hassan; Ducousso, Marc; Saad, Maged (Trends in Plant Science, Elsevier BV, 2023-09-21) [Article]
    To limit the effects of global warming, arid lands, which constitute approximately one-third of terrestrial surfaces and are not utilized for agriculture, could serve as an effective method for long-term carbon (C) storage. We propose that soil–plant–microbiome engineering with oxalogenic plants and oxalotrophic microbes could facilitate C sequestration on a global scale.
  • The Emergence of Highly Resistant and Hypervirulent Klebsiella Pneumoniae CC14 Clone in a Tertiary Hospital Over Eight Years

    Hala, Sharif; Malaikah, Mohammed; Huang, Jiayi; bahitham, Wesam; Fallatah, Omniya; Zakri, Samer; Antony, Chakkiath Paul; Alshehri, Mohammed; Ghazzali, Raeece Naeem; Ben Rached, Fathia; Alsahafi, Abdullah; Alsaedi, Asim; Kaaki, Mai; Alazmi, Meshari; AlhajHussein, Baraa; Yaseen, Muhammad; Zowawi, Hosam M.; Alghoribi, Majed; Althaqafi, Abdulhakeem O.; AlAhmadi, Ghadeer; Al-Amri, Abdulfattah; Moradigaravand, Danesh; Pain, Arnab (Elsevier BV, 2023-09-20) [Preprint]
    Background: Klebsiella pneumoniae is a major bacterial and opportunistic human pathogen, increasingly recognized as a healthcare burden globally. The convergence of resistance and virulence in K. pneumoniae strains has led to the formation of hypervirulent and multidrug-resistant strains with dual risk, limiting treatment options. K. pneumoniae clones are known to emerge locally and spread globally. Therefore, an understanding of the dynamics and evolution of the emerging strains in hospitals is warranted to prevent future outbreaks. Methods: In this study, we conducted an in-depth genomic analysis on a large-scale collection of 332 multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae strains recovered from 243 patients from a single major hospital in the west of Saudi Arabia from 2014 through 2022. We employed a broad range of phylogenetic and phylodynamic methods to understand the evolution of the significant clones on epidemiological time scales, virulence and resistance determinants, and their dynamics. We also integrated the genomic data with detailed electronic health record (EHR) data for the patients to understand the clinical implications of the resistance and virulence of different strains. Findings: We discovered a diverse population underlying the infections, with most strains belonging to Clonal Complex 14 (CC14) exhibiting dominance. Specifically, we observed the emergence and continuous expansion of strains belonging to the dominant ST2096 in the CC14 clade across hospital wards in recent years. These strains acquired resistance mutations against Colistin and ESBL and carbapenemase genes, namely blaOXA-48 and blaOXA-232, located on three distinct plasmids, on epidemiological time scales. Strains of ST2096 exhibited a higher virulence level with the presence of the siderophore Aerobactin (iuc) gene situated on the same mosaic plasmid as ESBL resistance gene. Integration of ST2096 with EHR data confirmed the significant link between colonization by ST2096 and the diagnosis of sepsis and elevated in-hospital mortality. Interpretation: Overall, these results demonstrate the clinical significance of ST2096 clones and illustrate the rapid evolution of an emerging hypervirulent and MDR K. pneumoniae in a clinical setting.
  • Quantification of Genetic Heterogeneity Using Long-Read Targeted Individual DNA Molecule Sequencing

    Zhang, Yingzi; Chandrasekaran, Arun; Bi, Chongwei; Li, Mo (Current Protocols, Wiley, 2023-09-20) [Article]
    Understanding genetic heterogeneity is of paramount importance in unraveling the intricate functioning of biological systems, as it contributes to the diversity of phenotypes of gene-environment interactions. We have developed a method termed targeted Individual DNA Molecule Sequencing (IDMseq) to accurately quantify genetic heterogeneity within cell populations, even those with rare variants present at low frequencies. IDMseq ensures that each original DNA molecule is distinctively represented by one unique molecule identifier (UMI) group, preventing false UMI groups and enabling precise quantification of allele frequency within the original population. IDMseq is a versatile sequencing technique that combines error correction and long-read sequencing, enabling sensitive detection of various genetic variants, including single nucleotide variants and large structural variants in both basic and clinical research settings. This protocol provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to preparing samples and performing IDMseq to determine genetic variations.
  • Regulation of multiple signaling pathways promotes the consistent expansion of human pancreatic progenitors in defined conditions

    Jarc, Luka; Bandral, Manuj; Zanfrini, Elisa; Lesche, Mathias; Kufrin, Vida; Sendra, Raquel; Pezzolla, Daniela; Giannios, Ioannis; Khattak, Shahryar; Neumann, Katrin; Ludwig, Barbara; Gavalas, Anthony (eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd, 2023-09-19) [Preprint]
    The unlimited expansion of human progenitor cells in vitro could unlock many prospects for regenerative medicine but it remains an important challenge as it requires the decoupling of the mechanisms supporting progenitor self-renewal and expansion from feed-forward mechanisms promoting their differentiation. The expansion of human pluripotent stem (hPS) cell derived pancreatic progenitors (PP) will accelerate the development of novel therapies for diabetes. We obtained mechanistic insights into the expansion requirements of PP cells and leveraged them to conduct a hypothesis-driven iterative search to identify conditions for the robust and unlimited expansion of hPS cell derived PP cells under GMP-compliant conditions. We show that the combined stimulation of specific mitogenic pathways, suppression of retinoic acid signaling and inhibition of selected branches of the TGFβ and Wnt signaling pathways are necessary for the effective decoupling of PP proliferation from differentiation. This enabled the selection of PDX1+/SOX9+/NKX6.1+ PP cells and their consistent, 2000-fold, expansion over ten passages and 40-45 days. Transcriptome analyses confirmed the stabilisation of PP identity and the effective suppression of differentiation. Using these conditions, PDX1+/SOX9+/NKX6.1+ PP cells, derived from different, both XY and XX, hPS cells lines, were enriched to nearly 90% homogeneity and expanded with very similar kinetics and efficiency. Furthermore, non-expanded and expanded PP cells, from different hPS cell lines, were differentiated in micropatterned wells into homogeneous islet-like clusters (SC-islets) with very similar efficiency. These clusters contained abundant β-cells of comparable functionality as assessed by glucose-stimulated insulin secretion assays. These findings established the signaling requirements to decouple PP proliferation from differentiation and allowed the consistent expansion of hPS cell derived PP cells. They will enable the establishment of large banks of PP cells derived under GMP conditions from diverse hPS cell lines. This will also streamline the generation of SC-islet clusters for further development of the differentiation process, diabetes research, personalized medicine and cell therapies.
  • The Genomic Landscape of Colorectal Cancer in the Saudi Arabian Population Using a Comprehensive Genomic Panel

    Alsolme, Ebtehal; Alqahtani, Saleh; Fageeh, Musa; Barakeh, Duna; Sharma, Nitesh K.; Mangul, Serghei; Robinson, Heather A.; Fathaddin, Amany; Hauser, Charlotte; Abedalthagafi, Malak (Diagnostics, MDPI AG, 2023-09-19) [Article]
    Purpose: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology detects specific mutations that can provide treatment opportunities for colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Patients and Methods: We analyzed the mutation frequencies of common actionable genes and their association with clinicopathological characteristics and oncologic outcomes using targeted NGS in 107 Saudi Arabian patients without a family history of CRC. Results: Approximately 98% of patients had genetic alterations. Frequent mutations were observed in BRCA2 (79%), CHEK1 (78%), ATM (76%), PMS2 (76%), ATR (74%), and MYCL (73%). The APC gene was not included in the panel. Statistical analysis using the Cox proportional hazards model revealed an unusual positive association between poorly differentiated tumors and survival rates (p = 0.025). Although no significant univariate associations between specific mutations or overall mutation rate and overall survival were found, our preliminary analysis of the molecular markers for CRC in a predominantly Arab population can provide insights into the molecular pathways that play a significant role in the underlying disease progression. Conclusions: These results may help optimize personalized therapy when drugs specific to a patient’s mutation profile have already been developed.
  • Relative Insignificance of Polyamide Layer Selectivity for Seawater Electrolysis Applications

    Zhou, Xuechen; Shi, Le; Taylor, Rachel; Xie, Chenghan; Bian, Bin; Picioreanu, Cristian; Logan, Bruce (Environmental Science & Technology, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2023-09-18) [Article]
    Low-cost polyamide thin-film composite (TFC) membranes are being explored as alternatives to cation exchange membranes for seawater electrolysis. An optimal membrane should have a low electrical resistance to minimize applied potentials needed for water electrolysis and be able to block chloride ions present in a seawater catholyte from reaching the anode. The largest energy loss associated with a TFC membrane was the Nernstian overpotential of 0.74 V (equivalent to 37 Ω cm<sup>2</sup> at 20 mA cm<sup>-2</sup>), derived from the pH difference between the anolyte and catholyte and not the membrane ohmic overpotential. Based on analysis using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, the pristine TFC membrane contributed only 5.00 Ω cm<sup>2</sup> to the ohmic resistance. Removing the polyester support layer reduced the resistance by 79% to only 1.04 Ω cm<sup>2</sup>, without altering the salt ion transport between the electrolytes. Enlarging the pore size (∼5 times) in the polyamide active layer minimally impacted counterion transport across the membrane during electrolysis, but it increased the total concentration of chloride transported by 60%. Overall, this study suggests that TFC membranes with thinner but mechanically strong supporting layers and size-selective active layers should reduce energy consumption and the potential for chlorine generation for seawater electrolyzers.
  • Submarine optical fiber communication provides an unrealized deep-sea observation network

    Guo, Yujian; Marin, Juan M.; Ashry, Islam; Trichili, Abderrahmen; Havlik, Michelle-Nicole; Ng, Tien Khee; Duarte, Carlos M.; Ooi, Boon S. (Scientific Reports, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2023-09-18) [Article]
    Oceans are crucial to human survival, providing natural resources and most of the global oxygen supply, and are responsible for a large portion of worldwide economic development. Although it is widely considered a silent world, the sea is filled with natural sounds generated by marine life and geological processes. Man-made underwater sounds, such as active sonars, maritime traffic, and offshore oil and mineral exploration, have significantly affected underwater soundscapes and species. In this work, we report on a joint optical fiber-based communication and sensing technology aiming to reduce noise pollution in the sea while providing connectivity simultaneously with a variety of underwater applications. The designed multifunctional fiber-based system enables two-way data transfer, monitoring marine life and ship movement near the deployed fiber at the sea bottom and sensing temperature. The deployed fiber is equally harnessed to transfer energy that the internet of underwater things (IoUTs) devices can harvest. The reported approach significantly reduces the costs and effects of monitoring marine ecosystems while ensuring data transfer and ocean monitoring applications and providing continuous power for submerged IoUT devices.
  • HLA-Based Banking of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Saudi Arabia

    Alowaysi, Maryam; Lehmann, Robert; Al-Shehri, Mohammad; Baadheim, Moayad; AlZahrani, Hajar; Aboalola, Doaa; Zia, Asima; Malibari, Dalal; Daghestani, Mustafa; Alghamdi, Khalid; Haneef, Ali; Jawdat, Dunia; Hakami, Fahad; Gomez-Cabrero, David; Tegner, Jesper; Alsayegh, Khaled (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2023-09-17) [Preprint]
    Human iPSCs' derivation and use in clinical studies are transforming medicine. Yet, there is a high cost and long waiting time for autologous iPS-based cellular therapy, and the genetic engineering of hypo-immunogenic iPS cell lines is hampered with numerous hurdles. Therefore, it is increasingly interesting to create cell stocks based on HLA haplotype distribution in a given population. In this study, we assessed the potential of HLA-based iPS banking for the Saudi population. First, we analyzed the HLA database of the Saudi Stem Cell Donor Registry (SSCDR), which contains high-resolution HLA genotype data of 64,315 registered Saudi donors at the time of analysis. We found that only 13 iPS lines would be required to cover 30% of the Saudi population, 39 iPS lines would offer 50% coverage and 596 for more than 90% coverage. Next, As a proof-of-concept, we launched the first HLA-based banking of iPSCs in Saudi Arabia. Using clinically relevant methods, we generated the first iPSC line from a homozygous donor for the most common HLA haplotype in Saudi. The two generated clones expressed pluripotency markers, could be differentiated into all three germ layers, beating cardiomyocytes and neuronal progenitors. To ensure that our reprogramming method generates genetically stable iPSCs, we assessed the mutational burden in the generated clones and the original blood sample from which the iPSCs were derived using whole-genome sequencing. All detected variants were found in the original donor sample and were classified as benign according to current guidelines of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG). This study sets a road map for introducing iPS-based cell therapy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Global estimates of daily evapotranspiration using SMAP surface and root-zone soil moisture

    Kim, Youngwook; Park, Hotaek; Kimball, John S.; Colliander, Andreas; McCabe, Matthew (Remote Sensing of Environment, Elsevier BV, 2023-09-17) [Article]
    The interplay between soil moisture and evapotranspiration modulates the water available to sustain soil evaporation and influences canopy stomatal conductance controls on vegetation transpiration. Modeling this behavior remains challenging. Indeed, satellite remote sensing based Penman-Monteith (PM) ET models tend not to directly consider soil moisture constraints on evaporation and transpiration due to a lack of consistent soil moisture data. To address this issue, we modified a PM model to include satellite enhanced surface and root zone soil moisture from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission. The resulting model was used to produce global 9-km daily ET estimates, including contributing fluxes from soil evaporation, transpiration and evaporation of canopy-intercepted precipitation. The global PM ET estimates were assessed using in situ sap flow and AmeriFlux measurements, upscaled FLUXCOM latent heat flux, as well as against other independent global ET data products (GLEAM, GLDAS, SSEBop, and LandFlux-EVAL). The modelled transpiration showed similar seasonal variation and positive correlation to in situ sap flow measurements available from several forest sites (R2 = 0.85; p < 0.01). When compared against AmeriFlux data, the PM ET estimates showed favorable agreement with annual ET measurements extracted from 34 diverse sites (R2 = 0.58; p < 0.01; RMSE = 227 mm yr−1). The PM 8-day ET results also reflected a similar hemispheric seasonality as the global FLUXCOM record (R2 = 0.94–0.98; p < 0.01), while comparisons against other global ET products showed moderate mean differences of between 49 and 107 mm yr−1 (11–25%) over the global domain. Our PM ET estimates varied up to 52% in response to SMAP surface soil moisture dynamics, displaying stronger surface (0–5 cm depth) than root zone (0–100 cm) soil moisture sensitivity. While PM ET sensitivity to soil moisture was greater in arid climate regions, it was also significant in humid climate zones, with analysis indicating that the inclusion of soil moisture predominantly acts as a sustaining influence on ET, especially in moisture limited drylands. PM ET sensitivity to temperature was stronger in humid forest regions relative to other climate and land cover regimes. Overall, the model results clarify the influence of soil moisture heterogeneity on the global ET pattern as informed by satellite-based estimates of surface and root zone soil moisture. Potential enhancements to the spatial and vertical resolution of soil moisture inputs are expected to enable further ET improvements through more realistic model representation of soil and plant available water.
  • FLT3 inhibitors and novel therapeutic strategies to reverse AML resistance: an updated comprehensive review.

    Abdel-Aziz, Amal Kamal; Dokla, Eman M E; Saadeldin, Mona Kamal (Critical reviews in oncology/hematology, Elsevier BV, 2023-09-15) [Article]
    FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) mutations occur in almost 30% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. Despite the initial clinical efficacy of FLT3 inhibitors, many treated AML patients with mutated FLT3 eventually relapse. This review critically discusses the potential and challenges of FLT3-targeted therapies and sheds light on their drug interactions as well as potential biomarkers. Furthermore, we focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying the resistance of FLT3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) AMLs to FLT3 inhibitors alongside novel therapeutic strategies to reverse resistance. Notably, dynamic heterogeneous patterns of clonal selection and evolution contribute to the resistance of FLT3-ITD AMLs to FLT3 inhibitors. Ongoing preclinical research and clinical trials are actively directed towards devising rational "personalized" or "patient-tailored" combinatorial therapeutic regimens to effectively treat patients with FLT3 mutated AML.
  • Microalgae Biomass Harvesting Using Chitosan Flocculant: Optimization of Operating Parameters by Response Surface Methodology

    Elcik, Harun; Karadag, Dogan; Kara, Ayse Irem; Cakmakci, Mehmet (Separations, MDPI AG, 2023-09-15) [Article]
    Bioflocculants can be used for cost-effective harvesting of microalgae biomass on an industrial scale. This study investigates the flocculation-based harvesting approach to recovering Chlorella vulgaris microalgae biomass using chitosan biopolymer. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to design the experiments and optimize the critical operating parameters. Box-Behnken Design (BBD) was employed at three levels, and 17 experimental runs were conducted to determine the optimal conditions and the relationship between operating parameters. The highest biomass recovery of 99.10% was achieved at the following optimized conditions: pH of 5, flocculation time of 45 min, and chitosan concentration of 10 mg/L. Both experimental results and model outputs indicated that pH significantly impacts microalgae harvesting and that process performance is less dependent on chitosan concentration and flocculation time. The quadratic model has shown the best fit with the experimental results. The results could be applied to large-scale microalgae harvesting applications to promote microalgae biomass recovery and reduce operating costs.
  • Solution-processable poly(ether-ether-ketone) membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration: from dye separation to pharmaceutical purification

    Alqadhi, Nawader; Abdellah, Mohamed; Nematulloev, Sarvarkhodzha; Mohammed, Omar F.; Abdulhamid, Mahmoud A.; Szekely, Gyorgy (Separation and Purification Technology, Elsevier BV, 2023-09-15) [Article]
    Through polymer engineering, the membrane properties can be considerably changed and its performance can be improved. Organic solvent nanofiltration (OSN) membranes require polymers with good solution processability to facilitate membrane preparation. However, the resultant membranes should have excellent solvent resistance. Poly(ether-ether-ketone) (PEEK) is a potential polymer for OSN applications because of its high thermal stability and excellent solvent resistance. However, commercial PEEK has limited solution processability, and its fabrication requires a harsh acidic environment. Herein, two customized PEEKs were synthesized by incorporating methyl (–CH3) and sulfonyl (SO2) groups into the polymer backbone. The membranes were prepared by phase inversion using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and TamiSolve as a green alternative. The effects of the polymer structure, green solvent, and crosslinking on the membrane morphology, chemical and mechanical stability, as well as separation performance have been examined. The molecular interaction between organic solvents and PEEKs were investigated through molecular dynamic simulations and density functional theory. The molecular weight cutoff (MWCO) values of the membranes were 540–768 g mol−1, with a high corresponding permeance of 8.2–20 L m−2 h−1 bar−1 in acetone. The long-term stability of membranes was successfully demonstrated over two weeks through a continuous crossflow filtration using acetone under a pressure of 30 bar. The membranes demonstrated excellent active pharmaceutical ingredient purification through the removal a 2-methoxyethoxymethyl chloride (125 g mol−1) carcinogenic impurity from roxithromycin (837 g mol−1).
  • Enhanced linearity through high-order antisymmetric vibration for MEMS DC power sensor

    zou, xuecui; Jaber, Nizar; Bu Khamsin, Abdullah; Yaqoob, Usman; Salama, Khaled N.; Fariborzi, Hossein (Applied Physics Letters, AIP Publishing, 2023-09-13) [Article]
    We present an electric power meter that capitalizes on the interaction of electrothermal strain and mechanical vibration in a micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) beam undergoing the antisymmetric mode of vibration. This is achieved by using a resonant bridge driven with an electrothermal modulation technique. The change in electrical power is monitored through the alteration in the mechanical stiffness of the structure, which is tracked electrostatically. The observed deflection profile of the beam under the influence of electrothermal effects shows that the deflection geometry due to buckling exhibits similar trends as the first symmetric vibrational mode, in contrast to the antisymmetric mode. Therefore, we compare two distinct vibrational modes, converting the compressive thermal stress generated by the input electrical power via Joule heating into a shift in the resonance frequency. By employing antisymmetric vibrational mode, the output of our device is consistently monotonic to the input electrical power, even when the microbeam is experiencing buckling deflections. In addition, the sensing operation based on antisymmetric modes yields only a 1.5% nonlinear error in the response curve, which is ten times lower than that of symmetric modes. The observed deformation shape of the resonator agrees with the results obtained from multi-physics finite simulations. Finally, this approach has the potential to be extended to other frequency-shift-based sensors, allowing for higher linearity.
  • Dipeptide-Based Photoreactive Instant Glue for Environmental and Biomedical Applications

    Bilalis, Panagiotis; Alrashoudi, Abdulelah Α.; Susapto, Hepi Hari; Moretti, Manola; Alshehri, Salwa; Abdelrahman, Sherin; Elsakran, Amr; Hauser, Charlotte (Accepted by ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2023-09-13) [Article]
    Nature-inspired smart materials offer numerous advantages over environment-friendliness and efficiency. Emulating the excellent adhesive properties of mussels foot proteins, where the Lysine is in close proximity with the 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (DOPA), we report the synthesis of a novel photo-curable peptide-based adhesive consisting exclusively of these two amino acids. Our adhesive is a highly concentrated aqueous solution of a monomer, a crosslinker and a photoinitiator. Lap-shear adhesion measurements on plastic and glass surfaces and comparison with different types of commercial adhesives showed that the adhesive strength of our glue is comparable when applied in the air and superior when used underwater. No toxicity of our adhesive was observed when the cytocompatibility on human dermal fibroblast cells was assessed. Preliminary experiments with various tissues and coral fragments showed that our adhesive could be applied to wound healing and coral reef restoration. Given the convenience of the facile synthesis, biocompatibility, ease of application underwater and high adhesive strength, we expect that our adhesive may find application, but not limited, to the biomedical and environmental field.

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