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- BIOFOULING OF REVERSE OSMOSIS MEMBRANES: POSITIVELY CONTRIBUTING FACTORS OF SPHINGOMONAS. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Sci Technol 2014 Oct 29.
In the present study, we investigate the possible contribution of Sphingomonas spp. glycosphingolipids (GSL) and its extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) to the initial colonization and development of biofilm bodies on reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. A combination of RO cross flow membrane lab unit, a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) and a rear stagnation point flow (RSPF) system with either model bacteria (Sphingomonas wittichii, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) or vesicles made of the bacterial GSL or LPS was used. Results showed noticeable differences in the adhesion LPS versus GSL vesicles in the QCM-D, with the latter exhibiting 50% higher adhesion to polyamide coated crystals (mimicking an RO membrane surface). A similar trend was observed for EPS extracted from S. wittichii, when compared to the adhesion tendency of EPS extracted from P. aeruginosa. Applying whole-cell approach in the RO lab unit, a cumulative impact of S. wittichii cells composing GSL and probably their EPS reduced the permeate flux during bacterial accumulation on the membrane surface. Experiments were conducted with the same amount of Sphingomonas spp. or Escherichia coli cells resulting in two times greater flux decline in the presence of S. wittichii. The distinct effects of Sphingomonas spp. on RO membrane biofouling are likely combination of GSL presence (known for enhancing adhesion when compared to non-GSL containing bacteria) and the EPS contributing to the overall strength of the biofilm matrix.
- Geometric issues in reverse osmosis: numerical simulation and experimentation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Water Sci Technol 2014 Oct; 70(8):1348-1354.
This investigation is a synergistic combination of laboratory experimentation and numerical simulation to quantify the practical impact of geometric imperfections in the flow channels of a reverse osmosis (RO) system. To this end, carefully executed experiments are performed to quantify the fluid flow in a system containing feed spacers which are embedded in the RO membrane. In a complementary activity, numerical simulations were performed both for an ideal geometric situation (without embedments) and the actual geometric configuration including the embedments. It was found that the presence of unaccounted embedments affected the pressure drop predictions for the system by 14-19%. When account was taken of the embedments, the simulation results were found to be virtually coincident with the experimental results. This outcome suggests that deviations between experimental and simulation results encountered in the literature might well have been due to geometrical deviations of the type investigated here. The numerical simulation of the feedwater fluid flow was based on the often-used but unverified assumption that the velocity field experiences the geometric periodicity of the feed spacer. This assumption was lent support by results from a non-periodic simulation model and by the excellent agreement between the numerically based predictions and the experimental data.
- Black tea increased survival of Caenorhabditis elegans under stress. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Agric Food Chem 2014 Oct 27.
The present study examined the effects of black tea (Camellia sinensis) extracts (BTE) in Caenorhabditis elegans under various abiotic stressors. Results showed BTE increased nematode resistance to osmosis, heat, and UV irradiation treatments. However, BTE could not increase nematodes' lifespan under normal culture conditions and MnCl2-induced toxicity at concentrations we used. Further studies showed that BTE decreased reactive oxygen species and up-regulated some antioxidant enzymes, including GSH-PX, and genes, such as gsh-px and sod-3. However, only a slight extension in mev-1 mutants mean lifespan was observed without significance. These result indicated that antioxidant activity of BTE might be necessary but not sufficient to protect against aging to C.elegans. Moreover, BTE increased mRNA level of stress-response genes like sir-2.1 and sek-1. Our finding demonstrated BTE might increase heat and UV stress resistance in a sir.2.1-dependent manner. Taken together, BTE enhanced stress resistance with multiple mechanisms in C.elegans.
- Hyperosmolality-mediated peritoneal microvascular vasodilation is linked to aquaporin function. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Adv Perit Dial 2014.:63-74.
Glucose-based peritoneal dialysis (PD) solutions dilate the parietal and visceral peritoneal microvasculature by endothelium-dependent mechanisms that primarily involve hyperosmolality. This PD-mediated dilation occurs by active intracellular glucose uptake and adenosine Al receptor activation, and by hyperosmolality-stimulated glibenclamide-sensitive potassium channels. Both pathways invoke NO as a second messenger for vasodilation. We hypothesized that during crystalloid-induced osmosis, the osmotic water flux through the transendothelial water-exclusive aquaporin 1 (AQP1) channels is the primary mechanism whereby the endothelium is being stimulated to instigate hyperosmolality-driven vasodilation. Four microvascular levels (diameters in the range 6 - 100 microm) were visualized by intravital videomicroscopy of the terminal ileum in anesthetized rats. Microvascular diameters and flow were measured after topical exposure to a 5% hypertonic mannitol or 2.5% glucose-based PD solution, at baseline and after brief tissue pre-treatment (with 0.1% glutaraldehyde for 10 seconds) or after combined tissue pre-treatment and pharmacologic blockade of AQP1 with HgCl2 (100 micromol/L). Vascular endothelial integrity was verified by the response to acetylcholine (10(-4) mol/L) and sodium nitroprusside (10(-4) mol/L). The hyperosmolar solutions both caused rapid and sustained vasodilation at all microvascular levels, which was not altered by tissue pre-treatment. Inhibition of AQP1 completely abolished the mannitol-induced vasodilation and markedly attenuated the PD fluid-mediated vasodilation. Neither glutaraldehyde pre-treatment nor HgCl2 affected tissue integrity or endothelial cell function. We conclude that the peritoneal microvascular vasodilation caused by hyperosmolar PD fluid is instigated by the osmotic water flux through AQP1. Clinical PD solutions have components other than hyperosmolality that can induce endothelium-dependent peritoneal microvascular vasodilation independent of the AQP1-mediated osmosis.
- Process optimization for osmo-dehydrated carambola (Averrhoa carambola L) slices and its storage studies. [Journal Article]
- J Food Sci Technol 2014 Oct; 51(10):2472-80.
An osmotic-dehydration process protocol for Carambola (Averrhoacarambola L.,), an exotic star shaped tropical fruit, was developed. The process was optimized using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) following Central Composite Rotatable Design (CCRD). The experimental variables selected for the optimization were soak solution concentration (°Brix), soaking temperature (°C) and soaking time (min) with 6 experiments at central point. The effect of process variables was studied on solid gain and water loss during osmotic dehydration process. The data obtained were analyzed employing multiple regression technique to generate suitable mathematical models. Quadratic models were found to fit well (R(2), 95.58 - 98.64 %) in describing the effect of variables on the responses studied. The optimized levels of the process variables were achieved at 70°Brix, 48 °C and 144 min for soak solution concentration, soaking temperature and soaking time, respectively. The predicted and experimental results at optimized levels of variables showed high correlation. The osmo-dehydrated product prepared at optimized conditions showed a shelf-life of 10, 8 and 6 months at 5 °C, ambient (30 ± 2 °C) and 37 °C, respectively.
- Endoscopy supply water and final rinse testing: five years of experience. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Hosp Infect 2014 Sep 28.
The penultimate stage in endoscope reprocessing is the final rinse with water following terminal disinfection. This requires a degree of microbiological and chemical control of the quality of the final rinse water.To report experience gained over five years of testing, reporting and managing the quality of final rinse water for endoscopic devices.Three endoscope reprocessing units, each comprising five endoscope washer-disinfectors (EWDs) supplied by two reverse osmosis (RO) water units, were subjected to weekly monitoring and control of final rinse water quality. EWDs were subjected to nightly thermal self-disinfection, and RO units were subjected to periodic sanitization with peracetic acid. Final rinse water samples were processed periodically for total viable counts (TVCs), Pseudomonas spp., endotoxins, conductivity, environmental mycobacteria and Legionella spp.Over the five-year study period (2008-2013), no Pseudomonas spp., environmental mycobacteria or Legionella spp. were isolated from endoscopy rinse water. All conductivity readings were below 30μs/cm. Endotoxin levels fluctuated over the recommended cut-off of 0.25EU/mL, with no correlation with TVCs. Trend analysis of TVCs established alert and action limits. Apart from the supply water of one EWD becoming contaminated with Aspergillus spp., there have been no interruptions to operational capacity of the endoscope reprocessing units.Quality control principles coupled with appropriate thermal and chemical disinfection of EWDs resulted in the achievement of microbiological standards for final rinse water. A co-ordinated team approach between the microbiology department, infection control department, endoscope unit managers and estates department is required to achieve this degree of success.
- Assessing the utility of testing aluminum levels in dialysis patients. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Hemodial Int 2014 Oct 13.
Plasma aluminum (Al) is routinely tested in many dialysis patients. Aluminum exposure may lead to acute toxicity and levels in excess of ∼2.2 μmol/L (60 μg/L) should be avoided. Historically, toxicity has been caused by excessive dialyzate Al but modern reverse osmosis (RO) water should be Al free. Nevertheless, many units continue to perform routine Al levels on dialysis patients. This single-center study retrospectively analyzed Al levels in plasma, raw water feed, and RO product between 2010 and 2013 using our database (Nephworks 6) with the aim of determining the utility of these measurements. Two thousand fifty-eight plasma Al tests in 755 patients (61.9% male, mean age 64.7 years) were reviewed showing mean ± SD of 0.41 ± 0.30 μmol/L. One hundred eleven (5.4%) tests from 61 patients had Al levels >0.74 μmol/L and 45 (73.8%) of these patients were or had been prescribed Al hydroxide (Al(OH)3 ) as a phosphate binder. Seven patients had Al concentrations >2.2 μmol/L with no source of Al identified in 1 patient. One hundred sixty-six patients taking Al(OH)3 (78.7% of all patients on Al(OH)3 ) had levels ≤0.74 μmol/L, the odds ratio of plasma Al > 0.74 μmol/L on Al(OH)3 was 9. The cost of plasma Al assay is $A30.60; thus, costs were $A62,974.80 over the study period. Despite RO feed water Al levels as high as 48 μmol/L, Al output from the RO was almost always undetectable (<0.1 μmol/L) with dialyzate Al levels > 2.2 μmol/L only 3 times since 2010, and never in the last 3 years. Routine unselected testing of plasma Al appears unnecessary and expensive and more selective testing in dialysis patients should be considered.
- Bacterial bioluminescence response to long-term exposure to reverse osmosis treated effluents from dye industries. [Journal Article]
- Can J Microbiol 2014 Oct; 60(10):661-8.
The bacterial bioluminescence assay is one of the novel means for toxicity detection. The bioluminescence response of 2 marine bioluminescent bacteria was tested upon their long-term exposure to 9 different reverse osmosis (RO) rejects with varying chemical composition sampled from various dye industries. Bioluminescent bacteria were cultured in the RO reject samples, at different concentrations, and their growth rate and luminescence was measured for 24 h. The RO reject samples caused sublethal effects upon exposure and retarded the growth of bacteria, confirming their toxic nature. Further, continuation of the exposure showed that the initial luminescence, though reduced, recovered and increased beyond the control cultures irrespective of cell density, and finally decreased once again. The present study emphasizes the need of evolving a long-term exposure assay and shows that the method followed in this study is suitable to evaluate the toxicants that exert delayed toxicity, using lower concentrations of toxicants as well as coloured samples.
- Biofouling and Microbial Communities in Membrane Distillation and Reverse Osmosis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Sci Technol 2014 Oct 31.
Membrane distillation (MD) is an emerging desalination technology that uses low-grade heat to drive water vapor across a microporous hydrophobic membrane. Currently, little is known about the biofilms that grow on MD membranes. In this study, we use estuarine water collected from Long Island Sound in a bench-scale direct contact MD system to investigate the initial stages of biofilm formation. For comparison, we studied biofilm formation in a bench-scale reverse osmosis (RO) system using the same feedwater. These two membrane desalination systems expose the natural microbial community to vastly different environmental conditions: high temperatures with no hydraulic pressure in MD and low temperature with hydraulic pressure in RO. Over the course of 4 days, we observed a steady decline in bacteria concentration (nearly 2 orders of magnitude) in the MD feed reservoir. Even with this drop in planktonic bacteria, significant biofilm formation was observed. Biofilm morphologies on MD and RO membranes were markedly different. MD membrane biofilms were heterogeneous and contained several colonies, while RO membrane biofilms, although thicker, were a homogeneous mat. Phylogenetic analysis using next-generation sequencing of 16S rDNA showed significant shifts in the microbial communities. Bacteria representing the orders Burkholderiales, Rhodobacterales, and Flavobacteriales were most abundant in the MD biofilms. On the basis of the results, we propose two different regimes for microbial community shifts and biofilm development in RO and MD systems.
- An osmolyte-based micro-volume ultrafiltration technique. [Journal Article]
- Lab Chip 2014 Dec 7; 14(23):4559-66.
This paper discusses a novel, simple, and inexpensive micro-volume ultrafiltration technique for protein concentration, desalting, buffer exchange, and size-based protein purification. The technique is suitable for processing protein samples in a high-throughput mode. It utilizes a combination of capillary action, and osmosis for drawing water and other permeable species from a micro-volume sample droplet applied on the surface of an ultrafiltration membrane. A macromolecule coated on the permeate side of the membrane functions as the osmolyte. The action of the osmolyte could, if required, be augmented by adding a supersorbent polymer layer over the osmolyte. The mildly hydrophobic surface of the polymeric ultrafiltration membrane used in this study minimized sample droplet spreading, thus making it easy to recover the retained material after separation, without sample interference and cross-contamination. High protein recoveries were observed in the micro-volume ultrafiltration experiments described in the paper.