Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Atomic mass unit


The purpose of this study was to develop novel dissolving microneedle arrays fabricated from hyaluronic acid (HA) as a material and to improve the transdermal permeability of relatively high molecular weight drugs. In this study, fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled dextran with an average molecular weight of 4 kDa (FD4) was used as a model drug with a relatively high molecular weight. The microneedle arrays significantly increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and reduced transcutaneous electrical resistance (TER), indicating that they could puncture the skin and create drug permeation pathways successfully. Both TEWL and TER almost recovered to baseline levels in the microneedle array group, and relatively small pathways created by the microneedles rapidly recovered as compared with those created by a tape stripping treatment. These findings confirmed that the microneedle arrays were quite safe. Furthermore, we found that the transdermal permeability of FD4 using the microneedle arrays was much higher than that of the FD4 solution. Furthermore, we found that the microneedle arrays were much more effective for increasing the amount of FD4 accumulated in the skin. These findings indicated that using novel microneedle arrays fabricated from HA is a very useful and effective strategy to improve the transdermal delivery of drugs, especially relatively high molecular weight drugs without seriously damaging the skin.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Molecule, Drug, Mass, Array, Atomic mass unit, Molecular mass


To study the preparation and separation of Konjac oligosaccharides, Konjac Glucomannan was degraded by the combination of γ-irradiation and β-mannanase, and then the degradation product was separated by ultrafiltration. To our interest, for most of Konjac oligosaccharides obtained by this method, the molecular mass was lower than 2200Da. In addition, the 1000Da molecular weight cut off membrane could effectively separate the Konjac oligosaccharides. In conclusion, the combination of γ-irradiation and β-mannanase was an efficient method to obtain Konjac oligosaccharides, and the oligosaccharides of molecular mass lower than 1000Da could be effectively separated by ultrafiltration.

Concepts: Molecule, Mass, Atomic mass unit, Molecular mass, Separation, Glucomannan, Konjac, Shirataki noodles



We previously reported that nanoparticles (NPs) coated with 10 kDa PEG were mucoadhesive. Here, we demonstrate that by increasing the surface density, PEG with molecular weight (MW) as high as 40 kDa can be used as a mucoinert NP surface coating.

Concepts: Molecule, Mass, In vivo, Coating, Atomic mass unit, Molecular mass, Charge density


Over 200 components with molecular mass ranging mainly from 400 to 4000 Da were characterized from the venom of the vermivorous cone snail Conus fulgetrum that inhabit Egyptian Red Sea. One major component having a molecular mass of 2946 Da was purified by HPLC, and its primary structure was determined by a combination of Edman degradation and MS/MS analysis.

Concepts: Protein structure, Molecular biology, Atomic mass unit, Conus, Conidae, Radula


Competitive dye displacement titration has previously been used to characterize chitosan-DNA interactions using ethidium bromide. In this work, we aim to develop a fast and reliable method using SYBR Gold as a fluorescent probe to evaluate the binding affinity between ssRNA and chitosan. The interaction of chitosan with ssRNA was investigated as a function of temperature, molecular weight and degree of acetylation of chitosan, using competitive dye displacement titrations with fluorescence quenching. Affinity constants are reported, showing the high sensitivity of the interaction to the degree of acetylation of chitosan and barely dependent on the molecular weight. We propose that the mechanism of SYBR Gold fluorescence quenching is governed by both static and dynamic quenching.

Concepts: DNA, Fluorescence, Electron, Molecular biology, Ethidium bromide, Atomic mass unit, Agarose gel electrophoresis, Quenching


Each gas molecule has its own molecular weight, while such a microscopic characteristic is generally inaccessible, and thus, it is measured indirectly through e.g. ionization in conventional mass analysis. Here, we present a novel approach to the direct measurement of molecular weight through a nanoarchitectonic combination of aerodynamics, thermodynamics, and mechanics, transducing microscopic events into macroscopic phenomena. It is confirmed that this approach can provide molecular weight of virtually any gas or vaporizable liquid sample in real-time without ionization. Demonstrations through analytical calculations, numerical simulations, and experiments verify the validity and versatility of the novel mass analysis realized by a simple setup with a flexible object (e.g. with a bare cantilever and even with a business card) placed in a laminar jet. Owing to its unique and simple working principle, this aero-thermo-dynamic mass analysis (AMA) can be integrated into various analytical devices, production lines, and consumer mobile platforms, opening new chapters in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, mechanics, and mass analysis.

Concepts: Physics, Matter, Fluid dynamics, Molecule, Chemistry, Mass, Greek loanwords, Atomic mass unit


A new group of arsenolipids based on cell-membrane phosphatidylcholines has been discovered in herring caviar (fish roe). A combination of HPLC with elemental and molecular mass spectrometry was used to identify five arsenic-containing phosphatidylcholines; the same technique applied to salmon caviar identified an arsenic-containing phosphatidylethanolamine. The arsenic group in these membrane lipids might impart particular properties to the molecules not displayed by their non-arsenic analogues. Additionally, the new compounds have human health implications according to recent results showing high cytotoxicity for some arsenolipids.

Concepts: Health, Molecule, Salmon, Atomic mass unit, Lecithin, Caviar, Roe, Sushi


We report a scanning tunneling microscopy and non-contact atomic force microscopy study of close-packed 2D islands of tetrafluoro-tetracyanoquinodimethane (F4TCNQ) molecules at the surface of a graphene layer supported by boron nitride. While F4TCNQ molecules are known to form cohesive 3D solids, the intermolecular interactions that are attractive for F4TCNQ in 3D are repulsive in 2D. Our experimental observation of cohesive molecular behavior for F4TCNQ on graphene is thus unexpected. This self-assembly behavior can be explained by a novel solid formation mechanism that occurs when charged molecules are placed in a poorly screened environment. As negatively charged molecules coalesce, the local work function increases, causing electrons to flow into the coalescing molecular island and increase its cohesive binding energy.

Concepts: Electron, Electric charge, Atom, Ion, Scanning tunneling microscope, Macromolecule, Atomic mass unit, Scanning probe microscopy


The malleable nature of atomically thin graphene makes it a potential candidate material for nanoscale origami, a promising bottom-up nanomanufacturing approach to fabricating nano-building blocks of desirable shapes. The success of graphene origami hinges upon precise and facile control of graphene morphology, which still remains as a significant challenge. Inspired by recent progresses on functionalization and patterning of graphene, we demonstrate hydrogenation assisted graphene origami (HAGO), a feasible and robust approach to enabling the formation of unconventional carbon nanostructures, through systematic molecular dynamics simulations. A unique and desirable feature of HAGO-enabled nanostructures is the programmable tunability of their morphology via an external electric field. In particular, we demonstrate reversible opening and closing of a HAGO-enabled graphene nanocage, a mechanism that is crucial to achieve molecular mass uptake, storage and release. HAGO holds promise to enable an array of carbon nanostructures of desirable functionalities by design. As an example, we demonstrate HAGO-enabled high-density hydrogen storage with a weighted percentage exceeding the ultimate goal of US Department of Energy.

Concepts: Matter, Hydrogen, Molecule, Atom, Chemical bond, Carbon, Nanomaterials, Atomic mass unit