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Concept: Ethylene glycol


We report a simple method to fabricate nano-porous tantalum oxide films via anodization with Ta foils as the anode at room temperature. A mixture of ethylene glycol, phosphoric acid, NH4F and H2O was used as the electrolyte where the nano-porous tantalum oxide could be synthesized by anodizing a tantalum foil for 1 h at 20 V in a two-electrode configuration. The as-prepared porous film exhibited a continuous, uniform and coral-like morphology. The diameters of pores ranged from 30 nm to 50 nm. The pores interlaced each other and the depth was about 150 nm. After calcination, the as-synthesized amorphous tantalum oxide could be crystallized to the orthorhombic crystal system. As observed in photocatalytic experiments, the coral-like tantalum oxide exhibited a higher photocatalytic activity for the degradation of phenol than that with a compact surface morphology, and the elimination rate of phenol increased by 66.7%.

Concepts: Crystallography, Crystal system, Ethylene glycol, Niobium, Electrolytic capacitor, Orthorhombic crystal system, Tantalum capacitor


Vitrification of endothelial cells (MHECT-5) has not previously been compared with controlled slow freezing methods under standardized conditions. To identify the best cryopreservation technique, we evaluated vitrification and standardized controlled-rate -1°C/minute cell freezing in a -80°C freezer and tested four cryoprotective agents (CPA), namely dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol (EG), propylene glycol (PG), and glycerol (GLY), and two media, namely Dulbecco’s modified Eagle medium Ham’s F-12 (DMEM)and K+-modified TiProtec (K+TiP), which is a high-potassium-containing medium. Numbers of viable cells in proliferation were evaluated by the CellTiter 96® AQueous One Solution Cell Proliferation Assay (Promega Corporation, Mannheim, Germany). To detect the exact frozen cell number per cryo vial, DNA content was measured by using Hoechst 33258 dye prior to analysis. Thus, results could be evaluated unconstrained by absolute cell number. Thawed cells were cultured in 25 cm2 cell culture flasks to confluence and examined daily by phase contrast imaging. With regard to cell recovery immediately after thawing, DMSO was the most suitable CPA combined with K+TiP in vitrification (99 ±0.5%) and with DMEM in slow freezing (92 ±1.6%). The most viable cells in proliferation after three days of culture were obtained in cells vitrificated by using GLY with K+TiP (308 ±34%) and PG with DMEM in slow freezing (280 ±27%).

Concepts: Ethylene glycol, Ethylene, Diol, Propylene glycol, Dimethyl sulfoxide, Glycerol, Cryobiology, Cryoprotectant


Methoxy poly (ethylene glycol) grafted carboxymethyl chitosan (mPEG-g-CMC) and alginate were chosen as the constituents of hydrogel beads for the construction of an interpenetrating polymeric network matrix. A contrast study between the mPEG-g-CMC hydrogel and mPEG physically mixed with CMC hydrogel was carried out. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model for a protein drug was encapsulated in the hydrogel network, and the drug release properties were studied. The hydrogels prepared by these two methods maintained good pH sensitivity; the loading capacity of the mPEG-g-CMC/alginate hydrogel was enhanced in comparison with that of the hydrogel prepared by physically mixing mPEG. The burst release of the protein was slightly decreased at pH 1.2, while the release at pH 7.4 was improved, suggesting that the mPEG-g-CMC/alginate pH-sensitive hydrogel will be promising for site-specific protein drug delivery in the intestine.

Concepts: Blood, Polymer, Serum albumin, Polysaccharide, Bovine serum albumin, Ethylene glycol, Diol, Polyester


Uniform bismuth oxide (Bi(2) O(3) ) and bismuth subcarbonate ((BiO)(2) CO(3) ) nanotubes were successfully synthesized by a facile solvothermal method without the need for any surfactants or templates. The synergistic effect of ethylene glycol (EG) and urea played a critical role in the formation of the tubular nanostructures. These Bi(2) O(3) and (BiO)(2) CO(3) nanotubes exhibited excellent Cr(VI) -removal capacity. Bi(2) O(3) nanotubes, with a maximum Cr(VI) -removal capacity of 79 mg g(-1) , possessed high removal ability in a wide range of pH values (3-11). Moreover, Bi(2) O(3) and (BiO)(2) CO(3) nanotubes also displayed highly efficient photocatalytic activity for the degradation of RhB under visible-light irradiation. This work not only demonstrates a new and facile route for the fabrication of Bi(2) O(3) and (BiO)(2) CO(3) nanotubes, but also provides new promising adsorbents for the removal of heavy-metal ions and potential photocatalysts for environmental remediation.

Concepts: PH, Synergy, Ethylene glycol, Photocatalysis, Bismuth


The main objective of the following study was to determine the efficiency of a method that uses coconut charcoal as a solid-phase extraction (SPE) adsorbent in order to simultaneously detect six hydrophilic ether species in water in the low microgram-per-liter range. The applied method was validated for quantification of ethyl tert-butyl ether, 1,4-dioxane, ethylene glycol dimethyl ether (monoglyme), diethylene glycol dimethyl ether (diglyme), triethylene glycol dimethyl ether (triglyme) and tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether (tetraglyme). SPE followed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry of the extracts using the selected ion monitoring mode allowed for establishing low detection limits in the range of 0.007-0.018 μg/L in ultrapure water and 0.004-0.020 μg/L in environmental samples. Examination of the method accuracy and precision resulted in a recovery greater than 86.8 % for each compound with a relative standard deviation of less than 6.6 %. A stability study established a 5-day holding time for the unpreserved water samples and extracts. Finally, 27 samples obtained from surface water bodies in Germany were analyzed for the six hydrophilic ethers. Each analyte was detected in at least eight samples at concentrations reaching 2.0 μg/L. The results of this study emphasize the advantage of the method to simultaneously determine six hydrophilic ether compounds. The outcome of the surface water analyses augments a concern about their frequent and significant presence in surface water bodies in Germany.

Concepts: Ether, Ethylene glycol, Ethylene oxide, Diethylene glycol, Triethylene glycol, Ethers, Glycol ethers, Dimethoxyethane


In continuation of investigation for environmentally benign protocol for new solvents termed deep eutectic solvents (DESs), it is herein reported results concerning the toxicity and cytotoxicity of choline chloride (ChCl) based DESs with four hydrogen bond donors including glycerine, ethylene glycol, triethylene glycol and urea. The toxicity was investigated using two Gram positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus, and two Gram negative bacteria Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The cytotoxicity effect was tested using the Artemia salina leach. It was found that there was no toxic effect for the tested DESs on all of the studied bacteria confirming their benign effects on these bacteria. Nevertheless, it was found that the cytotoxicity of DESs was much higher than their individual components (e.g. glycerine, ChCl) indicating that their toxicological behavior is different. For our best knowledge this is the first time that toxicity and cytotoxicity of DESs were studied. The toxicity and cytotoxicity of DESs varied depending on the structure of components. Careful usage of the terms non-toxicity and biodegradability must be considered. More investigation on this matter is required.

Concepts: Bacteria, Microbiology, Escherichia coli, Bacillus, Toxicity, Ethylene glycol, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria


Brushite (dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, DCPD) cement, owing to its high solubility in physiological condition and ability to guide new bone formation, is widely used to treat bone defects. In the present study, we have evaluated the effects of poly ethylene glycol (PEG) addition on the setting time, compressive strength and in vitro biocompatibility of brushite cement. The brushite cements were prepared by mixing β-tricalcium phosphate [β-TCP, Ca(3)(PO(4))(2)] and monocalcium phosphate monohydrate [MCPM, Ca(H(2)PO(4))(2). H(2)O]. PEG was introduced at 2.0 and 5.0 wt% with the liquid. Introduction of PEG resulted in marginal increase in both initial and final setting time; however, significantly affected the compressive strength. Effects of PEG incorporation on in vitro biocompatibility of brushite cements were studied by using human fetal osteoblast cells (hFOB) cells. Field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) images and immunohistochemical analysis indicated that pure and PEG incorporated brushite cement facilitates cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. Fewer cells expressed vinculin protein with increased PEG content in the cement. Cell proliferation was found to decrease with increased PEG concentration while the cell differentiation increased with PEG content. Our results provide a better understanding of in vitro biocompatibility of PEG added brushite cements that can be used to customize the cement compositions based on application need.

Concepts: DNA, Electron, Gene expression, Scanning electron microscope, Ethylene glycol, Polyethylene, Ethylene, Dicalcium phosphate


In this study, we investigated the metabolism of ethylene glycol in the Pseudomonas putida strains KT2440 and JM37 by employing growth and bioconversion experiments, directed mutagenesis, and proteome analysis. We found that strain JM37 grew rapidly with ethylene glycol as a sole source of carbon and energy, while strain KT2440 did not grow within 2 days of incubation under the same conditions. However, bioconversion experiments revealed metabolism of ethylene glycol by both strains, with the temporal accumulation of glycolic acid and glyoxylic acid for strain KT2440. This accumulation was further increased by targeted mutagenesis. The key enzymes and specific differences between the two strains were identified by comparative proteomics. In P. putida JM37, tartronate semialdehyde synthase (Gcl), malate synthase (GlcB), and isocitrate lyase (AceA) were found to be induced in the presence of ethylene glycol or glyoxylic acid. Under the same conditions, strain KT2440 showed induction of AceA only. Despite this difference, the two strains were found to use similar periplasmic dehydrogenases for the initial oxidation step of ethylene glycol, namely, the two redundant pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ)-dependent enzymes PedE and PedH. From these results we constructed a new pathway for the metabolism of ethylene glycol in P. putida. Furthermore, we conclude that Pseudomonas putida might serve as a useful platform from which to establish a whole-cell biocatalyst for the production of glyoxylic acid from ethylene glycol.

Concepts: Protein, Alcohol, Carbon dioxide, Enzyme, Ethylene glycol, Site-directed mutagenesis, Pseudomonas putida, Lyase


BACKGROUND: Metabolites of ethylene glycol (EG) can cross-react in l-lactate assays, leading to falsely elevated serum lactate levels in case of EG intoxication. In this study, we evaluated the effects of EG and its metabolites on routinely used lactate measuring methods. METHODS: Serum aliquots were spiked with either l-lactate, EG or one of its metabolites (all 12.5 mmol/L): glyoxal, glycolate, glyoxylic acid or oxalate. An unspiked sample (l-lactate 2.6 mmol/L) served as a control. l-Lactate levels in these samples were measured in 31 national hospitals on 20 different analysers from nine manufacturers. RESULTS: The l-lactate concentrations in the control sample and in the samples spiked with l-lactate, EG, glyoxal and oxalate provided correct results by all routinely used methods. However, the glycolate and glyoxylic acid spiked samples resulted in falsely elevated l-lactate concentration with all blood gas methods and with the majority of general chemistry methods using l-lactate oxidase. CONCLUSION: The EG metabolites glycolate and glyoxylic acid were shown to falsely elevate l-lactate results with most of the currently used methods due to cross-reactivity with the oxidase enzyme. Falsely elevated l-lactate results can lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate management of patients with EG intoxication.

Concepts: Measurement, Chemistry, Lactic acid, Ethylene glycol, Lactate dehydrogenase, Oxalic acid, Glyoxylic acid, Glycolic acid


2-Hydroxy-propyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD), a cholesterol scavenger, is currently undergoing Phase 2b/3 clinical trial for treatment of Niemann Pick Type C-1 (NPC1), a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that stems from abnormal cholesterol accumulation in the endo/lysosomes. Unfortunately, the extremely high doses of HPβCD required to prevent progressive neurodegeneration exacerbates ototoxicity, pulmonary toxicity and autophagy-based cellular defects. We present unexpected evidence that a poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG)-lipid conjugate enables cholesterol clearance from endo/lysosomes of Npc1 mutant (Npc1(-/-)) cells. Herein, we show that distearyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-PEG (DSPE-PEG), which forms 12-nm micelles above the critical micelle concentration, accumulates heavily inside cholesterol-rich late endosomes in Npc1(-/-) cells. This potentially results in cholesterol solubilization and leakage from lysosomes. High-throughput screening revealed that DSPE-PEG, in combination with HPβCD, acts synergistically to efflux cholesterol without significantly aggravating autophagy defects. These well-known excipients can be used as admixtures to treat NPC1 disorder. Increasing PEG chain lengths from 350 Da-30 kDa in DSPE-PEG micelles, or increasing DSPE-PEG content in an array of liposomes packaged with HPβCD, improved cholesterol egress, while Pluronic block copolymers capable of micelle formation showed slight effects at high concentrations. We postulate that PEG-lipid based nanocarriers can serve as bioactive drug delivery systems for effective treatment of lysosomal storage disorders.

Concepts: Lysosomal storage disease, Polymer, Neurodegeneration, Neurodegenerative disorders, Micelle, Vesicle, Ethylene glycol