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Concept: Extrusion


Enhancement of product properties of extruded starch based products can be achieved by incorporating health promoting oil into the matrix. In order to achieve a preferably high expansion with a homogeneous pore structure, the expansion mechanisms have to be understood. In our study, we applied a customized twin-screw extruder set up to feed medium-chain triglycerides after complete gelatinization of corn starch, minimizing its effect on the starch gelatinization. Despite the fact, that the addition of up to 3.5% oil showed no influence on the extrusion parameters, we observed a three-fold increase in sectional expansion. Longitudinal expansion was less affected by the oil content. Rheological properties of the gelatinized starch were measured using an inline slit die rheometer. In addition to shear viscosity, we presented a method to determine the Bagley pressure, which reflects the elongational properties of a fluid. We were able to observe an increase in the Bagley pressure from about 25bar up to 35-37bar due to the addition of oil.

Concepts: Starch, Fluid mechanics, Viscosity, Liquid, Shear stress, Rheology, Extrusion, Starch gelatinization


PURPOSE: In the present study we evaluated a novel processing technique for the continuous production of hotmelt extruded controlled release matrix systems. A cutting technique derived from plastics industry, where it is widely used for cutting of cables and wires was adapted into the production line. Extruded strands were shaped by a rotary-fly cutter. Special focus is laid on the development of a process analytical technology by evaluating signals obtained from the servo control of the rotary fly cutter. The intention is to provide a better insight into the production process and to offer the ability to detect small variations in process-variables. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A co-rotating twin-screw extruder ZSE 27 HP-PH from Leistritz (Nürnberg, Germany) was used to plasticize the starch; critical extrusion parameters were recorded. Still elastic strands were shaped by a rotary fly-cutter type Dynamat 20 from Metzner (Neu-Ulm, Germany). Properties of the final products were analyzed via digital image analysis to point out critical parameters influencing the quality. Important aspects were uniformity of diameter, height, roundness, weight and variations in the cutting angle. Stability of the products was measured by friability tests and by determining the crushing strength of the final products. Drug loading studies up to 70% were performed to evaluate the capacity of the matrix and to prove the technological feasibility. Changes in viscosities during API addition were analyzed by a Haake Minilab capillary rheometer. X-ray studies were performed to investigate molecular structures of the matrices. RESULTS: External shapes of the products were highly affected by die-swelling of the melt. Reliable reproducibility concerning uniformity of mass could be achieved even for high production rates (>2500 cuts/min). Both mechanical strength and die swelling of the products could be linked to the ratio of amylose to amylopectin. Formulations containing up to 70% of API could still be processed. Viscosity measurements revealed the plasticizing effect caused by API addition. Dissolution data proved the suitability of extruded starch matrices as a sustained release dosage form. Monitoring of consumed energies during the cutting process could be linked to changes in viscosity. The established PAT system enables the detection of small variations in material properties and can be an important tool to further improve process stability.

Concepts: Viscosity, Strength of materials, Compressive strength, Work hardening, Industry, Extrusion, Rheometer, Starch gelatinization


It has been hypothesized that Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC) protein complexes such as condensin and cohesin spatially organize chromosomes by extruding DNA into large loops. Here, we provide unambiguous evidence for loop extrusion by directly visualizing the formation and processive extension of DNA loops by yeast condensin in real-time. We find that a single condensin complex is able to extrude tens of kilobase pairs of DNA at a force-dependent speed of up to 1,500 base pairs per second, using the energy of ATP hydrolysis. Condensin-induced loop extrusion is strictly asymmetric, which demonstrates that condensin anchors onto DNA and reels it in from only one side. Active DNA loop extrusion by SMC complexes may provide the universal unifying principle for genome organization.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Gene, Human genome, Adenosine triphosphate, Genome, Base pair, Extrusion


This study aims to evaluate the apical extrusion of debris by the two reciprocating single-file systems: WaveOne and Reciproc. Conventional multi-file rotary system was used as a reference for comparison. The hypotheses tested were (i) the reciprocating single-file systems extrude more than conventional multi-file rotary system and (ii) the reciprocating single-file systems extrude similar amounts of dentin debris.

Concepts: Extrusion


Epithelial tissues (epithelia) remove excess cells through extrusion, preventing the accumulation of unnecessary or pathological cells. The extrusion process can be triggered by apoptotic signalling, oncogenic transformation and overcrowding of cells. Despite the important linkage of cell extrusion to developmental, homeostatic and pathological processes such as cancer metastasis, its underlying mechanism and connections to the intrinsic mechanics of the epithelium are largely unexplored. We approach this problem by modelling the epithelium as an active nematic liquid crystal (that has a long range directional order), and comparing numerical simulations to strain rate and stress measurements within monolayers of MDCK (Madin Darby canine kidney) cells. Here we show that apoptotic cell extrusion is provoked by singularities in cell alignments in the form of comet-shaped topological defects. We find a universal correlation between extrusion sites and positions of nematic defects in the cell orientation field in different epithelium types. The results confirm the active nematic nature of epithelia, and demonstrate that defect-induced isotropic stresses are the primary precursors of mechanotransductive responses in cells, including YAP (Yes-associated protein) transcription factor activity, caspase-3-mediated cell death, and extrusions. Importantly, the defect-driven extrusion mechanism depends on intercellular junctions, because the weakening of cell-cell interactions in an α-catenin knockdown monolayer reduces the defect size and increases both the number of defects and extrusion rates, as is also predicted by our model. We further demonstrate the ability to control extrusion hotspots by geometrically inducing defects through microcontact printing of patterned monolayers. On the basis of these results, we propose a mechanism for apoptotic cell extrusion: spontaneously formed topological defects in epithelia govern cell fate. This will be important in predicting extrusion hotspots and dynamics in vivo, with potential applications to tissue regeneration and the suppression of metastasis. Moreover, we anticipate that the analogy between the epithelium and active nematic liquid crystals will trigger further investigations of the link between cellular processes and the material properties of epithelia.

Concepts: DNA, Cancer, Crystal, Epithelium, Geometry, Skin, Liquid crystal, Extrusion


During cell division, chromosomes are compacted in length by more than a 100-fold. A wide range of experiments demonstrated that in their compacted state, mammalian chromosomes form arrays of closely stacked consecutive ∼100 kb loops. The mechanism underlying the active process of chromosome compaction into a stack of loops is unknown. Here we test the hypothesis that chromosomes are compacted by enzymatic machines that actively extrude chromatin loops. When such loop-extruding factors (LEF) bind to chromosomes, they progressively bridge sites that are further away along the chromosome, thus extruding a loop. We demonstrate that collective action of LEFs leads to formation of a dynamic array of consecutive loops. Simulations and an analytically solved model identify two distinct steady states: a sparse state, where loops are highly dynamic but provide little compaction; and a dense state, where there are more stable loops and dramatic chromosome compaction. We find that human chromosomes operate at the border of the dense steady state. Our analysis also shows how the macroscopic characteristics of the loop array are determined by the microscopic properties of LEFs and their abundance. When the number of LEFs are used that match experimentally based estimates, the model can quantitatively reproduce the average loop length, the degree of compaction, and the general loop-array morphology of compact human chromosomes. Our study demonstrates that efficient chromosome compaction can be achieved solely by an active loop-extrusion process.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Cell, Human, Eukaryote, Chromosome, Demonstration, Extrusion


Fortified rice holds great potential for bringing essential micronutrients to a large part of the world population. The present study quantified the losses of three different micronutrients (vitamin A, iron, zinc) in fortified rice that were produced using three different techniques (hot extrusion, cold extrusion, and coating) and stored at two different environments (25 ± 5 °C at a humidity of 60% and 40 ± 5 °C at a humidity of 75%) for up to one year. Fortified rice premix from the different techniques was mixed with normal rice in a 1:100 ratio. Each sample was analyzed in triplicate. The study confirmed the high stability of iron and zinc during storage while the retention of vitamin A was significantly affected by storage and the type of techniques used to make rice premix. Losses for iron and zinc were typically <10% for any type of rice premix. After 12 months at mild conditions (25 °C and humidity of 60%), losses for vitamin A ranged from 20% for cold extrusion, 30% for hot extruded rice 77% for coated rice premix. At higher temperatures and humidity, losses of vitamin A were 40%-50% for extruded premix and 93% for coated premix after 6 months. We conclude that storage does lead to a major loss of vitamin A and question whether rice is a suitable food vehicle to fortify with vitamin A. For Cambodia, fortification of rice with iron and zinc could be an effective strategy to improve the micronutrient status of the population if no other food vehicles are available.

Concepts: Nutrition, Nutrient, Dietary mineral, Aluminium, Zinc, Micronutrient, Fortification, Extrusion


To maintain a protective barrier, epithelia extrude cells destined to die by contracting a band of actin and myosin. Although extrusion can remove cells triggered to die by apoptotic stimuli, to maintain constant cell numbers, epithelia extrude live cells, which later die by anoikis. Because transformed cells may override anoikis and survive after extrusion, the direction of extrusion has important consequences for the extruded cell’s fate. As most cells extrude apically, they are typically eliminated through the lumen; however, cells with upregulated survival signals that extrude basally could potentially invade the underlying tissue and migrate to other sites in the body.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Epithelium, Basement membrane, Basal lamina, Skin, Extrusion


Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is a 3D printing technique based on the deposition of successive layers of thermoplastic materials following their softening/melting. Such a technique holds huge potential for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and is currently under extensive investigation. Challenges in this field are mainly related to the paucity of adequate filaments composed of pharmaceutical grade materials, which are needed for feeding the FDM equipment. Accordingly, a number of polymers of common use in pharmaceutical formulation were evaluated as starting materials for fabrication via hot melt extrusion of filaments suitable for FDM processes. By using a twin-screw extruder, filaments based on insoluble (ethylcellulose, Eudragit(®) RL), promptly soluble (polyethylene oxide, Kollicoat(®) IR), enteric soluble (Eudragit(®)L, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate) and swellable/erodible (hydrophilic cellulose derivatives, polyvinyl alcohol, Soluplus(®)) polymers were successfully produced, and the possibility of employing them for printing 600μm thick disks was demonstrated. The behavior of disks as barriers when in contact with aqueous fluids was shown consistent with the functional application of the relevant polymeric components. The produced filaments were thus considered potentially suitable for printing capsules and coating layers for immediate or modified release, and, when loaded with active ingredients, any type of dosage forms.

Concepts: Solubility, Cellulose, Thermoplastic, Polyethylene terephthalate, Fused deposition modeling, Extrusion, Polymers, Equal channel angular extrusion


At present, the most prevalent pharmaceutical dosage forms, the orally-delivered immediate-release tablets and capsules, are porous, granular solids. They disintegrate into their constituent particulates upon ingestion to release drug rapidly. The design, development, and manufacture of such granular solids, however, is inefficient due to difficulties associated with the unpredictable inter-particle interactions. Therefore, to achieve more predictable dosage form properties and processing, we have recently introduced melt-processed polymeric cellular dosage forms. The cellular forms disintegrated and released drug rapidly if the cells were predominantly interconnected. Preparation of interconnected cells, however, relies on the coalescence of gas bubbles in the melt, which is unpredictable. In the present work, therefore, new melt-processed fibrous dosage forms with contiguous void space are presented. The dosage forms are prepared by melt extrusion of the drug-excipient mixture followed by patterning the fibrous extrudate on a moving surface. It is demonstrated that the resulting fibrous structures are fully predictable by the extruder nozzle diameter and the motion of the surface. Furthermore, drug release experiments show that the disintegration time of the fibrous forms prepared in this work is of the order of that of the corresponding single fibers. The thin fibers of polyethylene glycol (excipient) and acetaminophen (drug) in turn disintegrate in a time proportional to the fiber radius and well within immediate-release specification. Finally, models of dosage form disintegration and drug release by single fibers and fibrous dosage forms are developed. It is found that drug release from fibrous forms is predictable by the physico-chemical properties of the excipient and such microstructural parameters as the fiber radius, the inter-fiber spacing, and the volume fraction of water-soluble excipient in the fibers.

Concepts: Time, Pharmacology, Fiber, Dietary fiber, Excipient, Release, Extrusion, Dosage form