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Concept: Scientific techniques


The aim of this study was to develop an immediate-release pellet formulation with improved drug dissolution and adsorption. Carbamazepine, a poorly water-soluble drug, was adsorbed into mesoporous silica (SBA-15-CBZ) via a wetness impregnation method and then processed by extrusion/spheronization into pellets. Physicochemical characterization of the preparation was carried out by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, nitrogen adsorption, small-angle and wide-angle x-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry. Flowability and wettability of the drug-loaded silica powder were evaluated by bulk and tapped density and by the angle of repose and contact angle, respectively. The drug-loaded silica powder was formulated into pellets to improve flowability.

Concepts: Electron, X-ray, Adsorption, Wetting, Materials science, Scientific techniques, Transmission electron microscopy, Scanning electron microscope


A novel hybrid mesoporous aluminosilicate sieve (HMAS) was prepared with fly ash and impregnated with zeolite A precursors. This improved the mercury adsorption of HMAS compared to original MCM-41. The HMAS was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption-desorption, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images and (29)Si and (27)Al magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR) spectra. These showed that the HMAS structure was still retained after impregnated with zeolite A. But the surface area and pore diameter of HMAS decreased due to pore blockage. Adsorption of mercury from aqueous solution was studied on untreated MCM-41and HMAS. The mercury adsorption rate of HMAS was higher than that of origin MCM-41. The adsorption of mercury was investigated on HMAS regarding the pH of mercury solution, initial mercury concentration, and the reaction temperature. The experimental data fit well to Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. The Dublin-Radushkevich isotherm and the characterization show that the mercury adsorption on HMAS involved the ion-exchange mechanisms. In addition, the thermodynamic parameters suggest that the adsorption process was endothermic in nature. The adsorption of mercury on HMAS followed the first order kinetics.

Concepts: X-ray, Concentration, Chemistry, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic resonance imaging, Adsorption, Scientific techniques, Fourier transform


In the present study, novel ultradeformable liposomes (menthosomes; MTS), deformable liposomes (transfersomes; TFS) and conventional liposomes (CLP) were compared in their potential for transdermal delivery of meloxicam (MX). MTS, TFS and CLP were investigated for size, size distribution, zeta potential, elasticity, entrapment efficiency and stability. In vitro skin permeation using hairless mice skin was evaluated. Vesicular morphology was observed under freeze-fractured transmission electron microscopy (FF-TEM). Intrinsic thermal properties were performed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction. The skin permeation mechanism was characterized using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The results indicated that the difference in physicochemical characteristics of MTS, TFS and CLP affected the skin permeability. MTS and TFS showed higher flux of MX than CLP. CLSM image showed deformable vesicles mechanism for delivery of MX across the hairless mice skin. Our study suggested that ultradeformable and deformable liposomes (MTS and TFS) had a potential to use as transdermal drug delivery carriers for MX.

Concepts: Electron, Diffraction, X-ray, Transdermal patch, X-ray crystallography, Differential scanning calorimetry, Scientific techniques, Transmission electron microscopy


Improved methods are required for the recycling of waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs). In this study, WPCBs (1-1.5 cm2 in size) were separated into their components using dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at 60°C for 45 min and a metallographic microscope used to verify their delamination. An increased incubation time of 210 min yielded a complete separation of WPCBs into their components, and copper foils and glass fibers were obtained. The separation time decreased with increasing temperature. When the WPCB size was increased to 2-3 cm2, the temperature required for complete separation increased to 90°C. When the temperature was increased to 135°C, liquid photo solder resists could be removed from the copper foil surfaces. The DMSO was regenerated by rotary decompression evaporation, and residues were obtained. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermal analysis, nuclear magnetic resonance, scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy were used to verify that these residues were brominated epoxy resins. From FT-IR analysis after the dissolution of brominated epoxy resins in DMSO it was deduced that hydrogen bonding may play an important role in the dissolution mechanism. This novel technology offers a method for separating valuable materials and preventing environmental pollution from WPCBs.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Scientific techniques, Fourier transform, Infrared spectroscopy, Fourier transform spectroscopy, Printed circuit board, FR-4


A new ionization technique: A radio-frequency signal was used to ionize neutral organic molecules in the ultrahigh-vacuum region of a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer. Radio-frequency ionization (RFI) yielded S/N ratios roughly six times higher than those generated by the conventional 70 eV electron impact ionization (EI).

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Ion, Scientific techniques, Fourier transform, Ion source, Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance, Ion cyclotron resonance, Electron ionization


In this work, textures measured by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and X-ray diffraction in rolled FePd alloys were compared. The effect of scanning size used for EBSD measurements was investigated. The correlation coefficient was first proposed to quantify the similarity of the orientation density profile along the α- and β-fibers after cold rolling. The correlation coefficient is approximately 1 for a scanning step range of 1-20μm after 50% and 88% reduction. A large scanning step can capture the main components of the macrotexture in EBSD measurements. Thus, the macrotexture measured by EBSD provides another method for the quality control of texture.

Concepts: Diffraction, X-ray, Crystallography, Density, Zinc, Scientific techniques, Alloy, Electron diffraction


Abstract Objective: This work deals with the preparation, characterization and in vitro release study of IBU-loaded gel graft copolymer nanoparticles. Method: Gelatin (Gel) graft copolymer nanoparticles were prepared using styrene (Sty) and/or 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) monomers in the presence of potassium persulfate and glutaraldehyde as an initiator and cross-linker, respectively. The prepared nanoparticles as sustained release drug carriers were investigated using the nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory model drug, ibuprofen (IBU). Results: The prepared nanoparticles as sustained release drug carriers were investigated using the nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory model drug, IBU. The prepared Gel/HEMA and Gel/Sty nanoparticles exhibited particles size ranging from 15 to 17 nm and from 0.42 to 5 mm, respectively. The dissolution of IBU in phosphate buffer, pH 7.4, at 37°C from the prepared nanoparticles was evaluated using UV spectroscopy. In addition, the prepared nanoparticles were characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), transmitting electron microscope (TEM) and zeta potential/particle size analyzer. In vitro dissolution study showed that the dissolution rates of the crosslinked nanoparticles were retarded relative to the uncrosslinked ones. Moreover, the released amount constantly decreases with increasing gluteraldehyde content in the gel nanoparticles. Conclusion: Crosslinked gel-based graft copolymers exhibited slow IBU release within six hours. Furthermore, results from different characterization techniques such as TEM, particles size and zeta potential measurements confirmed the formation of pH-responsive gel-graft copolymer nanoparticles.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Polymer, Polymer chemistry, Colloid, Differential scanning calorimetry, Scientific techniques, Infrared spectroscopy, Fourier transform spectroscopy


New fluorine-containing terminal alkynes were synthesized and self-assembled onto Si(111) substrates to obtain fluorine-containing organic monolayers. The monolayers were analyzed in detail by ellipsometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (FT-IRRAS), static water contact angle measurements (CA), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The SAMs exhibit excellent hydrophobicity, with static water contact angles of up to 119° and low critical surface tensions of 5-20 mN/m depending on the number of F atoms per molecule. IRRAS confirmed the formation of highly ordered monolayers, as indicated by the antisymmetric and symmetric stretching vibrations of the CH(2) moieties at 2918-2920 and 2850-2851 cm(-1), respectively. Upon increasing the number of fluorine atoms in the alkyne chains from 0 to 17, the adhesion of bare silica probes to the SAMs in air decreases from 11.6 ± 0.20 mJ/m(2) for fluorine-free (F0) alkyne monolayers to as low as 3.2 ± 0.03 mJ/m(2) for a heptadecafluoro-hexadecyne (F17)-based monolayer. Likewise, the friction coefficient decreases from 5.7 × 10(-2) to 1.2 × 10(-2). The combination of high ordering, excellent hydrophobicity, low adhesion, and low friction makes these fluoro-hydro alkyne-derived monolayers highly promising candidates for use in high-performance microelectronic devices.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Atom, Force, Scientific techniques, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Angle, Infrared spectroscopy, Contact angle


The temporal trends of major, minor and trace elements in the total atmospheric particulate sampled in the urban area of Turin (Italy) were determined for the following years: 1976, 1986, 1996 and 2001. The wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WD-XRF) technique was adopted to determine the concentrations of Ba, Br, Ca, Cl, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, S, Ti and Zn. A smaller number of samples was also analysed by ICP atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) and the results were compared with those obtained by WD-XRF to confirm their validity. A clear seasonal pattern with higher concentrations of the aforementioned elements in the cold periods was observed. Moreover, a change in the chemical composition of atmospheric particulate matter was evidenced, particularly between the first (1976 and 1986) and the last (1996 and 2001) years. This change can be attributed both to the greater contribution of Pb and Br to atmospheric pollution in the past and, in recent years, to the higher level of pollutants associated with increased vehicular traffic and industrial activities. The application of chemometric techniques (Principal Component Analysis and Cluster Analysis) allowed us to speculate about the main emitting sources influencing the total atmospheric particulate in these years.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence, Chemistry, Principal component analysis, Scientific techniques, Particulate, Air pollution, Atomic emission spectroscopy


Water-soluble dendritic ligands based on tris-2-(5-sulfonato salicylaldimine ethyl)amine (5) and DAB-(5-sulfonato salicylaldimine) (6) (DAB = diaminobutane) were synthesized by means of Schiff base condensation and sulfonation reactions. These dendritic ligands were fully characterized by (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy, elemental analysis and mass spectrometry. Dendritic ligands (5 and 6) in combination with [RhCl(COD)](2) (COD = 1,5-cyclooctadiene) were evaluated in aqueous biphasic hydroformylation of 1-octene. New water-soluble mononuclear 5-sulfonato propylsalicylaldimine Rh(i) complexes (7 and 8) were synthesized and characterized using (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy, elemental analysis as well as mass spectrometry. These complexes were applied as catalyst precursors in aqueous biphasic hydroformylation reactions. All the catalyst precursors were active in the hydroformylation of 1-octene under the investigated conditions. Optimal conditions were realized at 75 °C (40 bars), where the best selectivity for aldehydes was noticed. Catalyst recycling was achieved up to 5 times with minimal loss in conversion and consistent chemoselectivities and regioselectivities. Less Rh leaching was observed in the dendritic systems (5 and 6)/[RhCl(COD)](2) as compared to mononuclear catalyst precursors (7 and 8) as determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Mass spectrometry, Analytical chemistry, Functional groups, Scientific techniques, Chemical structure, Infrared spectroscopy, Fourier transform spectroscopy