Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering

ISSN 2095-0179

ISSN 2095-0187(Online)

CN 11-5981/TQ

2015 Impact Factor: 1.043

Cover Story   2015, Volume 9 Issue 4
Alumina supported Cu-Pd single atom alloy catalysts have been synthesized using galvanic replacement and simple traditional incipient wetness techniques. The single atom alloy structure is evidenced by the HAADF-STEM and H2-chemsorption results. These two techniques can be further used as complimentary methods to confirm the formation of [Detail] ...
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Cationic and amphipathic cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs): Their structures and in vivo studies in drug delivery
Jennica L. Zaro,Wei-Chiang Shen
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 407-427.

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Over the past few decades, cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) have become an important class of drug carriers for small molecules, proteins, genes and nanoparticle systems. CPPs represent a very diverse set of short peptide sequences (10?30 amino acids), generally classified as cationic or amphipathic, with various mechanisms in cellular internalization. In this review, a more comprehensive assessment of the chemical structural characteristics, including net cationic charge, hydrophobicity and helicity was assembled for a large set of commonly used CPPs, and compared to results from numerous in vivo drug delivery studies. This detailed information can aid in the design and selection of effective CPPs for use as transport carriers in the delivery of different types of drug for therapeutic applications.

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SERS nanoprobes for bio-application
Han-Wen Cheng,Jin Luo,Chuan-Jian Zhong
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 428-441.

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The ability to tune the size, shape, composition and surface properties impart nanoparticles with the desired functions for bio-application. This article highlights some of the recent examples in the exploration of metal (e.g., gold and silver) nanoparticles, especially those with magnetic properties and bio-conjugated structures, as theranostic nanoprobes. Such nanoprobes exhibit tunable optical, spectroscopic, magnetic, and electrical properties for signal amplifications. Examples discussed in this article will focus on the nanoproble-enhanced colorimetric detection and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection of biomarkers or biomolecules such as proteins and DNAs. The understanding of factors controlling the biomolecular interactions is essential for the design of SERS nanoprobes with theranostic functions.

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Investigation of the preparation methodologies of Pd-Cu single atom alloy catalysts for selective hydrogenation of acetylene
Xinxiang Cao,Arash Mirjalili,James Wheeler,Wentao Xie,Ben W.-L. Jang
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 442-449.

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Galvanic replacement, co-impregnation and sequential impregnation have been employed to prepare Pd-Cu bimetallic catalysts with less than 1 wt-% Cu and ca. 0.03 wt-% Pd for selective hydrogenation of acetylene in excess ethylene. High angle annular dark field-scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) and H2 chemisorption results confirmed that Pd-Cu single-atom alloy structures were constructed in all three bimetallic catalysts. Catalytic tests indicated that when the conversion of acetylene was above 99%, the selectivity of ethylene of these three single atom alloy catalysts was still more than 73%. Furthermore, the single atom alloy catalyst prepared by sequential incipient wetness impregnation was found to have the best stability among the three procedures used.

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Alkaline modification of ZSM-5 catalysts for methanol aromatization: The effect of the alkaline concentration
Zhenhao Wei,Tengfei Xia,Minghui Liu,Qingsheng Cao,Yarong Xu,Kake Zhu,Xuedong Zhu
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 450-460.

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The effects of alkaline treatment on the physical properties of ZSM-5 catalysts and on their activities for methanol to aromatics conversion have been investigated. A mild alkaline treatment (0.2 and 0.3 mol/L NaOH) created mesopores in the parent zeolite with no obvious effect on acidity. The presence of mesopores gives the catalyst a longer lifetime and higher selectivity for aromatics. Treatment with 0.4 mol/L NaOH decreased the number of Brønsted acid sites due to dealumination and desilication, which resulted in a lower deactivation rate. In addition, more mesopores were produced than with the mild alkaline treatment. As a result, the lifetime of the sample treated with 0.4 mol/L NaOH was almost five times that of the parent ZSM-5. Treatment with a higher alkaline concentration (0.5 mol/L) greatly reduced the number of Brønsted acid sites and the number of micropores resulting in incomplete methanol conversion. When the alkaline-treated catalysts were washed with acid, some of the porosity was restored and a slight increase in selectivity for aromatics was obtained.

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Selective conversion of cellulose to hexitols over bi-functional Ru-supported sulfated zirconia and silica-zirconia catalysts
Zhiqiang Song,Hua Wang,Yufei Niu,Xiao Liu,Jinyu Han
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 461-466.

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We report a process of selective conversion of microcrystalline cellulose to hexitols over bi-functional Ru-supported sulfated zirconia and silica-zirconia catalysts. A 58.1% yield of hexitols and a 71.0% conversion of cellulose were achieved over Ru/SZSi(100:15)-773 catalyst at 443 K. The as-synthesized catalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), BET, thermogravimetric analysis and pyridine adsorption Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). XRD results indicated that the sulfated catalysts were pure tetragonal phase of ZrO2 when calcined at 773 K. Monoclinic zirconia appeared at the calcination temperature of 873 K, and the content of monoclinic phase increased with the elevating temperature. Compared with sulfated zirconia catalyst, sulfated silica-zirconia catalysts possessed a higher ratio of Brønsted to Lewis on the surface of catalysts, as shown from pyridine adsorption FTIR results. The reaction results indicated that the tetragonal zirconia, which is necessary for the formation of superacidity, was the active phase to cellulose conversion. The higher amounts of Brønsted acid sites can remarkably accelerate the cellulose depolymerization and promote side reactions that convert C5–C6 alcohols into the unknown soluble degradation products.

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Surface molecularly imprinted polymers for solid-phase extraction of (--)-epigallocatechin gallate from toothpaste
Yunling Gao,Ying Hu,Kejian Yao
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 467-478.

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Surface molecularly imprinted polymers (SMIPs) have been synthesized to selectively determine (−)-epigallocatechin gallate in aqueous media. SMIPs were prepared using a surface grafting copolymerization method on a functionalized silica gel modified with β-cyclodextrin and vinyl groups. The morphology and composition of the SMIPs were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. In addition, the molecular binding capacity, recognition properties and selectivity of the SMIPs were evaluated. The imprinted polymers were found to have a highly specific recognition and binding capacity for (−)-epigallocatechin gallate in aqueous media which is the result of the hydrophobic properties of the β-cyclodextrin and the hydrogen-bonding interactions of methacrylic acid. The SMIPs were successfully employed as solid-phase extraction adsorbents prior to the HPLC determination of (−)-epigallocatechin gallate in toothpaste. The HPLC analysis had a linear dynamic range of 0.5–50.0 µg?mL−1 with a correlation coefficient of 0.9998 and the recoveries ranged from 89.4% to 97.0% with relative standard deviations less than 4.8%. The limit of detection and limit of quantification were 0.17 and 0.33 µg?mL−1, respectively. The method provides a promising approach for the preparation of selective materials for the purification and determination of complex samples.

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Extraction of hydrogen chloride by a coupled reaction-solvent extraction process
Yunzhao Li,Xingfu Song,Guilan Chen,Shuying Sun,Yanxia Xu,Jianguo Yu
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 479-487.

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A coupled reaction-solvent extraction process was used to remove HCl from a simulated distiller waste. The extraction performances of various extractants and diluents were compared and the apparent basicity of N235 (a mixture of tertiary amines) in various diluents was determined. The best results were obtained using N235 and isoamyl alcohol as the extractant and diluent, respectively. The yield of HCl from the coupled extraction was 75% with this extraction system. The mechanisms for the removal of HCl in both the direct and coupled extractions were investigated. For the coupled extraction, the formation of an R3NHCl ion-pair complex was involved in the HCl removal. For the direct extraction, the mechanism involved the formation of hydrogen bonds at high concentrations of HCl.

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Organogelators based on p-alkoxylbenzamide and their self-assembling properties
Yan Zhai,Wei Chai,Wenwen Cao,Zipei Sun,Yaodong Huang
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 488-493.

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A series of p-alkoxylbenzamides featuring a long alkyl chain have been synthesized and are readily to form stable gels in a variety of organic solvents. Their self-assembly properties and structure-property relationship were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The gels formed were multi-responsive to environmental stimuli such as temperature and fluoride anion. The results show that a combination of hydrogen bonding, π-π stacking and van der Waals interaction result in the aggregation of p-alkoxylbenzamides to form three-dimension networks, depending on the length of the long alkyl chain.

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Size-controlled green synthesis of silver nanoparticles assisted by L-cysteine
Wenchao Zhang,Lin Zhang,Yan Sun
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 494-500.

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A green and size-controlled synthesis of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) in aqueous solution with the assistance of L-cysteine is presented. The size of Ag NPs decreases with the increase of L-cysteine concentration, and thus can be controlled by adjusting L-cysteine concentration. TEM analysis shows that Ag NPs with an average size of 3 nm can be produced in the presence of 1.0 mmol/L L-cysteine, about one sixth of the size of Ag NPs obtained in the absence of L-cysteine (17 nm). The as-synthesized silver colloidal solution is stable and can be stored at room temperature for at least two months without any precipitation. This L-cysteine assisted method is simple, feasible and efficient, and would facilitate the production and application of Ag NPs.

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Enhanced production of β-glucuronidase from Penicillium purpurogenum Li-3 by optimizing fermentation and downstream processes
Shen Huang,Xudong Feng,Chun Li
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 501-510.

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β-Glucuronidase from Penicillium purpurogenum Li-3 (PGUS) can efficiently hydrolyze glycyrrhizin into the more valuable glycyrrhetic acid monoglucuronide. However, a low productivity of PGUS and the lack of an effective separation strategy have significantly limited its industrial applications. Therefore, the production of PGUS has been improved by optimizing both the fermentation and purification strategies. A two-stage fermentation strategy was developed where PGUS was first grown with glucose and then PGUS was produced in the presence of glycyrrhizin as an inducer. By using this strategy, the biomass was increased 1.5 times and the PGUS activity increased 5.4 times compared to that when glycyrrhizin was used as the sole carbon source. The amount of PGUS produced was increased another 16.6% when the fermentation was expanded to a 15-L fermenter. An effective protocol was also established to purify the PGUS using a sequential combination of hydrophobic, strong anion-exchange and gel filtration chromatography. This protocol had a recovery yield of 6% and gave PGUS that was 39 times purer than the crude PGUS. The purified PGUS had a specific activity of 350 U·mg−1.

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DsbA-DsbAmut fusion chaperon improved soluble expression of human trypsinogen-1 in Escherichia coli
Ye Liu,Wenyong Zhang,Xubin Yang,Guangbo Kang,Damei Wang,He Huang
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 511-521.

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A co-expressing system of DsbA-DsbAmut was suggested for the first time to enhance the soluble expression of human trypsin-1. As a control, leaderless DsbA chaperone was also co-expressed with human trypsin-1. Vectors pET39b-trypsin and pET28a-DsbA-DsbAmut-trypsin with the above two DsbA fusion tag were constructed. The strain with vector pET39b-trypsin expressed fusion protein DsbA-trypsin in form of inclusion bodies. While in E. coli BL21 (DE3) strain with vector pET28a-DsbA-DsbAmut-trypsin, the soluble expression of trypsin fusion protein was achieved. Under the optimized expression conditions, the soluble fraction accounted for about 49.43% of total DsbA-DsbAmut-trypsin proteins in crude supernatant. The purification yield was 4.15% by nickel chelating chromatography and 3.3 mg activated trypsin with a purity of 88.68% was obtained from 1 L LB broth. To detect the possible functions of DsbA series chaperons in trypsin fusion protein, we analyzed the primary three-dimensional structure of fusion proteins, mainly focusing on the compatibleness between trypsin and fusion chaperons. The results suggested that (1) besides the primary function in periplasm, leaderless DsbA or DsbAmut may also act as a signal sequences-like leader targeted to periplasm that partly relieved the pressure from fusion protein overexpression and inclusion body formation, and (2) as there was significant soluble expression of DsbA-DsbAmut-trypsin compared with DsbA-trypsin, DsbAmut may function as charge or hydrophobic balance in recombinant protein DsbA-DsbAmut-trypsin.

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Effects of operational and structural parameters on cell voltage of industrial magnesium electrolysis cells
Ze Sun,Chenglin Liu,Guimin Lu,Xingfu Song,Jianguo Yu
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 522-531.

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Electric field is the energy foundation of the electrolysis process and the source of the multiphysical fields in a magnesium electrolysis cell. In this study, a three-dimensional numerical model was developed and used to calculate electric field at the steady state through the finite element analysis. Based on the simulation of the electric field, the operational and structural parameters, such as the current intensity, anode thickness, cathode thickness, and anode-cathode distance (ACD), were investigated to obtain the minimum cell voltage. The optimization is to obtain the minimum resistance voltage which has a significant effect on the energy consumption in the magnesium electrolysis process. The results indicate that the effect of the current intensity on the voltage could be ignored and the effect of the ACD is obvious. Moreover, there is a linear decrease between the voltage and the thicknesses of the anode and cathode; and the anode-cathode working height also has a significant effect on the voltage.

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Orderly decorated nanostructural photoelectrodes with uniform spherical TiO2 particles for dye-sensitized solar cells
A. M. Bakhshayesh,S. S. Azadfar
Front. Chem. Sci. Eng.. 2015, 9 (4): 532-540.

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This study presents a novel nanostructural electrode made of 20-nm-diameter nanoparticles, which orderly decorated with 2-µm TiO2 particles, deposited by a new gel process. The decorated electrode (DE) is better than the non-decorated electrode (NE) in both light scattering and light harvesting, as confirmed by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. X-ray diffraction reveals that both electrodes have a mixture of anatase and rutile phases. The dye-sensitized solar cell based on the decorated electrode shows the highest power conversion efficiency of 7.80% as a result of less recombination demonstrated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. From internal power conversion efficiency measurement, the external quantum efficiency of DE cell at 530 nm is 89%, which is higher than that of NE cell (77%).

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13 articles