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Investigation of Murine T-Cells and Cancer Cells under Thermal Stressors and 2D Slow Rotating System Effects as a Testbed for Suborbital Flights

Abstract

Research indicates that exposure to microgravity leads to immune system dysregulation. However, there is a lack of clear evidence on the specific reasons and precise mechanisms accounting for these immune system changes. Past studies investigating space travel-induced alterations in immunological parameters report many conflicting results, explained by the role of certain confounders, such as cosmic radiation, individual body environment, or differences in experimental design. To minimize the variability in results and to eliminate some technical challenges, we advocate conducting thorough feasibility studies prior to actual suborbital or orbital space experiments. We show how exposure to suborbital flight stressors and the use of a two-dimensional slow rotating device affect T-cells and cancer cells survivability. To enhance T-cell activation and viability, we primed them alone or in combination with IL-2 and IL-12 cytokines. Viability of T-cells was assessed before, during the experiment, and at the end of the experiment for which T-cells were counted every day for the last 4 days to allow the cells to form clear structures and do not disturb their evolution into various geometries. The slow rotating device could be considered a good system to perform T-cell activation studies and develop cell aggregates for various types of cells that react differently to thermal stressors.

Open access
SHI irradiation induced modifications of plasmonic properties of Ag-TiO2 thin film and study using FDTD simulation

Abstract

Modifications in morphological and plasmonic properties of heavily doped Ag-TiO2 nanocomposite thin films by ion irradiation have been observed. The Ag-TiO2 nanocomposite thin films were synthesized by RF co-sputtering and irradiated by 90 MeV Ni ions with different fluences. The modifications in morphological, structural and plasmonic properties of the nanocomposite thin films caused by ion irradiation were studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy. The thickness of the film and concentration of Ag were assessed by Rutheford backscattering (RBS) as ~50 nm and 56 at.%, respectively. Interestingly, localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) appeared at 566 nm in the thin film irradiated at the fluence of 1 × 1013 ions/cm2. This plasmonic behavior can be attributed to the increment in interparticle separation. Increased interparticle separation diminishes the plasmonic coupling between the nanoparticles and the LSPR appears in the visible region. The distribution of Ag nanoparticles obtained from HR-TEM images has been used to simulate absorption spectra and electric field distribution along Ag nanoparticles with the help of FDTD (Finite Difference Time Domain). Further, the ion irradiation results (experimental as well simulated) were compared with the annealed nanocomposite thin film and it was found that optical properties of heavily doped metal in the metal oxide matrix can be more improved by ion irradiation in comparison with thermal annealing.

Open access
Effect of macromolecular mass transport in microgravity protein crystallization

Abstract

To investigate the effect of macromolecular transport and the incorporation of protein aggregate impurities in growing crystals, experiments were performed on the International Space Station (ISS) and compared with control experiments performed in a 1G laboratory environment. Crystal growth experiments for hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) and Plasmodium falciparum glutathione S-transferase (PfGST) were monitored using the ISS Light Microscopy Module (LMM). Experiments were performed applying the liquid–liquid counter diffusion crystallization method using rectangular, optically transparent capillaries. To analyze the quantity of impurity incorporated into growing crystals, stable fluorescently labeled protein aggregates were prepared and subsequently added at different percent concentrations to nonlabeled monomeric protein suspensions. For HEWL, a covalent cross-linked HEWL dimer was fluorescently labeled, and for PfGST, a stable tetramer was prepared. Crystallization solutions containing different protein aggregate ratios were prepared. The frozen samples were launched on 19.02.2017 via SpaceX-10 mission and immediately transferred to a -80°C freezer on the ISS. Two series of crystallization experiments were performed on ISS, one during 26.02.2017 to 10.03.2017 and a second during 16.06.2017 to 23.06.2017. A comparison of crystal growth rate and size showed different calculated average growth rates as well as different dimensions for crystals growing in different positions along the capillary. The effect of macromolecular mass transport on crystal growth in microgravity was experimentally calculated. In parallel, the percentage of incorporated fluorescent aggregate into the crystals was monitored utilizing the fluorescent LMM and ground-based fluorescent microscopes.

Open access
Structural and surface analysis of chemical vapor deposited boron doped aluminum nitride thin film on aluminum substrates

Abstract

Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process was conducted for synthesis of boron (B) doped aluminum nitride (B-AlN) thin films on aluminum (Al) substrates. To prevent melting of the Al substrates, film deposition was carried out at 500 °C using tert-buthylamine (tBuNH2) solution delivered through a bubbler as a nitrogen source instead of ammonia gas (NH3). B-AlN thin films were prepared from three precursors at changing process parameters (gas mixture ratio). X-ray diffraction (XRD) technique and atomic force microscope (AFM) were used to investigate the structural and surface properties of B-AlN thin films on Al substrates. The prepared thin films were polycrystalline and composed of mixed phases {cubic (1 1 1) and hexagonal (1 0 0)} of AlN and BN with different orientations. Intensive AlN peak of high intensity was observed for the film deposited at a flow rate of the total gas mixture of 25 sccm. As the total gas mixture flow decreased from 60 sccm to 25 sccm, the crystallite size of AlN phase increased and the dislocation density decreased. Reduced surface roughness (10.4 nm) was detected by AFM for B-AlN thin film deposited on Al substrate using the lowest flow rate (25 sccm) of the total gas mixture.

Open access
Structural, morphological, optical and diode properties of chemical bath deposited nano-structured CdS thin films using EDTA as a complexing agent

Abstract

CdS thin films with (1 1 1) orientation were prepared by chemical bath deposition technique at 80±5 °C using the reaction between NH4OH, CdCl2 and CS(NH2)2. The influence of annealing temperature varying from 150 °C to 250 °C was studied. X-ray diffraction studies revealed that the films are polycrystalline in nature with cubic structure. Various parameters, such as dislocation density, stress and strain, were also evaluated. SEM analysis indicated uniformly distributed nano-structured spherically shaped grains and net like morphology. Optical transmittance study showed the wide transmittance band and absence of absorption in the entire visible region. I-V characterization of p-Si/n-CdS diode and photoluminescence studies were also carried out for the CdS films.

Open access
Synthesis, growth and characterization of semiorganic nonlinear optical single crystal bis(thiourea) barium nitrate (BTBN) for frequency conversion

Abstract

A novel semiorganic nonlinear optical (NLO) crystal, bis(thiourea) barium nitrate (BTBN) was synthesized and grown by slow evaporation method. Structure of the new crystalline compound was confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis and it showed that BTBN belongs to orthorhombic crystal system. The crystalline nature of the BTBN was confirmed by powder X-ray diffraction study. Important functional groups of BTBN were identified by FT-IR spectroscopic analysis. UV-Vis-NIR spectral study showed that the grown crystal is transparent in the entire visible region with low cut off wavelength of 304 nm. BTBN exhibits a SHG efficiency which is nearly 2.38 times higher than that of KDP. The BTBN crystal has high mechanical strength and belongs to soft category, which was confirmed by micorhardness study. The thermal stability of BTBN was determined from TGA and DTA thermal study which revealed that the BTBN crystal has thermal stability up to 243.1 °C. The surface properties and presence of elements was analyzed by SEM and EDAX study, respectively.

Open access
DFT study of optoelectronic spectra of barium cadmium chalcogenides (Ba2CdX3,X = S, Se and Te)

Abstract

DFT analyses of electronic and optical spectra of barium cadmium chalcogenides (Ba2CdX3, X =S, Se, Te) have been carried out. The study of electronic spectra has been made in terms of band structure and density of states using full potential linear augmented plane wave plus local orbital method. Band structure calculations have been carried out under the approximations PBE-GGA, PBE-Sol, LDA and TB-mBJ. Band structures of these materials show that Ba2CdS3, Ba2CdSe3 and Ba2CdTe3 crystals possess a band gap less than 1 eV, underestimated relative to the experimental/theoretical literature values. Optical spectra of these chalcogenides have been analyzed in terms of real and imaginary parts of dielectric function, reflectivity, refractive index, extinction coefficient, absorption coefficient, optical conductivity and electron energy loss. Optical results show large anisotropy along different directions. These results provide a physical basis of barium cadmium chalcogenides for potential application in optoelectronic devices.

Open access
Effect of the electrodeposition potential on the magnetic properties of FeCoNi films

Abstract

The effect of electrodeposition potential on the magnetic properties of the FeCoNi films has been reported in this paper. The FeCoNi electrodeposition was carried out from sulfate solution using potentiostatic technique. The obtained FeCoNi films were characterized by X-ray diffractometer (XRD), atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS) and vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM). It has been shown that the electrodeposition potential applied during the synthesis process determines the magnetic characteristics of FeCoNi films. The more negative potential is applied, the higher Ni content is in the FeCoNi alloy. At the same time, Co and Fe showed almost similar trend in which the content decreased with an increase in applied potential. The mean crystallite size of FeCoNi films was ranging from 11 nm to 15 nm. VSM evaluation indicated that the FeCoNi film is a ferromagnetic alloy with magnetic anisotropy. The high saturation magnetization of FeCoNi film was ranging from 86 A·m2/kg to 105 A·m2/kg. The film is a soft magnetic material which was revealed by a very low coercivity value in the range of 1.3 kA/m to 3.7 kA/m. Both the saturation magnetization and coercivity values decreased at a more negative electrodeposition potential.

Open access
Effects of Al doping on defect behaviors of ZnO thin film as a photocatalyst

Abstract

Al doped ZnO (AZO) thin films were prepared on silica substrates by sol-gel method. The films showed a hexagonal wurtzite structure with a preferred orientation along c-axis. Suitable Al doping dramatically improved the crystal quality compared to the undoped ZnO films. Dependent on the Al dopant concentration, the diffraction peak of (0 0 2) plane in XRD spectra showed at first right-shifting and then left-shifting, which was attributed to the change in defect concentration induced by the Al dopant. Photocatalytic properties of the AZO film were characterized by degradation of methyl orange (MO) under simulated solar light. The transmittance of the films was enhanced by the Al doping, and the maximum transmittance of 80 % in the visible region was observed in the sample with Al concentration of 1.5 at.% (mole fraction). The film with 1.5 at.% Al doping achieved also maximum photocatalytic activity of 68.6 % under solar light. The changes in the film parameters can be attributed to the variation in defect concentration induced by different Al doping content.

Open access
Preparation and characterization of cobalt and copper oxide nanocrystals

Abstract

Copper oxide and cobalt oxide (Co3O4, CuO) nanocrystals (NCs) have been successfully prepared using microwave irradiation. The obtained powders of the nanocrystals (NCs) were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric (TGA) analysis and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The obtained results confirm the presence of both nanooxides which have been produced during chemical precipitation using microwave irradiation. TEM micrographs have shown that the obtained nanocrystals are characterized by high dispersion and narrow size distribution. The results of X-ray diffraction confirmed those obtained from the transmission electron microscope. Optical absorption analysis indicated the direct band gap for both kinds of the nanocrystals.

Open access