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Concept: Particle size distribution


Coffee is prepared by the extraction of a complex array of organic molecules from the roasted bean, which has been ground into fine particulates. The extraction depends on temperature, water chemistry and also the accessible surface area of the coffee. Here we investigate whether variations in the production processes of single origin coffee beans affects the particle size distribution upon grinding. We find that the particle size distribution is independent of the bean origin and processing method. Furthermore, we elucidate the influence of bean temperature on particle size distribution, concluding that grinding cold results in a narrower particle size distribution, and reduced mean particle size. We anticipate these results will influence the production of coffee industrially, as well as contribute to how we store and use coffee daily.

Concepts: Coffee, Particle size distribution, Caffeine


Aluminium adjuvants remain the most widely used and effective adjuvants in vaccination and immunotherapy. Herein, the particle size distribution (PSD) of aluminium oxyhydroxide and aluminium hydroxyphosphate adjuvants was elucidated in attempt to correlate these properties with the biological responses observed post vaccination. Heightened solubility and potentially the generation of Al(3+) in the lysosomal environment were positively correlated with an increase in cell mortality in vitro, potentially generating a greater inflammatory response at the site of simulated injection. The cellular uptake of aluminium based adjuvants (ABAs) used in clinically approved vaccinations are compared to a commonly used experimental ABA, in an in vitro THP-1 cell model. Using lumogallion as a direct-fluorescent molecular probe for aluminium, complemented with transmission electron microscopy provides further insight into the morphology of internalised particulates, driven by the physicochemical variations of the ABAs investigated. We demonstrate that not all aluminium adjuvants are equal neither in terms of their physical properties nor their biological reactivity and potential toxicities both at the injection site and beyond. High loading of aluminium oxyhydroxide in the cytoplasm of THP-1 cells without immediate cytotoxicity might predispose this form of aluminium adjuvant to its subsequent transport throughout the body including access to the brain.

Concepts: Immune system, Electron, Cell, Immunology, Microscope, Particle size distribution, Toxicity, Particulates


In this paper work, four naked nanocrystals (size range 80-700 nm) were prepared without any surfactant or polymer using the solvent/nonsolvent method. The effects of particle size on their solubility, dissolution, and oral bioavailability were investigated. Solubility and dissolution testing were performed in three types of dissolution medium, and the studies demonstrated that the equilibrium solubilities of coenzyme Q(10) nanocrystals and bulk drugs were not affected by the dissolution media but the kinetic solubilities were. Kinetic solubility curves and changes in particle size distribution were determined and well explained by the proposed solubilization model for the nanocrystals and bulk drugs. The particle size effect on dissolution was clearly influenced by the diffusion coefficients of the various dissolution media, and the dissolution velocity of coenzyme Q(10) increased as particle size decreased. The bioavailability of coenzyme Q(10) after oral administration in beagle dogs was improved by reducing the particle size. For 700 nm nanocrystals, the AUC(0-48) was 4.4-fold greater than that for the coarse suspensions, but a further decrease in particle size from 700 nm to 120 nm did not contribute to improvement in bioavailability until the particle size was reduced to 80 nm, when bioavailability was increased by 7.3-fold.

Concepts: Improve, Effect, Solubility, Affect, Particle size distribution, Biopharmaceutics Classification System, Solvation, Colloidal chemistry


Feasibility of soil washing to remediate Hg contaminated soil was studied. Dry sieving was performed to evaluate Hg distribution in soil particle size fractions. The influence of dissolved organic matter and chlorides on Hg dissolution was assessed by batch leaching tests. Mercury mobilization in the pH range of 3-11 was studied by pH-static titration. Results showed infeasibility of physical separation via dry sieving, as the least contaminated fraction exceeded the Swedish generic guideline value for Hg in soils. Soluble Hg did not correlate with dissolved organic carbon in the water leachate. The highest Hg dissolution was achieved at pH 5 and 11, reaching up to 0.3% of the total Hg. The pH adjustment was therefore not sufficient for the Hg removal to acceptable levels. Chlorides did not facilitate Hg mobilization under acidic pH either. Mercury was firmly bound in the studied soil thus soil washing might be insufficient method to treat the studied soil.

Concepts: Soil, Environmental remediation, PH, Particle size distribution, Water quality indicators, PH indicator, Organic matter, Environmental chemistry


We report the new development of fire extinguishing agents employing the latest technology of fighting and preventing fires. The in situ technology of fighting fires and explosions involves using large-scale ultrafast-gelated foams, which possess new properties and unique characteristics, in particular, exceptional thermal stability, mechanical durability and full biocompatibility. We provide a detailed description of the physico-chemical processes of silica foam formation at the molecular level and functional comparison with current fire extinguishing and fighting agents. The new method allows to produce controllable gelation silica hybrid foams in the range from 2 to 30 seconds up to 100 Pa·s viscosity. Chemical structure and hierarchical morphology obtained by SEM and TEM images develop thermal insulation capabilities of the foams, reaching a specific heat value of more than 2.5 kJ/(kg·°С). The produced foam consists of organized silica nanoparticles as determined by XPS and X-Ray diffraction analysis with a narrow particle size distribution of about 10-20 nm. As a result of fire extinguishing tests, it is shown that the extinguishing efficiency exhibited by silica-based sol-gel foams is almost 50 times higher than that for ordinary water and 15 times better than that for state-of-the-art firefighting agent AFFF(aqueous film forming foam). The biodegradation index determined by the time of the induction period was only 3 days, while even for conventional foaming agents this index is several times higher.

Concepts: X-ray, Nanoparticle, Colloid, Heat, Particle size distribution, Silicon dioxide, Foam, Aerogel


Nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC)-based gel was developed as potential topical system for flurbiprofen (FP) topical delivery. The characterizations of the prepared semisolid formulation for topical application on skin were assessed by means of particle size distribution, zeta potential analysis, X-ray analysis, in vitro percutaneous penetration, rheological study, skin irritation test, in vivo pharmacodynamic evaluation and in vivo pharmacokinetic study. The NLC remained within the colloidal range and it was uniformly dispersed after suitably gelled by carbopol preparation. It was indicated in vitro permeation studies through rat skin that FP-NLC-gel had a more pronounced permeation profile compared with that of FP-loaded common gel. Pseudoplastic flows with thixotropy were obtained for all NLC-gels after storage at three different temperatures. No oedema and erythema were observed after administration of FP-NLC-gel on the rabbit skin, and the ovalbumin induced rat paw edema could be inhibited by the gel. The maximum concentration in plasma was 29.44μg/ml and 2.49μg/ml after oral and topical administration, respectively. While the amount of drug accumulated in skin after topical application was much higher than oral application. In conclusion, NLC-based gel could be a promising vehicle for topical delivery of FP.

Concepts: In vivo, Colloid, In vitro, Particle size distribution, Topical


The origin of the narrow particle size distributions obtained in the oleic acid-based synthesis of hexagonal phase β-NaREF(4) nanocrystals (RE = Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb) has been investigated. Compared to the standard synthesis, the growth conditions were simplified by using small purified particles of either α-NaREF(4) (cubic phase) or β-NaREF(4) (hexagonal phase) as single-source precursors, thereby avoiding the complications arising from the simultaneous presence of molecular educts and intermediately formed small particles. The study shows that α-phase as well as β-phase particles grow by Ostwald-ripening but narrow particle size distributions of the β-NaREF(4) product particles are only obtained when α-phase precursor particles are employed. Since the small particles are also formed as intermediate products in the standard synthesis of β-NaSmF(4), β-NaEuF(4), β-NaGdF(4) and β-NaTbF(4) particles, their crystal phase is an important parameter to obtain a narrow size distribution in these systems.

Concepts: Crystal, Crystallography, Particle size distribution, Crystal system, Particle, Liquid crystal, Crystallographic database, Atomic packing factor


Particle size may significantly affect the speed and stability of anaerobic digestion, and matching the choice of particle size reduction equipment to digester type can thus determine the success or failure of the process. In the current research the organic fraction of municipal solid waste was processed using a combination of a shear shredder, rotary cutter and wet macerator to produce streams with different particle size distributions. The pre-processed waste was used in trials in semi-continuous ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ digesters at organic loading rate (OLR) up to 6kg volatile solids (VS) m(-3)day(-1). The results indicated that while difference in the particle size distribution did not change the specific biogas yield, the digester performance was affected. In the ‘dry’ digesters the finer particle size led to acidification and ultimately to process failure at the highest OLR. In ‘wet’ digestion a fine particle size led to severe foaming and the process could not be operated above 5kgVSm(-3)day(-1). Although the trial was not designed as a direct comparison between ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ digestion, the specific biogas yield of the ‘dry’ digesters was 90% of that produced by ‘wet’ digesters fed on the same waste at the same OLR.

Concepts: Anaerobic digestion, Waste management, Particle size distribution, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Hydrogen sulfide


Polymeric micelles were studied as delivery carriers of diazepam, a practically insoluble drug in water, for rectal administration. The diazepam-loaded polymeric micelles were developed by using poloxamer 407 (P407), poloxamer 188, and D-α-tocopheryl poly(ethylene glycol) 1000 succinate (TPGS). Among the used polymers, TPGS resulted in polymeric micelles with good characteristics for encapsulation of diazepam which had the small particle size of 8-12 nm and narrow size distribution (PI 0.053-0.275). Additionally, 7.5% w/v of TPGS could entirely entrap the desired concentration of diazepam (5 mg/mL). To improve the physical stability upon lyophilization, an addition of P407 of 1% w/v prevented aggregation, increased physical stability, and maintained chemical stability of the lyophilized powders of diazepam-loaded polymeric micelles for 3 months storage at 4°C. The rate and amount of diazepam release from TPGS polymeric micelles mainly depended on the concentration of TPGS. The release data were fitted to Higuchi’s model suggesting that the drug release mechanism was controlled by Fickian diffusion. In conclusion, 10% w/v TPGS and 1% w/v P407 were the optimum formulation of lyophilized diazepam-loaded polymeric micelles.

Concepts: Polymer, Particle size distribution, Solution, Freeze drying, Sublimation, Polymers, Poloxamer, Poloxamer 407


We compared potential pre-concentration techniques for Nannochloropsis gaditana (Nng) by testing natural sedimentation; flocculation with aluminium sulphate, polyaluminium chloride and chitosan; and induced pH. Promising flocculation efficiencies and concentration factors were obtained in a short time with alkalinity-induced flocculation at an adjusted pH of 9.7 and with chitosan at an adjusted pH of 9.9 using a concentration of 30mgL. The sedimentation rates of alkalinity-induced flocculation were also evaluated. Additionally, viscosity, particle size distribution and Ca/Mg ions were analysed for pre-concentrated samples of N. gaditana (Nng) and the previously studied Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Pht) which were obtained by various different harvesting methods under optimal conditions. The rheological properties of the concentrated algae suspensions of two microalgal species showed Newtonian behaviour. The mean diameters of the flocs were between 39 and 48μm. The Ca/Mg analysis showed that Mg is the triggering ion for alkalinity-induced flocculation in the conditions studied.

Concepts: Blood, Aluminium, Ion, Particle size distribution, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Flocculation, Hydrochloric acid, Aluminium chlorohydrate