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Publications (2)7.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Diatom algae realize highly intriguing processes of biosynthesis of siliceous structures in living cells under moderate conditions. Investigation of diatom physiology is complicated by frustule (siliceous exoskeleton). Frustules consist of valves and girdle bands which are adhered to each other by means of organic substances. Removal of the frustule from the lipid membrane of diatom cells would open new possibilities for study of silicon metabolism in diatoms. We found that submillimeter laser irradiation produced by a free-electron laser causes splitting of diatom frustules without destruction of cell content. This finding opens the way to direct study of diatom cell membrane and to isolation of cell organelles, including silica deposition vesicles. We suppose that the dissection action of the submillimeter irradiation results from unusual ultrasonic waves produced by the short (30-100 ps) but high-power (1 MW) terahertz laser impulses at 5.6 MHz frequency.
    Biophysics of Structure and Mechanism 05/2013; · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of polymer (poly(vinylamine)) size (238-11000 units) on silicic acid condensation to yield soluble nanoparticles or composite precipitates has been explored by a combination of light scattering (static and dynamic), laser ablation combined with aerosol spectrometry, IR spectroscopy, and electron microscopy. Soluble nanoparticles or composite precipitates are formed according to the degree of polymerization of the organic polymer and pH. Nanoparticles prepared in the presence of the highest molecular weight polymers have core-shell like structures with dense silica cores. Composite particles formed in the presence of polymers with extent of polymerization below 1000 consist of associates of several polymer-silica nanoparticles. The mechanism of stabilization of the "soluble" silica particles in the tens of nanometer size range involves cooperative interactions with the polymer chains which varies according to chain length and pH. An example of the use of such polymer-poly(silicic acid) nanoparticles in the generation of composite polymeric materials is presented. The results obtained have relevance to the biomimetic design of new composite materials based on silica and polymers and to increasing our understanding of how silica may be manipulated (stored) in the biological environment prior to the formation of stable mineralized structures. We suspect that a similar method of storing silicic acid in an active state is used in silicifying organisms, at least in diatom algae.
    Biomacromolecules 04/2011; 12(5):1772-80. · 5.37 Impact Factor