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21.
Headspace volatile organic compounds from bacteria implicated in ventilator-associated pneumonia analysed by TD-GC/MS
Stephen J Fowler, Roy Goodacre, Iain R White, Tamara M E Nijsen, Waqar M Ahmed, Howbeer Muhamadali, Oluwasola Lawal, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a healthcare-acquired infection arising from the invasion of the lower respiratory tract by opportunistic pathogens in ventilated patients. The current method of diagnosis requires the culture of an airway sample such as bronchoalveolar lavage, which is invasive to obtain and may take up to seven days to identify a causal pathogen, or indeed rule out infection. While awaiting results, patients are administered empirical antibiotics; risks of this approach include lack of effect on the causal pathogen, contribution to the development of antibiotic resistance and downstream effects such as increased length of intensive care stay, cost, morbidity and mortality. Specific biomarkers which could identify causal pathogens in a timely manner are needed as they would allow judicious use of the most appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Volatile organic compound (VOC) analysis in exhaled breath is proposed as an alternative due to its non-invasive nature and its potential to provide rapid diagnosis at the patient's bedside. VOCs in exhaled breath originate from exogenous, endogenous, as well as microbial sources. To identify potential markers, VAP-associated pathogens Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus were cultured in both artificial sputum medium and nutrient broth, and their headspaces were sampled and analysed for VOCs. Previously reported volatile markers were identified in this study, including indole and 1-undecene, alongside compounds that are novel to this investigation, cyclopentanone and 1-hexanol. We further investigated media components (substrates) to identify those that are essential for indole and cyclopentanone production, with potential implications for understanding microbial metabolism in the lung.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: bacteria, exhaled breath, infection, ventilator-associated pneumonia, volatile organic compounds
Published: 18.07.2019; Views: 552; Downloads: 0

22.
TD/GC–MS analysis of volatile markers emitted from mono- and co-cultures of Enterobacter cloacae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in artificial sputum
Craig Portsmouth, Pedro Povoa, Jan H Leopold, Pouline M P van Oort, Emili Diaz, Gemma Goma, Timothy Felton, Paul Dark, Alan Davie, Luis Coelho, Lieuwe D Bos, Marta Camprubi, Antonio Artigas, Jonathan Barnard-Smith, Waqar M Ahmed, Stephen J Fowler, Tamara M E Nijsen, Royston Goodacre, Weda Hans, Hugo knobel, Oluwasola Lawal, Iain R White, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: Introduction: Infections such as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) can be caused by one or more pathogens. Current methods for identifying these pathogenic microbes often require invasive sampling, and can be time consuming, due to the requirement for prolonged cultural enrichment along with selective and differential plating steps. This results in delays in diagnosis which in such critically ill patients can have potentially life-threatening consequences. Therefore, a non-invasive and timely diagnostic method is required. Detection of microbial volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath is proposed as an alternative method for identifying these pathogens and may distinguish between mono- and poly-microbial infections. Objectives: To investigate volatile metabolites that discriminate between bacterial mono- and co-cultures. Methods: VAP-associated pathogens Enterobacter cloacae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were cultured individually and together in artificial sputum medium for 24 h and their headspace was analysed for potential discriminatory VOCs by thermal desorption gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Results: Of the 70 VOCs putatively identified, 23 were found to significantly increase during bacterial culture (i.e. likely to be released during metabolism) and 13 decreased (i.e. likely consumed during metabolism). The other VOCs showed no transformation (similar concentrations observed as in the medium). Bacteria-specific VOCs including 2-methyl-1-propanol, 2-phenylethanol, and 3-methyl-1-butanol were observed in the headspace of axenic cultures of E. cloacae, and methyl 2-ethylhexanoate in the headspace of P. aeruginosa cultures which is novel to this investigation. Previously reported VOCs 1-undecene and pyrrole were also detected. The metabolites 2-methylbutyl acetate and methyl 2-methylbutyrate, which are reported to exhibit antimicrobial activity, were elevated in co-culture only. Conclusion: The observed VOCs were able to differentiate axenic and co-cultures. Validation of these markers in exhaled breath specimens could prove useful for timely pathogen identification and infection type diagnosis.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: Bacteria, Enterobacter cloacae, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Infection, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Volatile organic compounds
Published: 18.07.2019; Views: 609; Downloads: 34
.pdf Fulltext (1,29 MB)

23.
Development of an adaptable headspace sampling method for metabolic profiling of the fungal volatome
Stephen J Fowler, Nicholas D Read, Royston Goodacre, Michael J Bromley, Tamara M Nijsen, Oluwasola Lawal, Iain R White, Pavlos Geranios, Waqar M Ahmed, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: Pulmonary aspergillosis can cause serious complications in people with a suppressed immune system. Volatile metabolites emitted by Aspergillus spp. have shown promise for early detection of pathogenicity. However, volatile profiles require further research, as effective headspace analysis methods are required for extended chemical coverage of the volatome; in terms of both very volatile and semi-volatile compounds. In this study, we describe a novel adaptable sampling method in which fungal headspace samples can be sampled continuously throughout a defined time period using both active (pumped) and passive (diffusive) methods, with the capability for samples to be stored for later off-line analysis. For this method we utilise thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to generate volatile metabolic profiles using Aspergillus fumigatus as the model organism. Several known fungal-specific volatiles associated with secondary metabolite biosynthesis (including α-pinene, camphene, limonene, and several sesquiterpenes) were identified. A comparison between the wild-type A. fumigatus with a phosphopantetheinyl transferase null mutant strain (ΔpptA) that is compromised in secondary metabolite synthesis, revealed reduced production of sesquiterpenes. We also showed the lack of terpene compounds production during the early growth phase, whilst pyrazines were identified in both early and late growth phases. We have demonstrated that the fungal volatome is dynamic and it is therefore critically necessary to sample the headspace across several time periods using a combination of active and passive sampling techniques to analyse and understand this dynamism.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: Volatile Organic Compounds, Fungi, Mycelial growth
Published: 18.07.2019; Views: 522; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (712,24 KB)

24.
Uranium bearing dissolved organic matter in the porewaters of uranium contaminated lake sediments
Breda Novotnik, Wei Chen, R. Douglas Evans, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: Uranium (U) mobility in the environment strongly depends on its oxidation state and the presence of complexing agents such as inorganic carbon, phosphates, and dissolved organic matter (DOM). Despite the importance of DOM in U mobility, the exact mechanism is still poorly understood. Therefore, the aim of our investigation was to characterise sediment porewater DOM in two lakes in Ontario, Canada (Bow and Bentley Lakes) that were historically contaminated with U and propose possible composition of UO2-bearing DOM. Depth profiles of U concentrations in porewaters and total sediment digests reveal U levels of up to 1.3 mg L−1 in porewater and up to 0.8 mg−1 g in sediment. Depth profiles of U did not correlate with Fe, Mn, SO4 2−, or Eh profiles. Therefore, porewater DOM was analysed and taken into consideration as the primary source of U mobility. Porewater DOM in each sediment section (1 cm sections, 20 cm core length) was analysed by high-resolution electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry. PCA analyses of porewater DOM mass spectra showed grouping and clear separation of DOM in sediment sections with elevated U concentrations in comparison to sections with background U concentrations. Several criteria were set to characterise UO2-bearing DOM and more than 70 different molecules were found. The vast majority of these UO2-DOM compounds fell in the category of carboxyl-containing aliphatic molecules (H/C between 0.85 and 1.2 and O/C≤0.4) and had a mean value of m/z about 720.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: Uranium Lake sediments Porewater Disolved organic matter High resolution mass spectrometry
Published: 09.10.2019; Views: 618; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (1,48 MB)

25.
The role of charge transfer at reduced graphene oxide/organic semiconductor interface on the charge transport properties
Gvido Bratina, Egon Pavlica, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: The effect of 1-pyrenesulfonicacid sodium salt (1-PSA), tetracyanoethylene (TCNE) and tetrafluoro- tetracyanoquinodimethane (F4-TCNQ) on charge transport properties of reduced graphene oxide (RGO) is examined by measuring the transfer characteristics of field-effect transistors and co-planar time-of-flight photocurrent technique. Evidence of p-type doping and a reduction of mobility of electrons in RGO upon deposition of these materials is observed. Time-resolved photocurrent measurements show a reduction in elec- tron mobility even at submonolayer coverage of these materials. The variation of transit time with different coverages reveals that electron mobility decreases with increasing the surface coverage of 1-PSA, TCNE and F4- TCNQ to a certain extent, while at higher coverage the electron mobility is slightly recovered. All three molecules show the same trend in charge carrier mobility variation with coverage, but with different magnitude. Among all three molecules, 1-PSA acts as weak electron acceptor compared to TCNE and F4-TCNQ. The additional fluorine moieties in F4-TCNQ provides excellent electron withdrawing capability compared to TCNE. The experimental results are consistent with the density functional theory calculations.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: organic semiconductors, reduced graphene oxide, time-resolved photocurrent measurements, organic thin film transistors
Published: 28.10.2019; Views: 681; Downloads: 1
.pdf Fulltext (2,22 MB)

26.
Elucidation of Donor:Acceptor Phase Separation in Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells and Its Implications on Device Performance and Charge Carrier Mobility
Sebastian F. Hoefler, Georg Haberfehlner, Thomas Rath, Andreas Keilbach, Mathias Hobisch, Alexander Dixon, Egon Pavlica, Gvido Bratina, Gerald Kothleitner, Ferdinand Hofer, Gregor Trimmel, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: In bulk-heterojunction solar cells, the device performance strongly depends on the donor and acceptor properties, the phase separation in the absorber layer, and the formation of a bicontinuous network. While this phase separation is well explored for polymer:fullerene solar cells, only little is known for polymer:nonfullerene acceptor solar cells. The main hurdle in this regard is often the chemical similarity of the conjugated polymer donor and the organic nonfullerene acceptor (NFA), which makes the analysis of the phase separation via atomic force microscopic (AFM) phase images or conventional transmission electron microscopy difficult. In this work, we use the donor polymer PTB7-Th and the small molecule acceptor O-IDTBR as the model system and visualized the phase separation in PTB7-Th:O-IDTBR bulk-heterojunctions with different donor:acceptor ratios via scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) high-angle annular dark-field (HAADF) images and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) based elemental mapping, which resulted in a good contrast between the donor and the acceptor despite very low differences in the chemical composition. AFM as well as grazing-incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS) investigations support the electron microscopic data. Furthermore, we elucidate the implications of the phase separation on the device performance as well as charge carrier mobilities in the bulk-heterojunction layers, and a high performance of the solar cells was found over a relatively broad range of polymer domain sizes. This can be related to the larger domain sizes of the acceptor phase with higher amounts of O-IDTBR in the blend, while the polymer donor phase still forms continuous pathways to the electrode, which keeps the hole mobility at a relatively constant level.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: nanomorphology bulk-heterojunction scanning transmission electron microscopy organic photovoltaics charge carrier mobility
Published: 15.01.2020; Views: 431; Downloads: 22
.pdf Fulltext (6,22 MB)

27.
28.
Characterization of organic semiconductor thin layers by transient photocurrent spectroscopy
Nadiia Pastukhova, Egon Pavlica, Gvido Bratina, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: organic semiconductors, thin layers, spectroscopy
Published: 10.02.2020; Views: 470; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (865,49 KB)

29.
Characterization of organic semiconductor thin layers by transient photocurrent spectroscopy
Nadiia Pastukhova, Egon Pavlica, Gvido Bratina, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: organic semiconductors, thin layers, spectroscopy
Published: 10.02.2020; Views: 478; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (626,90 KB)

30.
A microbiome and metabolomic signature of phases of cutaneous healing identified by profiling sequential acute wounds of human skin: An exploratory study
Mohammed Ashrafi, Yun Xu, Howbeer Muhamadali, Iain R White, Maxim Wilkinson, Mohamed Baguneid, Roy Goodacre, Ardeshir Bayat, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Profiling skin microbiome and metabolome has been utilised to gain further insight into wound healing processes. The aims of this multi-part temporal study in 11 volunteers were to analytically profile the dynamic wound tissue and headspace metabolome and sequence microbial communities in acute wound healing at days 0, 7, 14, 21 and 28, and to investigate their relationship to wound healing, using non-invasive quantitative devices. Metabolites were obtained using tissue extraction, sorbent and polydimethylsiloxane patches and analysed using GCMS. PCA of wound tissue metabolome clearly separated time points with 10 metabolites of 346 being involved in separation. Analysis of variance-simultaneous component analysis identified a statistical difference between the wound headspace metabolome, sites (P = 0.0024) and time points (P<0.0001), with 10 out of the 129 metabolites measured involved with this separation between sites and time points. A reciprocal relationship between Staphylococcus spp. and Propionibacterium spp. was observed at day 21 (P<0.05) with a statistical correlation between collagen and Propionibacterium (r = 0.417; P = 0.038) and Staphylococcus (r = -0.434; P = 0.03). Procrustes analysis showed a statistically significant similarity between wound headspace and tissue metabolome with non-invasive wound devices. This exploratory study demonstrates the temporal and dynamic nature of acute wound metabolome and microbiome presenting a novel class of biomarkers that correspond to wound healing, with further confirmatory studies now necessary.
Found in: ključnih besedah
Keywords: metabolomics, skin, volatile organic compounds, VOCs, wound healing
Published: 03.03.2020; Views: 544; Downloads: 0
.pdf Fulltext (2,45 MB)

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