Category Archives: Our Publications

These are the scientific articles published by SeRMN personnel. Posts may contain a short description of the research work objective and relevance, in addition to the abstract of the article, the bibliographic reference, and the article DOI if available.

Removal of the synthetic hormone methyltestosterone from aqueous solution using a β-cyclodextrin/silica composite

Lucas Bragança Carvalho, Pricila Maria BatistaChagas, Tamara Rezende Marques, Angelina Razafitianamaharavo, Manuel Pelletier, Pau Nolis, Carlos Jaime, Sérgio Scherrer Thomasi, Lucianade Matos Alves Pinto.

Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering – Available online 20 October 2019

ABSTRACT Contamination of water with steroid residues can cause a number of environmental damages, affecting exposed organisms including man. The development of technologies for treatment or removal of this type of micropollutant from water is of paramount importance. In this study, citric acid was used to functionalize β-cyclodextrin (bCD) on the silica surface generating an organic-inorganic hybrid composite for application in molecular sequestration. The functionalization percentage was high, with about 62.6% of the composite mass corresponding to the organic part of the material. 13C NMR and infrared spectroscopic analysis indicate that the functionalization mechanism occurs by an esterification reaction between the citric acid with the silanol groups from silica and the primary hydroxyls of the bCDs. Fast adsorption of the methyltestosterone steroid was observed at acid pH, with a high adsorption capacity of 11 mg g-1. The best kinetic and isotherm models fit indicated that the adsorption occurred by a physical mechanism at independent sites with the steroid molecule possibly captured by two bCDs. The removal process was spontaneous and exothermic, with the existence of weak interactions between the hormone and the composite, and its regeneration is quite fast efficient with the displacement of the complexation equilibrium. The results obtained in this study demonstrate the considerable potential of the composite for use in the treatment of wastewater containing the steroid studied, and its efficacy should be evaluated for other steroid molecules. 

Recyclable Mesoporous Organosilica Nanoparticles (MSN) for Asymmetric Organocatalysis

Li, Hao, Míriam Pérez-Trujillo, Xavier Cattoën & Roser Pleixats. 2019. Recyclable Mesoporous Organosilica Nanoparticles Derived from Proline-Valinol Amides for Asymmetric Organocatalysis. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 7(17). 14815-14828. DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b02838

This is the first report on the obtention of functionalized MSN by a co-condensation procedure with a structurally complex chiral precursor. The functionalized MSN have been characterized by elemental analysis, 29Si and 13C CP MAS NMR, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, N2-sorption measurements, dynamic light scattering, ζ-potential, and powder X-ray diffraction. We have evaluated the activity of these materials as recyclable catalysts in the asymmetric aldol reaction. The use of organosilica nanoparticles reduces the problems of diffusion and low reaction rates encountered with bulk organosilicas.

Measuring Long-Range Heteronuclear Coupling Constants with Sel-HSQMBC Experiments: A Tutorial

How to measure long‐range proton‐carbon coupling constants from 1H‐selective HSQMBC experiments, by Josep Saurí, Pau Nolis and Teodor Parella. Magn. Reson. Chem. 2019. Early View, DOI: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mrc.4928

Heteronuclear long‐range scalar coupling constants (nJCH) are a valuable tool for solving problems in organic chemistry and are especially suited for stereochemical and configurational analyses of small molecules and natural products. This tutorial will focus on the step‐by‐step implementation of several 2D 1H frequency selective HSQMBC experiments for the easy and accurate measurement of either the magnitude or both the magnitude and the sign of long‐range nJCH couplings. The performance of these experiments will be showcased with several scenarios in a range of different experimental conditions.

Bruker pulse program code for selHSQMBC experiments available here.

Bruker pulse program code for selHSQMBC-TOCSY experiment available here.

Strychnine dataset examples available here.

Rethinking COSY and TOCSY acquisition

Nolis, Pau & Teodor Parella. 2019. Practical aspects of the simultaneous collection of COSY and TOCSY spectra. Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry. DOI: 10.1002/mrc.4835

The practical aspects of some NMR experiments designed for the simultaneous acquisition of 2D COSY and 2D TOCSY spectra are presented and discussed. Several techniques involving afterglow‐based, CTP‐based and NOAH‐based strategies for the collection of different FIDs within the same scan are evaluated and compared. These methods offer a faster recording of these spectra in small‐molecule NMR when sensitivity is not a limiting factor, with a reduction in spectrometer time about 45%‐60% when compared to the conventional sequential acquisition of the parent experiments. It is also shown how the optimized design of an extended three‐FID approach yields one COSY and two TOCSY spectra simultaneously by combining CTP and NOAH principles in the same experiment, affording substantial sensitivity enhancements per time unit.

Prenatal cerebral and cardiac metabolic changes in a rabbit model of fetal growth restriction

Simões, Rui V., Miquel E. Cabañas, Carla Loreiro, Miriam Illa, Fatima Crispi & Eduard Gratacós. 2018. Assessment of prenatal cerebral and cardiac metabolic changes in a rabbit model of fetal growth restriction based on 13C-labelled substrate infusions and ex vivo multinuclear HRMAS. PLOS ONE 13(12). e0208784. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208784

Background: We have used a previously reported rabbit model of fetal growth restriction (FGR), reproducing perinatal neurodevelopmental and cardiovascular impairments, to investigate the main relative changes in cerebral and cardiac metabolism of term FGR fetuses during nutrient infusion.

Methods: FGR was induced in 9 pregnant New Zealand rabbits at 25 days of gestation: one horn used as FGR, by partial ligation of uteroplacental vessels, and the contralateral as control (appropriate for gestation age, AGA). At 30 days of gestation, fasted mothers under anesthesia were infused i.v. with 1-13C-glucose (4 mothers), 2-13C-acetate (3 mothers), or not infused (2 mothers). Fetal brain and heart samples were quickly harvested and frozen down. Brain cortex and heart apex regions from 30 fetuses were studied ex vivo by HRMAS at 4°C, acquiring multinuclear 1D and 2D spectra. The data were processed, quantified by peak deconvolution or integration, and normalized to sample weight.

Continue reading Prenatal cerebral and cardiac metabolic changes in a rabbit model of fetal growth restriction

New time-efficient approach in TOCSY and HSQC experiments

Nolis, Pau, Kumar Motiram‐Corral, Míriam Pérez‐Trujillo & Teodor Parella. 2018. Interleaved Dual NMR Acquisition of Equivalent Transfer Pathways in TOCSY and HSQC Experiments. ChemPhysChem 20(3). 356–360. DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201801034

A dual NMR data acquisition strategy to handle and detect two active equivalent transfer pathways is presented and discussed. We illustrate the power of this time-efficient approach by collecting two different 2D spectra simultaneously in a single experiment: (i) TOCSY or HSQC-TOCSY spectra with different mixing times, (ii) F2-13C-coupled and decoupled HSQC spectra, (iii) conventional and pureshift HSQC spectra, and (iv) complementary HSQC and HSQC-TOCSY spectra.

Saving time using different NMR concepts

Nolis, Pau, Kumar Motiram-Corral, Míriam Pérez-Trujillo & Teodor Parella. 2019. Broadband homodecoupled time-shared 1H-13C and 1H-15N HSQC experiments. Journal of Magnetic Resonance 298. 23–30. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmr.2018.11.00

The concepts of pure-shift NMR and time-shared NMR are merged in a single NMR experiment. A 13C/15N time-shared version of the real-time BIRD-based broadband homodecoupled HSQC experiment is described. This time-efficient approach affords simultaneously 1H-13C and 1H-15N pure-shift HSQC spectra in a single acquisition, while achieving substantial gains in both sensitivity and spectral resolution. We also present a related 13C/15N-F2-coupled homodecoupled version of the CLIP-HSQC experiment for the simultaneous measurement of 1JCH and 1JNH from the simplified doublets observed along the direct dimension. Finally, a novel J-resolved HSQC experiment has been designed for the simple and automated determination of both 1JCH/1JNH from a 2D J-resolved spectrum.

4 experiments in 1 shot

Motiram-Corral, Kumar, Míriam Pérez-Trujillo, Pau Nolis & Teodor Parella. 2018. Implementing one-shot multiple-FID acquisition into homonuclear and heteronuclear NMR experiments. Chemical Communications 54(96). 13507–13510. DOI: 10.1039/c8cc08065h

Multiple-FID acquisition (MFA) within the same scan is applied to acquire simultaneously multiple 2D spectra from a single NMR experiment. A discussion on the incorporation of the MFA strategy in several homonuclear and heteronuclear 2D pulse sequences is presented. As a proof of concept, a set of novel COSY, TOCSY and HMBC experiments are reported as a time-efficient solution in small-molecule NMR spectroscopy.

Continue reading 4 experiments in 1 shot

MRI/MRS in treated Alzheimer mice

Montoliu-Gaya, Laia, Jofre Güell-Bosch, Gisela Esquerda-Canals, Alejandro R. Roda, Gabriel Serra-Mir, Silvia Lope-Piedrafita, José Luís Sánchez-Quesada & Sandra Villegas. 2018. Differential effects of apoE and apoJ mimetic peptides on the action of an anti-Aβ scFv in 3xTg-AD mice. Biochemical Pharmacology 155. 380–392. DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2018.07.012

Anti-Aβ immunotherapy has emerged as a promising approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The single-chain variable fragment scFv-h3D6 is an anti-Aβ antibody fragment that lacks the Fc region, which is associated with the induction of microglial reactivity by the full-length monoclonal antibody bapineuzumab. ScFv-h3D6 was previously shown to restore the levels of apolipoprotein E (apoE) and apolipoprotein J (apoJ) in a tripletransgenic- AD (3xTg-AD) mouse model. Since apoE and apoJ play an important role in the development of AD, we aimed to study the in vivo effect of the combined therapy of scFv-h3D6 with apoE and apoJ mimetic peptides (MPs).

Continue reading MRI/MRS in treated Alzheimer mice

Exopolysaccharides from olive brines could reduce the adhesion of ETEC K88 to intestinal epithelial cells

Zhu, Yanan, Gemma González-Ortiz, Rufino Jiménez-Díaz, Míriam Pérez-Trujillo, Teodor Parella, Paola López-Colom & Susana María Martín-Orúe. 2018. Exopolysaccharides from olive brines could reduce the adhesion of ETEC K88 to intestinal epithelial cells. Food & Function 9(7). 3884–3894. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/c8fo00690c

This study aims to explore the biological functions of the isolated exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced during the industrial fermentation of olives against enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) K88. Exopolysaccharides were isolated from five industrial fermenters. Analysis of their monosaccharide composition by GLC revealed that the main components were glucose (27%–50%) and galactose (23%–33%) followed by rhamnose (4–23%) and arabinose (6–17%). The 1H NMR spectrum showed a very similar profile between samples, and a more in-depth analysis revealed the presence of an α-pyranose in the form of α-D-Glcp-(1→) and two different α-furanoses, with chemicals shift values, suggesting the presence of α-D-Glcf and α-D-Galf. Miniaturized in vitro tests demonstrated the ability of EPS samples to attach specifically to ETEC K88 (P < 0.05) with variable intensities. The competition test did not show the ability to block the ETEC K88 adhesion to IPEC-J2 cells; however, in the displacement test, all EPS samples were shown to effectively remove the pathogens attached to the cells (P < 0.01).

These results suggest that the EPSs produced during the fermentation of table green olives could interfere with the attachment of opportunistic pathogens onto the intestinal epithelial cells. This would open the possibility of novel functional properties for this traditional Mediterranean fermented food and for the isolated EPSs as candidates for nutraceutics to be used in human and/or animal diets in the prevention and treatment of ETEC diarrhoea.