Collegium Basilea Institute of Advanced Study

Basel, Switzerland

Collegium Basilea Institute of Advanced Study

Basel, Switzerland
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Orgovan N.,Eötvös Loránd University | Orgovan N.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Peter B.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Peter B.,University of Pannonia | And 6 more authors.
Scientific Reports | Year: 2014

A novel high-throughput label-free resonant waveguide grating (RWG) imager biosensor, the Epic® BenchTop (BT), was utilized to determine the dependence of cell spreading kinetics on the average surface density (v RGD) of integrin ligand RGD-motifs. v RGD was tuned over four orders of magnitude by co-adsorbing the biologically inactive PLL-g-PEG and the RGD-functionalized PLL-g-PEG-RGD synthetic copolymers from their mixed solutions onto the sensor surface. Using highly adherent human cervical tumor (HeLa) cells as a model system, cell adhesion kinetic data of unprecedented quality were obtained. Spreading kinetics were fitted with the logistic equation to obtain the spreading rate constant (r) and the maximum biosensor response (Δλmax), which is assumed to be directly proportional to the maximum spread contact area (A max). r was found to be independent of the surface density of integrin ligands. In contrast, Δλmax increased with increasing RGD surface density until saturation at high densities. Interpreting the latter behavior with a simple kinetic mass action model, a 2D dissociation constant of 1753 ± 243 μm -2 (corresponding to a 3D dissociation constant of ∼30 μM) was obtained for the binding between RGD-specific integrins embedded in the cell membrane and PLL-g-PEG-RGD. All of these results were obtained completely noninvasively without using any labels.

Holt G.C.,Collegium Basilea Institute of Advanced Study
Nanotechnology Perceptions | Year: 2014

Since the practical realization of negative refractive index materials in 2001, considerable progress has been made in both designing the materials and extending the range of the electromagnetic spectrum that may be manipulated. This paper reviews progress, especially in the field of visible light and the applications to cloaking devices, lenses and switches. © 2014 Collegium Basilea.

Holt G.C.,Collegium Basilea Institute of Advanced Study
Nanotechnology Perceptions | Year: 2012

It has been said that nanotechnology is the exploitation of quantum effects. This is certainly true insofar as some nanotechnologies do exploit quantum effects; this paper attempts to find the boundaries through a review of current research and the problem of decoherence. © 2012 Collegium Basilea.

Vergeres G.,Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux Research Station | Bogicevic B.,Agroscope Liebefeld Posieux Research Station | Buri C.,University Hospital | Carrara S.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | And 13 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2012

Advances in food transformation have dramatically increased the diversity of products on the market and, consequently, exposed consumers to a complex spectrum of bioactive nutrients whose potential risks and benefits have mostly not been confidently demonstrated. Therefore, tools are needed to efficiently screen products for selected physiological properties before they enter the market. NutriChip is an interdisciplinary modular project funded by the Swiss programme Nano-Tera, which groups scientists from several areas of research with the aim of developing analytical strategies that will enable functional screening of foods. The project focuses on postprandial inflammatory stress, which potentially contributes to the development of chronic inflammatory diseases. The first module of the NutriChip project is composed of three in vitro biochemical steps that mimic the digestion process, intestinal absorption, and subsequent modulation of immune cells by the bioavailable nutrients. The second module is a miniaturised form of the first module (gut-on-a-chip) that integrates a microfluidic-based cell co-culture system and super-resolution imaging technologies to provide a physiologically relevant fluid flow environment and allows sensitive real-time analysis of the products screened in vitro. The third module aims at validating the in vitro screening model by assessing the nutritional properties of selected food products in humans. Because of the immunomodulatory properties of milk as well as its amenability to technological transformation, dairy products have been selected as model foods. The NutriChip project reflects the opening of food and nutrition sciences to state-of-the-art technologies, a key step in the translation of transdisciplinary knowledge into nutritional advice. © 2011 The Authors.

Ramsden J.J.,Collegium Basilea Institute of Advanced Study
NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security | Year: 2013

Securing reliable energy resources is, ultimately, a matter of securing the survival of humanity. In other words, the indefinite prolongation of human activities, all of which require energy, requires sustainable energy resources. The laws of thermodynamics already place some constraints on what is achievable in this respect, but fortunately the Earth is an open system and can afford a certain profligacy. This situation is analysed in this paper to a suffcient level of detail. Nevertheless, such knowledge only gives very general prescriptions for energy policy matters. What is needed is a universal methodology for deciding what resources are affordable. Since the provision of such resources has to compete against other demands, some of which might be less indispensable in the long-term but more urgent, general affordability has to be measured against the actual benefits. The previously developed judgment (J)-value, designed to achieve regulatory consensus on health and safety expenditure, is adapted for this purpose. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the J-value for assessing possible energy supply options. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013.

Holt G.C.,Collegium Basilea Institute of Advanced Study
Nanotechnology Perceptions | Year: 2015

In the field of nanotechnology there has been considerable research into nanometresize sensors and microfluidics. In medicine, this confluence of technologies has resulted in the "lab-on-a-chip" concept, whereby blood and other body fluid analysis to detect diseases may be conducted at home or at the point-of-care without the need for specialized laboratory equipment. Although the literature is full of research papers in this area, very few devices have made it successfully to market, albeit with some available to specialists in the health services, but practically none available to the general public. Why is this? And why have cheap devices powered by a personal computer or smartphone not become commonplace in the home? This must have been the vision for many a research proposal in justifying funding because of the predicted burgeoning home healthcare market. The following is a review of whe. © 2015 Collegium Basilea.

Ramsden J.J.,Collegium Basilea Institute of Advanced Study | Kiss-Haypal G.,Collegium Basilea Institute of Advanced Study
Nanotechnology Perceptions | Year: 2013

Economic output is shown to be related to population (N) and natural resources (R) by a simple power law. On the basis of the exponents for N and R, called, respectively, the "ingenuity index" (n) and the "technology index" (r), the regions of the world fall into three clusters: high n and high r (Western and Eastern Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada); high n and low r (the USA, the Middle East); and low n and low r (Asia, Africa). Even the highest values (of n) barely exceed unity, however. n was found to be well-correlated with other independently obtained exponents characteristic of human ingenuity, such as those governing the number of telephone lines, patents, and the diversity of occupations. The analysis of r reveals that there are two kinds of capital: natural resources and technology, especially information technology. However, endogenous productivity-depressing factors appear to impose intrinsic limits on what ingenuity and technology can achieve. © 2013 Collegium Basilea.

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