KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Stockholm, Sweden

The Royal Institute of Technology is a university in Stockholm, Sweden. KTH was founded in 1827 as Sweden's first polytechnic and is one of Scandinavia's largest institutions of higher education in technology. KTH accounts for one-third of Sweden's technical research and engineering education capacity at university level. KTH offers programmes leading to a Master of Architecture, Master of Science in Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, licentiate or doctoral degree. The university also offers a technical preparatory programme for non-scientists and further education.There are a total of just over 14 000 full-year equivalent undergraduate students, more than 1700 active postgraduate students and 4600 full-time-equivalent employees. KTH is one of the leading technical universities in Europe and highly respected worldwide, especially in the domains of technology and natural science. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

The strongest yet hybrid silk fibers have been created by scientists in Sweden using all renewable resources. Combining spider silk proteins with nanocellulose from wood, the process offers a low-cost and scalable way to make bioactive materials for a wide range of medical uses. Published in American Chemical Society Nano by researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, the technique brings together the structural and mechanical performance of inexpensive cellulose nanofibrils with the medicinal properties of spider silk, which is difficult and expensive to fabricate on a larger scale. The bioactive properties of spider silk have been known for centuries. In ancient Rome, spider webs were used to dress soldiers’ battle wounds. But producing large scale amounts of spider silk material today has proven an expensive process, which often relies on fossil-based sources. KTH Protein Technology researcher My Hedhammar says that by comparison, wood-based nanocellulose is cheap and sustainable. Furthermore, the technique of combining it with only small amounts of spider silk protein yields a biofunctional material that can be used for such medical purposes as promoting cell growth.

News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: www.treehugger.com

Researchers in Sweden have discovered a new way to filter water off-grid using wood fibers. The team from KTH Royal Institute of Technology hope that it can provide clean water to people in refugee camps and in remote areas. The researchers developed a new material using wood fibers and a positively-charged polymer that can bind bacteria to its surface, which removes the bacteria from the water, leaving it purified. The material could also be used in bandages to prevent infection, plasters and in packaging. "Our aim is that we can provide the filter for a portable system that doesn't need electricity – just gravity – to run raw water through it," said Anna Ottenhall, a PhD student at KTH's School of Chemical Science and Engineering. "The great idea is that we are trapping the bacteria and removing them from the water by our positively-charged filter. The bacteria trapping material does not leach any toxic chemicals into the water, as many other on-site purification methods do." The material works because the positively-charged polymer attracts bacteria and viruses which are negatively charged. The bacteria are then stuck to the surface and cannot break free or reproduce and they ultimately die. This technique means no chemicals or antibacterial agents are needed and it also doesn't produce any bacterial resistance. After the wood filter has been used, it can then be safely burned. This is just one of many wood fiber innovations. They've been tapped for use in eco-friendly batteries and solar cells as well. The natural material could mean cheaper and safer technologies in variety of applications.

As a commodity, the least valuable part of the wheat grain is the bran – the outer coating of the kernel, which is typically sold as animal feed. Now researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed a process to extract valuable biomolecules from this offal which could be used as antioxidants, prebiotics and even food packaging material. The extraction process uses only hot, high pressure water and carbohydrate-active enzymes to harvest wheat bran's hemicelluloses and oligosaccharides. This process allows these polysaccharides to retain their antioxidant properties – which are stripped away through ordinary alkaline extraction techniques. Andrea Ruthes, postdoctoral researcher, and Francisco Vilaplana, associate professor in Glycoscience at KTH Royal Institute of Technology are the scientists behind this discovery, which was reported in the recent issue of the journal Green Chemistry. "In bran and other cereal tissues, the hemicelluloses are difficult to extract because they're tighly interconnected and recalcitrant," Vilaplana says. One way to do it is with alkaline, but that also destroys the part of the molecule that gives it its antioxidant functions. "We use a cascade approach where we first extract the hemicelluloses in polymer form and then we use the enzymes to selectively tackle the un-extractable residue. In this way we maximize total yields of valuable biomolecules from the bran," he says. Vilaplana says his research group is studying possible applications for these biopolymers, including active food packaging films and thickeners that provide a natural, non-additive way to prevent oxidation. In medicine, they could also be used to encapsulate oxygen-sensitive active compounds and to reduce the inflammation caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) in biomedical applications. The hemicelluloses and oligosaccharides are also well-known to have prebiotic properties as dietary fibres, which are important for improved nutrition and human health. "Our process could contribute over the long term to use of cereal hemicelluloses with antioxidant activities in many ways, such as non-fossil based packaging, preserving sensitive foods or drugs from oxidation, dietary fibre supplements and texturizing gels in food and cosmetic products. Explore further: Engineering wheat arabinoxylan for new applications More information: Andrea C. Ruthes et al. Sequential fractionation of feruloylated hemicelluloses and oligosaccharides from wheat bran using subcritical water and xylanolytic enzymes, Green Chem. (2017). DOI: 10.1039/C6GC03473J

STOCKHOLM, 16-Jun-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — For nearly two decades researchers have sought a way to target an estrogen receptor in the hope they could improve breast cancer survival, but an article published today in Nature Communications contends that the effort may never pan out. The reason? The target receptor does not actually appear to be where they believe it to be. The study questions whether reliance on insufficiently-validated antibodies has led science down a dead-end path since the discovery of estrogen receptor beta (ESR2) in the 1990s. KTH Professor of Experimental Oncology, Cecilia Williams, a researcher in the Division of Proteomics as well as the joint research center, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab), says the beta receptor’s discovery changed our understanding of estrogen signaling. It also raised hopes for a new endocrine treatment to complement the success of estrogen-blocking drugs such as Tamoxifen. These therapies target estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1), which was the first and most important biomarker in breast cancer, and can predict which patients respond to anti-estrogen treatment. But about half of such breast cancer tumors do not respond to anti-estrogen therapies, or they develop resistance over time, Williams says. “It has been thought that ERS2 had an opposite effect to ERS1, and that the beta receptor should not be blocked, but instead activated in breast cancer. This would supposedly improve survival. “Clinical trials are ongoing in the world right now, which activate ERbeta in breast cancer patients – efforts that our study suggests are based on inadequate data,” she says. “While we cannot claim that this receptor is completely absent in breast tumors, we do challenge the data behind the notion that the receptor is there.” The Sweden-based research team says their study invalidates all but one of the antibodies used to detect estrogen receptor beta. These 12 antibodies have instead been mistaking other proteins for ESR2, Williams says, and data generated with these antibodies cannot be trusted. The one remaining antibody that can successfully be used against the beta receptor, however, can find no trace of the receptor in cancerous or healthy breast tissue, the study states. Also estrogen research relating to multiple other tissues and diseases are impacted by this study. Many false leads over the years may be due to “insufficiently specific” antibodies in the field of immunohistochemistry (IHC), Williams says. The researchers validated the antibodies with a level of unprecedented rigor, she says. The team, which included researchers from Uppsala University and Karolinska Institute, used negative and positive controls and applied multiple antibody-based applications. They compared performance of different antibodies on 44 different human tissue types and further identified bound proteins through techniques such mass spectroscopy at a scale not before undertaken. They also searched large databases of gene expression, including The Cancer Genome Atlas, The Genotype-Tissue Expression, and the Human Protein Atlas, and pin-pointed a universal lack of estrogen receptor beta messenger RNA in breast tissue. “Our study contributes to improved reproducibility within research using biologics, or antibodies, and it clarifies earlier controversies within the field of estrogen and breast cancer, thus helping move the field forward. In the end, we hope our study will help save both research funding and research time,” Williams says. Anna Asplund, a researcher with Uppsala University, says the work should bring attention to a timely topic. “Significant problems due to poor validation of antibodies have recently been brought to the headlines by major journals, including Nature. We hope that our study, together with other on-going antibody validation efforts, will lead to a better quality of antibodies and antibody-based research.” In addition to the Swedish research universities, the research involved the Division of Pharmaceutical Industries, National Research Centre, in Dokki, Egypt; and the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Texas, USA. The project was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, Marie Curie Actions via the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA), the Swedish Cancer Society, the Stockholm County Council, the Swedish Research Council, and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Gouteraux B.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

In this work, we examine how charge is transported in a theory where momentum is relaxed by spatially dependent, massless scalars. We analyze the possible IR phases in terms of various scaling exponents and the (ir)relevance of operators in the IR effective holographic theory with a dilaton. We compute the (finite) resistivity and encounter broad families of (in)coherent metals and insulators, characterized by universal scaling behaviour. The optical conductivity at zero temperature and low frequencies exhibits power tails which can violate scaling symmetries, due to the running of the dilaton. At low temperatures, our model captures features of random-field disorder. © The Authors.

Miao G.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications | Year: 2013

This paper addresses optimal energy-efficient design for uplink (UL) MU-MIMO in a single cell environment. The energy efficiency is measured by throughput per Joule, while both RF transmission power and device electronic circuit power are considered. We define the energy efficiency (EE) capacity for UL MU-MIMO and study the power allocation that achieves this capacity. First we assume all users consume a fixed amount of circuit power and show that user antennas should be used only when the corresponding spatial channels are sufficiently good and using them improves the overall network EE. Mobile devices may have improved circuit management capability and turn off circuit operations when some antennas are not used to reduce circuit power consumption. Therefore we further study energy-efficient UL MU-MIMO with improved circuit management and show that some antennas should not be used even when their channel states are good because turning them on consumes too much circuit power. Based on theoretical analysis, we further develop low-complexity yet globally optimal energy-efficient power allocation algorithms that converge to the optimum exponentially. Simulation results are provided to demonstrate the significant gain in network energy efficiency. © 2002-2012 IEEE.

Moberg C.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2013

Two views: The mechanism of the conjugate addition of linear aldehydes to nitro olefins has been investigated by two research groups. In spite of extensive experimental data, important questions remain unanswered (see scheme; TMS=trimethylsilyl, En=enamine). Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Walter M.V.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Malkoch M.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2012

Dendrimers are highly branched and monodisperse macromolecules that display an exact and large number of functional groups distributed with unprecedented control on the dendritic framework. Based on their globular structure, compared to linear polymers of the same molecular weight, dendrimers are foreseen to deliver extraordinary features for applications in areas such as cancer therapy, biosensors for diagnostics and light harvesting scaffolds. Of the large number of reports on dendrimer synthesis only a few have reached commercial availability. This limitation can be traced back to challenges in the synthetic paths including a large number of reaction steps required to obtain dendritic structures with desired features. Along with an increased number of reaction steps come not only increased waste of chemical and valuable starting materials but also an increased probability to introduce structural defects in the dendritic framework. This tutorial review briefly covers traditional growth approaches to dendrimers and mainly highlights accelerated approaches to dendrimers. A special focus capitalizes on the impact of the click chemistry concept on dendrimer synthesis and the promise it has to successfully accomplish highly sophisticated dendrimers, both traditional as well as heterofunctional, in a minimum number of chemical steps. It is clear that accelerated synthetic approaches are of greatest importance as these will encourage the scientific community to synthesize and access dendrimers for specific applications. The final goal of accelerated synthesis is to deliver economically justified dendritic materials for future applications without compromising the environmental perspective. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Aronson M.F.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2014

Urbanization contributes to the loss of the world's biodiversity and the homogenization of its biota. However, comparative studies of urban biodiversity leading to robust generalities of the status and drivers of biodiversity in cities at the global scale are lacking. Here, we compiled the largest global dataset to date of two diverse taxa in cities: birds (54 cities) and plants (110 cities). We found that the majority of urban bird and plant species are native in the world's cities. Few plants and birds are cosmopolitan, the most common being Columba livia and Poa annua. The density of bird and plant species (the number of species per km(2)) has declined substantially: only 8% of native bird and 25% of native plant species are currently present compared with estimates of non-urban density of species. The current density of species in cities and the loss in density of species was best explained by anthropogenic features (landcover, city age) rather than by non-anthropogenic factors (geography, climate, topography). As urbanization continues to expand, efforts directed towards the conservation of intact vegetation within urban landscapes could support higher concentrations of both bird and plant species. Despite declines in the density of species, cities still retain endemic native species, thus providing opportunities for regional and global biodiversity conservation, restoration and education.

Moberg C.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2011

Same difference: Berry pseutorotation (BPR) and Ugi turnstile rotation, which are generally treated as two distinctly different mechanisms for rearrangement of trigonal-bipyramidal structures, have been shown to be equivalent. Alternative mechanisms consist of sequences of pseudorotations proceeding in a single step. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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