Catalytic membrane reactors (CMRs), which synergistically carry out separations and reactions, are expected to become a green and sustainable technology in chemical engineering. The use of ceramic membranes in CMRs is being widely considered because it permits reactions and separations to be carried out under harsh conditions in terms of both temperature and the chemical environment. This article presents the two most important types of CMRs: those based on dense mixed-conducting membranes for gas separation, and those based on porous ceramic membranes for heterogeneous catalytic processes. New developments in and innovative uses of both types of CMRs over the last decade are presented, along with an overview of our recent work in this field. Membrane reactor design, fabrication, and applications related to energy and environmental areas are highlighted. First, the configuration of membranes and membrane reactors are introduced for each of type of membrane reactor. Next, taking typical catalytic reactions as model systems, the design and optimization of CMRs are illustrated. Finally, challenges and difficulties in the process of industrializing the two types of CMRs are addressed, and a view of the future is outlined.
Proper cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts mediated by integrin adhesion receptors are important for development, immune response, hemostasis and wound healing. Integrins pass trans-membrane signals bidirectionally through their regulated affinities for extracellular ligands and intracellular signaling molecules. Such bidirectional signaling by integrins is enabled by the conformational changes that are often linked among extracellular, transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. Here, we review how talin-integrin and kindlin-integrin interactions, in cooperation with talin-lipid and kindlin-lipid interactions, regulate integrin affinities and how the progress in these areas helps us understand integrin-related diseases.
Multi-cellular inflatable structures are ultra-light and robust against membrane damage such as pinholes caused by space debris. Due to their robustness, inflatable structures supported by inner gases can be applied as space structures. In the present study, shape control for a simple multi-cellular inflatable panel was achieved via a novel diaphragm mechanism. When the bending actuator in a center membrane bends, the inner pressures of sub-cells become different, and the diaphragm mechanism bends as a whole. Because a sliding component is not included, this deformable system is a reliable mechanism. In addition, the proposed mechanism has higher rigidity than that of a bending actuator used alone. In the present paper, we investigate the feasibility of a novel diaphragm mechanism and its characteristics using experimental and numerical results.