Publications by authors named "Kristina Jurcic"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Detection of simultaneous production of kurstakin, fengycin and surfactin lipopeptides in Bacillus mojavensis using a novel gel-based method and MALDI-TOF spectrometry.

World J Microbiol Biotechnol 2021 May 10;37(6):97. Epub 2021 May 10.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Science and Technology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.

Bacterial lipopeptides have become a research focus of many studies owing to their industrial and pharmaceutical importance. Although such studies focused on researching purification procedures and qualitative analysis, much remains to be explored and developed to improve the current methods. To enable thorough studies of lipopeptides, this paper describes a new method for purification and characterization of in-gel anionic lipopeptides. Specifically, lipopeptides attributed to the anti-staphylococcal activity of Bacillus mojavensis HF were separated using SDS-PAGE (sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis) and subsequently characterized using mass spectrometry. Lipopeptide band obtained by gel electrophoresis was first visualized using three different staining methods. Next, the lipopeptide isomers were efficiently recovered from the gel band and structural characterization of the extracted lipopeptides was carried out by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). MS analysis revealed that Bacillus mojavensis HF produced three types of lipopeptides including surfactin, fengycin, and kurstakin. 14 clusters of ion peaks were identified as fengycin A with fatty acid of C15-C17, fengycin B (C16, C17), surfactin (C13-C16), and kurstakin (C9-C12). Moreover, tandem mass spectrometric analysis (MS/MS) revealed the sequences of fengycin A and surfactin. In this study, we identified a high variety and number of surfactin and fengycin isomers, which previous reports lacked. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to report the presence of kurstakin in Bacillus mojavensis species. Finally, we demonstrated that our gel-based study of lipopeptides allowed for a precise and reproducible investigation of these molecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11274-021-03064-9DOI Listing
May 2021

Regional Lipid Expression Abnormalities Identified Using MALDI IMS Correspond to MRI-Defined White Matter Hyperintensities within Post-mortem Human Brain Tissues.

Anal Chem 2021 02 19;93(4):2652-2659. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Vulnerable Brain Lab, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, N6A 5C1 Ontario, Canada.

Periventricular white matter hyperintensities (pvWMHs) are a neurological feature detected with magnetic resonance imaging that are clinically associated with an increased risk of stroke and dementia. pvWMHs represent white matter lesions characterized by regions of myelin and axon rarefaction and as such likely involve changes in lipid composition; however, these alterations remain unknown. Lipids are critical in determining cell function and survival. Perturbations in lipid expression have previously been associated with neurological disorders. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is an emerging technique for untargeted, high-throughput investigation of lipid expression and spatial distribution ; however, the use of MALDI IMS has been previously been limited by the need for non-embedded, non-fixed, fresh-frozen samples. In the current study, we demonstrate the novel use of MALDI IMS to distinguish regional lipid abnormalities that correlate with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) defined pvWMHs within ammonium formate washed, formalin-fixed human archival samples. MALDI IMS scans were conducted in positive or negative ion detection mode on tissues sublimated with 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid or 1,5-diaminonaphthalene matrices, respectively. Using a broad, untargeted approach to lipid analysis, we consistently detected 116 lipid ion species in 21 tissue blocks from 11 different post-mortem formalin-fixed human brains. Comparing the monoisotopic mass peaks of these lipid ions elucidated significant differences in lipid expression between pvWMHs and NAWM for 31 lipid ion species. Expanding our understanding of alterations in lipid composition will provide greater knowledge of molecular mechanisms underpinning ischemic white matter lesions and provides the potential for novel therapeutic interventions targeting lipid composition abnormalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.0c05017DOI Listing
February 2021

Pannexin 1 mutation found in melanoma tumor reduces phosphorylation, glycosylation, and trafficking of the channel-forming protein.

Mol Biol Cell 2021 03 6;32(5):376-390. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Western University, London, ON N6A 5C1, Canada.

Pannexin 1 (PANX1) is a glycoprotein that forms large pore channels capable of passing ions and metabolites such as ATP for cellular communication. PANX1 has been implicated in many diseases including breast cancer and melanoma, where inhibition or deletion of PANX1 reduced the tumorigenic and metastatic properties of the cancer cells. We interrogated the effect of single amino acid changes in various PANX1 domains using naturally occurring variants reported in cancer patient tumors. We found that a previously reported variant (Q5H) is present in cancer cells, but was not different from the wild type (Q5) in glycosylation, trafficking, or channel function and did not affect cellular properties. We discovered that the Q5H variant is in fact the highly conserved ancestral allele of PANX1 with 89% of humans carrying at least one Q5H allele. Another mutated form Y150F, found in a melanoma patient tumor, prevented phosphorylation at Y150 as well as complex N-glycosylation while increasing intracellular localization. Sarcoma (SRC) is the predicted kinase to phosphorylate the Y150 residue, and its phosphorylation is not likely to be constitutive, but rather dynamically regulated. The Y150 phosphorylation site is the first one reported to play a role in regulating posttranslational modifications and trafficking of PANX1, with potential consequences on its large-pore channel structure and function in melanoma cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E19-10-0585DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098850PMC
March 2021

Proteomic Analyses Detect Higher Expression of C-Type Lectins in Imidacloprid-Resistant Colorado Potato Beetle Say.

Insects 2020 Dec 23;12(1). Epub 2020 Dec 23.

London Regional Proteomics Centre, Biochemistry, Western University, London ON N6A 5C1, Canada.

The Colorado potato beetle (CPB) is one of the most adaptable insect pests to both plant toxins and synthetic insecticides. Resistance in CPB is reported for over 50 classes of insecticides, and mechanisms of insecticide-resistance include enhanced detoxification enzymes, ABC transporters and target site mutations. Adaptation to insecticides is also associated with changes in behaviour, energy metabolism and other physiological processes seemingly unrelated to resistance but partially explained through genomic analyses. In the present study, in place of genomics, we applied 2-dimensional (2-D) gel and mass spectrometry to investigate protein differences in abdominal and midgut tissue of insecticide-susceptible (S) and -resistant (R) CPB. The proteomic analyses measured constitutive differences in several proteins, but the highest match was identified as a C-type lectin (CTL), a component of innate immunity in insects. The constitutive expression of the CTL was greater in the multi-resistant (LI) strain, and the same spot was measured in both midgut and abdominal tissue. Exposure to the neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, increased the CTL spot found in the midgut but not in the abdominal tissue of the laboratory (Lab) strain. No increase in protein levels in the midgut tissue was observed in the LI or a field strain (NB) tolerant to neonicotinoids. With the exception of biopesticides, such as (Bt), no previous studies have documented differences in the immune response by CTLs in insects exposed to synthetic insecticides or the fitness costs associated with expression levels of immune-related genes in insecticide-resistant strains. This study demonstrates again how CPB has been successful at adapting to insecticides, plant defenses as well as pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/insects12010003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7822175PMC
December 2020

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (negative ion mode) of French Oak lignin: A novel series of lignin and tricin derivatives attached to carbohydrate and shikimic acid moieties.

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 2020 Sep;34(18):e8841

Chemistry Department, Memorial University, St John's, 283 Prince Philip Dr, St John's, NL, A1B 3X7, Canada.

Rationale: We report the top-down lignomic analysis of the virgin released lignin (VRL) small oligomers obtained from French Oak wood.

Methods: We have used MALDI-TOF-MS in the negative ion mode for the analysis of the complex mixture of lignin oligomers extracted from French Oak wood. High-energy CID-TOF/TOF-MS/MS analyses were used to support the postulated precursor ion structures.

Results: Twenty compounds were identified using MALDI-TOF-MS/MS of the VRL extracted from French Oak wood: seven tricin derivatives and/or flavonoids, three syringylglycerol derivatives, two syringol derivatives, two flavonolignin derivatives, and six miscellaneous compounds: luteoferol, lariciresinol isomer, 5-hydroxy guaiacyl derivative, syringyl -C H O dimer, trihydroxy benzaldehyde derivative, and aryl tetralin lignan derivative. Most of the identified compounds were in the form of carbohydrate and/or shikimic acid complexes.

Conclusions: The analysis of this complex mixture led to the identification of a series of lignin dimers, novel lignin-carbohydrate complexes (LCC), and unique tricin derivatives linked to different types of carbohydrates and shikimic acid moieties. This finding supports the presence of lignin-carbohydrate complexes in the isolated VRL. These analyses also showed that French Oak lignin is abundant in syringol moieties present in the lignin syringyl units or tricin derivatives. Moreover, the identification of some lignin-carbohydrate and/or flavonoid-shikimic acid complexes could provide new insight into the relationship between the biosynthesis of lignin and tricin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rcm.8841DOI Listing
September 2020

Demystifying and unravelling the molecular structure of the biopolymer sporopollenin.

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 2020 May;34(10):e8740

Department of Chemistry, Memorial University, 283 Prince Philip Dr., St John's, NL, A1B 3X7, Canada.

Rationale: We report the unsolved molecular structure of the complex biopolymer sporopollenin exine extracted from Lycopodium clavatum pollen grains.

Methods: TOF-SIMS and CID-MS/MS, MALDI-TOF-MS and CID-TOF/TOF-MS/MS were used for the analysis of this complex biopolymer sporopollenin exine extracted from Lycopodium clavatum pollen grains. Solid-state H- and C-NMR, 2D H- H NOESY, Rotor-synchronized C{ H} HSQC, and C{ H} multi CP-MAS NMR experiments were used to confirm the structural assigments revealed by MS and MS/MS studies. Finally, high-resolution XPS was used to check for the presence of aromatic components in sporopollenin.

Results: The combined MS and NMR analyses showed that sporopollenin contained poly(hydroxy acid) dendrimer-like networks with glycerol as a core unit, which accounted for the sporopollenin empirical formula. In addition, these analyses showed that the hydroxy acid monomers forming this network contained a β-diketone moiety. Moreover, MALDI-TOF-MS and MS/MS allowed us to identify a unique macrocyclic oligomeric unit composed of polyhydroxylated tetraketide-like monomers. Lastly, high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HR-XPS) showed the absence of aromaticity in sporopollenin.

Conclusions: We report for the first time the two main building units that form the Lycopodium clavatum sporopollenin exine. The first building unit is a macrocyclic oligomer and/or polymer composed of polyhydroxylated tetraketide-like monomeric units, which represents the main rigid backbone of the sporopollenin biopolymer. The second building unit is the poly(hydroxy acid) network in which the hydroxyl end groups can be covalently attached by ether links to the hydroxylated macrocyclic backbone to form the sporopollenin biopolymer, a spherical dendrimer. Such spherical dendrimers are a typical type of microcapsule that have been used for drug delivery applications. Finally, HR-XPS indicated the total absence of aromaticity in the sporopollenin exine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rcm.8740DOI Listing
May 2020

Membrane-lipid homeostasis in a prodromal rat model of Alzheimer's disease: Characteristic profiles in ganglioside distributions during aging detected using MALDI imaging mass spectrometry.

Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj 2018 06 13;1862(6):1327-1338. Epub 2018 Mar 13.

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Accumulation of simple gangliosides GM2 and GM3, and gangliosides with longer long-chain bases (d20:1) have been linked to toxicity and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Conversely, complex gangliosides, such as GM1, have been shown to be neuroprotective. Recent evidence using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) has demonstrated that a-series gangliosides are differentially altered during normal aging, yet it remains unclear how simple species are shifting relative to complex gangliosides in the prodromal stages of AD.

Methods: Ganglioside profiles in wild-type (Wt) and transgenic APP21 Fischer rats were detected and quantified using MALDI-IMS at P0 (birth), 3, 12, and 20 months of age and each species quantified to allow for individual species comparisons.

Results: Tg APP21 rats were found to have a decreased level of complex gangliosides in a number of brain regions as compared to Wt rats and showed higher levels of simple gangliosides. A unique pattern of expression was observed in the white matter as compared to gray matter regions, with an age-dependent decrease in GD1 d18:1 species observed and significantly elevated levels of GM3 in Tg APP21 rats.

Conclusions: These results are indicative of a pathological shift in ganglioside homeostasis during aging that is exacerbated in Tg APP21 rats.

General Significance: Ganglioside dysregulation may occur in the prodromal stages of neurodegenerative diseases like AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbagen.2018.03.011DOI Listing
June 2018

1,6-Diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH) as a Novel Matrix for MALDI MS Imaging of Fatty Acids, Phospholipids, and Sulfatides in Brain Tissues.

Anal Chem 2017 12 15;89(23):12828-12836. Epub 2017 Nov 15.

Department of Chemistry, ‡Department of Biochemistry, and §Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, The University of Western Ontario , London, Ontario, Canada.

1,6-Diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH) is a commonly used fluorescence probe for studying cell membrane-lipids due to its affinity toward the acyl chains in the phospholipid bilayers. In this work, we investigated its use in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) as a new matrix for mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) of mouse and rat brain tissue. DPH exhibits very minimal matrix-induced background signals for the analysis of small molecules (below m/z of 1000). In the negative ion mode, DPH permits the highly sensitive detection of small fatty acids (m/z 200-350) as well as a variety of large lipids up to m/z of 1000, including lyso-phospholipid, phosphatidic acid (PA), phosphoethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylserine (PS), phosphatidylglycerol (PG), phosphatidylinositol (PI), and sulfatides (ST). The analytes were mostly detected as the deprotonated ion [M - H]. Our results also demonstrate that sublimated DPH is stable for at least 24 h under the vacuum of our MALDI mass spectrometer. The ability to apply DPH via sublimation coupled with its low volatility allows us to perform tissue imaging of the above analytes at high spatial resolution. The degree of lipid fragmentation was determined experimentally at varying laser intensities. The results illustrated that the use of relatively low laser energy is important to minimize the artificially generated fatty acid signals. On the other hand, the lipid fragmentation obtained at higher laser energies provided tandem MS information useful for lipid structure elucidation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.7b03284DOI Listing
December 2017

Increased Expression of Simple Ganglioside Species GM2 and GM3 Detected by MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry in a Combined Rat Model of Aβ Toxicity and Stroke.

PLoS One 2015 18;10(6):e0130364. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

Dept. Anatomy and Cell Biology, Western University, London, ON, N6A 5C1, Canada; Dept. Clinical Neurological Sciences, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5A5, Canada.

The aging brain is often characterized by the presence of multiple comorbidities resulting in synergistic damaging effects in the brain as demonstrated through the interaction of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and stroke. Gangliosides, a family of membrane lipids enriched in the central nervous system, may have a mechanistic role in mediating the brain's response to injury as their expression is altered in a number of disease and injury states. Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) Imaging Mass Spectrometry (IMS) was used to study the expression of A-series ganglioside species GD1a, GM1, GM2, and GM3 to determine alteration of their expression profiles in the presence of beta-amyloid (Aβ) toxicity in addition to ischemic injury. To model a stroke, rats received a unilateral striatal injection of endothelin-1 (ET-1) (stroke alone group). To model Aβ toxicity, rats received intracerebralventricular (i.c.v.) injections of the toxic 25-35 fragment of the Aβ peptide (Aβ alone group). To model the combination of Aβ toxicity with stroke, rats received both the unilateral ET-1 injection and the bilateral icv injections of Aβ25-35 (combined Aβ/ET-1 group). By 3 d, a significant increase in the simple ganglioside species GM2 was observed in the ischemic brain region of rats who received a stroke (ET-1), with or without Aβ. By 21 d, GM2 levels only remained elevated in the combined Aβ/ET-1 group. GM3 levels however demonstrated a different pattern of expression. By 3 d GM3 was elevated in the ischemic brain region only in the combined Aβ/ET-1 group. By 21 d, GM3 was elevated in the ischemic brain region in both stroke alone and Aβ/ET-1 groups. Overall, results indicate that the accumulation of simple ganglioside species GM2 and GM3 may be indicative of a mechanism of interaction between AD and stroke.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0130364PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4473074PMC
April 2016

Sphingomyelins as semi-permanent capillary coatings for protein separations in CE and off-line analysis with MALDI-MS.

Electrophoresis 2009 May;30(10):1817-27

Department of Biochemistry, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Canada.

Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is one of the major phospholipids that make up the biological cell membrane. It was previously reported to form capillary inner wall coatings for CE. The zwitterionic head group of PC produced a neutral net-charged bilayer, which was found effective in preventing wall adsorption of both cationic and anionic proteins [J. M. Cunliffe et al. Anal. Chem. 2002, 74, 776-783]. Another major membrane phospholipid that possesses a zwitterionic head group is sphingomyelin (SM). In this work, the novel characterization of SM on its effectiveness in capillary coating formation for CE separations of proteins and peptides was presented. Similar properties were observed between PC and SM, including their effects on the EOF, peak efficiencies, and migration time reproducibilities. SM appeared to be more readily soluble in aqueous solutions, and it was found equally effective as PC in facilitating protein separation. The main difference observed was their performances in delivering a peptide mixture for off-line analysis with MALDI-MS. Superior sample recovery was evident from the capillary coated with SM compared with that with PC. The number of peptides identified from a 1 ng/microL myglobin tryptic digest sample increased from 5 to 16 (42 and 69%, respectively in protein sequence coverage).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/elps.200800633DOI Listing
May 2009

Nanoliter-volume protein enrichment, tryptic digestion, and partial separation based on isoelectric points by CE for MALDI mass spectral analysis.

Electrophoresis 2008 Jan;29(2):466-74

Department of Chemistry, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

Sequence-specific proteolysis is an important part of protein identification by MS. Digestion of protein is commonly performed in-solution, in sample vials with volumes ranging from milli- to microliters. When digestion is performed with a sample volume below 1 microL, handling of solution and potential sample loss via adsorption become significant issues. In this report, a proof of concept for the digestion of a small volume protein solution inside a capillary was demonstrated using a discontinuous buffer system previously studied (Nesbitt, C. A., et al. J. Chromatogr. A 2005, 1073, 175-180). Upon voltage application, a pH junction was created by the discontinuous buffer. Using myoglobin as an example, the protein molecules were enriched at the junction with an estimated volume of a few nanoliters. A protease, trypsin, was then introduced to myoglobin at the junction by coenrichment to induce in-capillary digestion. The voltage application was then suspended to provide the necessary time (2 h) for the proteolysis to proceed. When completed, voltage application was resumed, and the discontinuous buffer reconcentrated the peptides formed from digestion. Importantly, the refocused peptides appeared to roughly elute according to their pIs, resulting in a partial separation. Direct sample deposition from capillary was performed to facilitate mass spectral analysis by MALDI. The partial separation, according to pI, offered the potential benefits of MALDI MS signal enhancement and provided supplementary pI information for peptide identity assignment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/elps.200700339DOI Listing
January 2008

Characterization of discontinuous buffer junctions using pH indicators in capillary electrophoresis for protein preconcentration.

J Chromatogr A 2006 Nov 4;1134(1-2):317-25. Epub 2006 Oct 4.

Department of Chemistry, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Canada.

An effective sample preconcentration technique for proteins and peptides was recently developed using capillary electrophoresis (CE) with discontinuous buffers [C.A. Nesbitt, J.T.-M. Lo, K.K.-C. Yeung, J. Chromatogr. A 1073 (2005) 175]. Two buffers of different pH created a junction to trap the sample molecules at their isoelectric points and resulted in over 1000-fold preconcentration for myoglobin within 30 min. To study the formation of pH junctions in CE, a pH indicator, bromothymol blue, is used in this work to reveal the pH changes at the discontinuous buffer boundary. Bromothymol blue (BTB) exhibits a drastic change in its visible absorption spectrum (300-600 nm) going from the acidic to basic pH conditions, and is therefore ideal for visualizing the changes in pH at the junctions created by various buffer combinations. Preconcentration of myoglobin was performed in discontinuous buffers containing BTB. Major differences in the BTB absorption profiles were identified from buffer systems that differ significantly in preconcentration performance, which in turn, allowed for the identification of ideal buffers for sample preconcentration. Up to 2000-fold preconcentrations of myoglobin were achieved in the buffer systems studied in this work. In addition, the role of the electroosmotic flow (EOF) on the preconcentration performance was investigated. A low EOF was found to be desirable, as the pH junction could stay longer in the capillary for accumulation of proteins. The pH junction also displayed characteristics to resist bandbroadening. Potential laminar flow resulted from the mismatched residual EOFs under the two pH conditions within the discontinuous buffers appeared to have minimal effect on the preconcentration. In fact, external applied pressure can be used to control the migration of the pH junction without compromising the protein preconcentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2006.09.038DOI Listing
November 2006

Yb3+ as an origin of the strong anti-Stokes luminescence in NIR FT-Raman spectra of some lanthanide sesquioxides.

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc 2006 Feb 23;63(2):501-5. Epub 2005 Jun 23.

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Strossmayerov trg 14, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.

Strong anti-Stokes bands observed in FT-Raman spectra of Y2O3, Gd2O3 and Lu2O3 are explained by NIR luminescence of Yb3+ impurities present in sesquioxides after the excitation with the 1064 nm line of an Nd:YAG laser. Samples of Y2O3:Yb, Ga2O3:Yb, CeO2:Yb, Gd2O3:Yb and Lu2O3:Yb were prepared by solution combustion synthesis procedure using urea. All materials were investigated by FT-Raman and FT-NIR spectroscopy and characterized by X-ray powder diffraction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.saa.2005.05.036DOI Listing
February 2006