The goal is to explore the role of water in biological function. Although water's role is considered secondary, recent evidence from this laboratory implies that its role may be more primary. Next to hydrophilic surfaces, water acquires special properties: it is charged, more ordered, and it excludes solutes. This interfacial zone is more extensive than previously thought, and it expands in the presence of radiant energy, particularly at infrared wavelengths. Because cells are crowded with hydrophilic surfaces and water, and because radiant energy is present as well, the above-mentioned features may be highly relevant for cell function. Up to now they have not been considered. The hypothesis is that they are unexpectedly crucial, and the goal is to test in a number of representative biological systems whether that is indeed the case. The mechanisms to be pursued include the following: (1) Diffusion and osmosis. Do the above-mentioned features play a central role? (2) Surface tension and oxygen exchange. Since these features are present at the air-water interface, do they govern oxygen exchange? (3) Self-assembly. The presence of ample near-surface charge in water leads to an explanation of why like-charged molecules can attract. Could this be a putative mechanism for self-assembly? (4) Light-induced effects. Incident light is known to be therapeutic. Do the aforementioned water-based features offer a possible explanation? (5) Vascular anomalies. The above-mentioned features lead to simple hypotheses for flow dynamics and atherosclerosis. Can these hypotheses be validated? (6) Global health. Because the interfacial zone excludes bacteria, purified water can be obtained. Can this approach be developed for global health applications? If the newly discovered features prove to be centrally relevant as hypothesized, then their relevance might extend more generally. If so, then this water-based approach may crack open the door to a new realm of biological understanding.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed studies deal with the role of water in biological function. Water's role has been underestimated. The experiments will test for a more central role of water than has been previously estimated. If the proposed hypotheses are validated, then a fresh understanding of biomedical principles should result.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01GM093842-03
Application #
8136473
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-A (51))
Program Officer
Preusch, Peter C
Project Start
2009-09-30
Project End
2014-08-31
Budget Start
2011-09-01
Budget End
2012-08-31
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$742,005
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Washington
Department
Engineering (All Types)
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
605799469
City
Seattle
State
WA
Country
United States
Zip Code
98195
Kundacina, Nenad; Shi, Minghui; Pollack, Gerald H (2016) Effect of Local and General Anesthetics on Interfacial Water. PLoS One 11:e0152127
Ypma, Rolf E; Pollack, Gerald H (2015) Effect of hyperbaric oxygen conditions on the ordering of interfacial water. Undersea Hyperb Med 42:257-64
Kimura, Kevin W; Pollack, Gerald H (2015) Particle Displacement in Aqueous Suspension Arising from Incident Radiant Energy. Langmuir 31:10370-6
Musumeci, Francesco; Pollack, Gerald H (2014) High electrical permittivity of ultrapure water at the water-platinum interface. Chem Phys Lett 613:19-23
Das, Ronnie; Pollack, Gerald H (2013) Charge-based forces at the Nafion-water interface. Langmuir 29:2651-8
Musumeci, Francesco; Pollack, Gerald H (2012) Influence of water on the work function of certain metals. Chem Phys Lett 536:65-67
Chai, B; Mahtani, A G; Pollack, G H (2012) UNEXPECTED PRESENCE OF SOLUTE-FREE ZONES AT METAL-WATER INTERFACES. Contemp Mater 3:1-12
Nhan, D T; Pollack, G H (2011) EFFECT OF PARTICLE DIAMETER ON EXCLUSION-ZONE SIZE. Int J Des Nat Ecodyn 6:139-144
Bhalerao, Anish S; Pollack, Gerald H (2011) Light-induced effects on Brownian displacements. J Biophotonics 4:172-7
Yoo, Hyok; Paranji, Rajan; Pollack, Gerald H (2011) Impact of Hydrophilic Surfaces on Interfacial Water Dynamics Probed with NMR Spectroscopy. J Phys Chem Lett 2:532-536

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