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  • Author or Editor: Saif Khan x
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Continuous-flow synthesis of specific functional materials is now seen as a reliable synthesis approach that gives consistent product properties. This perspective article aims to survey recent work in some of the relevant areas and to identify new domains where flow synthesis of functional materials can be better than the conventional synthesis methods. It also emphasizes the need for developing high-throughput integrated synthesis and screening systems for almost all functional materials so that laboratory-scale recipes can be transformed into reliable manufacturing processes. New areas relevant to functional materials which have remained unexplored in flow synthesis are also highlighted.

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Escherichia coli has developed sophisticated means to sense, respond, and adapt in stressed environment. It has served as a model organism for studies in molecular genetics and physiology since the 1960s. Stress response genes are induced whenever a cell needs to adapt and survive under unfavorable growth conditions. Two of the possible important genes are rpoS and bolA. The rpoS gene has been known as the alternative sigma (σ) factor, which controls the expression of a large number of genes, which are involved in responses to various stress factors as well as transition to stationary phase from exponential form of growth. Morphogene bolA response to stressed environment leads to round morphology of E. coli cells, but little is known about its involvement in biofilms and its development or maintenance. This study has been undertaken to address the adherence pattern and formation of biofilms by E. coli on stainless steel, polypropylene, and silicone surfaces after 24 h of growth at 37 °C. Scanning electron microscopy was used for direct examination of the cell attachment and biofilm formation on various surfaces and it was found that, in the presence of bolA, E. coli cells were able to attach to the stainless steel and silicone very well. By contrast, polypropylene surface was not found to be attractive for E. coli cells. This indicates that bolA responded and can play a major role in the presence and absence of rpoS in cell attachment.

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In this paper, we present detailed experimental and modeling studies of a recently developed triphasic segmented flow millireactors for rapid nanoparticle-catalyzed gas–liquid reactions. We first present detailed observations of the hydrodynamics and flow regimes in a pseudo-biphasic mode of operation, which enable the design and selection of optimal operating conditions for the triphasic millireactor. We particularly focus on and analyze the presence of wetting films of the organic phase on the reactor walls at high flow speeds, a consequence of the phenomenon of forced wetting, which is a key ingredient for optimal reactor performance. Next, we describe the development of a simple phenomenological model, incorporating the key mass transport steps that accurately captures the observed experimental trends for the rhodium nanoparticle (RhNP) catalyzed hydrogenation of a model substrate (1-hexene). We further discuss and analyze the consequences of this model.

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