News Column

Study Findings on Amino Acids Are Outlined in Reports from Morgan State University

June 17, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Investigators discuss new findings in Amino Acids. According to news reporting from Baltimore, Maryland, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "In this work, we demonstrated that the change in the morphology of L-alanine crystals can be controlled with the addition of L-leucine using the metal-assisted and microwave accelerated evaporative crystallization (MA-MAEC) technique. Crystallization experiments, where an increasing stoichiometric amount of L-leucine is added to initial L-alanine solutions, were carried out on circular poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) disks modified with a 21-well capacity silicon isolator and silver nanoparticle films using microwave heating (MA-MAEC) and at room temperature (control experiments)."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Morgan State University, "The use of the MA-MAEC technique afforded for the growth of L-alanine crystals with different morphologies up to similar to 10-fold faster than those grown at room temperature. In addition, the length of L-alanine crystals was systematically increased from similar to 380 to similar to 2000 mu m using the MA-MAEC technique. Optical microscope images revealed that the shape of L-alanine crystals was changed from tetragonal shape (without L-leucine additive) to more elongated and wire-like structures with the addition of the L-leucine additive. Further characterization of L-alanine crystals was undertaken by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) measurements. In order to elucidate the growth mechanism of L-alanine crystals, theoretical simulations of L-alanine's morphology with and without L-leucine additive were carried out using Materials Studio software in conjunction with our experimental data."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Theoretical simulations revealed that the growth of L-alanine's {011} and {120} crystal faces were inhibited due to the incorporation of L-leucine into these crystal faces in selected positions."

For more information on this research see: Crystal Engineering of L-Alanine with L-Leucine Additive using Metal-Assisted and Microwave-Accelerated Evaporative Crystallization. Crystal Growth & Design, 2014;14(5):2494-2501. Crystal Growth & Design can be contacted at: Amer Chemical Soc, 1155 16TH St, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA. (American Chemical Society -; Crystal Growth & Design -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting A. Mojibola, Morgan State Univ, Dept. of Chem, Baltimore, MD 21251, United States. Additional authors for this research include G. Dongmo-Momo, M. Mohammed and K. Aslan (see also Amino Acids).

Keywords for this news article include: Alanine, Leucine, Maryland, Baltimore, United States, Crystal Engineering, Essential Amino Acids, North and Central America, Branched-Chain Amino Acids

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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