Fully understanding the structure of water is a crucial point in biophysics because this liquid is essential in the operation of the engines of life. Many of its amazing anomalies seem to be tailored to support biological processes and, during about a century, several models have been developed to describe the water structuring. In particular, a theory assumes that water is a mixture of domains constituted by two distinct and inter-converting structural species, the low-density water (LDW) and the high-density water (HDW). According to this theory, by using some particular solutes or changing the water temperature, it should be possible to modify the equilibrium between the two species, changing in this way the water behavior in specific biological processes, as in governing the shape and stability of the structures of proteins. In this work, we assess the possibility of obtaining information on the structures induced in water by specific salts or by temperature by measuring the delayed luminescence (DL) of some salt solutions and of water in the super-cooled regime. Previous works have demonstrated that the delayed luminescence of a system is correlated with its dynamic ordered structures. The results show significant DL signals only when the formation of LDW domains is expected. The measurement reveals a similar activation energy for the domains both in aqueous salt solutions and super-cooled water. It is worth noting that the time trend of DL signals suggests the existence of structures unusually long-lasting in time, up to the microsecond range.
|Titolo:||Delayed luminescence: a novel technique to obtain new insights into water structure|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|