Plasticized poly(lactic acid) PLA with epoxidized vegetable oils (EVO) were prepared using a melt blending method to improve the ductility of PLA. The plasticization of the PLA with EVO lowers the Tg as well as cold-crystallization temperature. The tensile properties demonstrated that the addition of EVO to PLA led to an increase of elongation at break, but a decrease of tensile modulus. Plasticized PLA showed improvement in the elongation at break by 2058% and 4060% with the addition of 5 wt % epoxidized palm oil (EPO) and mixture of epoxidized palm oil and soybean oil (EPSO), respectively. An increase in the tensile strength was also observed in the plasticized PLA with 1 wt % EPO and EPSO. The use of EVO increases the mobility of the polymeric chains, thereby improving the flexibility and plastic deformation of PLA. The SEM micrograph of the plasticized PLA showed good compatible morphologies without voids resulting from good interfacial adhesion between PLA and EVO. Based on the results of this study, EVO may be used as an environmentally friendly plasticizer that can improve the overall properties of PLA.
Rubus fruticosus L. is a shrub famous for its fruit called blackberry fruit or more commonly blackberry. The fruit has medicinal, cosmetic and nutritive value. It is a concentrated source of valuable nutrients, as well as bioactive constituents of therapeutic interest highlighting its importance as a functional food. Besides use as a fresh fruit, it is also used as ingredient in cooked dishes, salads and bakery products like jams, snacks, desserts, and fruit preserves. R. fruticosus contains vitamins, steroids and lipids in seed oil and minerals, flavonoids, glycosides, terpenes, acids and tannins in aerial parts that possess diverse pharmacological activities such as antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial anti-diabetic, anti-diarrheal, and antiviral. Various agrogeoclimatological factors like cultivar, environmental conditions of the area, agronomic practices employed, harvest time, post-harvest storage and processing techniques all influence the nutritional composition of blackberry fruit. This review focuses on the nutrients and chemical constituents as well as medicinal properties of different parts of R. fruticosus. Various cultivars and their physicochemical characteristics, polyphenolic content and ascorbic acid content are also discussed. The information in the present work will serve as baseline data and may lead to new biomedical applications of R. fruticosus as functional food.
Silver nanoparticles display unique physical and biological properties which have attracted intensive research interest because of their important medical applications. In this study silver nanoparticles (Ab.Ag-NPs) were synthesized for biomedical applications using a completely green biosynthetic method using Achillea biebersteinii flowers extract. The structure and properties of Ab.Ag-NPs were investigated using UV-visible spectroscopic techniques, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), zeta potential and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometers (EDS). The UV-visible spectroscopic analysis showed the absorbance peak at 460 nm, which indicates the synthesis of silver nanoparticles. The average particle diameter as determined by TEM was found to be 12±2 nm. The zeta potential analysis indicated that Ab.Ag-NPs have good stability EDX analysis also exhibits presentation of silver element. As angiogenesis is an important phenomenon and as growth factors imbalance in this process causes the acceleration of several diseases including cancer, the anti-angiogenic properties of Ab.Ag-NPs were evaluated using the rat aortic ring model. The results showed that Ab.Ag-NPs (200 μg/mL) lead to a 50% reduction in the length and number of vessel-like structures. The synthesized silver nanoparticles from the Achillea biebersteinii flowers extract, which do not involve any harmful chemicals were well-dispersed and stabilized through this green method and showed potential therapeutic benefits against angiogenesis.
Eleven new 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-(5-aryl-1,3,4-oxadiazol-2-yl)phenols 5a-k were synthesized by reacting aryl hydrazides with 3,5-di-tert butyl 4-hydroxybenzoic acid in the presence of phosphorus oxychloride. The resulting compounds were characterized based on their IR, ¹H-NMR, ¹³C-NMR, and HRMS data. 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazide (DPPH) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays were used to test the antioxidant properties of the compounds. Compounds 5f and 5j exhibited significant free-radical scavenging ability in both assays.
Bleaching treatment of kenaf fiber was performed in alkaline medium containing hydrogen peroxide solution maintained at pH 11 and 80 °C for 60 min. The bleached kenaf fiber was analyzed using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis. The bleached kenaf fiber was then compounded with poly-(lactic acid) (PLA) via a melt blending method. The mechanical (tensile, flexural and impact) performance of the product was tested. The fiber treatment improved the mechanical properties of PLA/bleached kenaf fiber composites. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) morphological analysis showed improvement of the interfacial adhesion between the fiber surface and polymer matrix.
Bacopa monnieri and the constituents of this plant, especially bacosides, possess various neuropharmacological properties. Like drugs, some herbal extracts and the constituents of their extracts alter cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, causing potential herb-drug interactions. The effects of Bacopa monnieri standardized extract and the bacosides from the extract on five major CYP isoforms in vitro were analyzed using a luminescent CYP recombinant human enzyme assay. B. monnieri extract exhibited non-competitive inhibition of CYP2C19 (IC50/Ki = 23.67/9.5 µg/mL), CYP2C9 (36.49/12.5 µg/mL), CYP1A2 (52.20/25.1 µg/mL); competitive inhibition of CYP3A4 (83.95/14.5 µg/mL) and weak inhibition of CYP2D6 (IC50 = 2061.50 µg/mL). However, the bacosides showed negligible inhibition of the same isoforms. B. monnieri, which is orally administered, has a higher concentration in the gut than the liver; therefore, this herb could exhibit stronger inhibition of intestinal CYPs than hepatic CYPs. At an estimated gut concentration of 600 µg/mL (based on a daily dosage of 300 mg/day), B. monnieri reduced the catalytic activities of CYP3A4, CYP2C9 and CYP2C19 to less than 10% compared to the total activity (without inhibitor = 100%). These findings suggest that B. monnieri extract could contribute to herb-drug interactions when orally co-administered with drugs metabolized by CYP1A2, CYP3A4, CYP2C9 and CYP2C19.
Honey is a natural product known for its varied biological or pharmacological activities-ranging from anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antihypertensive to hypoglycemic effects. This review article focuses on the role of honey in modulating the development and progression of tumors or cancers. It reviews available evidence (some of which is very recent) with regards to the antimetastatic, antiproliferative and anticancer effects of honey in various forms of cancer. These effects of honey have been thoroughly investigated in certain cancers such as breast, liver and colorectal cancer cell lines. In contrast, limited but promising data are available for other forms of cancers including prostate, bladder, endometrial, kidney, skin, cervical, oral and bone cancer cells. The article also underscores the various possible mechanisms by which honey may inhibit growth and proliferation of tumors or cancers. These include regulation of cell cycle, activation of mitochondrial pathway, induction of mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization, induction of apoptosis, modulation of oxidative stress, amelioration of inflammation, modulation of insulin signaling and inhibition of angiogenesis. Honey is highly cytotoxic against tumor or cancer cells while it is non-cytotoxic to normal cells. The data indicate that honey can inhibit carcinogenesis by modulating the molecular processes of initiation, promotion, and progression stages. Thus, it may serve as a potential and promising anticancer agent which warrants further experimental and clinical studies.
The use of periodical water stress and potassium fertilization may enhance rice tolerance to drought stress and improve the crop's instantaneous water use efficiency without much yield reduction. This study was conducted to assess the effects of different periodical water stress combined with potassium fertilization regimes on growth, yield, leaf gas exchanges and biochemical changes in rice grown in pots and compare them with standard local rice grower practices. Five treatments including (1) standard local grower's practice (control, 80CF = 80 kg K2O/ha + control flooding); (2) 120PW15 = 120 kg K2O/ha + periodical water stress for 15 days; (3) 120DS15V = 120 kg K2O/ha + drought stress for 15 days during the vegetative stage; (4) 120DS25V = 120 kg K2O/ha + drought stress for 25 days and (5) 120DS15R = 120 kg K2O/ha + drought stress for 15 days during the reproductive stage, were evaluated in this experiment. Control and 120PW15 treatments were stopped at 100 DAS, and continuously saturated conditions were applied until harvest. It was found that rice under 120PW15 treatment showed tolerance to drought stress evidenced by increased water use efficiency, peroxidase (POX), catalase (CAT) and proline levels, maximum efficiency of photosystem II (fv/fm) and lower minimal fluorescence (fo), compared to other treatments. Path coefficient analysis revealed that most of parameters contribute directly rather than indirectly to rice yield. In this experiment, there were four factors that are directly involved with rice yield: grain soluble sugar, photosynthesis, water use efficiency and total chlorophyll content. The residual factors affecting rice yield are observed to be quite low in the experiment (0.350), confirming that rice yield was mostly influenced by the parameters measured during the study.
The purification of thermo-acidic amylase enzyme from red pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) peel for the first time was investigated using a novel aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) consisting of a thermo-separating copolymer and an organic solvent. The effectiveness of different parameters such as molecular weight of the thermo-separating ethylene oxide-propylene oxide (EOPO) copolymer and type and concentration of organic solvent on the partitioning behavior of amylase was investigated. In addition, the effects of phase components, volume ratio (VR), pH and crude load of purification factor and yield of amylase were evaluated to achieve the optimum partition conditions of the enzyme. In the novel ATPS method, the enzyme was satisfactorily partitioned into the polymer-rich top phase in the system composed of 30% (w/w) EOPO 2500 and 15% (w/w) 2-propanol, at a volume ratio of 1.94 and with a crude load scale of 25% (w/w) at pH 5.0. Recovery and recycling of components was also measured in each successive step of the ATPS process. The enzyme was successfully recovered by the method with a high purification factor of 14.3 and yield of 96.6% and copolymer was also recovered and recycled at a rate above 97%, making the method was more economical than the traditional ATPS method.
Thiourea derivatives display a broad spectrum of applications in chemistry, various industries, medicines and various other fields. Recently, different thiourea derivatives have been synthesized and explored for their anti-microbial properties. In this study, four carbonyl thiourea derivatives were synthesized and characterized, and then further tested for their anti-amoebic properties on two potential pathogenic species of Acanthamoeba, namely A. castellanii (CCAP 1501/2A) and A. polyphaga (CCAP 1501/3A). The results indicate that these newly-synthesized thiourea derivatives are active against both Acanthamoeba species. The IC50 values obtained were in the range of 2.39-8.77 µg·mL⁻¹ (9.47-30.46 µM) for A. castellanii and 3.74-9.30 µg·mL⁻¹ (14.84-31.91 µM) for A. polyphaga. Observations on the amoeba morphology indicated that the compounds caused the reduction of the amoeba size, shortening of their acanthopodia structures, and gave no distinct vacuolar and nuclear structures in the amoeba cells. Meanwhile, fluorescence microscopic observation using acridine orange and propidium iodide (AOPI) staining revealed that the synthesized compounds induced compromised-membrane in the amoeba cells. The results of this study proved that these new carbonyl thiourea derivatives, especially compounds M1 and M2 provide potent cytotoxic properties toward pathogenic Acanthamoeba to suggest that they can be developed as new anti-amoebic agents for the treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis.
The adsorption of tributyltin (TBT), onto three mesoporous silica adsorbents functionalized with calixarene, p-tert-butylcalixarene and p-sulfonatocalixarene (MCM-TDI-C4, MCM-TDI-PC4 and MCM-TDI-C4S, respectively) has been compared. Batch adsorption experiments were carried out and the effect of contact time, initial TBT concentration, pH and temperature were studied. The Koble-Corrigan isotherm was the most suitable for data fitting. Based on a Langmuir isotherm model, the maximum adsorption capacities were 12.1212, 16.4204 and 7.5757 mg/g for MCM-TDI-C4, MCM-TDI-PC4 and MCM-TDI-C4S, respectively. The larger uptake and stronger affinity of MCM-TDI-PC4 than MCM-TDI-C4 and MCM-TDI-C4S probably results from van der Waals interactions and the pore size distribution of MCM-TDI-PC4. Gibbs free energies for the three adsorption processes of TBT presented a negative value, reflecting that TBT/surface interactions are thermodynamic favorable and spontaneous. The interaction processes were accompanied by an increase of entropy value for MCM-TDI-C4 and MCM-TDI-C4S (43.7192 and 120.7609 J/mol K, respectively) and a decrease for MCM-TDI-PC4 (-37.4704 J/mol K). It is obviously observed that MCM-TDI-PC4 spontaneously adsorbs TBT driven mainly by enthalpy change, while MCM-TDI-C4 and MCM-TDI-C4S do so driven mainly by entropy changes.
Two independent molecules that differ in terms of rotation about the central S-N bond comprise the asymmetric unit of the title compound 1. The molecules have a V-shape with the dihedral angles between the fused ring system and benzene ring being 79.08(6)° and 72.83(5)°, respectively. The packing is mostly driven by p···p interactions occurring between the tolyl ring of one molecule and the C6 ring of the indole fused ring system of the other. DFT and IRC calculations for these and related 1-(arylsulfonyl)indole molecules showed that the rotational barrier about the S-N bond between conformers is within the 2.5-5.5 kcal/mol range. Crystal data for C16H13NO3S (1): Mr = 299.33, space group Pna21, a = 19.6152(4) Å, b = 11.2736(4) Å, c = 12.6334(3) Å, V = 2793.67(13) Å3, Z = 8, Z' = 2, R = 0.034.
Although nanoparticle-enhanced biosensors have been extensively researched, few studies have systematically characterized the roles of nanoparticles in enhancing biosensor functionality. This paper describes a successful new method in which DNA binds directly to iron oxide nanoparticles for use in an optical biosensor. A wide variety of nanoparticles with different properties have found broad application in biosensors because their small physical size presents unique chemical, physical, and electronic properties that are different from those of bulk materials. Of all nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticles are proving to be a versatile tool, an excellent case in point being in DNA bioassays, where magnetic nanoparticles are often used for optimization of the hybridization and separation of target DNA. A critical step in the successful construction of a DNA biosensor is the efficient attachment of biomolecules to the surface of magnetic nanoparticles. To date, most methods of synthesizing these nanoparticles have led to the formation of hydrophobic particles that require additional surface modifications. As a result, the surface to volume ratio decreases and nonspecific bindings may occur so that the sensitivity and efficiency of the device deteriorates. A new method of large-scale synthesis of iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles which results in the magnetite particles being in aqueous phase, was employed in this study. Small modifications were applied to design an optical DNA nanosensor based on sandwich hybridization. Characterization of the synthesized particles was carried out using a variety of techniques and CdSe/ZnS core-shell quantum dots were used as the reporter markers in a spectrofluorophotometer. We showed conclusively that DNA binds to the surface of ironoxide nanoparticles without further surface modifications and that these magnetic nanoparticles can be efficiently utilized as biomolecule carriers in biosensing devices.
Amylase is one of the most important enzymes in the world due to its wide application in various industries and biotechnological processes. In this study, amylase enzyme from Hylocereus polyrhizus was encapsulated for the first time in an Arabic gum-chitosan matrix using freeze drying. The encapsulated amylase retained complete biocatalytic activity and exhibited a shift in the optimum temperature and considerable increase in the pH and temperature stabilities compared to the free enzyme. Encapsulation of the enzyme protected the activity in the presence of ionic and non-ionic surfactants and oxidizing agents (H₂O₂) and enhanced the shelf life. The storage stability of amylase is found to markedly increase after immobilization and the freeze dried amylase exhibited maximum encapsulation efficiency value (96.2%) after the encapsulation process. Therefore, the present study demonstrated that the encapsulation of the enzyme in a coating agent using freeze drying is an efficient method to keep the enzyme active and stable until required in industry.
Hispidin oligomers are styrylpyrone pigments isolated from the medicinal fungi Inonotus xeranticus and Phellinus linteus. They exhibit diverse biological activities and strong free radical scavenging activity. To rationalize the antioxidant activity of a series of four hispidin oligomers and determine the favored mechanism involved in free radical scavenging, DFT calculations were carried out at the B3P86/6-31+G (d, p) level of theory in gas and solvent. The results showed that bond dissociation enthalpies of OH groups of hispidin oligomers (ArOH) and spin density delocalization of related radicals (ArO•) are the appropriate parameters to clarify the differences between the observed antioxidant activities for the four oligomers. The effect of the number of hydroxyl groups and presence of a catechol moiety conjugated to a double bond on the antioxidant activity were determined. Thermodynamic and kinetic studies showed that the PC-ET mechanism is the main mechanism involved in free radical scavenging. The spin density distribution over phenoxyl radicals allows a better understanding of the hispidin oligomers formation.
Research was carried out to estimate the levels of capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin that may be found in some heat tolerant chili pepper genotypes and to determine the degree of pungency as well as percentage capsaicin content of each of the analyzed peppers. A sensitive, precise, and specific ultra fast liquid chromatographic (UFLC) system was used for the separation, identification and quantitation of the capsaicinoids and the extraction solvent was acetonitrile. The method validation parameters, including linearity, precision, accuracy and recovery, yielded good results. Thus, the limit of detection was 0.045 µg/kg and 0.151 µg/kg for capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin, respectively, whereas the limit of quantitation was 0.11 µg/kg and 0.368 µg/kg for capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin. The calibration graph was linear from 0.05 to 0.50 µg/g for UFLC analysis. The inter- and intra-day precisions (relative standard deviation) were <5.0% for capsaicin and <9.9% for dihydrocapsaicin while the average recoveries obtained were quantitative (89.4%-90.1% for capsaicin, 92.4%-95.2% for dihydrocapsaicin), indicating good accuracy of the UFLC method. AVPP0705, AVPP0506, AVPP0104, AVPP0002, C05573 and AVPP0805 showed the highest concentration of capsaicin (12,776, 5,828, 4,393, 4,760, 3,764 and 4,120 µg/kg) and the highest pungency level, whereas AVPP9703, AVPP0512, AVPP0307, AVPP0803 and AVPP0102 recorded no detection of capsaicin and hence were non-pungent. All chili peppers studied except AVPP9703, AVPP0512, AVPP0307, AVPP0803 and AVPP0102 could serve as potential sources of capsaicin. On the other hand, only genotypes AVPP0506, AVPP0104, AVPP0002, C05573 and AVPP0805 gave a % capsaicin content that falls within the pungency limit that could make them recommendable as potential sources of capsaicin for the pharmaceutical industry.
Plant bioactives -gingerol (GING), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and asiaticoside (AS) and vitamin E, such as tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF), have been reported to possess anticancer activity. In this study, we investigated the apoptotic properties of these bioactive compounds alone or in combination on glioma cancer cells. TRF, GING, EGCG and AS were tested for cytotoxicity on glioma cell lines 1321N1 (Grade II), SW1783 (Grade III) and LN18 (Grade IV) in culture by the (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxy-phenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt) (MTS) assay. With the exception of AS, combinations of two compounds were tested, and the interactions of each combination were evaluated by the combination index (CI) using an isobologram. Different grades of glioma cancer cells showed different cytotoxic responses to the compounds, where in 1321N1 and LN18 cells, the combination of EGCG + GING exhibited a synergistic effect with CI = 0.77 and CI = 0.55, respectively. In contrast, all combinations tested (TRF + GING, TRF + EGCG and EGCG + GING) were found to be antagonistic on SW1783 with CI values of 1.29, 1.39 and 1.39, respectively. Combined EGCG + GING induced apoptosis in both 1321N1 and LN18 cells, as evidenced by Annexin-V FITC/PI staining and increased active caspase-3. Our current data suggests that the combination of EGCG + GING synergistically induced apoptosis and inhibits the proliferation 1321N1 and LN18 cells, but not SW1783 cells, which may be due to their different genetic profiles.
New thiosemicarbazide derivatives 2-6 were synthesised by reacting 2-(ethylsulfanyl)benzohydrazide with various aryl isothiocyanates. The cyclisation of compounds 2-6 under reflux conditions in a basic medium (aqueous NaOH, 4 N) yielded compounds 7-11 that contain a 1,2,4-triazole ring. All of the synthesised compounds were screened for their antioxidant activities. Compounds 2, 3, and 7 showed better radical scavenging in a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, with IC50 values of 1.08, 0.22, and 0.74 µg/mL, respectively, compared to gallic acid (IC50, 1.2 µg/mL). Compound 3 also showed superior results in a ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay (3054 µM/100 g) compared to those of ascorbic acid (1207 µM/100 g).
A series of ninety-seven diarylpentanoid derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for their anti-inflammatory activity through NO suppression assay using interferone gamma (IFN-γ)/lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Twelve compounds (9, 25, 28, 43, 63, 64, 81, 83, 84, 86, 88 and 97) exhibited greater or similar NO inhibitory activity in comparison with curcumin (14.7 ± 0.2 µM), notably compounds 88 and 97, which demonstrated the most significant NO suppression activity with IC50 values of 4.9 ± 0.3 µM and 9.6 ± 0.5 µM, respectively. A structure-activity relationship (SAR) study revealed that the presence of a hydroxyl group in both aromatic rings is critical for bioactivity of these molecules. With the exception of the polyphenolic derivatives, low electron density in ring-A and high electron density in ring-B are important for enhancing NO inhibition. Meanwhile, pharmacophore mapping showed that hydroxyl substituents at both meta- and para-positions of ring-B could be the marker for highly active diarylpentanoid derivatives.