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  1. Sarfaraz M, Ahmad MK, Kılıçman A
    J Inequal Appl, 2017;2017(1):81.
    PMID: 28479833 DOI: 10.1186/s13660-017-1351-x
    The resolvent operator approach is applied to address a system of generalized ordered variational inclusions with ⊕ operator in real ordered Banach space. With the help of the resolvent operator technique, Li et al. (J. Inequal. Appl. 2013:514, 2013; Fixed Point Theory Appl. 2014:122, 2014; Fixed Point Theory Appl. 2014:146, 2014; Appl. Math. Lett. 25:1384-1388, 2012; Fixed Point Theory Appl. 2013:241, 2013; Eur. J. Oper. Res. 16(1):1-8, 2011; Fixed Point Theory Appl. 2014:79, 2014; Nonlinear Anal. Forum 13(2):205-214, 2008; Nonlinear Anal. Forum 14: 89-97, 2009) derived an iterative algorithm for approximating a solution of the considered system. Here, we prove an existence result for the solution of the system of generalized ordered variational inclusions and deal with a convergence scheme for the algorithms under some appropriate conditions. Some special cases are also discussed.
  2. Sulaiman IM, Sheikh Ahmad MK, Bouzekri K, Ismail D
    Eur. Heart J., 2015 Jul 7;36(26):1636-9.
    PMID: 26366446
  3. Othman J, Sahani M, Mahmud M, Ahmad MK
    Environ. Pollut., 2014 Jun;189:194-201.
    PMID: 24682070 DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.03.010
    This study assessed the economic value of health impacts of transboundary smoke haze pollution in Kuala Lumpur and adjacent areas in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. Daily inpatient data from 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009 for 14 haze-related illnesses were collected from four hospitals. On average, there were 19 hazy days each year during which the air pollution levels were within the Lower Moderate to Hazardous categories. No seasonal variation in inpatient cases was observed. A smoke haze occurrence was associated with an increase in inpatient cases by 2.4 per 10,000 populations each year, representing an increase of 31 percent from normal days. The average annual economic loss due to the inpatient health impact of haze was valued at MYR273,000 ($91,000 USD).
  4. Khan MA, Nayan N, Shadiullah, Ahmad MK, Soon CF
    Nanomaterials (Basel), 2020 Jul 02;10(7).
    PMID: 32630689 DOI: 10.3390/nano10071298
    In the present work, a facile one-step hydrothermal synthesis of well-defined stabilized CuO nanopetals and its surface study by advanced nanocharacterization techniques for enhanced optical and catalytic properties has been investigated. Characterization by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis confirmed existence of high crystalline CuO nanopetals with average length and diameter of 1611.96 nm and 650.50 nm, respectively. The nanopetals are monodispersed with a large surface area, controlled morphology, and demonstrate the nanocrystalline nature with a monoclinic structure. The phase purity of the as-synthesized sample was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns. A significantly wide absorption up to 800 nm and increased band gap were observed in CuO nanopetals. The valance band (VB) and conduction band (CB) positions at CuO surface are measured to be of +0.7 and -1.03 eV, respectively, using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), which would be very promising for efficient catalytic properties. Furthermore, the obtained CuO nanopetals in the presence of hydrogen peroxide ( H 2 O 2 ) achieved excellent catalytic activities for degradation of methylene blue (MB) under dark, with degradation rate > 99% after 90 min, which is significantly higher than reported in the literature. The enhanced catalytic activity was referred to the controlled morphology of monodispersed CuO nanopetals, co-operative role of H 2 O 2 and energy band structure. This work contributes to a new approach for extensive application opportunities in environmental improvement.
  5. Ahmad MK, Abdollah NA, Shafie NH, Yusof NM, Razak SRA
    Cancer Biol Med, 2018 Feb;15(1):14-28.
    PMID: 29545965 DOI: 10.20892/j.issn.2095-3941.2017.0107
    Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are the main regulators of cellular proliferation, growth, and survival in physiological or pathological conditions. Aberrant MAPK signaling plays a pivotal role in carcinogenesis, which leads to development and progression of human cancer. Dual-specificity phosphatase 6 (DUSP6), a member of the MAPK phosphatase family, interacts with specifically targeted extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 via negative feedback regulation in the MAPK pathway of mammalian cells. This phosphatase functions in a dual manner, pro-oncogenic or tumor-suppressive, depending on the type of cancer. To date, the tumor-suppressive role of DUSP6 has been demonstrated in pancreatic cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, esophageal squamous cell and nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and ovarian cancer. Its pro-oncogenic role has been observed in human glioblastoma, thyroid carcinoma, breast cancer, and acute myeloid carcinoma. Both roles of DUSP6 have been documented in malignant melanoma depending on the histological subtype of the cancer. Loss- or gain-of-function effects of DUSP6 in these cancers highlights the significance of this phosphatase in carcinogenesis. Development of methods that use the DUSP6 gene as a therapeutic target for cancer treatment or as a prognostic factor for diagnosis and evaluation of cancer treatment outcome has great potential. This review focuses on molecular characteristics of the DUSP6 gene and its role in cancers in the purview of development, progression, and cancer treatment outcome.
  6. Napi MLM, Sultan SM, Ismail R, How KW, Ahmad MK
    Materials (Basel), 2019 Sep 15;12(18).
    PMID: 31540160 DOI: 10.3390/ma12182985
    Electrochemical biosensors have shown great potential in the medical diagnosis field. The performance of electrochemical biosensors depends on the sensing materials used. ZnO nanostructures play important roles as the active sites where biological events occur, subsequently defining the sensitivity and stability of the device. ZnO nanostructures have been synthesized into four different dimensional formations, which are zero dimensional (nanoparticles and quantum dots), one dimensional (nanorods, nanotubes, nanofibers, and nanowires), two dimensional (nanosheets, nanoflakes, nanodiscs, and nanowalls) and three dimensional (hollow spheres and nanoflowers). The zero-dimensional nanostructures could be utilized for creating more active sites with a larger surface area. Meanwhile, one-dimensional nanostructures provide a direct and stable pathway for rapid electron transport. Two-dimensional nanostructures possess a unique polar surface for enhancing the immobilization process. Finally, three-dimensional nanostructures create extra surface area because of their geometric volume. The sensing performance of each of these morphologies toward the bio-analyte level makes ZnO nanostructures a suitable candidate to be applied as active sites in electrochemical biosensors for medical diagnostic purposes. This review highlights recent advances in various dimensions of ZnO nanostructures towards electrochemical biosensor applications.
  7. Soon CF, Thong KT, Tee KS, Ismail AB, Denyer M, Ahmad MK, et al.
    Biotech Histochem, 2016 May;91(4):283-95.
    PMID: 27008034 DOI: 10.3109/10520295.2016.1158865
    We describe a new scaffold-free three-dimensional (3D) cell culture model using cholesteryl ester based lyotropic liquid crystal (LC) substrates. Keratinocytes were deposited randomly on the LC surface where they self-assembled into 3D microtissues or keratinospheroids. The cell density required to form spheroids was optimized. We investigated cell viability using dead/live cell assays. The adhesion characteristics of cells within the microtissues were determined using histological sectioning and immunofluorescence staining. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to characterize the biochemistry of the keratinospheroids. We found that both cells and microtissues could migrate on the LC surface. The viability study indicated approximately 80% viability of cells in the microtissues up to 20 days of culture. Strong intercellular adhesion was observed in the stratification of the multi-layered microspheroids using field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and histochemical staining. The cytoskeleton and vinculins of the cells in the microtissues were expressed diffusely, but the microtissues were enriched with lipids and nucleic acids, which indicates close resemblance to the conditions in vivo. The basic 3D culture model based on LC may be used for cell and microtissue migration studies in response to cytochemical treatment.
  8. Soon CF, Tee KS, Wong SC, Nayan N, Sargunan Sundra, Ahmad MK, et al.
    Cytotechnology, 2018 Feb;70(1):13-29.
    PMID: 29189979 DOI: 10.1007/s10616-017-0168-2
    Growing three dimensional (3D) cells is an emerging research in tissue engineering. Biophysical properties of the 3D cells regulate the cells growth, drug diffusion dynamics and gene expressions. Scaffold based or scaffoldless techniques for 3D cell cultures are rarely being compared in terms of the physical features of the microtissues produced. The biophysical properties of the microtissues cultured using scaffold based microencapsulation by flicking and scaffoldless liquid crystal (LC) based techniques were characterized. Flicking technique produced high yield and highly reproducible microtissues of keratinocyte cell lines in alginate microcapsules at approximately 350 ± 12 pieces per culture. However, microtissues grown on the LC substrates yielded at lower quantity of 58 ± 21 pieces per culture. The sizes of the microtissues produced using alginate microcapsules and LC substrates were 250 ± 25 μm and 141 ± 70 μm, respectively. In both techniques, cells remodeled into microtissues via different growth phases and showed good integrity of cells in field-emission scanning microscopy (FE-SEM). Microencapsulation packed the cells in alginate scaffolds of polysaccharides with limited spaces for motility. Whereas, LC substrates allowed the cells to migrate and self-stacking into multilayered structures as revealed by the nuclei stainings. The cells cultured using both techniques were found viable based on the live and dead cell stainings. Stained histological sections showed that both techniques produced cell models that closely replicate the intrinsic physiological conditions. Alginate microcapsulation and LC based techniques produced microtissues containing similar bio-macromolecules but they did not alter the main absorption bands of microtissues as revealed by the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Cell growth, structural organization, morphology and surface structures for 3D microtissues cultured using both techniques appeared to be different and might be suitable for different applications.
  9. Ahmad MK, Tabana YM, Ahmed MA, Sandai DA, Mohamed R, Ismail IS, et al.
    Malays J Med Sci, 2017 Dec;24(6):29-38.
    PMID: 29379384 DOI: 10.21315/mjms2017.24.6.4
    Background: A norovirus maintains its viability, infectivity and virulence by its ability to replicate. However, the biological mechanisms of the process remain to be explored. In this work, the NanoLuc™ Luciferase gene was used to develop a reporter-tagged replicon system to study norovirus replication.

    Methods: The NanoLuc™ Luciferase reporter protein was engineered to be expressed as a fusion protein for MNV-1 minor capsid protein, VP2. The foot-and-mouth disease virus 2A (FMDV2A) sequence was inserted between the 3'end of the reporter gene and the VP2 start sequence to allow co-translational 'cleavage' of fusion proteins during intracellular transcript expression. Amplification of the fusion gene was performed using a series of standard and overlapping polymerase chain reactions. The resulting amplicon was then cloned into three readily available backbones of MNV-1 cDNA clones.

    Results: Restriction enzyme analysis indicated that the NanoLucTM Luciferase gene was successfully inserted into the parental MNV-1 cDNA clone. The insertion was further confirmed by using DNA sequencing.

    Conclusion: NanoLuc™ Luciferase-tagged MNV-1 cDNA clones were successfully engineered. Such clones can be exploited to develop robust experimental assays for in vitro assessments of viral RNA replication.

  10. Mohamed A, Ardyani T, Bakar SA, Sagisaka M, Umetsu Y, Hussin MRM, et al.
    Carbohydr Polym, 2018 Dec 01;201:48-59.
    PMID: 30241844 DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2018.08.040
    A facile electrochemical exfoliation method was established to efficiently prepare conductive paper containing reduced graphene oxide (RGO) with the help of single chain anionic surfactant ionic liquids (SAILs). The surfactant ionic liquids are synthesized from conventional organic surfactant anions and a 1-butyl-3-methyl-imidazolium cation. For the first time the combination of SAILs and cellulose was used to directly exfoliate graphite. The ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methyl-imidazolium dodecylbenzenesulfonate (BMIM-DBS) was shown to have notable affinity for graphene, demonstrating improved electrical properties of the conductive cellulose paper. The presence of BMIM-DBS in the system promotes five orders of magnitude enhancement of the paper electrical conductivity (2.71 × 10-5 S cm-1) compared to the native cellulose (1.97 × 10-10 S cm-1). A thorough investigation using electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy highlights the presence of uniform graphene incorporated inside the matrices. Studies into aqueous aggregation behavior using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) point to the ability of this compound to act as a bridge between graphene and cellulose, and is responsible for the enhanced exfoliation level and stabilization of the resulting dispersion. The simple and feasible process for producing conductive paper described here is attractive for the possibility of scaling-up this technique for mass production of conductive composites containing graphene or other layered materials.
  11. Ardyani T, Mohamed A, Bakar SA, Sagisaka M, Umetsu Y, Mamat MH, et al.
    J Colloid Interface Sci, 2019 Jun 01;545:184-194.
    PMID: 30878784 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2019.03.012
    HYPOTHESIS: The compatibility of surfactants and graphene surfaces can be improved by increasing the number of aromatic groups in the surfactants. Including aniline in the structure may improve the compatibility between surfactant and graphene further still. Surfactants can be modified by incorporating aromatic groups in the hydrophobic chains or hydrophilic headgroups. Therefore, it is of interest to investigate the effects of employing anilinium based surfactants to disperse graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) in natural rubber latex (NRL) for the fabrication of electrically conductive nanocomposites.

    EXPERIMENTS: New graphene-philic surfactants carrying aromatic moieties in the hydrophilic headgroups and hydrophobic tails were synthesized by swapping the traditional sodium counterion with anilinium. 1H NMR spectroscopy was used to characterize the surfactants. These custom-made surfactants were used to assist the dispersion of GNPs in natural rubber latex matrices for the preparation of conductive nanocomposites. The properties of nanocomposites with the new anilinium surfactants were compared with commercial sodium surfactant sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS), sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate (SDBS), and the previously synthesized aromatic tri-chain sodium surfactant TC3Ph3 (sodium 1,5-dioxo-1,5-bis(3-phenylpropoxy)-3-((3phenylpropoxy)carbonyl) pentane-2-sulfonate). Structural properties of the nanocomposites were studied using Raman spectroscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). Electrical conductivity measurements and Zeta potential measurements were used to assess the relationships between total number of aromatic groups in the surfactant molecular structure and nanocomposite properties. The self-assembly structure of surfactants in aqueous systems and GNP dispersions was assessed using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS).

    FINDINGS: Among these different surfactants, the anilinium version of TC3Ph3 namely TC3Ph3-AN (anilinium 1,5-dioxo-1,5-bis(3-phenylpropoxy)-3-((3phenylpropoxy)carbonyl) pentane-2-sulfonate) was shown to be highly efficient for dispersing GNPs in the NRL matrices, increasing electrical conductivity eleven orders of magnitude higher than the neat rubber latex. Comparisons between the sodium and anilinium surfactants show significant differences in the final properties of the nanocomposites. In general, the strategy of increasing the number of surfactant-borne aromatic groups by incorporating anilinium ions in surfactant headgroups appears to be effective.

  12. Jamaluddin NA, Mohamed A, Abu Bakar S, Ardyani T, Sagisaka M, Suhara S, et al.
    Phys Chem Chem Phys, 2020 Jun 14;22(22):12732-12744.
    PMID: 32462145 DOI: 10.1039/d0cp01243b
    The generation of surfactant-assisted exfoliated graphene oxide (sEGO) by electrochemical exfoliation is influenced by the presence of surfactants, and in particular the hydrophobic tail molecular-architecture. Increasing surfactant chain branching may improve the affinity for the graphite surfaces to provide enhanced intersheet separation and stabilisation of exfoliated sheets. The resulting sEGO composites can be readily used to remove of a model pollutant, the dye, methylene blue (MB), from aqueous solutions by providing abundant sites for dye adsorption. This article explores relationships between surfactant structure and the performance of sEGO for MB adsorption. Double-branched and highly branched triple-chain graphene-compatible surfactants were successfully synthesised and characterised by 1H NMR spectroscopy. These surfactants were used to produce sEGO via electrochemical exfoliation of graphite, and the sEGOs generated were further utilised in batch adsorption studies of MB from aqueous solutions. The properties of these synthesised surfactants were compared with those of a common single-chain standard surfactant, sodium dodecyl-sulfate (SDS). The structural morphology of sEGO was assessed using Raman spectroscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). To reveal the links between the hydrophobic chain structure and the sEGO adsorption capacity, UV-visible spectroscopy, zeta potential, and air-water (a/w) surface tension measurements were conducted. The aggregation behaviour of the surfactants was studied using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). The highly branched triple-chain surfactant sodium 1,4-bis(neopentyloxy)-3-(neopentylcarbonyl)-1,4-dioxobutane-2-sulfonate (TC14) displayed enhanced exfoliating efficiency compared to those of the single-and double-chain surfactants, leading to ∼83% MB removal. The findings suggest that highly branched triple-chain surfactants are able to offer more adsorption sites, by expanding the sEGO interlayer gap for MB adsorption, compared to standard single-chain surfactants.
  13. Woon YL, Hor CP, Lee KY, Mohd Anuar SFZ, Mudin RN, Sheikh Ahmad MK, et al.
    BMC Public Health, 2018 08 02;18(1):946.
    PMID: 30068318 DOI: 10.1186/s12889-018-5849-z
    BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic measures of the dengue burden such as prevalence and incidence are important for policy-making and monitoring the progress of disease control. It is a common practice where epidemiologic and economic research estimate dengue burden based on notification data. However, a basic challenge in estimating the incidence of dengue is that a significant proportion of infected population are asymptomatic. It can be overcome by using mathematical models that relate observed prevalence and mortality to incidence. In this study, we estimate the trend of dengue incidence and hospitalization in Malaysia.

    METHODS: This study is based entirely on the available secondary data sources on dengue in Malaysia. The age-specific incidence of dengue between 2001 and 2013 was estimated using the prevalence and mortality estimates in an incidence-prevalence-mortality (IPM) model. Data on dengue prevalence were extracted from six sero-surveys conducted in Malaysia between 2001 and 2013; while statistics on dengue notification and Case Fatality Rate were derived from National Dengue Surveillance System. Dengue hospitalization data for the years 2009 to 2013 were extracted from the Health Informatics Centre and the volumes of dengue hospitalization for hospitals with missing data were estimated with Poisson models.

    RESULTS: The dengue incidence in Malaysia varied from 69.9 to 93.4 per 1000 population (pkp) between 2001 and 2013.The temporal trend in incidence rate was decreasing since 2001. It has been reducing at an average rate of 2.57 pkp per year from 2001 to 2013 (p = 0.011). The age-specific incidence of dengue decreased steadily with dengue incidence reaching zero by age > 70 years. Dengue notification rate has remained stable since 2001 and the number of notified cases each year was only a small fraction of the incident cases (0.7 to 2.3%). Similarly, the dengue hospitalization was larger but still a small fraction of the incident cases (3.0 to 5.6%).

    CONCLUSION: Dengue incidence can be estimated with the use of sero-prevalence surveys and mortality data. This study highlights a reducing trend of dengue incidence in Malaysia and demonstrates the discrepancy between true dengue disease burden and cases reported by national surveillance system. Sero-prevalence studies with representative samples should be conducted regularly to allow better estimation of dengue burden in Malaysia.

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