Enzymatic catalysis is considered to be among the most environmental friendly processes for the synthesis of fine chemicals. In this study, lipase from Thermomyces lanuginosus (Lecitase Ultra™) was used to catalyze the synthesis of flavor esters, i.e., methyl butanoate and methyl benzoate by esterification of the acids with methanol in a microfluidic system. Maximum reaction rates of 195 and 115 mM min(-1) corresponding to catalytic efficiencies (k cat/K M) of 0.30 and 0.24 min(-1) mM(-1) as well as yield conversion of 54 and 41 % were observed in methyl butanoate and methyl benzoate synthesis, respectively. Catalytic turnover (k cat) was higher for methyl butanoate synthesis. Rate of synthesis and yield decreased with increasing flow rates. For both esters, increase in microfluidic flow rate resulted in increased advective transport over molecular diffusion and reaction rate, thus lower conversion. In microfluidic synthesis using T. lanuginosus lipase, the following reaction conditions were 40 °C, flow rate 0.1 mL min(-1), and 123 U g(-1) enzyme loading found to be the optimum operating limits. The work demonstrated the application of enzyme(s) in a microreactor system for the synthesis of industrially important esters.
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT)-tannase composite was investigated as an immobilized biocatalyst on the basis of its facile preparation, low cost, and excellent aqueous dispersibility. Cross-linked tannase enzymes, obtained in the presence of glutaraldehyde, were composited with MWCNT via physical adsorption. Multiple techniques were applied to investigate, and corroborate the successful adsorption of cross-linked tannase onto the MWCNT structure. Green tea infusion extract post-treatment using the composite preparation showed elevated radical scavenging activities relative to the control. Green tea infusion extract exhibited a markedly reduced EC50 value on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals following its treatment with the enzyme composite, which represents 20%-34% enhancement in its free radical scavenging capacity. Stoichiometry and number of reduced DPPH were determined and compared. The antioxidative potential of a widely consumed, health-beneficial green tea is elevated by the treatment with MWCNT-tannase composite. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Cross-linked tannase enzymes were composited with pristine multi-walled carbon nanotubes via simple physical adsorption. The composite presents key advantages such as low specific volume compared to other well-known immobilization media, inert, facile enzyme composition, and ease of recovery for repeated use. The work demonstrated carbon nanotube prosthetic utility in the biotransformation of food-based health commodity sought after for its nutritional benefits. The approach is of both industrial- and agricultural importance, and is a promising and viable strategy to obtain a natural, functional food supplement for the multi-billion dollar well-being and health-related industries.
Immobilization of cross-linked tannase on pristine multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) was successfully performed. Cross-linking of tannase molecules was made through glutaraldehyde. The immobilized tannase exhibited significantly improved pH, thermal, and recycling stability. The optimal pH for both free and immobilized tannase was observed at pH 5.0 with optimal operating temperature at 30°C. Moreover, immobilized enzyme retained greater biocatalytic activities upon 10 repeated uses compared to free enzyme in solution. Immobilization of tannase was accomplished by strong hydrophobic interaction most likely between hydrophobic amino acid moieties of the glutaraldehyde-cross-linked tannase to the MWCNT.
Degradation of xanthan polymer in aqueous solution by ultrasonic irradiation was investigated. The effects of selected variables i.e. sonication intensity, irradiation time, concentration of xanthan gum and molar concentration of NaCl in solution were studied. Combined approach of full factorial design and conventional one-factor-at-a-time was applied to obtain optimum degradation at sonication power intensity of 11.5Wcm-2, irradiation time 120min and 0.1gL-1xanthan in a salt-free solution. Molecular weight reduction of xanthan gum under sonication was described by an exponential decay function with higher rate constant for polymer degradation in the salt free solution. The limiting molecular weight where fragments no longer undergo scission was determined from the function. The incorporation of NaCl in xanthan solution resulted in a lower limiting molecular weight. The ultrasound-mediated degradation of aqueous xanthan polymer chain agreed with a random scission model. Side chain of xanthan polymer is proposed to be the primary site of scission action.
Polymeric nanoparticles gain a widespread interest in food and pharmaceutical industries as delivery systems that encapsulate, protect, and release lipophilic compounds such as omega-3 fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, carotenoids, carvedilol, cyclosporine, and ketoprofen. In this study, medium-chain-length poly-3-hydroxyalkanoate (mcl-PHA)-incorporated nanoparticle was developed via facile organic solvent-free nanoemulsion templating technique. The water content (W/surfactant-to-oil (S/O)), S/O, and Cremophor EL-to-Span 80 (Cremo/Sp80) ratios were first optimized using response surface methodology (RSM) to obtain nanoemulsion template prior to incorporation of mcl-PHA. Their effects on nanoemulsion formation were investigated. The mcl-PHA-incorporated nanoparticle system showed a good preservation capability of β-carotene and extended storage stability.
Insufficient power generation from a microbial fuel cell (MFC) hampers its progress towards utility-scale development. Electrode modification with biopolymeric materials could potentially address this issue. In this study, medium-chain-length poly-3-hydroxyalkanoates (PHA)/carbon nanotubes (C) composite (CPHA) was successfully applied to modify the surface of carbon cloth (CC) anode in MFC. Characterization of the functional groups on the anodic surface and its morphology was carried out. The CC-CPHA composite anode recorded maximum power density of 254 mW/m2, which was 15-53% higher than the MFC operated with CC-C (214 mW/m2) and pristine CC (119 mW/m2) as the anode in a double-chambered MFC operated with Escherichia coli as the biocatalyst. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry showed that power enhancement was attributed to better electron transfer capability by the bacteria for the MFC setup with CC-CPHA anode.
Dielectric spectroscopy is employed to study the relaxation phenomena in natural polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) upon temperature and frequency variations. Effects of PHAs molecular structure on the relaxation, arising from the differences in monomeric composition, are investigated under identical conditions in a frequency range of 10-2-106 Hz, and at different temperatures. All PHA samples showed different dielectric response at different temperature. Primary α-relaxation signals are observed at temperature corresponding to the glass transition temperature. On the other hand, secondary β- and γ-relaxations are detected at low temperatures, and attributed to local motions of polar groups and small segments of the polymer chain. The dielectric properties of representative PHA samples are compared and discussed.
A microbial fuel cell is a sustainable and environmental-friendly device that combines electricity generation and wastewater treatment through metabolic activities of microorganisms. However, low power output from inadequate electron transfer to the anode electrode hampers its practical implementation. Nanocomposites of oxidized carbon nanotubes and medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHA) grafted with methyl acrylate monomers enhance the electrochemical function of electrodes in microbial fuel cell. Extensive polymerization of methyl acrylate monomers within mcl-PHA matrix, and homogenous dispersion of carbon nanotubes within the graft matrix are responsible for the enhancement. Modified electrodes exhibit high conductivities, better redox peak and reduction of cell internal resistance up to 76%. A stable voltage output at almost 700 mV running for 225 H generates maximum power and current density of 351 mW/m2 and 765 mA/m2 , respectively. Superior biofilm growth on modified surface is responsible for improved electron transfer to the anode hence stable and elevated power output generation.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are hydrophobic biopolymers with huge potential for biomedical applications due to their biocompatibility, excellent mechanical properties and biodegradability. A porous composite scaffold made of medium-chain-length poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (mcl-PHA) and hydroxyapatite (HA) was fabricated using particulate leaching technique and NaCl as a porogen. Different percentages of HA loading was investigated that would support the growth of osteoblast cells. Ultrasonic irradiation was applied to facilitate the dispersion of HA particles into the mcl-PHA matrix. The different P(3HO-co-3HHX)/HA composites were investigated using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA). The scaffolds were found to be highly porous with interconnecting pore structures and the HA particles were homogeneously dispersed in the polymer matrix. The scaffolds biocompatibility and osteoconductivity were also assessed following the proliferation and differentiation of osteoblast cells on the scaffolds. From the results, it is clear that scaffolds made from P(3HO-co-3HHX)/HA composites are viable candidate materials for bone tissue engineering applications.
Pseudomonas putida Bet001 and Delftia tsuruhatensis Bet002, isolated from palm oil mill effluent, accumulated poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs) when grown on aliphatic fatty acids, sugars, and glycerol. The substrates were supplied at 20:1 C/N mole ratio. Among C-even n-alkanoic acids, myristic acid gave the highest PHA content 26 and 28 wt% in P. putida and D. tsuruhatensis, respectively. Among C-odd n-alkanoic acids, undecanoic gave the highest PHA content at 40 wt% in P. putida and 46 wt% in D. tsuruhatensis on pentadecanoic acid. Sugar and glycerol gave <10 wt% of PHA content for both bacteria. Interestingly, D. tsuruhatensis accumulated both short- and medium-chain length PHA when supplied with n-alkanoic acids ranging from octanoic to lauric, sucrose, and glycerol with 3-hydroxybutyrate as the major monomer unit. In P. putida, the major hydroxyalkanoates unit was 3-hydroxyoctanoate and 3-hydroxydecanoate when grown on C-even acids. Conversely, 3-hydroxyheptanoate, 3-hydrxoynonanoate, and 3-hydroxyundecanoate were accumulated with C-odd acids. Weight-averaged molecular weight (Mw ) was in the range of 53-81 kDa and 107-415 kDa for P. putida and D. tsuruhatensis, respectively. Calorimetric analyses indicated that both bacteria synthesized semicrystalline polymer with good thermal stability with degradation temperature (Td ) ranging from 178 to 282 °C.
Wild-cultivated medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum was morphologically identified and sequenced using phylogenetic software. In submerged-liquid fermentation (SLF), biomass, exopolysaccharide (EPS) and intracellular polysaccharide (IPS) production of the identified G.lucidum was optimised based on initial pH, starting glucose concentration and agitation rate parameters using response surface methodology (RSM). Molecularly, the G. lucidum strain QRS 5120 generated 637 base pairs, which was commensurate with related Ganoderma species. In RSM, by applying central composite design (CCD), a polynomial model was fitted to the experimental data and was found to be significant in all parameters investigated. The strongest effect (p < 0.0001) was observed for initial pH for biomass, EPS and IPS production, while agitation showed a significant value (p < 0.005) for biomass. By applying the optimized conditions, the model was validated and generated 5.12 g/L of biomass (initial pH 4.01, 32.09 g/L of glucose and 102 rpm), 2.49 g/L EPS (initial pH 4, 24.25 g/L of glucose and 110 rpm) and 1.52 g/L of IPS (and initial pH 4, 40.43 g/L of glucose, 103 rpm) in 500 mL shake flask fermentation. The optimized parameters can be upscaled for efficient biomass, EPS and IPS production using G. lucidum.
Natural biopolymers have many attractive medical applications; however, complications due to fibrosis caused a reduction in diffusion and dispersal of nutrients and waste products. Consequently, severe immunocompatibility problems and poor mechanical and degradation properties in synthetic polymers ensue. Hence, the present study investigates a novel hydrogel material synthesized from caprolactone, ethylene glycol, ethylenediamine, polyethylene glycol, ammonium persulfate, and tetramethylethylenediamine via chemo-enzymatic route. Spectroscopic analyses indicated the formation of polyurea and polyhydroxyurethane as the primary building block of the hydrogel starting material. Biocompatibility studies showed positive observation in biosafety test using direct contact cytotoxicity assay in addition to active cellular growth on the hydrogel scaffold based on fluorescence observation. The synthesized hydrogel also exhibited (self)fluorescence properties under specific wavelength excitation. Hence, synthesized hydrogel could be a potential candidate for medical imaging as well as tissue engineering applications as a tissue expander, coating material, biosensor, and drug delivery system.