The recent developments of nanostructured WO3 thin films synthesized through the electrochemical route of electrochemical anodization and cathodic electrodeposition for the application in photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting are reviewed. The key fundamental reaction mechanisms of electrochemical anodization and cathodic electrodeposition methods for synthesizing nanostructured WO3 thin films are explained. In addition, the effects of metal oxide precursors, electrode substrates, applied potentials and current densities, and annealing temperatures on size, composition, and thickness of the electrochemically synthesized nanostructured WO3 thin films are elucidated in detail. Finally, a summary is given for the general evaluation practices used to calculate the energy conversion efficiency of nanostructured WO3 thin films and a recommendation is provided to standardize the presentation of research results in the field to allow for easy comparison of reported PEC efficiencies in the near future.
Natural biopolymers have attracted considerable interest for the development of delivery systems for protein drugs owing to their biocompatibility, non-toxicity, renewability and mild processing conditions. This paper offers an overview of the current status and future perspectives of particle designs using biopolymers for the stabilization and controlled-delivery of a model protein drug--insulin. We first describe the design criteria for polymeric encapsulation and subsequently classify the basic principles of particle fabrication as well as the existing particle designs for oral insulin encapsulation. The performances of these existing particle designs in terms of insulin stability and in vitro release behavior in acidic and alkaline media, as well as their in vivo performance are compared and reviewed. This review forms the basis for future works on the optimization of particle design and material formulation for the development of an improved oral delivery system for protein drugs.
The fuel crisis and environmental concerns, mainly due to global warming, have led researchers to consider the importance of biofuels such as biodiesel. Vegetable oils, which are too viscous to be used directly in engines, are converted into their corresponding methyl or ethyl esters by a process called transesterification. With the recent debates on "food versus fuel," non-edible oils, such as Jatropha curcas, are emerging as one of the main contenders for biodiesel production. Much research is still needed to explore and realize the full potential of a green fuel from J. curcas. Upcoming projects and plantations of Jatropha in countries such as India, Malaysia, and Indonesia suggest a promising future for this plant as a potential biodiesel feedstock. Many of the drawbacks associated with chemical catalysts can be overcome by using lipases for enzymatic transesterification. The high cost of lipases can be overcome, to a certain extent, by immobilization techniques. This article reviews the importance of the J. curcas plant and describes existing research conducted on Jatropha biodiesel production. The article highlights areas where further research is required and relevance of designing an immobilized lipase for biodiesel production is discussed.
Extensive studies have been carried out on the effect of temperature and salt concentration on the theological behavior of whey proteins and different starches individually, but not on mixed dispersions of whey protein isolates and starches. In the present studies, the rheological behavior of cross-linked waxy maize starch and whey protein isolate mixed dispersions during heating at 60-85 degrees C was investigated. Further, the effect of CaCl2 (25-100 mM ionic strengths) on the gelatinization of these dispersions was determined. It was found that at a 2:3 ratio and a 3:2 ratio of cross-linked waxy maize starch to whey protein isolate mixed gels form a compatible networkmM concentration the solution viscosity was higher.
A comparative study on the stability and potential of alginate and pectin based beads for production of poultry probiotic cells using MRS medium in repeated batch fermentation was conducted. The bead cores, made of three types of materials, i.e., ca-alginate, ca-pectinate and ca-alginate/pectinate, were compared. The effect of single and double layer coatings using chitosan and core material, respectively, on the bead stability and cell production were also studied. The pectin based beads were found to be more stable than that of the alginate beads and their stability was further improved by coating with chitosan. The cell concentration in pectin based beads was comparable to that in the alginate beads. On the other hand, pectin based beads gave significantly lower cell concentration in the growth medium for the initial fermentation cycles when compared to the alginate beads. In conclusion, pectin was found to be potential encapsulation material for probiotic cell production owing to its stability and favourable microenvironment for cell growth.
The aim of this work was to develop prediction models for shape and size of ca-alginate macrobeads produced through extrusion-dripping method. The relationship between the process variables on the shape and size of the alginate drops before and after gelation was established with the aid of image analysis. The results show that a critical Ohnersorge number (Oh)>0.24 was required to form spherical beads. The shape transition of ca-alginate beads could be typically distinguished into three phases along the collecting distance and it was affected by the combined influence of the solution properties, the collecting distance and the drop size. Mathematical equations and a master shape diagram were developed to reveal a clear operating region and the overall process limits within which spherical ca-alginate beads could be formed. In terms of bead size, the overall size correction factor (K) which accounted for the liquid loss factor (k(LF)) and the shrinkage factor (k(SF)), varied between 0.73 and 0.85 under the experimental conditions. The size prediction model correlated well with the experimental data. The approach and the outcome could be used as a model to develop prediction tools for similar bead production systems.
Increase in volume of biodiesel production in the world scenario proves that biodiesel is accepted as an alternative to conventional fuel. Production of biodiesel using alkaline catalyst has been commercially implemented due to its high conversion and low production time. For the product and process development of biodiesel, enzymatic transesterification has been suggested to produce a high purity product with an economic, environment friendly process at mild reaction conditions. The enzyme cost being the main hurdle can be overcome by immobilization. Immobilized enzyme, which has been successfully used in various fields over the soluble counterpart, could be employed in biodiesel production with the aim of reducing the production cost by reusing the enzyme. This review attempts to provide an updated compilation of the studies reported on biodiesel production by using lipase immobilized through various techniques and the parameters, which affect their functionality.
Ionotropic gelation has been an attractive method for the fabrication of biopolymeric oil-core microcapsules due to its safe and mild processing conditions. However, the mandatory use of a nozzle system to form the microcapsules restricts the process scalability and the production of small microcapsules (<100 μm). We report, for the first time, a nozzleless and surfactant-free approach to fabricate oil-core biopolymeric microcapsules through ionotropic gelation at the interface of an O/W Pickering emulsion. This approach involves the self-assembly of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) nanoparticles at the interface of O/W emulsion droplets followed by the addition of a polyanionic biopolymer into the aqueous phase. Subsequently, CaCO3 nanoparticles are dissolved by pH reduction, thus liberating Ca(2+) ions to cross-link the surrounding polyanionic biopolymer to form a shell that encapsulates the oil droplet. We demonstrate the versatility of this method by fabricating microcapsules from different types of polyanionic biopolymers (i.e., alginate, pectin, and gellan gum) and water-immiscible liquid cores (i.e., palm olein, cyclohexane, dichloromethane, and toluene). In addition, small microcapsules with a mean size smaller than 100 μm can be produced by selecting the appropriate conventional emulsification methods available to prepare the Pickering emulsion. The simplicity and versatility of this method allows biopolymeric microcapsules to be fabricated with ease by ionotropic gelation for numerous applications.
A thermo-responsive random copolymer, POEGMA (poly(oligoethylene glycol) methacrylate) grafted on cationized agarose adsorbent was used for size selective protein adsorption. The effects of OEGMA300 ((oligoethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate, Mn=300g/mol) content and temperature on the adsorption of bovine serum albumin (BSA) were evaluated. Increasing the content of OEGMA300 resulted a reduction in BSA adsorption due to the enhanced shielding effect of OEGMA300 chains. Grafting of POEGMA chains onto cationized agarose adsorbent reduced the BSA adsorption by more than 95% at 26.5°C, which is below the LCST (lower critical solution temperature) of POEGMA. The BSA adsorption capacities for adsorbents grafted with 10 and 20mol% of OEGMA300 decreased by 48% and 46% respectively at 38°C, a temperature higher than their LCSTs. The temperature-dependent adsorption of BSA on the adsorbents was attributed to changes in the polymer conformation. The thermal transition of grafted POEGMA conformation exposed the ligand when the temperature was increased. Myoglobin (Myo), which was smaller than BSA, its adsorption behavior was less dependent on the polymer conformation. The adsorption of myoglobin onto the adsorbent with and without POEGMA showed similar percentage of reduction whereas the adsorption of BSA onto the adsorbent with POEGMA decreased by 7.6 times compared to the one without POEGMA. The packed bed of POEGMA grafted adsorbent was used for flow through separation of a protein mixture consisted of virus-like particle, Hepatitis B virus-like particle (HBVLP), BSA and insulin aspart. The recovery of HBVLP in 20mol% of OEGMA300 grafted adsorbent was increased by 19% compared to ungrafted adsorbent. The flow through of BSA can be reduced by increasing the operating temperature above LCST of 20mol% of OEGMA300 while the smaller protein, insulin aspart, remained adsorbed onto the cationized surface. Hence, this thermo-responsive adsorbent has a potential for size-selective separation of protein especially for the recovery of large biomolecule.
Alginate microcapsules containing epoxy resin were developed through electrospraying method and embedded into epoxy matrix to produce a capsule-based self-healing composite system. These formaldehyde free alginate/epoxy microcapsules were characterized via light microscope, field emission scanning electron microscope, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. Results showed that epoxy resin was successfully encapsulated within alginate matrix to form porous (multi-core) microcapsules with pore size ranged from 5-100 μm. The microcapsules had an average size of 320 ± 20 μm with decomposition temperature at 220 °C. The loading capacity of these capsules was estimated to be 79%. Under in situ healing test, impact specimens showed healing efficiency as high as 86% and the ability to heal up to 3 times due to the multi-core capsule structure and the high impact energy test that triggered the released of epoxy especially in the second and third healings. TDCB specimens showed one-time healing only with the highest healing efficiency of 76%. The single healing event was attributed by the constant crack propagation rate of TDCB fracture test. For the first time, a cost effective, environmentally benign and sustainable capsule-based self-healing system with multiple healing capabilities and high healing performance was developed.
The commercial application of liquid-state Pickering emulsions in food systems remains a major challenge. In this study, we developed a spray-dried Pickering emulsion powder using chitosan as a Pickering emulsifier and alginate as a coating material. The functionality of the powder was evaluated in terms of its oxidative stability, pH-responsiveness, mucoadhesivity, and lipid digestibility. The Pickering emulsion powder was oxidatively more stable than the conventional emulsion powder stabilized by gum Arabic. The powder exhibited pH-responsiveness, whereby it remained intact in acidic pH, but dissolved to release the emulsion in 'Pickering form' at near-neutral pH. The Pickering emulsion powder was also mucoadhesive and could be digested by lipase in a controlled manner. These findings suggested that the multi-functional Pickering emulsion powder could be a potential delivery system for applications in the food industry.
Phytonutrients are plant-derived bioactives which are widely utilized as colorants or supplements in food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical products. To meet the global demand for phytonutrients, oil palm has emerged as a promising source of phytonutrients on account of its large-scale plantation worldwide and high oil productivity. Phytonutrients including carotenoids, tocols, sterols, squalene, phospholipids, coenzyme Q10, and polyphenols can be found in crude palm oil as well as in the byproducts (e.g. palm oil mill effluent and palm-pressed fiber oil) generated from the palm oil milling process. However, the high viscosity and semisolid properties of palm oil are problematic in phytonutrient extraction. Another major challenge is the retention of the sensitive phytonutrients during the extraction process. Over the years, the advances in the extraction methods have improved the extractability of phytonutrients. The emerging extraction methods can operate under mild conditions to mitigate the risk of phytonutrient degradation. This review outlines the types of phytonutrient in palm oil and their extraction strategies. The working principles and operating conditions of extraction methods are discussed along with their potential and limitations in terms of extraction efficiency and practicability. The methods for pretreatment of feedstocks for improving extraction efficiency are also highlighted. The challenges in the extraction of phytonutrient from palm oil feedstock are summarized. Lastly, we provide suggestions for overcoming the limitations and improving the performances of phytonutrient extraction.
Oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion-gel systems containing high oil payloads are of increasing interest for food applications because of the reduction in encapsulation cost, consumption frequency or volume of food products. This study shows a facile approach to prepare stable alginate-based O/W emulsions at high oil loading using a mixture of nonionic surfactants (Tween 80 and Span 20) as a template to form gelled-emulsions. The synergistic effects of alginate and surfactants on the O/W emulsion properties were evaluated in terms of oil droplet size and emulsion stability. At 2% (w/v) of alginate and 1% (w/v) of surfactants, the size distribution of oil droplets was narrow and monomodal, even at an oil loading of 70% (v/v). The emulsions formed were stable against phase separation. The oil droplet size could be further reduced to below 1 μm using a high-shear homogenizer. The emulsions formed could be easily molded and gelled into solids of different shapes via ionic gelation. The findings of this study create possible avenues for applications in food industries.
Red dragon fruit or red pitaya is rich in potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Its nutritional properties and unique flesh color have made it an attractive raw material of various types of food products and beverages including fermented beverages or enzyme drinks. In this study, phenotypic and genotypic methods were used to confirm the identity of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) appeared in fermented red dragon fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus) beverages. A total of 21 isolates of LAB were isolated and characterized. They belonged to the genus of Enterococcus based on their biochemical characteristics. The isolates can be clustered into two groups by using the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA method. Nucleotide sequencing and restriction fragment length polymorphism of the 16S rRNA region suggested that they were either Enterococcus faecalis or Enterococcus durans.
Serum deprivation inhibits cell growth and initiates apoptosis cell death in mammalian cell cultures. Since apoptosis is a genetically controlled cell death pathway, over-expression of anti-apoptotic proteins may provide a way to delay apoptosis. This study investigated the ability of the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) to inhibit apoptosis induced by serum deprivation. Study includes evaluation of the ability of XIAP to prolong culture period and its effect on cell proliferation in serum-deprived media. The full length human XIAP was introduced into CHO-K1 cell lines and the effects of XIAP over-expression on the inhibition of apoptosis induced by serum-deprived conditions were examined. In batch cultures, cells over-expressing XIAP showed decreased levels of apoptosis and a higher number of viable cell under serum-deprived conditions compared to the control cell lines. The viability of control cells dropped to 40% after 2days of serum deprivation, the XIAP expressing cells still maintained at a viability higher than 90%. Further investigation revealed that the caspase-3 activity of the CHO-K1 cell line was inhibited as a result of XIAP expression.
Poly(oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate) (POEGMA), an inert polymer was grafted onto an anion exchange adsorbent for the exclusion of relatively larger hepatitis B virus-like particles (HB-VLPs) from the anion exchange ligand (Q) and at the same time this process allowed the selective adsorption of smaller size Escherichia coli host cell proteins (HCPs). The chain lengths of the POEGMA grafted were modulated by varying the amount of monomers used in the polymer grafting. The purification factor and yield of the HB-VLPs obtained from the flow-through of negative chromatography were 2.3 and 66.0±3.1%, respectively, when shorter chain length of POEGMA (SQ) was grafted. Adsorbent grafted with longer chain of POEGMA (LQ) excluded some HCPs that are larger in size together with the HB-VLPs, reducing the purity of the recovered HB-VLPs. Further heat-treatment of the flow-through pool from SQ followed by centrifugation increased the purity of heat stable HB-VLPs to 87.5±1.1%. Heat-treatment of the flow through sample resulted in thermal denaturation and aggregation of HCPs, while the heat stable HB-VLPs still remained intact as observed under a transmission electron microscope. The performance of the negative chromatography together with heat treatment in the purification of HB-VLPs is far better than the reported bind-and-elute techniques.
Purification of virus-like particles (VLPs) in bind-and-elute mode has reached a bottleneck. Negative chromatography has emerged as the alternative solution; however, benchmark of negative chromatography media and their respective optimized conditions are absent. Hence, this study was carried out to compare the performance of different negative chromatography media for the purification of hepatitis B VLPs (HB-VLPs) from clarified Escherichia coli feedstock. The modified anion exchange media, core-shell adsorbents (InertShell and InertLayer 1000) and polymer grafted adsorbents (SQ) were compared. The results of chromatography from packed bed column of core-shell adsorbents showed that there is a trade-off between the purity and recovery of HB-VLPs in the flowthrough fraction due to the shell thickness. Atomic force microscopic analysis revealed funnel-shaped pore channels in the shell layer which may contribute to the entrapment of HB-VLPs. A longer residence time at a lower feed flow rate (0.5ml/min) improved slightly the HB-VLPs purity in all modified adsorbents, but the recovery in InertShell reduced substantially. The preheat-treatment is not recommended for the negative chromatography as the thermal-induced co-aggregation of HCPs and HB-VLPs would flow along with HB-VLPs and thus reduced the HB-VLPs purity in the flowthrough. Further reduction in the feedstock concentration enhanced the purity of HB-VLPs especially in InertLayer 1000 but reduced substantially the recovery of HB-VLPs. In general, the polymer grafted adsorbent, SQ, performed better than the core-shell adsorbents in handling a higher feedstock concentration.
Polyelectrolyte-complex bilayer membrane (PCBM) was fabricated using biodegradable chitosan and alginate polymers for subsequent application in the treatment of bathroom greywater. In this study, the properties of PCBMs were studied and it was found that the formation of polyelectrolyte network reduced the molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) from 242kDa in chitosan membrane to 2.71kDa in PCBM. The decrease in MWCO of PCBM results in better greywater treatment efficiency, subsequently demonstrated in a greywater filtration study where treated greywater effluent met the household reclaimed water standard of <2 NTU turbidity and <30ppm total suspended solids (TSS). In addition, a further 20% improvement in chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was achieved as compared to a single layer chitosan membrane. Results from this study show that the biodegradable PCBM is a potential membrane material in producing clean treated greywater for non-potable applications.
We studied the formation of palm olein-in-water (O/W) Pickering emulsion stabilized by Fe3O4-cellulose nanocrystals (MCNC) nanocomposites obtained by ultrasound assisted in-situ co-precipitation method. The synthesized MCNC nanocomposites successfully stabilized Pickering emulsion with dual responses. The magnetic tests revealed a direct-relation between attractability of MCNC-stabilized Pickering emulsions and the emulsion droplet diameter. The Pickering emulsions were stable under pH ranging from 3 to 6. The stability substantially reduced around pH 8-10, and regained slowly when approaching pH 13. From microscopic and mastersizer analysis, monodisperse emulsion droplets were noticed at pH 3-6, and 13, while polydisperse emulsion were obtained at pH 8-12. The Pickering emulsions prepared at pH 6 are stable up to 14 days, while Pickering emulsions at pH 8 experienced coalescence. In this study, the dual stimuli-responsive Pickering emulsion stabilized by MCNC may hold potentials for biomedical and drug delivery as new generation of smart nanotherapeutic carrier.
The aim of this work was to develop a standard quantitative method to measure the acid tolerance of probiotic cells when exposed to a simulated gastric fluid. Three model strains of different cell concentrations were exposed to a standard simulated gastric fluid of fixed volume. The fluid pH ranged from pH 1.5 to 2.5. In general, the death kinetics followed an exponential trend. The overall death constant, k (d), for all strains was found to be in a power relationship with the pH value and the initial cell concentration, and it can be expressed as k(d)=k(AII) (pH(-9.0)N(0)(-0.19)) where k (AII) is defined as the acid intolerance indicator and N (0) is the initial cell concentration (CFU/ml). This equation was validated with the experimental data with an average R (2) of 0.98. The acid intolerance of cells can be quantitatively expressed by the k (AII) values, where higher value indicates higher intolerance. In conclusion, a standard quantitative method has been developed to measure the acid tolerance of probiotic cells. This could facilitate the selection of probiotic strains and processing technologies.