Carbon nanotubes-mesostructured silica nanoparticles (CNT-MSN) composites were prepared by a simple one step method with various loading of CNT. Their surface properties were characterized by XRD, N2 physisorption, TEM and FTIR, while the adsorption performance of the CNT-MSN composites were evaluated on the adsorption of methylene blue (MB) while varying the pH, adsorbent dosage, initial MB concentration, and temperature. The CNTs were found to improve the physicochemical properties of the MSN and led to an enhanced adsorptivity for MB. N2 physisorption measurements revealed the development of a bimodal pore structure that increased the pore size, pore volume and surface area. Accordingly, 0.05 g L(-1) CNT-MSN was able to adsorb 524 mg g(-1) (qm) of 60 mg L(-1) MB at pH 8 and 303 K. The equilibrium data were evaluated using the Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin, and Dubinin-Radushkevich isotherm models, with the Langmuir model affording the best fit to the adsorption data. The adsorption kinetics were best described by the pseudo-first order model. These results indicate the potential of CNT-MSN composites as effective new adsorbents for dye adsorption.
It is now recognized that growth hormone (GH) deficiency in adults represents a distinct clinical syndrome that encompasses reduced psychological well-being as well as specific metabolic abnormalities. The latter features, which include hypertension, central obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia and coagulopathy, closely resemble those of metabolic insulin resistance syndrome. The increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality demonstrated in these GH-deficient (GHD) adults reinforce the close association between the two syndromes. Replacement of GH in GHD adults has resulted in a marked reduction of central obesity and significant reduction in total cholesterol but little change in other risk factors, in particular insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia. The persistent insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia, together with the elevation of plasma insulin levels and lipoprotein (a) with GH replacement in these subjects are of concern. Long-term follow-up data are required to assess the impact of GH replacement on the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality of GHD adults. Further exploration of the appropriateness of the GH dosage regimens currently being employed is also indicated.
In the preparation of nanostructured materials, it is important to optimize synthesis parameters in order to obtain the desired material. This work investigates the role of complexing agents, oxalic acid and tartaric acid, in the production of MgO nanocrystals. Results from simultaneous thermogravimetric analysis (STA) show that the two different synthesis routes yield precursors with different thermal profiles. It is found that the thermal profiles of the precursors can reveal the effects of crystal growth during thermal annealing. X-ray diffraction confirms that the final products are pure, single phase and of cubic shape. It is also found that complexing agents can affect the rate of crystal growth. The structures of the oxalic acid and tartaric acid as well as the complexation sites play very important roles in the formation of the nanocrystals. The complexing agents influence the rate of growth which affects the final crystallite size of the materials. Surprisingly, it is also found that oxalic acid and tartaric acid act as surfactants inhibiting crystal growth even at a high temperature of 950°C and a long annealing time of 36 h. The crystallite formation routes are proposed to be via linear and branched polymer networks due to the different structures of the complexing agents.
This study was undertaken to determine the presence of thyroid autoantibodies and associated pregnancy complications from 49 pregnant women with thyroid disease. There were 31 (63%) women with Graves' disease (GD) and 18 (37%) with primary hypothyroidism (PHT). A total of 26 (53.1%) women, 19 (61%) with GD and seven (39%) with PHT, had positive antibodies. Six had thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO), one with thyroglobulin antibody (TG) and eight had TSH receptor antibodies (TR). Two had a mixture of antibodies involving TG/TPO (one GD vs one PHT), four with TG/TPO/TR (all had GD) and five with TPO/TR (four with GD vs one with PHT). There were associations in women with positive thyroid antibodies and pre-eclampsia (15.4%), abruptio placenta (4%), caesarean deliveries (31%), postpartum thyroiditis (19.2%) and abnormal neonatal thyroid function (15.4%). Women with positive thyroid antibodies in pregnancy need close care during and after pregnancy, as they can develop complications affecting both mother and fetus.
We studied the efficacy of four different treatment regimens (sulphonylurea and metformin+/-acarbose versus glimepiride and rosiglitazone versus glimepiride and bedtime NPH insulin versus multiple actrapid and NPH insulin injections) in poorly controlled type 2 diabetes subjects on hs-CRP, VCAM-1 and AGE at 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment. Multiple insulin injections rapidly improved HbA(1c) by 0.6+/-0.9% (p<0.005), 1.2+/-1.3% (p<0.0005) and 1.3+/-1.4% (p<0.0005) at week 4, at week 8 and week 12, respectively. Subjects who continued their existing combination treatment of sulphonylurea, metformin+/-acarbose also showed a significant reduction in HbA(1c) (p<0.05). Although effective in reducing glycemic parameters, there was no reduction in CRP levels in either treatment group. The treatment regimen consisting of rosiglitazone and glimepiride significantly lowered hs-CRP by -2.6 (3.9) mg/L (p<0.05) at week 12 in spite of no improvement in blood glucose. AGE improved in all groups irrespective of type of treatment, glycaemic control and CRP levels. Our data indicate rapid glycaemic control alone does not necessarily result in improvement in markers of inflammation in type 2 diabetes patients.
Urban expansion has caused major deforestation and forest fragmentation in the tropics. The impacts of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity are understudied in urban forest patches, especially in the tropics and little is known on the conservation value of the patches for maintaining mammalian biodiversity. In this study, camera trapping was used to determine the species composition and species richness of medium- and large-sized mammals in three urban forest patches and a contiguous forest in Peninsular Malaysia. We identified the key vegetation attributes that predicted mammal species richness and occurrence of herbivores and omnivores in urban forest patches. A total number of 19 mammal species from 120 sampling points were recorded. Contiguous forest had the highest number of species compared to the urban forest patches. Sunda Pangolin and Asian Tapir were the only conservation priority species recorded in the urban forest patches and contiguous forest, respectively. Top predators such as Malayan Tiger and Melanistic Leopard were completely absent from the forest patches as well as the contiguous forest. This was reflected by the abundance of wild boars. We found that mammal species richness increased with the number of trees with DBH less than 5 cm, trees with DBH more than 50 cm, and dead standing trees. In the future, the remaining mammal species in the urban forest patches are expected to be locally extinct as connecting the urban forest patches may be infeasible due to land scarcity. Hence, to maintain the ecological integrity of urban forest patches, we recommend that stakeholders take intervention measures such as reintroduction of selected species and restocking of wild populations in the urban forest patches to regenerate the forest ecosystems.
Phenolic acids of oak gall were extracted using ultrasonic-probe assisted extraction (UPAE) method in the presence of ionic liquid. It was compared with classical ultrasonic-bath assisted extraction (CUBAE) and conventional aqueous extraction (CAE) method, with and without the presence of ionic liquid. Remarkably, the UPAE method yielded two-fold higher extraction yield with the presence of ionic liquid, resulting 481.04 mg/g for gallic acids (GA) and 2287.90 mg/g for tannic acids (TA), while a decreased value of 130.36 mg/g for GA and 1556.26 mg/g for TA were resulted with the absence of ionic liquid. Intensification process resulted the highest yield of 497.34 mg/g and 2430.48 mg/g for GA and TA, respectively, extracted at temperature 50 °C with sonication intensity of 8.66 W/cm2 and 10% duty cycle, diluted in ionic liquid, 1-Butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide, [Bmim][Tf2N] at concentration of 0.10 M with sample-to-solvent ratio 1:10 for 8 h. Peleg's model successfully predicted the UPAE process confirming that extraction capacity is the controlling factor in extracting phenolic acids. Hence, it can be concluded that UPAE method and ionic liquid have synergistic effect as it effectively enhanced the extraction efficiency to increase the bioactive constituents yield.
Heat explosions are sometimes observed during the synthesis of phenol formaldehyde (PF) resin. This scenario can be attributed to the high latent heat that was released and not dissipated leading to the occurrence of a runaway reaction. The synthesis temperature and time played important roles in controlling the heat release, hence preventing the resin from hardening during the synthesis process. This study aims to assess the rheological and viscoelasticity behaviors of the PF resin prepared using paraformaldehyde. The prepared PF resin was designed for laminate applications. The rheological behavior of the PF resin was assessed based on the different molar ratios of phenol to paraformaldehyde (P:F) mixed in the formulation. The molar ratios were set at 1.00:1.25, 1.00:1.50 and 1.00:1.75 of P to F, respectively. The rheological study was focused at specific synthesis temperatures, namely 40, 60, 80 and 100 °C. The synthesis time was observed for 240 min; changes in physical structure and viscosity of the PF resins were noted. It was observed that the viscosity values of the PF resins prepared were directly proportional to the synthesis temperature and the formaldehyde content. The PF resin also exhibited shear thickening behavior for all samples synthesized at 60 °C and above. For all PF resin samples synthesized at 60 °C and above, their viscoelasticity results indicated that the storage modulus (G'), loss modulus(G″) and tan δ are proportionally dependent on both the synthesis temperature and the formaldehyde content. Heat explosions were observed during the synthesis of PF resin at the synthesis temperature of 100 °C. This scenario can lead to possible runaway reaction which can also compromise the safety of the operators.
The fragmentation of forests by agricultural expansion, urbanization, and road networks is an ongoing global biodiversity crisis. In Southeast Asia and other tropical regions, wildlife populations are being isolated into pockets of natural habitat surrounded by road networks and monoculture plantations. Mortality from wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) is contributing to a decline in many species of conservation priority in human-modified landscapes. This study is the first in Malaysia to investigate factors affecting the occurrence of WVCs. We assessed roadkill data gathered by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks on small-, medium-, and large-sized mammals in Peninsular Malaysia. We examined the relationship between wildlife road accidents and several environmental factors. We found a total of 605 roadkill animals, involving 21 species, which included three species classified as Endangered. Road type (plantation road or highway), year, and distance of the road from continuous and fragmented forests were significant in determining mammal mortality. Unexpectedly, the majority of road mortality occurred on palm oil plantation roads compared to highways. Mortality of small- and medium-sized mammals was greater at locations further from continuous forest than those closer to fragmented forests. Segmentation of continuous forest by roads should be avoided wherever possible to reduce the threat of roads on crossing wildlife.
In this work, mesostructured silica nanoparticles (MSN(AP)) with high adsorptivity were prepared by a modification with 3-aminopropyl triethoxysilane (APTES) as a pore expander. The performance of the MSN(AP) was tested by the adsorption of MB in a batch system under varying pH (2-11), adsorbent dosage (0.1-0.5 g L(-1)), and initial MB concentration (5-60 mg L(-1)). The best conditions were achieved at pH 7 when using 0.1 g L(-1) MSN(AP) and 60 mg L(-1)MB to give a maximum monolayer adsorption capacity of 500.1 mg g(-1) at 303 K. The equilibrium data were evaluated using the Langmuir, Freundlich, Temkin, and Harkins-Jura isotherms and fit well to the Freundlich isotherm model. The adsorption kinetics was best described by the pseudo-second order model. The results indicate the potential for a new use of mesostructured materials as an effective adsorbent for MB.
This study investigated the occurrence of nine pharmaceuticals (amoxicillin, caffeine, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, dexamethasone, diclofenac, nitrofurazone, sulfamethoxazole, and triclosan) and to evaluate potential risks (human health and ecotoxicological) in Lui, Gombak and Selangor (Malaysia) rivers using commercial competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) kit assays. Physicochemical properties of these rivers showed the surface samples belong to Class II of Malaysian National Water Quality Standards which requires conventional treatment before consumption. All the pharmaceuticals were detected in all three rivers except for triclosan, dexamethasone and diclofenac which were not detected in few of sampling locations in these three rivers. Highest pharmaceutical concentrations were detected in Gombak river in line of being as one of the most polluted rivers in Malaysia. Ciprofloxacin concentrations were detected in all the sampling locations with the highest at 299.88 ng/L. While triclosan, dexamethasone and diclofenac concentrations were not detected in a few of sampling locations in these three rivers. All these nine pharmaceuticals were within the levels reported previously in literature. Pharmaceutical production, wastewater treatment technologies and treated sewage effluent were found as the potential sources which can be related with pharmaceuticals occurrence in surface water samples. Potential human risk assessment showed low health risk except for ciprofloxacin and dexamethasone. Instead, ecotoxicological risk assessment indicated moderate risks were present for these rivers. Nevertheless, results confirmation using instrumental techniques is needed for higher degree of specificity. It is crucial to continuously monitor the surface water bodies for pharmaceuticals using a cost-effective prioritisation approach to assess sensitive sub-populations risk.
Curcuminoids derived from turmeric rhizome have been reported to exhibit antinociceptive, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. We evaluated the peripheral and central antinociceptive activities of 5-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-3-hydroxy-1-(2-hydroxyphenyl)penta-2,4-dien-1-one (DHHPD), a novel synthetic curcuminoid analogue at 0.1, 0.3, 1 and 3 mg/kg (intraperitoneal), through chemical and thermal models of nociception. The effects of DHHPD on the vanilloid and glutamatergic systems were evaluated through the capsaicin- and glutamate-induced paw licking tests. Results showed that DHHPD significantly (p < 0.05) attenuated the writhing response produced by the 0.8% acetic acid injection. In addition, 1 and 3 mg/kg of DHHPD significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the licking time spent by each mouse in both phases of the 2.5% formalin test and increased the response latency of mice on the hot-plate. However, the effect produced in the latter was not reversed by naloxone, a non-selective opioid receptor antagonist. Despite this, DHHPD decreased the licking latency of mice in the capsaicin- and glutamate-induced paw licking tests in a dose response manner. In conclusion, DHHPD showed excellent peripheral and central antinociceptive activities possibly by attenuation of the synthesis and/or release of pro-inflammatory mediators in addition to modulation of the vanilloid and glutamatergic systems without an apparent effect on the opioidergic system.
The antinociceptive property of Centella asiatica extracts is known but the analgesic activity of its bioactive constituent asiaticoside has not been reported. We evaluated the antinociceptive activity of orally (p. o.) administered asiaticoside (1, 3, 5, and 10 mg/kg) in mice using the 0.6% acetic acid-induced writhing test, the 2.5% formalin-induced paw licking test, and the hot plate test. The capsaicin- and glutamate-induced paw licking tests were employed to evaluate the involvement of the vanilloid and glutamatergic systems, respectively. Asiaticoside (3, 5, and 10 mg/kg, p. o.) reduced the rate of writhing (p
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) were synthesized with variable microwave power in the range of 100-450 W, and the resulting enhancement of MSN crystal growth was evaluated for the adsorption and release of ibuprofen. X-ray diffraction (XRD) revealed that the MSN prepared under the highest microwave power (MSN450) produced the most crystallized and prominent mesoporous structure. Enhancement of the crystal growth improved the hexagonal order and range of silica, which led to greater surface area, pore width and pore volume. MSN450 exhibited higher ibuprofen adsorption (98.3 mg/g), followed by MSN300(81.3 mg/g) and MSN100(74.1 mg/g), confirming that more crystallized MSN demonstrated higher adsorptivity toward ibuprofen. Significantly, MSN450 also contained more hydroxyl groups that provided more adsorption sites. In addition, MSN450 exhibited comparable ibuprofen adsorption with conventionally synthesized MSN, indicating the potential of microwave treatment in the synthesis of related porous materials. In vitro drug release was also investigated with simulated biological fluids and the kinetics was studied under different pH conditions. MSN450 showed the slowest release rate of ibuprofen, followed by MSN300 and MSN100. This was due to the wide pore diameter and longer range of silica order of the MSN450. Ibuprofen release from MSN450 at pH 5 and 7 was found to obey a zero-order kinetic model, while release at pH 2 followed the Kosmeyer-Peppas model.
In this work, two low-cost wastes, bivalve shell (BS) and Zea mays L. husk leaf (ZHL), were investigated to adsorb malachite green (MG) from aqueous solutions. The ZHL was treated with calcined BS to give the BS-ZHL, and its ability to adsorb MG was compared with untreated ZHL, calcined BS and Ca(OH)(2)-treated ZHL under several different conditions: pH (2-8), adsorbent dosage (0.25-2.5 g L(-1)), contact time (10-30 min), initial MG concentration (10-200 mg L(-1)) and temperature (303-323 K). The equilibrium studies indicated that the experimental data were in agreement with the Langmuir isotherm model. The use of 2.5 g L(-1) BS-ZHL resulted in the nearly complete removal of 200 mg L(-1) of MG with a maximum adsorption capacity of 81.5 mg g(-1) after 30 min of contact time at pH 6 and 323 K. The results indicated that the BS-ZHL can be used to effectively remove MG from aqueous media.
Curcumin, derived from the rhizome Curcuma longa, has been scientifically proven to possess anti-inflammatory activity but is of limited clinical and veterinary use owing to its low bioavailability and poor solubility. Hence, analogs of curcuminoids with improved biological properties have been synthesized to overcome these limitations. This study aims to provide the pharmacological basis for the use of 5-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-3-hydroxy-1-(2-hydroxyphenyl)penta-2,4-dien-1-one (DHHPD), a synthetic curcuminoid analog, as an anti-edematogenic and anti-granuloma agent. The carrageenan-induced paw edema and the cotton pellet-induced granuloma assays were used to assess the anti-inflammatory activity of DHHPD in mice. The effects of DHHPD on the histaminergic, serotonergic, and bradykininergic systems were determined by the histamine-, serotonin-, and bradykinin-induced paw edema tests, respectively. DHHPD (0.1, 0.3, 1, and 3 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) evoked significant reductions (p < 0.05) in carrageenan-induced paw edema at different time intervals and granuloma formation (p < 0.0001) by 22.08, 32.57, 37.20, and 49.25%, respectively. Furthermore, DHHPD significantly reduced paw edema (p < 0.05) induced by histamine, serotonin, and bradykinin. The present study suggests that DHHPD exerts anti-edematogenic activity, possibly by inhibiting the synthesis or release of autacoid mediators of inflammation through the histaminergic, serotonergic, and bradykininergic systems. The anti-granuloma effect may be attributed to the suppression of transudative, exudative, and proliferative activities associated with inflammation.
Currently, the available indices to measure mangrove health are not comprehensive. An integrative ecological-socio economic index could give a better picture of the mangrove ecosystem health. This method explored all key biological, hydrological, ecological and socio-economic variables to form a comprehensive mangrove quality index. A total of 10 out of 43 variables were selected based on principal component analysis (PCA). They are aboveground biomass, crab abundance, soil carbon, soil nitrogen, number of phytoplankton species, number of diatom species, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, education level and fishing time spent by fishers. Two types of indices were successfully developed to indicate the health status viz., (1) Mangrove quality index for a specific category (MQISi ) and, (2) Overall mangrove quality index (MQI) to reflect the overall health status of the ecosystem. The indices for the five different categories were mangrove biotic integrity index (
M Q I
), mangrove soil index (
M Q I
), marine-mangrove index (
M Q I
), mangrove-hydrology index (
M Q I
) and mangrove socio-economic index (
M Q I
). The quality of the mangroves was classified from 1 to 5 viz. 1 (worst), 2 (bad), 3 (moderate), 4 (good), 5 (excellent). These MQI class could reflect the quality of mangrove forest which could be managed with the objective of improving its quality. Advantages of this method include: •PCA to select metrics from ecological-socioeconomic variables•Formulation of MQI based on selected metrics•Comprehensive index to classify mangrove ecosystem health.