The aim of this paper is to investigate the characteristics of thermoplastic sugar palm starch/agar (TPSA) blend containing Eucheuma cottonii seaweed waste as biofiller. The composites were prepared by melt-mixing and hot pressing at 140°C for 10min. The TPSA/seaweed composites were characterized for their mechanical, thermal and biodegradation properties. Incorporation of seaweed from 0 to 40wt.% has significantly improved the tensile, flexural, and impact properties of the TPSA/seaweed composites. Scanning electron micrograph of the tensile fracture showed homogeneous surface with formation of cleavage plane. It is also evident from TGA results that thermal stability of the composites were enhanced with addition of seaweed. After soil burial for 2 and 4 weeks, the biodegradation of the composites was enhanced with addition of seaweed. Overall, the incorporation of seaweed into TPSA enhances the properties of TPSA for short-life product application such as tray, plate, etc.
The aim of this research is to investigate the effect of sugar palm fibre (SPF) on the mechanical, thermal and physical properties of seaweed/thermoplastic sugar palm starch agar (TPSA) composites. Hybridized seaweed/SPF filler at weight ratio of 25:75, 50:50 and 75:25 were prepared using TPSA as a matrix. Mechanical, thermal and physical properties of hybrid composites were carried out. Obtained results indicated that hybrid composites display improved tensile and flexural properties accompanied with lower impact resistance. The highest tensile (17.74MPa) and flexural strength (31.24MPa) was obtained from hybrid composite with 50:50 ratio of seaweed/SPF. Good fibre-matrix bonding was evident in the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrograph of the hybrid composites' tensile fracture. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis showed increase in intermolecular hydrogen bonding following the addition of SPF. Thermal stability of hybrid composites was enhanced, indicated by a higher onset degradation temperature (259°C) for 25:75 seaweed/SPF composites than the individual seaweed composites (253°C). Water absorption, thickness swelling, water solubility, and soil burial tests showed higher water and biodegradation resistance of the hybrid composites. Overall, the hybridization of SPF with seaweed/TPSA composites enhances the properties of the biocomposites for short-life application; that is, disposable tray, plate, etc.
Workflow-based web service compositions (WB-WSCs) is one of the main composition categories in service oriented architecture (SOA). Eflow, polymorphic process model (PPM), and business process execution language (BPEL) are the main techniques of the category of WB-WSCs. Due to maturity of web services, measuring the quality of composite web services being developed by different techniques becomes one of the most important challenges in today's web environments. Business should try to provide good quality regarding the customers' requirements to a composed web service. Thus, quality of service (QoS) which refers to nonfunctional parameters is important to be measured since the quality degree of a certain web service composition could be achieved. This paper tried to find a deterministic analytical method for dependability and performance measurement using Colored Petri net (CPN) with explicit routing constructs and application of theory of probability. A computer tool called WSET was also developed for modeling and supporting QoS measurement through simulation.
In the present study, ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized in zerumbone solution by a green approach and appraised for their ability to absorb Pb(II) ions from aqueous solution. The formation of as-synthesized NPs was established by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and UV-visible studies. The XRD and TEM analyses revealed high purity and wurtzite hexagonal structure of ZnO NPs with a mean size of 10.01 ± 2.6 nm. Batch experiments were performed to investigate the impact of process parameters viz. Pb(II) concentration, pH of solution, adsorbent mass, solution temperature, and contact time variations on the removal efficiency of Pb(II). The adsorption isotherm data provided that the adsorption process was mainly monolayer on ZnO NPs. The adsorption process follows pseudo-second-order reaction kinetic. The maximum removal efficiencies were 93% at pH 5. Thermodynamic parameters such as enthalpy change (ΔH⁰), free energy change (ΔG⁰), and entropy change (ΔS⁰) were calculated; the adsorption process was spontaneous and endothermic. The good efficiency of the as-synthesized NPs makes them attractive for applications in water treatment, for removal of heavy metals from aqueous system.
In this paper, a green microwave-assisted combustion approach to synthesize ZnO-NPs using zinc nitrate and Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad (fruit, seed and pulp) extracts as bio-fuels is reported. The structure, optical, and colloidal properties of the synthesized ZnO-NP samples were studied. Results illustrate that the morphology and particle size of the ZnO samples are different and depend on the bio-fuel. The XRD results revealed that hexagonal wurtzite ZnO-NPs with mean particle size of 27-85 nm were produced by different bio-fuels. The optical band gap was increased from 3.25 to 3.40 eV with the decreasing of particle size. FTIR results showed some differences in the surface structures of the as-synthesized ZnO-NP samples. This led to differences in the zeta potential, hydrodynamic size, and more significantly, antioxidant activity through scavenging of 1, 1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radicals. In in vitro cytotoxicity studies on 3T3 cells, a dose dependent toxicity with non-toxic effect of concentration below 0.26 mg/mL was shown for ZnO-NP samples. Furthermore, the as-synthesized ZnO-NPs inhibited the growth of medically significant pathogenic gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aurous) and gram-negative (Peseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli) bacteria. This study provides a simple, green and efficient approach to produce ZnO nanoparticles for various applications.
Path testing is the basic approach of white box testing and the main approach to solve it by discovering the particular input data of the searching space to encompass the paths in the software under test. Due to the increasing software complexity, exhaustive testing is impossible and computationally not feasible. The ultimate challenge is to generate suitable test data that maximize the coverage; many approaches have been developed by researchers to accomplish path coverage. The paper suggested a hybrid method (NSA-GA) based on Negative Selection Algorithm (NSA) and Genetic Algorithm (GA) to generate an optimal test data avoiding replication to cover all possible paths. The proposed method modifies the generation of detectors in the generation phase of NSA using GA, as well as, develops a fitness function based on the paths' prioritization. Different benchmark programs with different data types have been used. The results show that the hybrid method improved the coverage percentage of the programs' paths, even for complicated paths and its ability to minimize the generated number of test data and enhance the efficiency even with the increased input range of different data types used. This method improves the effectiveness and efficiency of test data generation and maximizes search space area, increasing percentage of path coverage while preventing redundant data.
Addition of phytosterols and antioxidants to food may provide additional health benefits to consumers. Their stability in a food matrix may decrease during storage. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to formulate a salad dressing with cocoa butter and determine its phytosterol stability, antioxidant activity and physicochemical properties during storage. The cocoa butter was extracted using a supercritical CO2 extraction (green technology) and added to the formulated salad dressing (containing different ratios of cocoa butter and soybean oil). The salad dressing with 30% cocoa butter (the most stable emulsion) was selected for storage study at 4 and 30 °C. However, values of physicochemical parameters and mass fractions of phytosterols, total phenolic compounds (determined using Folin-Ciocalteu reagent) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) in the salad dressing with 30% cocoa butter decreased during storage (from day 0 to 28) and increased with the temperature increase, probably due to the oxidation of oil. Thus, the most desirable storage temperature for salad dressing was 4 °C. An excellent stability of the salad dressing with 30% cocoa butter at different storage temperatures for 28 days offers a potential application in food industries for production of salad dressing with cocoa butter enriched with phytosterols.
This study aims to evaluate the in vitro cytotoxic and anti-migratory effects of Ficus deltoidea L. on prostate cancer cells, identify the active compound/s and characterize their mechanism of actions. Two farmed varieties were studied, var. angustifolia (FD1) and var. deltoidea (FD2). Their crude methanolic extracts were partitioned into n-hexane (FD1h, FD2h) chloroform (FD1c, FD2c) and aqueous extracts (FD1a, FD2a). Antiproliferative fractions (IC50 < 30 μg/mL, SRB staining of PC3 cells) were further fractionated. Active compound/s were dereplicated using spectroscopic methods. In vitro mechanistic studies on PC3 and/or LNCaP cells included: annexin V-FITC staining, MMP depolarization measurements, activity of caspases 3 and 7, nuclear DNA fragmentation and cell cycle analysis, modulation of Bax, Bcl-2, Smac/Diablo, and Alox-5 mRNA gene expression by RT-PCR. Effects of cytotoxic fractions on 2D migration and 3D invasion were tested by exclusion assays and modified Boyden chamber, respectively. Their mechanisms of action on these tests were further studied by measuring the expression VEGF-A, CXCR4, and CXCL12 in PC3 cells by RT-PCR. FD1c and FD2c extracts induced cell death (P < 0.05) via apoptosis as evidenced by nuclear DNA fragmentation. This was accompanied by an increase in MMP depolarization (P < 0.05), activation of caspases 3 and 7 (P < 0.05) in both PC3 and LNCaP cell lines. All active plant extracts up-regulated Bax and Smac/DIABLO, down-regulated Bcl-2 (P < 0.05). Both FD1c and FD2c were not cytotoxic against normal human fibroblast cells (HDFa) at the tested concentrations. Both plant extracts inhibited both migration and invasion of PC3 cells (P < 0.05). These effects were accompanied by down-regulation of both VEGF-A and CXCL-12 gene expressions (P < 0.001). LC-MS dereplication using taxonomy filters and molecular networking databases identified isovitexin in FD1c; and oleanolic acid, moretenol, betulin, lupenone, and lupeol in FD2c. In conclusion, FD1c and FD2c were able to overcome three main hallmarks of cancer in PC3 cells: (1) apoptosis by activating of the intrinsic pathway, (2) inhibition of both migration and invasion by modulating the CXCL12-CXCR4 axis, and (3) inhibiting angiogenesis by modulating VEGF-A expression. Moreover, isovitexin is here reported for the first time as an antiproliferative principle (IC50 = 43 μg/mL, SRB staining of PC3 cells).
Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs), the most popular nanoparticles, possess unique properties. Achillea biebersteinii is a plant of the Asteraceae family rich in active antitumor components. The aim of this research was the characterization and investigation of the cytotoxic properties of Ag-NPs synthesized using A. biebersteinii flower extract, on a human breast cancer cell line. The Ag-NPs were synthesized after approximately 180 min of reaction at 40 °C, then they were characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The anti-apoptosis effect of Ag-NPs on the MCF-7 cell line was investigated by MTT assay, DAPI and acridine orange staining and caspase activity. The transcriptional expression of bax, bcl-2, caspase-3, -8 and -9 were also evaluated by RT-PCR. The TEM images revealed that the Ag-NPs morphology had a different shape. The DLS indicated that the average hydrodynamic diameter of the biosynthesized Ag-NPs was around 12 nm. By UV-visible spectroscopy the strongest absorbance peak was observed at 460 nm. The FTIR results also showed interaction between the plant extract and Ag-NPs due to the similarity in the peak patterns. The EDS results showed that Ag-NPs display an absorption peak at 3 keV, indicating the presence of the element silver. The Ag-NPs caused a dose-dependent decrease in cell viability, fragmentation in nucleic acid, inhibited the proliferation and induction of apoptosis on MCF-7 by suppressing specific cell cycle genes, and simulation programmed cell dead genes. Further investigation is required to establish the potential of this novel and promising approach in cancer therapy.
Angiogenesis, which is required for physiological events, plays a crucial role in several pathological conditions, such as tumor growth and metastasis. The use of plant extracts is a cost effective and eco-friendly way to synthesize nanoparticles. In the present study, we investigated the anti-angiogenesis properties of silver nanoparticles synthesized using Saliva officinalis extract on chick chorioalantoic membrane. The production of nanoparticles was confirmed by the color change from yellow to brown observed after approximately 3 h at 37 °C. Then, the nanoparticles were characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, FTIR, and TEM. The UV-visible spectroscopy results showed that the surface plasmon resonance band for AgNPs was around 430 nm. The intensity of the AgNP-specific absorption peak improved with an increase of 0.5 mL of extract into 10 mL of AgNO3 (2.5 mM). The FTIR results showed good interaction between the plant extracts and AgNPs. The TEM images of the samples revealed that the NPs varied in morphology and size from 1 to 40 nm; the average was recorded at 16.5 ± 1.2 nm. Forty Ross fertilized eggs were divided into four groups; the control and three experimental groups. On the 8th day, gelatin sponges containing albumin were placed on the chorioalantoic membrane and soaked with different concentrations of NPs. On the 12th day, all the cases were photographed using a photostereomicroscope. The number and the lengths of the vessels were measured using Image J software. The crown rump (CR) and weight of the embryo were also recorded. Then the hemoglobin content was measured using Drabkin's reagent kit for quantification of the blood vessel formation. According to the data analysis, the number and length of the blood vessels, as well as the CR and weight of the embryos reduced significantly compared to the control (p < 0.05), dose dependently. The total hemoglobin was quantified as an indicator of the blood vessel formation. The hemoglobin content in the treated samples with AgNPs decreased, which showed its inhibitory effect on angiogenesis.
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.
The use of in vitro culture has been accepted as an efficient technique for clonal propagation of many woody plants. In the present research, we report the results of a number of experiments aimed at optimizing micropropagation protocol for tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) (clone Iran 100) using nodal segments as the explant. The effect of different combinations and concentrations of plant growth regulators (PGR) (BAP, TDZ, GA₃) on shoot multiplication and elongation was assessed. The influence of exposure to IBA in liquid form prior to transfer to solid media on rooting of tea microshoots was investigated. The results of this study showed that the best treatment for nodal segment multiplication in terms of the number of shoot per explant and shoot elongation was obtained using 3 mg/L BAP in combination with 0.5 mg/L GA₃. TDZ was found to be inappropriate for multiplication of tea clone Iran 100 as it resulted in hyperhydricity especially at concentrations higher than 0.05 mg/L. Healthy shoots treated with 300 mg/L IBA for 30 min followed by transfer to 1/2 strength MS medium devoid of PGR resulted in 72.3% of shoots producing roots and upon transferring them to acclimatization chamber 65% survival was obtained prior to field transfer.
Human interferon alpha (IFN-α) was expressed in two strains of Lactococcus lactis by aid of two promoters (P32 and Pnis) giving rise to two recombinant strains: MG:IFN and NZ:IFN, respectively. The expression of IFN was confirmed by ELISA and western blotting. Highest production was achieved using glucose for growth of both recombinant strains with nisin, used for induction of the recombinant strain with Pnis promoter, at 30 ng/ml. The optimum time for MG:IFN was 9 h and for NZ:IFN was 4.5 h. The highest productions by MG:IFN and NZ:IFN were 1.9 and 2.4 μg IFN/l, respectively. Both of the expressed IFNs showed bioactivities of 1.9 × 10(6) IU/mg that were acceptable for further clinical studies.
The synthesis of nanoparticles has become a matter of great interest in recent times due to their various advantageous properties and applications in a variety of fields. The exploitation of different plant materials for the biosynthesis of nanoparticles is considered a green technology because it does not involve any harmful chemicals. In this study, iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe3O4-NPs) were synthesized using a rapid, single step and completely green biosynthetic method by reduction of ferric chloride solution with brown seaweed (BS, Sargassum muticum) water extract containing sulphated polysaccharides as a main factor which acts as reducing agent and efficient stabilizer. The structural and properties of the Fe3O4-NPs were investigated by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDXRF), vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM) and transmission electron microscopy. The average particle diameter as determined by TEM was found to be 18 ± 4 nm. X-ray diffraction showed that the nanoparticles are crystalline in nature, with a cubic shape. The nanoparticles synthesized through this biosynthesis method can potentially useful in various applications.
The potential use of n-dodecane and n-hexadecane as oxygen vectors for enhancing hyaluronic acid (HA) biosynthesis by Streptococcus zooepidemicus ATCC 39920 was investigated using a 2-L stirred-tank bioreactor equipped with helical ribbon or Rushton turbine impellers. The volumetric fraction of the oxygen vector influenced the gas-liquid volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient (K(L)a) positively. Batch HA fermentation with 1% (v/v) n-dodecane or 0.5% (v/v) n-hexadecane addition was carried out at different impeller tip speeds. Even though cell growth was lower in the fermentation with oxygen vector addition, the HA productivity and molecular weight were higher when compared to the fermentation without oxygen vector at low impeller tip speed. The highest HA concentration (4.25 gHA/l) and molecular weight (1.54 × 10(7) Da) were obtained when 0.5% (v/v) n-hexadecane and 0.785 m/s impeller tip speed of helical ribbon were used.
The effect of different carbon and nitrogen sources on the production of mannan-degrading enzymes, focussing on β-mannanase, by Aspergillus niger was investigated using shake flask culture. The β-mannanase activity obtained during growth of A. niger on guar gum (GG, 1495 nkat mL(-1)) was much higher than those observed on other carbon substrates, locust bean gum (1148 nkat mL(-1)), α-cellulose (10.7 nkat mL(-1)), glucose (8.8 nkat mL(-1)) and carboxymethylcellulose (4.6 nkat mL(-1)). For fermentation using GG as a carbon source, bacteriological peptone gave the highest β-mannanase activity (1744 nkat mL(-1)) followed by peptone from meat (1168 nkat mL(-1)), yeast extract (817 nkat mL(-1)), ammonium sulphate (241 nkat mL(-1)), ammonium nitrate (113 nkat mL(-1)) and ammonium chloride (99 nkat mL(-1)) when used as a nitrogen source. The composition of bacteriological peptone and initial pH of the medium were further optimized using response surface methodology (RSM). Medium consisted of 21.3 g L(-1) GG and 57 g L(-1) peptone with initial culture pH of 5.5 was optimum for β-mannanase production (2063 nkat mL(-1)) by A. niger. The β-mannanase production obtained in this study using A. niger was significantly higher than those reported in the literature.
Kojic acid monooleate is a fatty acid derivative of kojic acid which can be widely used as a skin whitening agent in a cosmetic applications. In avoiding any possible harmful effects from chemically synthesized product, the enzymatic synthesis appears to be the best way to satisfy the consumer demand nowadays. The ability of immobilized lipase from Rhizomucor meihei (lipozyme RMIM) to catalyze the direct esterification of kojic acid and oleic acid was investigated. Response Surface Methodology (RSM) and 5-level-4-factor central composite rotatable were employed to evaluate the effects of synthesis parameters such as enzyme amount (0.1-0.4 g), temperature (30-60 degrees C), substrate molar ratio (1-4 mmol, kojic acid:oleic acid) and reaction time (24-48 h) on percentage molar conversion to kojic acid monooleate. Analysis of the product using TLC, GC and FTIR showed the presence of kojic acid monooleate. The optimal conditions for the enzymatic reaction were obtained after analysis with backward elimination using 0.17 g of enzyme and 4 mmol of substrate at 52.50 degrees C for 42 h. Under these conditions the esterification percentage was 37.21%. The results demonstrated that response surface methodology can be applied effectively to optimize the lipase-catalysed synthesis of kojic acid monooleate. The optimum conditions can be used to scale up the process.
We demonstrate a multiple-wavelength Brillouin comb laser with cooperative Rayleigh scattering that uses Raman amplification in dispersion-compensating fiber. The laser resonator is a linear cavity formed by reflector at each end of the dispersion-compensating fiber to improve the reflectivity of the Brillouin Stokes comb. Multiple Brillouin Stokes generation has been improved in terms of optical signal-to-noise ratio and power-level fluctuation between neighboring channels. Furthermore, the linewidth of the Brillouin Stokes is uniform within the laser output bandwidth.
The production and characterization of a bioflocculant, IH-7, by Aspergillus flavus was investigated. About 0.4 g of purified bioflocculant with an average molecular weight of 2.574 × 10(4)Da could be obtained from 1L of fermentation medium. The bioflocculant mainly consisted of protein (28.5%) and sugar (69.7%), including 40% of neutral sugar, 2.48% of uronic acid and 1.8% amino sugar. The neutral sugar components are sucrose, lactose, glucose, xylose, galactose, mannose and fructose at a molar ratio of 2.4:4.4:4.1:5.8:9.9:0.8:3.1. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy analysis revealed that purified IH-7 contained hydroxyl, amide, carboxyl and methoxyl groups. The elemental analysis of purified IH-7 showed that the weight fractions of the elements C, H, O, N and S were 29.9%, 4.8%, 34.7%, 3.3%, and 2.0%, respectively. IH-7 had good flocculating rate in kaolin suspension without cation addition and stable over wide range of pH and temperature.