The growing momentum of several common life-style diseases such as myocardial infarction, cardiovascular disorders, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and atherosclerosis has become a serious global concern. Recent developments in the field of proteomics offering promising solutions to solving such health problems stimulates the uses of biopeptides as one of the therapeutic agents to alleviate disease-related risk factors. Functional peptides are typically produced from protein via enzymatic hydrolysis under in vitro or in vivo conditions using different kinds of proteolytic enzymes. An array of biological activities, including antioxidative, antihypertensive, antidiabetic and immunomodulating has been ascribed to different types of biopeptides derived from various food sources. In fact, biopeptides are nutritionally and functionally important for regulating some physiological functions in the body; however, these are yet to be extensively addressed with regard to their production through advance strategies, mechanisms of action and multiple biological functionalities. This review mainly focuses on recent biotechnological advances that are being made in the field of production in addition to covering the mode of action and biological activities, medicinal health functions and therapeutic applications of biopeptides. State-of-the-art strategies that can ameliorate the efficacy, bioavailability, and functionality of biopeptides along with their future prospects are likewise discussed.
Microalgae have caught the world's attention for its potential to solve one of the world's most pressing issues-sustainable green energy. Compared to biofuels supplied by oil palm, rapeseed, soybean and sugar cane, microalgae alone can be manipulated to generate larger amounts of biodiesel, bioethanol, biohydrogen and biomass in a shorter time. Apart from higher productivity, microalgae can also grow using brackish water on non-arable land, greatly reducing the competition with food and cash crops. Hence, numerous efforts have been put into the commercialisation of microalgae-derived biofuel by both the government and private bodies. This paper serves to review conventional and novel methods for microalgae culture and biomass harvest, as well as recent developments in techniques for microalgal biofuel production.
The annual harvest of banana and plantain (Musa spp.) is approximately 145 million tons worldwide. About 85% of this global production comes from small plots and kitchen or backyard gardens from the developing world, and only 15% goes to the export trade. Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana are the ancestors of several hundreds of parthenocarpic Musa diploid and polyploid cultivars, which show multiple origins through inter- and intra-specific hybridizations from these two wild diploid species. Generating hybrids combining host plant resistance to pathogens and pests, short growth cycles and height, high fruit yield, parthenocarpy, and desired quality from the cultivars remains a challenge for Musa crossbreeding, which started about one century ago in Trinidad. The success of Musa crossbreeding depends on the production of true hybrid seeds in a crop known for its high levels of female sterility, particularly among polyploid cultivars. All banana export cultivars grown today are, however, selections from somatic mutants of the group Cavendish and have a very narrow genetic base, while smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa, tropical Asia and Latin America use some bred-hybrids (mostly cooking types). Musa improvement goals need to shift to address emerging threats because of the changing climate. Innovative cell and molecular biology tools have the potential to enhance the pace and efficiency of genetic improvement in Musa. Micro-propagation has been successful for high throughput of clean planting materials while in vitro seed germination assists in obtaining seedlings after inter-specific and across ploidy hybridization. Flow cytometry protocols are used for checking ploidy among genebank accessions and breeding materials. DNA markers, the genetic maps based on them, and the recent sequencing of the banana genome offer means for gaining more insights in the genetics of the crops and to identifying genes that could lead to accelerating Musa betterment. Likewise, DNA fingerprinting has been useful to characterize Musa diversity. Genetic engineering provides a complementary tool to Musa breeders who can introduce today transgenes that may confer resistance to bacteria, fungi and nematodes, or enhance pro-vitamin A fruit content. In spite of recent advances, the genetic improvement of Musa depends on a few crossbreeding programs (based in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Guadeloupe, Honduras, India, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda) or a handful of genetic engineering endeavors (Australia, Belgium, India, Kenya, Malaysia and Uganda). Development investors (namely international aid and philanthropy) should therefore increase their funding to genetically enhance this crop that ranks among the 10-top staple foods of the developing world.
In recent years, environmental problems caused by the use of fossil fuels and the depletion of petroleum reserves have driven the world to adopt biodiesel as an alternative energy source to replace conventional petroleum-derived fuels because of biodiesel's clean and renewable nature. Biodiesel is conventionally produced in homogeneous, heterogeneous, and enzymatic catalysed processes, as well as by supercritical technology. All of these processes have their own limitations, such as wastewater generation and high energy consumption. In this context, the membrane reactor appears to be the perfect candidate to produce biodiesel because of its ability to overcome the limitations encountered by conventional production methods. Thus, the aim of this paper is to review the production of biodiesel with a membrane reactor by examining the fundamental concepts of the membrane reactor, its operating principles and the combination of membrane and catalyst in the catalytic membrane. In addition, the potential of functionalised carbon nanotubes to serve as catalysts while being incorporated into the membrane for transesterification is discussed. Furthermore, this paper will also discuss the effects of process parameters for transesterification in a membrane reactor and the advantages offered by membrane reactors for biodiesel production. This discussion is followed by some limitations faced in membrane technology. Nevertheless, based on the findings presented in this review, it is clear that the membrane reactor has the potential to be a breakthrough technology for the biodiesel industry.
Health biotechnology has rapidly become vital in helping healthcare systems meet the needs of the poor in developing countries. This key industry also generates revenue and creates employment opportunities in these countries. To successfully develop biotechnology industries in developing nations, it is critical to understand and improve the system of health innovation, as well as the role of each innovative sector and the linkages between the sectors. Countries' science and technology capacities can be strengthened only if there are non-linear linkages and strong interrelations among players throughout the innovation process; these relationships generate and transfer knowledge related to commercialization of the innovative health products. The private sector is one of the main actors in healthcare innovation, contributing significantly to the development of health biotechnology via knowledge, expertise, resources and relationships to translate basic research and development into new commercial products and innovative processes. The role of the private sector has been increasingly recognized and emphasized by governments, agencies and international organizations. Many partnerships between the public and private sector have been established to leverage the potential of the private sector to produce more affordable healthcare products. Several developing countries that have been actively involved in health biotechnology are becoming the main players in this industry. The aim of this paper is to discuss the role of the private sector in health biotechnology development and to study its impact on health and economic growth through case studies in South Korea, India and Brazil. The paper also discussed the approaches by which the private sector can improve the health and economic status of the poor.
This work reviews the stripping off, role of water molecules in activity, and flexibility of immobilized Candida antarctica lipase B (CALB). Employment of CALB in ring opening polyester synthesis emphasizing on a polylactide is discussed in detail. Execution of enzymes in place of inorganic catalysts is the most green alternative for sustainable and environment friendly synthesis of products on an industrial scale. Robust immobilization and consequently performance of enzyme is the essential objective of enzyme application in industry. Water bound to the surface of an enzyme (contact class of water molecules) is inevitable for enzyme performance; it controls enzyme dynamics via flexibility changes and has intensive influence on enzyme activity. The value of pH during immobilization of CALB plays a critical role in fixing the active conformation of an enzyme. Comprehensive selection of support and protocol can develop a robust immobilized enzyme thus enhancing its performance. Organic solvents with a log P value higher than four are more suitable for enzymatic catalysis as these solvents tend to strip away very little of the enzyme surface bound water molecules. Alternatively ionic liquid can work as a more promising reaction media. Covalent immobilization is an exclusively reliable technique to circumvent the leaching of enzymes and to enhance stability. Activated polystyrene nanoparticles can prove to be a practical and economical support for chemical immobilization of CALB. In order to reduce the E-factor for the synthesis of biodegradable polymers; enzymatic ring opening polyester synthesis (eROPS) of cyclic monomers is a more sensible route for polyester synthesis. Synergies obtained from ionic liquids and immobilized enzyme can be much effective eROPS.
Culturing of microalgae as an alternative feedstock for biofuel production has received a lot of attention in recent years due to their fast growth rate and ability to accumulate high quantity of lipid and carbohydrate inside their cells for biodiesel and bioethanol production, respectively. In addition, this superior feedstock offers several environmental benefits, such as effective land utilization, CO(2) sequestration, self-purification if coupled with wastewater treatment and does not trigger food versus fuel feud. Despite having all these 'theoretical' advantages, review on problems and issues related to energy balance in microalgae biofuel are not clearly addressed until now. Base on the maturity of current technology, the true potential of microalgae biofuel towards energy security and its feasibility for commercialization are still questionable. Thus, this review is aimed to depict the practical problems that are facing the microalgae biofuel industry, covering upstream to downstream activities by accessing the latest research reports and critical data analysis. Apart from that, several interlink solutions to the problems will be suggested with the purpose to bring current microalgae biofuel research into a new dimension and consequently, to revolutionize the entire microalgae biofuel industry towards long-term sustainability.
In the last few years, biodiesel has emerged as one of the most potential renewable energy to replace current petrol-derived diesel. It is a renewable, biodegradable and non-toxic fuel which can be easily produced through transesterification reaction. However, current commercial usage of refined vegetable oils for biodiesel production is impractical and uneconomical due to high feedstock cost and priority as food resources. Low-grade oil, typically waste cooking oil can be a better alternative; however, the high free fatty acids (FFA) content in waste cooking oil has become the main drawback for this potential feedstock. Therefore, this review paper is aimed to give an overview on the current status of biodiesel production and the potential of waste cooking oil as an alternative feedstock. Advantages and limitations of using homogeneous, heterogeneous and enzymatic transesterification on oil with high FFA (mostly waste cooking oil) are discussed in detail. It was found that using heterogeneous acid catalyst and enzyme are the best option to produce biodiesel from oil with high FFA as compared to the current commercial homogeneous base-catalyzed process. However, these heterogeneous acid and enzyme catalyze system still suffers from serious mass transfer limitation problems and therefore are not favorable for industrial application. Nevertheless, towards the end of this review paper, a few latest technological developments that have the potential to overcome the mass transfer limitation problem such as oscillatory flow reactor (OFR), ultrasonication, microwave reactor and co-solvent are reviewed. With proper research focus and development, waste cooking oil can indeed become the next ideal feedstock for biodiesel.
Palm oil industry is one of the leading agricultural industries in Malaysia with average crude palm oil production of more than 13 million tonne per year. However, production of such huge amount of crude palm oil has consequently resulted to even larger amount of palm oil mill effluent (POME). POME is a highly polluting wastewater with high chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in which can caused severe pollution to the environment, typically pollution to water resources. On the other hand, POME was identified as a potential source to generate renewable bioenergies such as biomethane and biohydrogen through anaerobic digestion. In other words, a combination of wastewater treatment and renewable bioenergies production would be an added advantage to the palm oil industry. In line with the world's focus on sustainability concept, such strategy should be implemented immediately to ensure palm oil is produced in an environmental friendly and sustainable manner. This review aims to discuss various technologies to convert POME to biomethane and biohydrogen in a commercial scale. Furthermore, discussion on using POME to culture microalgae for biodiesel and bioethanol production was included in the present paper as a new remedy to utilize POME with a greater beneficial return.
Over the past decade, L-homophenylalanine is extensively used in the pharmaceutical industry as a precursor for production of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which possesses significant clinical application in the management of hypertension and congestive heart failure (CHF). A number of chemical methods have been reported thus far for the synthesis of L-homophenylalanine. However, chemical methods generally suffer from process complexity, high cost, and environmental pollution. On the other hand, enantiomerically pure L-homophenylalanine can be obtained elegantly and efficiently by employing biocatalytic methods, where it appears to be the most attractive process in terms of potential industrial applications, green chemistry and sustainability. Herein we review the biocatalytic synthesis of vital L-homophenylalanine as potentially useful intermediate in the production of pharmaceutical drugs in environmentally friendly conditions, using membrane bioreactor for sustainable biotransformation process. One envisages the future prospects of developing an integrated membrane bioreactor system with improved performance for L-homophenylalanine production.
During the last century, a great deal of research and development as well as applications has been devoted to waste. These include waste minimization and treatment, the environmental assessment of waste, minimization of environmental impact, life cycle assessment and others. The major reason for such huge efforts is that waste generation constitutes one of the major environmental problems where production industries are concerned. Until now, an increasing pressure has been put on finding methods of reusing waste, for instance through cleaner production, thus mirroring rapid changes in environmental policies. The palm oil industry is one of the leading industries in Malaysia with a yearly production of more than 13 million tons of crude palm oil and plantations covering 11% of the Malaysian land area. However, the production of such amounts of crude palm oil result in even larger amounts of palm oil mill effluent (POME), estimated at nearly three times the quantity of crude palm oil. Normally, POME is treated using end-of-pipe processes, but it is worth considering the potential value of POME prior to its treatment through introduction of a cleaner production. It is envisaged that POME can be sustainably reused as a fermentation substrate in the production of various metabolites, fertilizers and animal feeds through biotechnological advances. The present paper thus discusses various technically feasible and economically beneficial means of transforming the POME into low or preferably high value added products.
Biological removal of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur is drawing increasing research interest in search for an efficient and cost-effective wastewater treatment. While extensive work on separate removal of nitrogen and sulfur is well documented, investigation on simultaneous denitrifying sulfide removal has only been reported recently. Most of the work on denitrifying sulfide removal has been focusing on bioreactor performance, loading and operating conditions. Nonetheless, underlying principles elucidating the biochemical reactions and the mechanisms of the microbial degradation are yet to be established. In addition, unstable denitrifying sulfide removal which is a major operating problem that hinders practical application of the process, is yet to be resolved. This paper provides a review on the state-of-the-art development of simultaneous biological removal of sulfur, nitrogen and carbon. Research on bioreactor operation and performance, reactor configurations, mechanisms and modeling work including the use of mass balance analysis and artificial neural networks is delineated. An in-depth discussion on the microbial community and functional consortium is also provided. Challenges and future work on simultaneous biological removal of nitrogen-sulfur-carbon are also outlined.
One of the major problems in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases is the inability of myocardium to self-regenerate. Current therapies are unable to restore the heart's function after myocardial infarction. Myocardial tissue engineering is potentially a key approach to regenerate damaged heart muscle. Myocardial patches are applied surgically, whereas injectable hydrogels provide effective minimally invasive approaches to recover functional myocardium. These hydrogels are easily administered and can be either cell free or loaded with bioactive agents and/or cardiac stem cells, which may apply paracrine effects. The aim of this review is to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of injectable stem cell-laden hydrogels and highlight their potential applications for myocardium repair.
Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides that can be artificially generated by a method called Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX). The generated aptamers have been assessed for high-performance sensing applications due to their appealing characteristics. With either aptamers alone or complementing with antibodies, several high sensitive and portable sensors have been demonstrated for use in 'point-of-care testing'. Due to their high suitability and flexibility, aptamers are conjugated with nanostructures and utilized in field applications. Moreover, aptamers are more amenable to chemical modifications, making them capable of utilization with most developed sensors. In this overview, we discuss novel, portable, and aptamer-based sensing strategies that are suitable for 'point-of-care testing'.
Thermophiles and hyperthermophiles are present in various regions of the Earth, including volcanic environments, hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles, geysers, coastal thermal springs, and even deep-sea hydrothermal vents. They are also found in man-made environments, such as heated compost facilities, reactors, and spray dryers. Thermophiles, hyperthermophiles, and their bioproducts facilitate various industrial, agricultural, and medicinal applications and offer potential solutions to environmental damages and the demand for biofuels. Intensified efforts to sequence the entire genome of hyperthermophiles and thermophiles are increasing rapidly, as evidenced by the fact that over 120 complete genome sequences of the hyperthermophiles Aquificae, Thermotogae, Crenarchaeota, and Euryarchaeota are now available. In this review, we summarise the major current applications of thermophiles and thermozymes. In addition, emphasis is placed on recent progress in understanding the biodiversity, genomes, transcriptomes, metagenomes, and single-cell sequencing of thermophiles in the genomic era.
Deep eutectic solvents (DESs) have been touted recently as potential alternatives to ionic liquids (ILs). Although they possess core characteristics that are similar to those of ILs (e.g., low volatility, non-flammability, low melting points, low vapor pressure, dipolar nature, chemical and thermal stability, high solubility, and tuneability), DESs are superior in terms of the availability of raw materials, the ease of storage and synthesis, and the low cost of their starting materials. As such, they have become the subject of intensive research in various sectors, notably the chemical, electrochemical, and biological sectors. To date, the applications of DESs have shown great promise, especially in the medical and biotechnological fields. In spite of these various achievements, the safety concern for these mixtures must be sufficiently addressed. Indeed, in order to exploit the vast array of opportunities that DESs offer to the biological industry, first, they must be established as safe mixtures. Hence, the biotechnological applications of DESs only can be implemented if they are proven to have negligible or low toxicity profiles. This review is the first of its kind, and it discusses two current aspects of DES-based research. First, it describes the properties of these mixtures with ample focus on their toxicity profiles. Second, it provides an overview of the breakthroughs that have occurred and the foreseeable prospects of the use of DESs in various biotechnological and biological applications.
Microalgae-based bioproducts are in limelight because of their promising future, novel characteristics, the current situation of population needs, and rising prices of rapidly depleting energy resources. Algae-based products are considered as clean sustainable energy and food resources. At present, they are not commercialized due to their high production cost and low yield. In recent years, novel genome editing tools like RNAi, ZNFs, TALENs, and CRISPR/Cas9 are used to enhance the quality and quantity of the desired products. Genetic and metabolic engineering are frequently applied because of their rapid and precise results than random mutagenesis. Omic approaches help enhance biorefinery capabilities and are now in the developing stage for algae. The future is very bright for transgenic algae with increased biomass yield, carbon dioxide uptake rate, accumulating high-value compounds, reduction in cultivation, and production costs, thus reaching the goal in the global algal market and capital flow. However, microalgae are primary producers and any harmful exposure to the wild strains can affect the entire ecosystem. Therefore, strict regulation and monitoring are required to assess the potential risks before introducing genetically modified microalgae into the natural ecosystem.
With recent advances in novel gene-editing tools such as RNAi, ZFNs, TALENs, and CRISPR-Cas9, the possibility of altering microalgae toward designed properties for various application is becoming a reality. Alteration of microalgae genomes can modify metabolic pathways to give elevated yields in lipids, biomass, and other components. The potential of such genetically optimized microalgae can give a "domino effect" in further providing optimization leverages down the supply chain, in aspects such as cultivation, processing, system design, process integration, and revolutionary products. However, the current level of understanding the functional information of various microalgae gene sequences is still primitive and insufficient as microalgae genome sequences are long and complex. From this perspective, this work proposes to link up this knowledge gap between microalgae genetic information and optimized bioproducts using Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the recent acceleration of AI research, large and complex data from microalgae research can be properly analyzed by combining the cutting-edge of both fields. In this work, the most suitable class of AI algorithms (such as active learning, semi-supervised learning, and meta-learning) are discussed for different cases of microalgae applications. This work concisely reviews the current state of the research milestones and highlight some of the state-of-art that has been carried out, providing insightful future pathways. The utilization of AI algorithms in microalgae cultivation, system optimization, and other aspects of the supply chain is also discussed. This work opens the pathway to a digitalized future for microalgae research and applications.
The coexistence of algae and bacteria in nature dates back to the very early stages when life came into existence. The interaction between algae and bacteria plays an important role in the planet ecology, cycling nutrients, and feeding higher trophic levels, and have been evolving ever since. The emerging concept of algal-bacterial consortia is gaining attention, much towards environmental management and protection. Studies have shown that algal-bacterial synergy does not only promote carbon capture in wastewater bioremediation but also consequently produces biofuels from algal-bacterial biomass. This review has evaluated the optimistic prospects of algal-bacterial consortia in environmental remediation, biorefinery, carbon sequestration as well as its contribution to the production of high-value compounds. In addition, algal-bacterial consortia offer great potential in bloom control, dye removal, agricultural biofertilizers, and bioplastics production. This work also emphasizes the advancement of algal-bacterial biotechnology in environmental management through the incorporation of Industry Revolution 4.0 technologies. The challenges include its pathway to greener industry, competition with other food additive sources, societal acceptance, cost feasibility, environmental trade-off, safety and compatibility. Thus, there is a need for further in-depth research to ensure the environmental sustainability and feasibility of algal-bacterial consortia to meet numerous current and future needs of society in the long run.
Microalgae biorefinery is a platform for the conversion of microalgal biomass into a variety of value-added products, such as biofuels, bio-based chemicals, biomaterials, and bioactive substances. Commercialization and industrialization of microalgae biorefinery heavily rely on the capability and efficiency of large-scale cultivation of microalgae. Thus, there is an urgent need for novel technologies that can be used to monitor, automatically control, and precisely predict microalgae production. In light of this, innovative applications of the Internet of things (IoT) technologies in microalgae biorefinery have attracted tremendous research efforts. IoT has potential applications in a microalgae biorefinery for the automatic control of microalgae cultivation, monitoring and manipulation of microalgal cultivation parameters, optimization of microalgae productivity, identification of toxic algae species, screening of target microalgae species, classification of microalgae species, and viability detection of microalgal cells. In this critical review, cutting-edge IoT technologies that could be adopted to microalgae biorefinery in the upstream and downstream processing are described comprehensively. The current advances of the integration of IoT with microalgae biorefinery are presented. What this review discussed includes automation, sensors, lab-on-chip, and machine learning, which are the main constituent elements and advanced technologies of IoT. Specifically, future research directions are discussed with special emphasis on the development of sensors, the application of microfluidic technology, robotized microalgae, high-throughput platforms, deep learning, and other innovative techniques. This review could contribute greatly to the novelty and relevance in the field of IoT-based microalgae biorefinery to develop smarter, safer, cleaner, greener, and economically efficient techniques for exhaustive energy recovery during the biorefinery process.