OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this work was to transesterify the CCO in the presence of Candida antarctica lipase as catalyst and methanol. Additionally, the physicochemical parameters/fuel properties of the Citrullus colocynthis methyl ester (CCME) were assessed and compared.
METHODS: Lipase-catalyzed reactions were carried out in three necked flask (50 mL) attached with reflux condenser and thermometer, immersed in oil bath at constant stirring speed (400 rpm). The reaction mixture was consisted of CCO and varying the calculated amount of methanol, tert-butyl alcohol, and Novozym 435. The experimental parameters reaction time, methanol/oil molar ratio, reaction temperature, tert-butanol content, Novozym 435 content and water content were optimized for the transesterification reaction. The CCME yield was measured using gas chromatograph. The fuel properties of the produced CCME were determined as per American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and European (EN) biodiesel standard methods.
RESULTS: In this study, an enzymatic catalyst was employed to synthesize the CCME from CCO via transesterification. Several variables affecting the CCME yield were optimized as lipase quantity (4%), water content (0.5%), methanol/oil molar ratio (5:1), reaction temperature (43 °C), reaction medium composition (80% tertbutanol/ oil), and reaction time (3.7 h). A CCME yield of 97.8% was achieved using enzyme catalyzed transesterification of CCO under optimal conditions. The significant biodiesel fuel properties of CCME, i.e. cloud point (0.70 °C); cetane number (49.07); kinematic viscosity (2.27 mm2/s); flash point (143 °C); sulfur content (2 ppm) density (880 kg/m3) and acid value (0.076 mg KOH/g) were appraised. CCME also exhibited long-term storage stability (4.80 h) and all the biodiesel fuel properties were within the range of standards (ASTM D6751 and EN 14214).
CONCLUSION: The lipase-catalyzed transesterification produced better conversion than the base-catalyzed reaction. The fuel properties of CCME were within the limits of the ASTM D6751 and EN14214 standards. Furthermore, CCME showed good oxidative stability and a long shelf life due its high natural antioxidant content. CCME showed better fuel properties and long-term storage stability due to which it can be used as a potential alternative fuel.
OBJECTIVES: This paper focused on how the refractive index based nanobio-sensoring gold platform can produce more efficient, adaptable and more practical detection techniques to observe molecular interactions at high degree of sensitivity. It discusses surface chemistry approach, optimisation of the refractive index of gold platform and manipulation of gold geometry augmenting signal quality.
METHODS: In a normal-incidence reflectivity, r0 can be calculated using the Fresnel equation. Particularly at λ = 470 nm the ratio of r / r0 showed significant amplitude reduction mainly stemmed from the imaginary part of the Au refractive index. Hence, the fraction of reduction, Δr = 1 - r / r0. Experimentally, in a common reference frame reflectivity of a bare gold surface, R0 is compared with the reflectivity of gold surface in the presence of biolayer, R. The reduction rate (%) of reflectivity, ΔR = 1 - R / R0 is denoted as the AR signal. The method therefore enables quantitative measurement of the surface-bound protein by converting ΔR to the thickness, d, and subsequently the protein mass. We discussed four strategies to improve the AR signal by changing the effective refractive index of the biosensing platform. They are; a) Thickness optimisation of Au thin layer, b) Au / Ag bimetallic layer, c) composing alloy or Au composite, and d) Au thinlayer with nano or micro holes.
RESULTS: As the result we successfully 'move' the refractive index, ε of the AR platform (gold only) to ε = -0.948 + 3.455i, a higher sensitivity platform. This was done by composing Au-Ag2O composite with ratio = 1:1. The results were compared to the potential sensitivity improvement of the AR substrate using other that could be done by further tailoring the ε advanced method.
CONCLUSION: We suggested four strategies in order to realize this purpose. It is apparent that sensitivity has been improved through Au/Ag bimetallic layer or Au-Ag2O composite thin layer, This study is an important step towards fabrication of sensitive surface for detection of biomolecular interactions.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to develop a colorimetric sensor to detect Hg2+ in water sources using HRP inhibitive assay. The system can be incorporated with a mobile app to make it practical for a prompt in-situ analysis.
METHODS: HRP enzyme was pre-incubated with different concentration of Hg2+ at 37°C for 1 hour prior to the addition of chromogen. The mix of PBS buffer, 4-AAP and phenol which act as a chromogen was then added to the HRP enzyme and was incubated for 20 minutes. Alcohol was added to stop the enzymatic reaction, and the change of colour were observed and analyse using UV-Vis spectrophotometer at 520 nm wavelength. The results were then analysed using GraphPad PRISM 4 for a non-linear regression analysis, and using Mathematica (Wolfram) 10.0 software for a hierarchical cluster analysis. The samples from spectroscopy measurement were directly used for dynamic light scattering (DLS) evaluation to evaluate the changes in HRP size due to Hg2+ malfunctionation. Finally, molecular dynamic simulations comparing normal and malfunctioned HRP were carried out to investigate structural changes of the HRP using YASARA software.
RESULTS: Naked eye detection and data from UV-Vis spectroscopy showed good selectivity of Hg2+ over other metal ions as a distinctive color of Hg2+ is observed at 0.5 ppm with the IC50 of 0.290 ppm. The mechanism of Hg2+ inhibition towards HRP was further validated using a dynamic light scattering (DLS) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to ensure that there is a conformational change in HRP size due to the presence of Hg2+ ions. The naked eye detection can be quantitatively determined using a smartphone app namely ColorAssist, suggesting that the detection signal does not require expensive instruments to be quantified.
CONCLUSION: A naked-eye colorimetric sensor for mercury ions detection was developed. The colour change due to the presence of Hg2+ can be easily distinguished using an app via a smartphone. Thus, without resorting to any expensive instruments that are mostly laboratory bound, Hg2+ can be easily detected at IC50 value of 0.29 ppm. This is a promising alternative and practical method to detect Hg2+ in the environment.
OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this study was to explore oleaginous yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica isolated from soil and optimization of culture conditions and medium components to obtained better quality microbial oil for biodiesel production.
METHODS: Fifty yeast strains were isolated from soil from different regions of Lahore and eleven of them were selected for oil production. The isolated yeast colonies were screened to further check their lipid producing capabilities by the qualitative analysis. Five yeast strains were designated as oleaginous because they produced more than 16% of oil based on their biomass. To estimate the total lipid content of yeast cells, the extraction of lipids was done by performing the procedure proposed by Bligh and Dyer. The transesterification of yeast oils was performed by using different methods. There were three different strategies customized to transesterifying microbial oil using base catalyzed transesterification, acid catalyzed transesterification and enzyme-based transesterification. After completion of transesterification, sample was used for fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) were analyzed by gas-chromatograph with ionization detector type MS.
RESULTS: The isolate IIB-10 identified as Yarrowia lipolytica produced maximum amount of lipids i.e. 22.8%. More amount of biomass was obtained when cane molasses was utilized as carbon source where it produced 29.4 g/L of biomass while sucrose and lactose were not utilized by IIB-10 and no biomass was obtained. Similarly, meat extracts showed best results when it was used as nitrogen source because it resulted in 35.8 g/L biomass of Yarrowia lipolytica IIB-10. The culturing conditions like size of inoculum, effect of pH and time of incubation were also studied. The 10% of inoculum size produced 25.4 g/L biomass at 120 h incubation time, while the pH 7 was the optimum pH at which 24.8 g/L biomass was produced by Yarrowia lipolytica IIB-10. GC-MS analysis showed that biodiesel produced by transesterification contained similar fatty acids as found in vegetable oil for this reason it is widely accepted feedstock for biodiesel production.
CONCLUSION: The analysis of fatty acids methyl esters showed the similar composition of microbial oil as in vegetable oils and high amount of methyl esters were obtained after transesterification. Therefore, potentially oleaginous yeast could be used to generate a large amount of lipids for biodiesel production that will be the better substitute of petroleum-based diesel and will also control the environmental pollution.
OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this study was to optimize the production of NPG diesters and to characterize the optimized esters with typical chemical, physical and electrical properties to study its potential as insulating oil.
METHODS: The transesterification reaction between HOPME and NPG was conducted in a 1L three-neck flask reactor at specified temperature, pressure, molar ratio and catalyst concentration. For the optimization, four factors have been studied and the diester product was characterized by using gas chromatography (GC) analysis. The synthesized esters were then characterized with typical properties of transformer oil such as flash point, pour point, viscosity and breakdown voltage and were compared with mineral insulating oil and commercial NPG dioleate. For formulation, different samples of NPG diesters with different concentration of pour point depressant were prepared and each sample was tested for its pour point measurement.
RESULTS: The optimum conditions inferred from the analyses were: molar ratio of HOPME to NPG of 2:1.3, temperature = 182°C, pressure = 0.6 mbar and catalyst concentration of 1.2%. The synthesized NPG diesters showed very important improvement in fire safety compared to mineral oil with flash point of 300°C and 155°C, respectively. NPG diesters also exhibit a relatively good viscosity of 21 cSt. The most striking observation to emerge from the data comparison with NPG diester was the breakdown voltage, which was higher than mineral oil and definitely in conformance to the IEC 61099 limit at 67.5 kV. The formulation of synthesized NPD diesters with VISCOPLEX® pour point depressant has successfully increased the pour point of NPG diester from -14°C to -48°C.
CONCLUSION: The reaction time for the transesterification of HOPME with NPG to produce NPG diester was successfully reduced to 1 hour from the 14 hours required in the earlier synthesis method. The main highlight of this study was the excess reactant which is no longer methyl ester but the alcohol (NPG). The optimum reaction conditions for the synthesis were molar ratio of 2:1.13 for NPG:HOPME, 182°C, 0.6 mbar and catalyst concentration of 1.2 wt%. The maximum NPG diester yield of 87 wt% was consistent with the predicted yield of 87.7 wt% obtained from RSM. The synthesized diester exhibited better insulating properties than the commercial products especially with regards to the breakdown voltage, flash point and moisture content.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of four different polyols, namely, ethylene glycol, erythritol, xylitol and sorbitol on the acid-denatured states of CGB lectin.
METHODS: CGB lectin was subjected to acid denaturation at pH 2.5 and pH 1.5, both in the absence and presence of 30% (w/v) polyols, i.e. ethylene glycol, erythritol, xylitol and sorbitol. Thermal denaturation of the acid-denatured states was also studied in the absence and presence of these polyols. Different spectroscopic probes such as tryptophan fluorescence, ANS fluorescence and far-UV CD spectral signal were used to monitor structural changes in the acid-denatured states of CGB lectin in the presence of polyols.
RESULTS: Presence of erythritol, xylitol and sorbitol in the incubation mixture was found to stabilize the lectin at both pH 2.5 and pH 1.5, as evident from the burial of the hydrophobic clusters and decreased polarity around Trp residues. These polyols also stabilized the acid-denatured states of CGB lectin against thermal denaturation by shifting the thermal transition curves towards higher temperatures. Exposure of the acid-denatured states of CGB lectin, obtained at pH 2.5 and pH 1.5 to 61°C and 51°C, respectively, induced formation of non-native β-structures, compared to that present at 25°C, and this phenomenon was significantly suppressed in the presence of these polyols. Based on the spectral data, both sorbitol and erythritol appeared to exude better stabilizing effect. On the other hand, ethylene glycol was shown to destabilize the aciddenatured states of CGB lectin.
CONCLUSION: Thermal stabilization of the lectin was noticed in the presence of erythritol, xylitol and sorbitol at both pH 2.5 and pH 1.5. These polyols also stabilize the secondary and tertiary structures of the acid-denatured CGB lectin at 25°C. Ethylene glycol was proved to be a destabilizer of the acid-denatured CGB lectin.
OBJECTIVE: To identify the bioactive proteins and evaluate their ability in cell proliferation and angiogenesis promotion.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Freeze-Dried Water Extracts (FDWE) and Spray-Dried Water Extracts (SDWE) of C. striata were tested with MTT assay using EA.hy926 endothelial cell line and ex-vivo aortic ring assay. Later the proteins were fractionated and analysed using an LC-QTOF mass spectrometer. The data generated were matched with human gene database for protein similarity and pathway identification.
RESULTS: Both samples have shown positive cell proliferation and pro-angiogenic activity. Four essential proteins/genes were identified, which are collagen type XI, actin 1, myosin light chain and myosin heavy chain. The pathways discovered that related to these proteins are integrin pathway, Slit-Robo signalling pathway and immune response C-C Chemokine Receptor-3 signalling pathway in eosinophils, which contribute towards wound healing mechanism.
CONCLUSIONS: The results presented have demonstrated that C. striata FDWE and SDWE protein fractions contain bioactive proteins that are highly similar to human proteins and thus could be involved in the wound healing process via specific biological pathways.