The concentration of homocysteine (Hcy) rises rapidly after the collection of blood. This feature requires blood to be collected into the anticoagulants EDTA or heparin and the plasma to then be immediately separated; alternatively, the blood may be kept on ice and centrifuged within 1 hour. The use of chemical preservatives has been proposed as a means of stabilising Hcy levels in whole blood after collection. The objective of this study was to determine whether the commonly available fluoride-oxalate (Fl-Ox) and sodium citrate (Na-Cit) containers could stabilise Hcy levels in blood. Our results showed that when blood was collected into potassium EDTA (K-EDTA) tubes, Hcy levels rose from initial levels, on standing at room temperature (approximately 25 degrees C), by an average of 21% after 3 hours and 32% after 5 hours. The initial Hcy levels of blood collected into Fl-Ox and Na-Cit containers, however, were lower, at averages of 89% and 91%, respectively, compared to that of the same samples when collected into K-EDTA tubes. Hcy in these samples subsequently rose on standing, and after 5 hours was, on the average, 10 and 13% higher, respectively, compared with the initial levels in K-EDTA tubes. We conclude that Fl-Ox and Na-Cit do not stabilise Hcy in blood after collection and should not be used as preservatives.
Blends of poly (1, 8-octanediol citrate) (POC) and chitosan (CS) were prepared through solution casting technique. Films with different component fractions (POC/CS: 100/0, 90/10, 80/20, 70/30, 60/40, and 0/100) were successfully prepared and characterized for their mechanical, thermal, structural and morphological properties as well as biocompatibility. The incorporation of CS to POC significantly increased tensile strength and elastic modulus and presented limited influences on pH variation which is important to the biocompatibility of biomaterial implants. The assessment of surface topography indicated that blending could enhance and control the surface roughness of the pure films. POC/CS blends well-supported human dermal fibroblast cells attachment and proliferation, and thus can be used for a range of tissue engineering applications.
High demands on low-voltage electronics have increased the need for zinc oxide (ZnO) varistors with fast response, highly non-linear current-voltage characteristics and energy absorption capabilities at low breakdown voltage. However, trade-off between breakdown voltage and grain size poses a critical bottle-neck in the production of low-voltage varistors. The present study highlights the synthesis mechanism for obtaining praseodymium oxide (Pr(6)O(11)) based ZnO varistor ceramics having breakdown voltages of 2.8 to 13.3 V/mm through employment of direct modified citrate gel coating technique. Precursor powder and its ceramics were examined by means of TG/DTG, FTIR, XRD and FESEM analyses. The electrical properties as a function of Pr(6)O(11) addition were analyzed on the basis of I-V characteristic measurement. The breakdown voltage could be adjusted from 0.01 to 0.06 V per grain boundary by controlling the amount of Pr(6)O(11) from 0.2 to 0.8 mol%, without alteration of the grain size. The non-linearity coefficient, α, varied from 3.0 to 3.5 and the barrier height ranged from 0.56 to 0.64 eV. Breakdown voltage and α lowering with increasing Pr(6)O(11) content were associated to reduction in the barrier height caused by variation in O vacancies at grain boundary.
An aqueous two-phase flotation (ATPF) system based on polyethylene glycol (PEG) and sodium citrate (NaNO3C6H5O7·2H2O) was considered for primary recovery of bacteriocin-like inhibitory substance (BLIS) from Pediococcus acidilactici Kp10. The effects of ATPF parameters namely phase composition, tie-line length (TLL), volume ratio between the two phases (VR), amount of crude load (CL), pH, nitrogen gas flow rate (FR) and flotation time (FT) on the performance of recovery were evaluated. BLIS was mainly concentrated into the upper PEG-rich phase in all systems tested so far. The optimum conditions for BLIS purification, which composed of PEG 8000/sodium citrate, were: TLL of 42.6, VR of 0.4, CL of 22% (w/w), pH 7, average FT of 30min and FR of 20mL/min. BLIS was partially purified up to 5.9-fold with a separation efficiency of 99% under this optimal conditions. A maximum yield of BLIS activity of about 70.3% was recovered in the PEG phase. The BLIS from the top phase was successfully recovered with a single band in SDS-gel with molecular weight of about 10-15kDa. ATPF was found to be an effective technique for the recovery of BLIS from the fermentation broth of P. acidilactici Kp10.
The partitioning of β-mannanase derived from Bacillus subtilis ATCC 11774 in aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) was studied. The ATPS containing different molecular weight of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and types of salt were employed in this study. The PEG/salt composition for the partitioning of β-mannanase was optimized using response surface methodology. The study demonstrated that ATPS consists of 25% (w/w) of PEG 6000 and 12.52% (w/w) of potassium citrate is the optimum composition for the purification of β-mannanase with a purification fold (PF) of 2.28 and partition coefficient (K) of 1.14. The study on influences of pH and crude loading showed that ATPS with pH 8.0 and 1.5% (w/w) of crude loading gave highest PF of 3.1. To enhance the partitioning of β-mannanase, four ionic liquids namely 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([Bmim]BF4), 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([Emim]BF4), 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide ([Bmim]Br), 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide ([Emim]Br) was added into the system as an adjuvant. The highest recovery yield (89.65%) was obtained with addition of 3% (w/w) of [Bmim]BF4. The SDS-PAGE analysis revealed that the β-mannanase was successfully recovered in the top phase of ATPS with the molecular size of 36.7kDa. Therefore, ATPS demonstrated a simple and efficient approach for recovery and purification of β-mannanase from fermentation broth in one single-step strategy.
Two new garcinia acid derivatives, 2-(butoxycarbonylmethyl)-3-butoxycarbonyl-2-hydroxy-3-propanolide and 1',1"-dibutyl methyl hydroxycitrate, were isolated from the fruits of Garcinia atroviridis guided by TLC bioautography against the fungus Cladosporium herbarum. The structures of these compounds were established by spectral analysis. The former compound represents a unique beta-lactone structure and the latter compound is most likely an artefact of garcinia acid (= hydroxycitric acid). Both compounds showed selective antifungal activity comparable to that of cycloheximide (MID: 0.5 microg/spot) only against C herbarum at the MIDs of 0.4 and 0.8 microg/spot but were inactive against bacteria (Bacillus subtilis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli), other fungi (Alternaria sp., Fusarium moniliforme and Aspergillus ochraceous) including the yeast Candida albicans.
A novel series of silver-doped mesoporous bioactive glass/poly(1,8-octanediol citrate) (AgMBG/POC) elastomeric biocomposite scaffolds were successfully constructed by a salt-leaching technique for the first time and the effect of inclusion of different AgMBG contents (5, 10, and 20 wt%) on physicochemical and biological properties of pure POC elastomer was evaluated. Results indicated that AgMBG particles were uniformly dispersed in the POC matrix and increasing the AgMBG concentration into POC matrix up to 20 wt% enhanced thermal behaviour, mechanical properties and water uptake ability of the composite scaffolds compared to those from POC. The 20%AgMBG/POC additionally showed higher degradation rate in Tris(hydroxymethyl)-aminomethane-HCl (Tris-HCl) compared with pure POC and lost about 26% of its initial weight after soaking for 28 days. The AgMBG phase incorporation also significantly endowed the resulting composite scaffolds with efficient antibacterial properties against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria while preserving their favorable biocompatibility with soft tissue cells (i.e., human dermal fibroblast cells). Taken together, our results suggest that the synergistic effect of both AgMBG and POC make these newly designed AgMBG/POC composite scaffold an attractive candidate for soft tissue engineering applications.