Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 696

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Biotechnology and Bioengineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

696 Systematic Taxonomy and Phylogenetic of Commercial Fish Species of Family Nemipetridae from Malaysian Waters and Neighboring Seas

Authors: Ayesha Imtiaz, Darlina Md. Naim

Abstract:

Family Nemipteridae is among the most abundantly distributed family in Malaysian fish markets due to its high contribution to landing sites of Malaysia. Using an advanced molecular approach that used two mitochondrial (Cytochrome oxidase c I and Cytochrome oxidase b) and one nuclear gene (Recombination activating gene, RAGI) to expose cryptic diversity and phylogenetic relationships among commercially important species of family Nemipteridae. Our research covered all genera (including 31 species out total 45 species) of family Nemipteridae, distributed in Malaysia. We also found certain type of geographical barriers in the South China sea that reduces dispersal and stops a few species to intermix. Northside of the South China Sea (near Vietnam) does not allow genetic diversity to mix with the Southern side of the South China sea (Sarawak) and reduces dispersal. Straits of Malacca reduce the intermixing genetic diversity of South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Keywords: Nemipteridae, RAG I, south east Asia, Malaysia

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695 Tunable Optoelectronic Properties of WS₂ by Local Strain Engineering and Folding

Authors: Ahmed Raza Khan

Abstract:

Local-strain engineering is an exciting approach to tune the optoelectronic properties of materials and enhance the performance of devices. Two dimensional (2D) materials such as 2D transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are particularly well-suited for this purpose because they have high flexibility and can withstand high deformations before rupture. Wrinkles on thick TMDC layers have been reported to show the interesting photoluminescence enhancement due to bandgap modulation and funneling effect. However, the wrinkles in ultrathin TMDCs have not been investigated, because the wrinkles can easily fall down to form folds in these ultrathin layers of TMDCs. Here, we have achieved both wrinkle and fold nano-structures simultaneously on 1-3L WS₂ using a new fabrication technique. The comparable layer dependent reduction in surface potential is observed for both folded layers and corresponding perfect pack layers due to the dominant interlayer screening effect. The strains produced from the wrinkle nanostructures considerably vary semi conductive junction properties. Thermo-ionic modelling suggests that the strained (1.6%) wrinkles can lower the Schottky barrier height (SBH) by 20%. The photo-generated carriers would further significantly lower the SBH. These results present an important advance towards controlling the optoelectronic properties of atomically thin WS₂ using strain engineering, with important implications for practical device applications.

Keywords: strain engineering, folding, WS₂, Kelvin probe force microscopy, KPFM, surface potential, photo current, layer dependence

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694 Neurovascular Guide Catheter Test Method Development for Process and Design Effect Evaluation

Authors: Cathal Merz, Gareth O'Donnell

Abstract:

Reinforced laminate tubes composed of an inner layer, wound reinforcement layer, and outer layer are commonplace in the modern world, with popular applications being in oil and gas and electrical industries. Another such application is that of neurovascular catheters, which are used in the minimally invasive treatment of blood vessels in the brain. A sheath followed by a guide catheter followed by a micro-catheter are inserted and navigated one by one within a patient to the blood vessel in need of treatment. This method of treatment replaces the need to cut into the patient's skull and brain tissue, but one of its limiting factors is that the devices used must fit within the vascular dimensions of the patient. In order to maximize the capability of such a surgery, neurovascular guide catheters are being manufactured with decreasing wall thicknesses in order to deliver treatment deeper into the brain. This poses a significant design challenge as these catheters must remain stiff in their longitudinal direction to facilitate tactile advancement through the human body. Both longitudinal and cross-sectional stiffness must also range from highest at the proximal end to lowest at the distal end in correlation with the increase in tortuosity of vessels closer to the brain. Such challenging requirements have resulted in an observed increase in the breaking of the proximal segment of a particular neurovascular guide catheter into two separate pieces after it has failed by buckling during use. The contents of this paper charters the development of test methods to be used as design and failure mode characterization tools for catheters, which will aid in the development of better performing, next-generation neurovascular catheters to be used in the future cutting edge surgeries. Using materials testing frames, preconditioning of specimens, micro-CT, DOE, ANOVA, T-tests, and regression analysis, test methods have been developed for assessing the impact of particular process and design changes on the product's resistance to buckling and breaking on its proximal section. The major findings of this study have been an insight into the suitability of simple tensile, buckle, and three-point bend tests for the measurement of the effect of varying lamination temperature on the catheters resistance to buckling. Additionally, the sequence of events within the neurovascular guide catheter structure leading to failure has been identified and the integrity of industry test methods used during fault tree analysis of this catheter improved. In conclusion, the findings of this study are of significant interest with respect to verifying key processes and design changes associated with the catheter structure in question. Test method integrity evaluation is explored throughout.

Keywords: neurovascular catheter, coil reinforced tube, buckling, three-point bend, tensile

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693 Phytoplankton Diversity and Abundance in Burullus Lagoon, Southern Mediterranean Coast, Egypt

Authors: Shymaa S. Zaher, Hesham M. Abd El-Fatah, Dina M. Ali

Abstract:

Burullus Lagoon is the second largest lake, along the Mediterranean seashore. It exposed to over nutrient enrichment from fish farming and agricultural drainage wastes. This study assesses the present status phytoplankton response to different flow events, including domestic, agricultural, industrial, and fish farms discharge in the three main sectors of Burullus Lagoon, to focus on the influence of environmental variables on phytoplankton species composition inhabiting the Lagoon. Twelve sites representing the eastern, central, and western basin were selected during winter and summer 2018. Among the most abundant group, Chlorophyceae came in the first rank by 37.9% of the total phytoplankton densities, Bacillariophyceae (29.31%), Cyanophyceae (20.7%), Euglenophyceae (8.63%) and Dinophyceae (3.4%). Cyclotella menenghiana was the most abundant diatoms, while Scenedesmus quadricauda, S. acuminatus, and S. bijuga were highly recorded nearby the drains (in the middle sector). Phytoplankton in Burullus Lagoon attained the lowest values during the winter season and the highest ones during the summer season. The total count of phytoplankton in the middle and western basin of the lake was higher than that of the eastern part. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and washing out of nutrients loaded to the drainage water, leading to a significant pronounced decrease in community composition and standing crop of phytoplankton in Burullus Lake from year to year, hold the danger of shifting the lagoon ecosystem.

Keywords: Burullus Lagoon, environmental variables, phytoplankton, water pollution

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692 Using OMICs Approaches to Investigate Venomic Insights into the Spider Web Silk

Authors: Franciele G. Esteves, Jose R. A. dos Santos-Pinto, Caroline L. de Souza, Mario S. Palma

Abstract:

Orb-weaving spiders use a very strong, stickiness, and elastic web to catch the prey. These web properties would be enough for the entrapment of prey; however, these spiders may be hiding venomous secrets on the web, which are being revealed now. Here we provide strong proteome, peptidome, and transcriptomic evidence for the presence of toxic components on the web silk from Nephila clavipes. Our scientific outcomes revealed, both in the web silk and in the silk-producing glands, a wide diversity of toxins/neurotoxins, defensins, and proteolytic enzymes. These toxins/neurotoxins are similar to toxins isolated from animal venoms, such as Sphigomyelinase D, Latrotoxins, Zodatoxins, Ctenitoxin Pn and Pk, Agatoxins and Theraphotoxin. Moreover, the insect-toxicity results with the web silk crude extract demonstrated that these toxic components can be lethal and/or cause paralytic effects to the prey. Therefore, through OMICs approaches, the results presented until now may contribute to a better understanding of the chemical and ecological interaction of these compounds in insect-prey capture by spider web N. clavipes, demonstrating that the web is not only a simple mechanical tool but has a chemical-active involvement in prey capture. Moreover, the results can also contribute to future studies of possible development of a selective insecticide or even in possible pharmacological applications.

Keywords: web silk toxins, silk-produncing glands, de novo transcriptome assembly, LCMS-based proteomics

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691 Development of a Bioprocess Technology for the Production of Vibrio midae, a Probiotic for Use in Abalone Aquaculture

Authors: Ghaneshree Moonsamy, Nodumo N. Zulu, Rajesh Lalloo, Suren Singh, Santosh O. Ramchuran

Abstract:

The abalone industry of South Africa is under severe pressure due to illegal harvesting and poaching of this seafood delicacy. These abalones are harvested excessively; as a result, these animals do not have a chance to replace themselves in their habitats, ensuing in a drastic decrease in natural stocks of abalone. Abalone has an extremely slow growth rate and takes approximately four years to reach a size that is market acceptable; therefore, it was imperative to investigate methods to boost the overall growth rate and immunity of the animal. The University of Cape Town (UCT) began to research, which resulted in the isolation of two microorganisms, a yeast isolate Debaryomyces hansenii and a bacterial isolate Vibrio midae, from the gut of the abalone and characterised them for their probiotic abilities. This work resulted in an internationally competitive concept technology that was patented. The next stage of research was to develop a suitable bioprocess to enable commercial production. Numerous steps were taken to develop an efficient production process for V. midae, one of the isolates found by UCT. The initial stages of research involved the development of a stable and robust inoculum and the optimization of physiological growth parameters such as temperature and pH. A range of temperature and pH conditions were evaluated, and data obtained revealed an optimum growth temperature of 30ᵒC and a pH of 6.5. Once these critical growth parameters were established further media optimization studies were performed. Corn steep liquor (CSL) and high test molasses (HTM) were selected as suitable alternatives to more expensive, conventionally used growth medium additives. The optimization of CSL (6.4 g.l⁻¹) and HTM (24 g.l⁻¹) concentrations in the growth medium resulted in a 180% increase in cell concentration, a 5716-fold increase in cell productivity and a 97.2% decrease in the material cost of production in comparison to conventional growth conditions and parameters used at the onset of the study. In addition, a stable market-ready liquid probiotic product, encompassing the viable but not culturable (VBNC) state of Vibrio midae cells, was developed during the downstream processing aspect of the study. The demonstration of this technology at a full manufacturing scale has further enhanced the attractiveness and commercial feasibility of this production process.

Keywords: probiotics, abalone aquaculture, bioprocess technology, manufacturing scale technology development

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690 Heart Murmurs and Heart Sounds Extraction Using an Algorithm Process Separation

Authors: Fatima Mokeddem

Abstract:

The phonocardiogram signal (PCG) is a physiological signal that reflects heart mechanical activity, is a promising tool for curious researchers in this field because it is full of indications and useful information for medical diagnosis. PCG segmentation is a basic step to benefit from this signal. Therefore, this paper presents an algorithm that serves the separation of heart sounds and heart murmurs in case they exist in order to use them in several applications and heart sounds analysis. The separation process presents here is founded on three essential steps filtering, envelope detection, and heart sounds segmentation. The algorithm separates the PCG signal into S1 and S2 and extract cardiac murmurs.

Keywords: phonocardiogram signal, filtering, Envelope, Detection, murmurs, heart sounds

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689 Zero Valent Iron Algal Biocomposite for the Removal of Crystal Violet from Aqueous Solution: Box-Behnken Optimization and Fixed Bed Column Studies

Authors: M. Jerold, V. Sivasubramanian

Abstract:

In this study, nano zero valent iron Sargassum swartzii (nZVI-SS) biocomposite a marine algal based biosorbent was used for the removal of simulated crystal violet (CV) in batch and continuous fixed bed operation. The Box-Behnen design (BBD) experimental results revealed the biosoprtion was maximum at pH 7.5, biosorbent dosage 0.1 g/L and initial CV concentration of 100 mg/L. The effect of various column parameters like bed depth (3, 6 and 9 cm), flow rate (5, 10 and 15 mL/min) and influent CV concentration (5, 10 and 15 mg/L) were investigated. The exhaustion time increased with increase of bed depth, influent CV concentration and decrease of flow rate. Adam-Bohart, Thomas and Yoon-Nelson models were used to predict the breakthrough curve and to evaluate the model parameters. Out of these models, Thomas and Yoon-Nelson models well described the experimental data. Therefore, the result implies that nZVI-SS biocomposite is a cheap and most promising biosorbent for the removal of CV from wastewater.

Keywords: algae, biosorption, zero-valent, dye, wastewater

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688 Deformation Analysis of Pneumatized Sphenoid Bone Caused Due to Elevated Intracranial Pressure Using Finite Element Analysis

Authors: Dilesh Mogre, Jitendra Toravi, Saurabh Joshi, Prutha Deshpande, Aishwarya Kura

Abstract:

In earlier days of technology, it was not possible to understand the nature of complex biomedical problems and were only left to clinical postulations. With advancement in science today, we have tools like Finite Element Modelling and simulation to solve complex biomedical problems. This paper presents how ANSYS WORKBENCH can be used to study deformation of pneumatized sphenoid bone caused by increased intracranial pressure. Intracranial pressure refers to the pressure inside the skull. The increase in the pressure above the normal range of 15mmhg can lead to serious conditions due to developed stresses and deformation. One of the areas where the deformation is suspected to occur is Sphenoid Bone. Moreover, the varying degree of pneumatization increases the complexity of the conditions. It is necessary to study deformation patterns on pneumatized sphenoid bone model at elevated intracranial pressure. Finite Element Analysis plays a major role in developing and analyzing model and give quantitative results.

Keywords: intracranial pressure, pneumatized sphenoid bone, deformation, finite element analysis

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687 Evaluation of the Cell Wall Strength of Chlorella Vulgaris Microalgae Using High Speed Homogenisation

Authors: Morley A. Muse, Stephen Gray, Thomas Yeager

Abstract:

This study evaluates the effectiveness of high-speed homogenization to analyze the cell strength of Chlorella Vulgaris as a model microalgae for determining relative cell wall strength. Microalgae cell disruption is becoming increasingly relevant across several fields, including anaerobic digestion, biodiesel production, and lipid extraction. However, few studies have been conducted on the cell wall strength of microalgae. A technique to evaluate the relative cell strength of Chlorella Vulgaris was developed and cell disruption was determined from lipid concentration following extraction. Lipid analysis using a unidrive X1000 high-speed homogenizer to disrupt the Chlorella Vulgaris cells was conducted, and the shear rate was evaluated as a function of speed by varying the homogenizer speeds between 4000 rpm to 33,000rpm. Diethyl ether, hexane, and dichloromethane were used as single solvents for lipids extraction and compared. It was found that dichloromethane was most efficient in the lipid extraction process. The solvent was settled out first, and the lipids were extracted from the solvent-water mixture using a rotary evaporator after high-speed homogenization. The amount of lipids was calculated, and an ideal disruption shear rate was deduced. Microscopic imaging using a motic BA310 light microscope and Chlorophyll analysis using spectrophotometric analysis were carried out as a means of experimental method verification after cell disruption. The images showed darker fragmented cells with trypan blue as the speed increased from 4000rpm to 33,000 rpm indicating increase in disruption with increasing homogenizer speed. From the results, it was found that the amount of lipids released by the cell rapidly increased from 15,000 rpm using a high-speed homogenizer with about 52% of disrupted cells of the total number of cells using a Neubauer cytometer of grid surface of 0.0025mm2 and chamber depth of 0.100 mm. The maximum shear rate at 15000 rpm is 32165.85s-1 with an average mechanical energy disruption of 120KJ for 5 minutes. Pre-treatment using lysozyme enzyme prior to high-speed homogenization were also conducted, and the results showed similar trend for extracted lipids. In addition, Chlorophyll analysis from the homogenized cells displayed consistency in graphical trend. The results of this study will improve the energy requirement needed for biogas production from anaerobic digestion or biofuels production through lipid extraction.

Keywords: chlorella vulgaris, cell strength, chlorophyll analysis, high speed homogeniser, solvent-lipids extraction, lysozyme pre-treatment

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686 Inertial Motion Capture System for Biomechanical Analysis in Rehabilitation and Sports

Authors: Mario Sandro F. Rocha, Carlos S. Ande, Anderson A. Oliveira, Felipe M. Bersotti, Lucas O. Venzel

Abstract:

The inertial motion capture systems (mocap) are among the most suitable tools for quantitative clinical analysis in rehabilitation and sports medicine. The inertial measuring units (IMUs), composed by accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers, are able to measure spatial orientations and calculate displacements with sufficient precision for applications in biomechanical analysis of movement. Furthermore, this type of system is relatively affordable and has the advantages of portability and independence from external references. In this work, we present the last version of our inertial motion capture system, based on the foregoing technology, with a unity interface designed for rehabilitation and sports. In our hardware architecture, only one serial port is required. First, the board client must be connected to the computer by a USB cable. Next, an available serial port is configured and opened to establish the communication between the client and the application, and then the client starts scanning for the active MOCAP_S servers around. The servers play the role of the inertial measuring units that capture the movements of the body and send the data to the client, which in turn create a package composed by the ID of the server, the current timestamp, and the motion capture data defined in the client pre-configuration of the capture session. In the current version, we can measure the game rotation vector (grv) and linear acceleration (lacc), and we also have a step detector that can be abled or disabled. The grv data are processed and directly linked to the bones of the 3D model, and, along with the data of lacc and step detector, they are also used to perform the calculations of displacements and other variables shown on the graphical user interface. Our user interface was designed to calculate and present variables that are important for rehabilitation and sports, such as cadence, speed, total gait cycle, gait cycle length, obliquity and rotation, and center of gravity displacement. Our goal is to present a low-cost portable and wearable system with a friendly interface for application in biomechanics and sports, which also performs as a product of high precision and low consumption of energy.

Keywords: biomechanics, inertial sensors, motion capture, rehabilitation

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685 Synergistic Impacts and Optimization of Gas Flow Rate, Concentration of CO2, and Light Intensity on CO2 Biofixation in Wastewater Medium by Chlorella vulgaris

Authors: Ahmed Arkoazi, Hussein Znad, Ranjeet Utikar

Abstract:

The synergistic impact and optimization of gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity on CO2 biofixation rate were investigated using wastewater as a medium to cultivate Chlorella vulgaris under different conditions (gas flow rate 1-8 L/min), CO2 concentration (0.03-7%), and light intensity (150-400 µmol/m2.s)). Response Surface Methodology and Box-Behnken experimental Design were applied to find optimum values for gas flow rate, CO2 concentration, and light intensity. The optimum values of the three independent variables (gas flow rate, concentration of CO2, and light intensity) and desirability were 7.5 L/min, 3.5%, and 400 µmol/m2.s, and 0.904, respectively. The highest amount of biomass produced and CO2 biofixation rate at optimum conditions were 5.7 g/L, 1.23 gL-1d-1, respectively. The synergistic effect between gas flow rate and concentration of CO2, and between gas flow rate and light intensity was significant on the three responses, while the effect between CO2 concentration and light intensity was less significant on CO2 biofixation rate. The results of this study could be highly helpful when using microalgae for CO2 biofixation in wastewater treatment.

Keywords: bubble column reactor, gas holdup, hydrodynamics, sparger

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684 Effect of Some Metal Ions on the Activity of Lipase Produced by Aspergillus Niger Cultured on Vitellaria Paradoxa Shells

Authors: Abdulhakeem Sulyman, Olukotun Zainab, Hammed Abdulquadri

Abstract:

Lipases (triacylglycerol acyl hydrolases) (EC 3.1.1.3) are class of enzymes that catalyses the hydrolysis of triglycerides to glycerol and free fatty acids. They account for up to 10% of the enzyme in the market and have a wide range of applications in biofuel production, detergent formulation, leather processing and in food and feed processing industry. This research was conducted to study the effect of some metal ions on the activity of purified lipase produced by Aspergillus niger cultured on Vitellaria paradoxa shells. Purified lipase in 12.5 mM p-NPL was incubated with different metal ions (Zn²⁺, Ca²⁺, Mn²⁺, Fe²⁺, Na⁺, K⁺ and Mg²⁺). The final concentrations of metal ions investigated were 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9 and 1.0 mM. The results obtained from the study showed that Zn²⁺, Ca²⁺, Mn²⁺ and Fe²⁺ ions increased the activity of lipase up to 3.0, 3.0, 1.0, and 26.0 folds respectively. Lipase activity was partially inhibited by Na⁺ and Mg²⁺ with up to 88.5% and 83.7% loss of activity respectively. Lipase activity was also inhibited by K⁺ with up to 56.7% loss in the activity as compared to in the absence of metal ions. The study concluded that lipase produced by Aspergillus niger cultured on Vitellaria paradoxa shells can be activated by the presence of Zn²⁺, Ca²⁺, Mn²⁺ and Fe²⁺ and inhibited by Na⁺, K⁺ and Mg²⁺.

Keywords: Aspergillus niger, Vitellaria paradoxa, lipase, metal ions

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683 Comparison Between Conventional Bacterial and Algal-Bacterial Aerobic Granular Sludge Systems in the Treatment of Saline Wastewater

Authors: Philip Semaha, Zhongfang Lei, Ziwen Zhao, Sen Liu, Zhenya Zhang, Kazuya Shimizu

Abstract:

The increasing generation of saline wastewater through various industrial activities is becoming a global concern for activated sludge (AS) based biological treatment which is widely applied in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). As for the AS process, increase in wastewater salinity has a negative impact on its overall performance. The advent of conventional aerobic granular sludge (AGS) or bacterial AGS as novel biotechnology has gained much attention because of its superior performance. Most recently, algal-bacterial AGS has been proposed as a much more efficient alternative with better nutrients removal and the potential to reduce aeration cost through symbiotic algae activity, which could also reduce treatment cost. Previous studies on saline wastewater treatment by AGS show that the increase of salinity may decrease biomass growth and nutrient removal rate. Up to the present, little information is available on saline wastewater treatment by algal-bacterial AGS, nor a comparison of the two AGS systems has been done to evaluate nutrient removal capacity as biomass reduces with salinity increase. This study sought to figure out the impact of salinity on algal-bacterial AGS system in comparison to bacterial AGS one, contributing to the application of AGS technology in the real world of saline wastewater treatment. In this study, the salinities tested were 0, 1, 5, 10 and 15 g/L of NaCl with 24-hr artificial illuminance of approximately 97.2 µmol m¯²s¯¹, and mature bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS were used for the operation of two identical sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) with a working volume of 0.9 L each, respectively. The results showed that salinity increase caused no apparent change in the color of bacterial AGS, while for algal-bacterial AGS, its color was progressively changed from green to dark green. A consequent increase in granule diameter and fluffiness was observed in the bacterial AGS reactor with the increase of salinity in comparison to a decrease in algal-bacterial AGS diameter. Nitritation rate in both systems was almost 100% throughout, except at 10 g/L NaCl with 92% and 95% in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems, respectively. However, nitrite accumulation peaked from 1.0 and 0.4 mg/L at 1 g/L NaCl in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems, respectively to 9.8 mg/L in both systems when NaCl concentration varied from 5 to 15 g/L. Almost no ammonia nitrogen was detected in the effluent except at 10g/L NaCl concentration, where it averaged 4.2 and 2.4 mg/L respectively in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems. Nutrients removal in the algal-bacterial system was relatively higher than the bacterial AGS system in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus removal. Nonetheless, the nutrients removal rate was almost 50% or lower. Results show that algal-bacterial AGS is more adaptable to salinity increase and could be more suitable for saline wastewater treatment. Optimization of operation conditions for algal-bacterial AGS system would be important to ensure its stably high efficiency in practice.

Keywords: algal-bacterial aerobic granular sludge, bacterial aerobic granular sludge, Nutrients removal, saline wastewater, sequencing batch reactor

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682 An Insight into the Paddy Soil Denitrifying Bacteria and Their Relation with Soil Phospholipid Fatty Acid Profile

Authors: Meenakshi Srivastava, A. K. Mishra

Abstract:

This study characterizes the metabolic versatility of denitrifying bacterial communities residing in the paddy soil using the GC-MS based Phospholipid Fatty Acid (PLFA) analyses simultaneously with nosZ gene based PCR-DGGE (Polymerase Chain Reaction-Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) and real time Q-PCR analysis. We have analyzed the abundance of nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ) genes, which was subsequently related to soil PLFA profile and DGGE based denitrifier community structure. Soil denitrifying bacterial community comprised majority or dominance of Ochrobactrum sp. following Cupriavidus and uncultured bacteria strains in paddy soil of selected sites. Initially, we have analyzed the abundance of the nitrous oxide reductase gene (nosZ), which was found to be related with PLFA based lipid profile. Chandauli of Eastern UP, India represented greater amount of lipid content (C18-C20) and denitrifier’s diversity. This study suggests the positive co-relation between soil PLFA profiles, DGGE, and Q-PCR data. Thus, a close networking among metabolic abilities and taxonomic composition of soil microbial communities existed, and subsequently, such work at greater extent could be helpful in managing nutrient dynamics as well as microbial dynamics of paddy soil ecosystem.

Keywords: denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, DGGE, nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria, PLFA, Q-PCR

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681 Targeted Photoactivatable Multiagent Nanoconjugates for Imaging and Photodynamic Therapy

Authors: Shazia Bano

Abstract:

Nanoconjugates that integrate photo-based therapeutics and diagnostics within a single platform promise great advances in revolutionizing cancer treatments. However, to achieve high therapeutic efficacy, designing functionally efficacious nanocarriers to tightly retain the drug, promoting selective drug localization and release, and the validation of the efficacy of these nanoconjugates is a great challenge. Here we have designed smart multiagent, liposome based targeted photoactivatable multiagent nanoconjugates, doped with a photoactivatable chromophore benzoporphyrin derivative (BPD) labelled with an active targeting ligand cetuximab to target the EGFR receptor (over expressed in various cancer cells) to deliver a combination of therapeutic agents. This study establishes a tunable nanoplatform for the delivery of the photoactivatable multiagent nanoconjugates for tumor-specific accumulation and targeted destruction of cancer cells in complex cancer model to enhance the therapeutic index of the administrated drugs.

Keywords: targeting, photodynamic therapy, photoactivatable, nanoconjugates

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680 Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products Removal in Wastewater Using Revolving Algal Biofilm Reactors

Authors: Si Chen, Zhiyou Wen

Abstract:

Occurrence of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in the aquatic environment has raised attention due to its potential threat to the ecosystem and public health even at trace concentrations. Traditional sludge-based wastewater treatment systems showed incomplete removal of PPCPs. In this study, an algal-based system, Revolving Algal Biofilm (RAB) reactor was used to remove PPCPs from wastewater with 5 days of Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT). Five PPCPs including ibuprofen, oxybenzone, triclosan, bisphenol A and N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET) that represent analgesic, UV filters, antimicrobial, plastics material, and insect repellents respectively were removed by algal biofilm. The removal efficiencies and bioaccumulation of these PPCPs in liquid and algal biomass were evaluated, respectively. Evolution of microbial community was assessed in all RAB reactors. The results showed RAB reactor removed these five emerging PPCPs successfully with removal rate ranging from 60 to 100%. The PPCPs removal mainly came from algal degradation, with a small contribution of biomass accumulation. The existence of PPCPs in wastewater did not affect the microbial community of algal biofilm, which benefits the stability of algal biofilm. These results demonstrate that the RAB system is a promising technology for the removal of PPCPs in wastewater.

Keywords: microbial community assessment, bio- accumulation, pharmaceutical and personal care products, revolving Algal Biofilm

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679 Enhanced Phycoerythrin Production of Rhodomonas salina by Using Dynamic Irradiance

Authors: Jiahui Xie, Zhiyou Wen

Abstract:

Phycoerythrin (PE), one category of phycobiliproteins, has great potential in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics applications. Rhodomonas salina (R. salina) is unique in producing PE due to the lack of cell wall which benefits the extraction process. The PE production of Rhodomonas salina (R. salina) under constant and dynamic irradiances in photobioreactors was investigated in this work. R. salina was cultured under 4 different irradiances (20, 100, 150, and 250 µmol photons ·m⁻² ·s⁻¹) with 1 vvm air flow rate. The highest maximum cell density (1.44 × 10⁷ cell mL⁻¹) was achieved under 250 µmol photons ·m⁻² ·s⁻¹. However, cultures under 250 µmol photons ·m⁻² ·s⁻¹ has the lowest cellular PE since the production of cellular PE was promoted by low irradiance. Based on these results, a dynamic irradiance was used to optimize the PE production. In dynamic irradiance experiment, irradiance gradually increased from 50 to 250 µmol photons ·m⁻² ·s⁻¹. The maximum cell density was 1.3 × 10⁷ cell mL⁻¹ and total PE content was 30.5 mg L⁻¹ in dynamic cultures. The present study demonstrated that dynamic irradiance can be considered as a useful strategy for maximizing PE production by R. salina.

Keywords: constant irradiance, dynamic irradiance, phycoerythrin, Rhodomonas salina

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678 High-Throughput Screening and Selection of Electrogenic Microbial Communities Using Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells Based on 96-Well Plate Array

Authors: Lukasz Szydlowski, Jiri Ehlich, Igor Goryanin

Abstract:

We demonstrate a single chamber, 96-well-plated based Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) with printed, electronic components. This invention is aimed at robust selection of electrogenic microbial community under specific conditions, e.g., electrode potential, pH, nutrient concentration, salt concentration that can be altered within the 96 well plate array. This invention enables robust selection of electrogenic microbial community under the homogeneous reactor, with multiple conditions that can be altered to allow comparative analysis. It can be used as a standalone technique or in conjunction with other selective processes, e.g., flow cytometry, microfluidic-based dielectrophoretic trapping. Mobile conductive elements, like carbon paper, carbon sponge, activated charcoal granules, metal mesh, can be inserted inside to increase the anode surface area in order to collect electrogenic microorganisms and to transfer them into new reactors or for other analytical works. An array of 96-well plate allows this device to be operated by automated pipetting stations.

Keywords: bioengineering, electrochemistry, electromicrobiology, microbial fuel cell

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677 Characterization of Heterotrimeric G Protein α Subunit in Tomato

Authors: Thi Thao Ninh, Yuri Trusov, José Ramón Botella

Abstract:

Heterotrimeric G proteins, comprised of three subunits, α, β and γ, are involved in signal transduction pathways that mediate a vast number of processes across the eukaryotic kingdom. 23 Gα subunits are present in humans whereas most plant genomes encode for only one canonical Gα. The disparity observed between Arabidopsis, rice, and maize Gα-deficient mutant phenotypes suggest that Gα functions have diversified between eudicots and monocots during evolution. Alternatively, since the only Gα mutations available in dicots have been produced in Arabidopsis, the possibility exists that this species might be an exception to the rule. In order to test this hypothesis, we studied the G protein α subunit (TGA1) in tomato. Four tga1 knockout lines were generated in tomato cultivar Moneymaker using CRISPR/Cas9. The tga1 mutants exhibit a number of auxin-related phenotypes including changes in leaf shape, reduced plant height, fruit size and number of seeds per fruit. In addition, tga1 mutants have increased sensitivity to abscisic acid during seed germination, reduced sensitivity to exogenous auxin during adventitious root formation from cotyledons and excised hypocotyl explants. Our results suggest that Gα mutant phenotypes in tomato are very similar to those observed in monocots, i.e. rice and maize, and cast doubts about the validity of using Arabidopsis as a model system for plant G protein studies.

Keywords: auxin-related phenotypes, CRISPR/Cas9, G protein α subunit, heterotrimeric G proteins, tomato

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676 Characterization of Herberine Hydrochloride Nanoparticles

Authors: Bao-Fang Wen, Meng-Na Dai, Gao-Pei Zhu, Chen-Xi Zhang, Jing Sun, Xun-Bao Yin, Yu-Han Zhao, Hong-Wei Sun, Wei-Fen Zhang

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A drug-loaded nanoparticles containing berberine hydrochloride (BH/FA-CTS-NPs) was prepared. The physicochemical characterizations of BH/FA-CTS-NPs and the inhibitory effect on the HeLa cells were investigated. Folic acid-conjugated chitosan (FA-CTS) was prepared by amino reaction of folic acid active ester and chitosan molecules; BH/FA-CTS-NPs were prepared using ionic cross-linking technique with BH as a model drug. The morphology and particle size were determined by Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). The average diameters and polydispersity index (PDI) were evaluated by Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). The interaction between various components and the nanocomplex were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR). The entrapment efficiency (EE), drug-loading (DL) and in vitro release were studied by UV spectrophotometer. The effect of cell anti-migratory and anti-invasive actions of BH/FA-CTS-NPs were investigated using MTT assays, wound healing assays, Annexin-V-FITC single staining assays, and flow cytometry, respectively. HeLa nude mice subcutaneously transplanted tumor model was established and treated with different drugs to observe the effect of BH/FA-CTS-NPs in vivo on HeLa bearing tumor. The BH/FA-CTS-NPs prepared in this experiment have a regular shape, uniform particle size, and no aggregation phenomenon. The results of DLS showed that mean particle size, PDI and Zeta potential of BH/FA-CTS NPs were (249.2 ± 3.6) nm, 0.129 ± 0.09, 33.6 ± 2.09, respectively, and the average diameter and PDI were stable in 90 days. The results of FT-IR demonstrated that the characteristic peaks of FA-CTS and BH/FA-CTS-NPs confirmed that FA-CTS cross-linked successfully and BH was encapsulated in NPs. The EE and DL amount were (79.3 ± 3.12) % and (7.24 ± 1.41) %, respectively. The results of in vitro release study indicated that the cumulative release of BH/FA-CTS NPs was (89.48±2.81) % in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS, pH 7.4) within 48h; these results by MTT assays and wund healing assays indicated that BH/FA-CTS NPs not only inhibited the proliferation of HeLa cells in a concentration and time-dependent manner but can induce apoptosis as well. The subcutaneous xenograft tumor formation rate of human cervical cancer cell line HeLa in nude mice was 98% after inoculation for 2 weeks. Compared with BH group and BH/CTS-NPs group, the xenograft tumor growth of BH/FA-CTS-NPs group was obviously slower; the result indicated that BH/FA-CTS-NPs could significantly inhibit the growth of HeLa xenograft tumor. BH/FA-CTS NPs with the sustained release effect could be prepared successfully by the ionic crosslinking method. Considering these properties, block proliferation and impairing the migration of the HeLa cell line, BH/FA-CTS NPs could be an important compound for consideration in the treatment of cervical cancer.

Keywords: folic-acid, chitosan, berberine hydrochloride, nanoparticles, cervical cancer

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675 Chiral Amine Synthesis and Recovery by Using High Molecular Weight Amine Donors

Authors: Claudia Matassa, Matthias Hohne, Dominic Ormerod, Yamini Satyawali

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Chiral amines integrate the backbone of several active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used in modern medicine for the treatment of a vast range of diseases. Despite the demand, their synthesis remains challenging. Besides a range of chemicals and enzymatical methods, chiral amine synthesis using transaminases (EC 2.6.1.W) represents a useful alternative to access this important class of compounds. Even though transaminases exhibit excellent stereo and regioselectivity and the potential for high yield, the reaction suffers from a number of challenges, including the thermodynamic equilibrium, product inhibition, and low substrate solubility. In this work, we demonstrate a membrane assisted strategy for addressing these challenges. It involves the use of high molecular weight (HMW) amine donors for the transaminase-catalyzed synthesis of 4-phenyl-2-butylamine in both aqueous and organic solvent media. In contrast to common amine donors such as alanine or isopropylamine, these large molecules, provided in excess for thermodynamic equilibrium shifting, are easily retained by commercial nanofiltration membranes; thus a selective permeation of the desired smaller product amine is possible. The enzymatic transamination in aqueous media, combined with selective product removal shifted the equilibrium enhancing substrate conversion by an additional 25% compared to the control reaction. Along with very efficient amine product removal, there was undesirable loss of ketone substrate and low product concentration was achieved. The system was therefore further improved by performing the reaction in organic solvent (n-heptane). Coupling the reaction system with membrane-assisted product removal resulted in a highly concentrated and relatively pure ( > 97%) product solution. Moreover, a product yield of 60% was reached, compared to 15% without product removal.

Keywords: amine donor, chiral amines, in situ product removal, transamination

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674 Study on the Heavy Oil Degradation Performance and Kinetics of Immobilized Bacteria on Modified Zeolite

Authors: Xiao L Dai, Wen X Wei, Shuo Wang, Jia B Li, Yan Wei

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Heavy oil pollution generated from both natural and anthropogenic sources could cause significant damages to the ecological environment, due to the toxicity of some of its constituents. Nowadays, microbial remediation is becoming a promising technology to treat oil pollution owing to its low cost and prevention of secondary pollution; microorganisms are key players in the process. Compared to the free microorganisms, immobilized microorganisms possess several advantages, including high metabolic activity rates, strong resistance to toxic chemicals and natural competition with the indigenous microorganisms, and effective resistance to washing away (in open water system). Many immobilized microorganisms have been successfully used for bioremediation of heavy oil pollution. Considering the broad choices, low cost, simple process, large specific surface area and less impact on microbial activity, modified zeolite were selected as a bio-carrier for bacteria immobilization. Three strains of heavy oil-degrading bacteria Bacillus sp. DL-13, Brevibacillus sp. DL-1 and Acinetobacter sp. DL-34 were immobilized on the modified zeolite under mild conditions, and the bacterial load (bacteria /modified zeolite) was 1.12 mg/g, 1.11 mg/g, and 1.13 mg/g, respectively. SEM results showed that the bacteria mainly adsorbed on the surface or punctured in the void of modified zeolite. The heavy oil degradation efficiency of immobilized bacteria was 62.96%, higher than that of the free bacteria (59.83%). The heavy oil degradation process of immobilized bacteria accords with the first-order reaction equation, and the reaction rate constant is 0.1483 d⁻¹, which was significantly higher than the free bacteria (0.1123 d⁻¹), suggesting that the immobilized bacteria can rapidly start up the heavy oil degradation and has a high activity of heavy oil degradation. The results suggested that immobilized bacteria are promising technology for bioremediation of oil pollution.

Keywords: heavy oil pollution, microbial remediation, modified zeolite, immobilized bacteria

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673 De Novo Design of Functional Metalloproteins for Biocatalytic Reactions

Authors: Ketaki D. Belsare, Nicholas F. Polizzi, Lior Shtayer, William F. DeGrado

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Nature utilizes metalloproteins to perform chemical transformations with activities and selectivities that have long been the inspiration for design principles in synthetic and biological systems. The chemical reactivities of metalloproteins are directly linked to local environment effects produced by the protein matrix around the metal cofactor. A complete understanding of how the protein matrix provides these interactions would allow for the design of functional metalloproteins. The de novo computational design of proteins have been successfully used in design of active sites that bind metals like di-iron, zinc, copper containing cofactors; however, precisely designing active sites that can bind small molecule ligands (e.g., substrates) along with metal cofactors is still a challenge in the field. The de novo computational design of a functional metalloprotein that contains a purposefully designed substrate binding site would allow for precise control of chemical function and reactivity. Our research strategy seeks to elucidate the design features necessary to bind the cofactor protoporphyrin IX (hemin) in close proximity to a substrate binding pocket in a four helix bundle. First- and second-shell interactions are computationally designed to control orientation, electronic structure, and reaction pathway of the cofactor and substrate. The design began with a parameterized helical backbone that positioned a single histidine residue (as an axial ligand) to receive a second-shell H-bond from a Threonine on the neighboring helix. The metallo-cofactor, hemin was then manually placed in the binding site. A structural feature, pi-bulge was introduced to give substrate access to the protoporphyrin IX. These de novo metalloproteins are currently being tested for their activity towards hydroxylation and epoxidation. The de novo designed protein shows hydroxylation of aniline to 4-aminophenol. This study will help provide structural information of utmost importance in understanding de novo computational design variables impacting the functional activities of a protein.

Keywords: metalloproteins, protein design, de novo protein, biocatalysis

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672 Development of an Integrated Reaction Design for the Enzymatic Production of Lactulose

Authors: Natan C. G. Silva, Carlos A. C. Girao Neto, Marcele M. S. Vasconcelos, Luciana R. B. Goncalves, Maria Valderez P. Rocha

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Galactooligosaccharides (GOS) are sugars with prebiotic function that can be synthesized chemically or enzymatically, and this last one can be promoted by the action of β-galactosidases. In addition to favoring the transgalactosylation reaction to form GOS, these enzymes can also catalyze the hydrolysis of lactose. A highly studied type of GOS is lactulose because it presents therapeutic properties and is a health promoter. Among the different raw materials that can be used to produce lactulose, whey stands out as the main by-product of cheese manufacturing, and its discarded is harmful to the environment due to the residual lactose present. Therefore, its use is a promising alternative to solve this environmental problem. Thus, lactose from whey is hydrolyzed into glucose and galactose by β-galactosidases. However, in order to favor the transgalactosylation reaction, the medium must contain fructose, due this sugar reacts with galactose to produce lactulose. Then, the glucose-isomerase enzyme can be used for this purpose, since it promotes the isomerization of glucose into fructose. In this scenario, the aim of the present work was first to develop β-galactosidase biocatalysts of Kluyveromyces lactis and to apply it in the integrated reactions of hydrolysis, isomerization (with the glucose-isomerase from Streptomyces murinus) and transgalactosylation reaction, using whey as a substrate. The immobilization of β-galactosidase in chitosan previously functionalized with 0.8% glutaraldehyde was evaluated using different enzymatic loads (2, 5, 7, 10, and 12 mg/g). Subsequently, the hydrolysis and transgalactosylation reactions were studied and conducted at 50°C, 120 RPM for 20 minutes. In parallel, the isomerization of glucose into fructose was evaluated under conditions of 70°C, 750 RPM for 90 min. After, the integration of the three processes for the production of lactulose was investigated. Among the evaluated loads, 7 mg/g was chosen because the best activity of the derivative (44.3 U/g) was obtained, being this parameter determinant for the reaction stages. The other parameters of immobilization yield (87.58%) and recovered activity (46.47%) were also satisfactory compared to the other conditions. Regarding the integrated process, 94.96% of lactose was converted, achieving 37.56 g/L and 37.97 g/L of glucose and galactose, respectively. In the isomerization step, conversion of 38.40% of glucose was observed, obtaining a concentration of 12.47 g/L fructose. In the transgalactosylation reaction was produced 13.15 g/L lactulose after 5 min. However, in the integrated process, there was no formation of lactulose, but it was produced other GOS at the same time. The high galactose concentration in the medium probably favored the reaction of synthesis of these other GOS. Therefore, the integrated process proved feasible for possible production of prebiotics. In addition, this process can be economically viable due to the use of an industrial residue as a substrate, but it is necessary a more detailed investigation of the transgalactosilation reaction.

Keywords: beta-galactosidase, glucose-isomerase, galactooligosaccharides, lactulose, whey

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671 A 3D Cell-Based Biosensor for Real-Time and Non-Invasive Monitoring of 3D Cell Viability and Drug Screening

Authors: Yuxiang Pan, Yong Qiu, Chenlei Gu, Ping Wang

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In the past decade, three-dimensional (3D) tumor cell models have attracted increasing interest in the field of drug screening due to their great advantages in simulating more accurately the heterogeneous tumor behavior in vivo. Drug sensitivity testing based on 3D tumor cell models can provide more reliable in vivo efficacy prediction. The gold standard fluorescence staining is hard to achieve the real-time and label-free monitoring of the viability of 3D tumor cell models. In this study, micro-groove impedance sensor (MGIS) was specially developed for dynamic and non-invasive monitoring of 3D cell viability. 3D tumor cells were trapped in the micro-grooves with opposite gold electrodes for the in-situ impedance measurement. The change of live cell number would cause inversely proportional change to the impedance magnitude of the entire cell/matrigel to construct and reflect the proliferation and apoptosis of 3D cells. It was confirmed that 3D cell viability detected by the MGIS platform is highly consistent with the standard live/dead staining. Furthermore, the accuracy of MGIS platform was demonstrated quantitatively using 3D lung cancer model and sophisticated drug sensitivity testing. In addition, the parameters of micro-groove impedance chip processing and measurement experiments were optimized in details. The results demonstrated that the MGIS and 3D cell-based biosensor and would be a promising platform to improve the efficiency and accuracy of cell-based anti-cancer drug screening in vitro.

Keywords: micro-groove impedance sensor, 3D cell-based biosensors, 3D cell viability, micro-electromechanical systems

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670 Combination of Plantar Pressure and Star Excursion Balance Test for Evaluation of Dynamic Posture Control on High-Heeled Shoes

Authors: Yan Zhang, Jan Awrejcewicz, Lin Fu

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High-heeled shoes force the foot into plantar flexion position resulting in foot arch rising and disturbance of the articular congruence between the talus and tibiofibular mortice, all of which may increase the challenge of balance maintenance. Plantar pressure distribution of the stance limb during the star excursion balance test (SEBT) contributes to the understanding of potential sources of reaching excursions in SEBT. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the dynamic posture control while wearing high-heeled shoes using SEBT in a combination of plantar pressure measurement. Twenty healthy young females were recruited. Shoes of three heel heights were used: flat (0.8 cm), low (4.0 cm), high (6.6 cm). The testing grid of SEBT consists of three lines extending out at 120° from each other, which were defined as anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral directions. Participants were instructed to stand on their dominant limb with the heel in the middle of the testing grid and hands on hips and to reach the non-stance limb as far as possible towards each direction. The distal portion of the reaching limb lightly touched the ground without shifting weight. Then returned the reaching limb to the beginning position. The excursion distances were normalized to leg length. The insole plantar measurement system was used to record peak pressure, contact area, and pressure-time integral of the stance limb. Results showed that normalized excursion distance decreased significantly as heel height increased. The changes of plantar pressure in SEBT as heel height increased were more obvious in the medial forefoot (MF), medial midfoot (MM), rearfoot areas. At MF, the peak pressure and pressure-time integral of low and high shoes increased significantly compared with that of flat shoes, while the contact area decreased significantly as heel height increased. At MM, peak pressure, contact area, and pressure-time integral of high and low shoes were significantly lower than that of flat shoes. To reduce posture instability, the stance limb plantar loading shifted to medial forefoot. Knowledge of this study identified dynamic posture control deficits while wearing high-heeled shoes and the critical role of the medial forefoot in dynamic balance maintenance.

Keywords: dynamic posture control, high-heeled shoes, plantar pressure, star excursion balance test.

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669 Self-Organized TiO₂–Nb₂O₅–ZrO₂ Nanotubes on β-Ti Alloy by Anodization

Authors: Muhammad Qadir, Yuncang Li, Cuie Wen

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Surface properties such as topography and physicochemistry of metallic implants determine the cell behavior. The surface of titanium (Ti)-based implant can be modified to enhance the bioactivity and biocompatibility. In this study, a self-organized titania–niobium pentoxide–zirconia (TiO₂–Nb₂O₅–ZrO₂) nanotubular layer on β phase Ti35Zr28Nb alloy was fabricated via electrochemical anodization. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and water contact angle measurement techniques were used to investigate the nanotubes dimensions (i.e., the inner and outer diameters, and wall thicknesses), microstructural features and evolution of the hydrophilic properties. The in vitro biocompatibility of the TiO₂–Nb₂O₅–ZrO₂ nanotubes (NTs) was assessed by using osteoblast cells (SaOS2). Influence of anodization parameters on the morphology of TiO₂–Nb₂O₅–ZrO₂ NTs has been studied. The results indicated that the average inner diameter, outer diameter and the wall thickness of the TiO₂–Nb₂O₅–ZrO₂ NTs were ranged from 25–70 nm, 45–90 nm and 5–13 nm, respectively, and were directly influenced by the applied voltage during anodization. The average inner and outer diameters of NTs increased with increasing applied voltage, and the length of NTs increased with increasing anodization time and water content of the electrolyte. In addition, the size distribution of the NTs noticeably affected the hydrophilic properties and enhanced the biocompatibility as compared with the uncoated substrate. The results of this study could be considered for developing nano-scale coatings for a wide range of biomedical applications.

Keywords: Titanium alloy, TiO₂–Nb₂O₅–ZrO₂ nanotubes, anodization, surface wettability, biocompatibility

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668 Micelles Made of Pseudo-Proteins for Solubilization of Hydrophobic Biologicals

Authors: Sophio Kobauri, David Tugushi, Vladimir P. Torchilin, Ramaz Katsarava

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Hydrophobic / hydrophilically modified functional polymers are of high interest in modern biomedicine due to their ability to solubilize water-insoluble / poorly soluble (hydrophobic) drugs. Among the many approaches that are being developed in this direction, one of the most effective methods is the use of polymeric micelles (PMs) (micelles formed by amphiphilic block-copolymers) for solubilization of hydrophobic biologicals. For therapeutic purposes, PMs are required to be stable and biodegradable, although quite a few amphiphilic block-copolymers are described capable of forming stable micelles with good solubilization properties. For obtaining micelle-forming block-copolymers, polyethylene glycol (PEG) derivatives are desirable to use as hydrophilic shell because it represents the most popular biocompatible hydrophilic block and various hydrophobic blocks (polymers) can be attached to it. Although the construction of the hydrophobic core, due to the complex requirements and micelles structure development, is the very actual and the main problem for nanobioengineers. Considering the above, our research goal was obtaining biodegradable micelles for the solubilization of hydrophobic drugs and biologicals. For this purpose, we used biodegradable polymers– pseudo-proteins (PPs)(synthesized with naturally occurring amino acids and other non-toxic building blocks, such as fatty diols and dicarboxylic acids) as hydrophobic core since these polymers showed reasonable biodegradation rates and excellent biocompatibility. In the present study, we used the hydrophobic amino acid – L-phenylalanine (MW 4000-8000Da) instead of L-leucine. Amino-PEG (MW 2000Da) was used as hydrophilic fragments for constructing the suitable micelles. The molecular weight of PP (the hydrophobic core of micelle) was regulated by variation of used monomers ratios. Micelles were obtained by dissolving of synthesized amphiphilic polymer in water. The micelle-forming property was tested using dynamic light scattering (Malvern zetasizer NanoZSZEN3600). The study showed that obtaining amphiphilic block-copolymer form stable neutral micelles 100 ± 7 nm in size at 10mg/mL concentration, which is considered as an optimal range for pharmaceutical micelles. The obtained preliminary data allow us to conclude that the obtained micelles are suitable for the delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs and biologicals.

Keywords: amino acid – L-phenylalanine, pseudo-proteins, amphiphilic block-copolymers, biodegradable micelles

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667 In Silico Study of the Biological and Pharmacological Activity of Nigella sativa

Authors: Ammar Ouahab, Meriem Houichi , Sanna Mihoubi

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Background: Nigella sativa is an annual flowering plant, belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. It has many pharmacological activities such as anti-inflammatory; anti-bacterial; anti-hepatotoxic activities etc. Materials: In order to predict the pharmacological activity of Nigella Sativa’s compounds, some web based servers were used, namely, PubChem, Molinspiration, ADMET-SAR, PASS online and PharMapper. In addition to that, AutoDOCK was used to investigate the different molecular interactions between the selected compounds and their target proteins. Results: All compounds displayed a stable interaction with their targets and satisfactory binding energies, which means that they are active on their targets. Conclusion: Nigella sativa is an effective medicinal plant that has several ethno-medical uses; the latter uses are proven herein via an in-silico study of their pharmacological activities.

Keywords: Nigella sativa, AutoDOCK, PubChem, Molinspiration, ADMET-SAR, PharMapper, PASS online server, docking

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