Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: Agata Glowacka-Gil

23 Health Effect of the Central European Diet in Postmenopausal Women with Increased Waist Circumference: A Preliminary Study

Authors: Joanna Bajerska, Agata Chmurzyńska, Agata Muzsik, Patrycja Krzyżanowska, Klaudia Łochocka, Jarosław Walkowiak


The Mediterranean diet (MED) is regarded as beneficial in the therapy of central obesity-associated metabolic abnormalities. However, in the traditional diet of the Central European countries, food items with positive nutritional profiles (rye bread, oats, buckwheat, herrings, linseed and rapeseed oil, berries, apples, plums, root vegetables etc.) are also used. We hypothesized that the Central European Diet (CED) may be comparatively effective in reducing symptoms of central obesity as MED. We tested the health effects of the CED, which is an environmentally friendly regional diet and the traditional MED diet in a group of postmenopausal centrally obese women. A total 58 with a mean age of 60 y (50-70y), body mass index (in kg/m(2)) of 33.4 (22.6-47.3), and waist circumference of 105 cm (87.5-137 cm) were randomly assigned to receive either the diet based on food items commonly used in Central Europe (the CED group; n = 29) or the Mediterranean diet (the MED group; n = 29) for 15 weeks. Body mass and body composition were measured with a Bod Pod (Cosmed, Italy). A non-elastic flexible measuring tape was used to measure waist circumference. Additionally, blood pressure, plasma lipid and glucose levels were assessed with the use of a biochemical analyzer. A total of 50 subjects [86% (CED 83%; MED 90%)] completed the intervention. A high dietary compliance for both described diets was achieved. The mean (±SEM) weight and waist circumference changes were -7.4 ± 0.7 kg; -8.3 ± 0.7 cm and -8.1 ± 0.5 kg; -7.1 ± 0.6 cm for the CED and MED groups, respectively. Moreover, there were no differences between the effectiveness of the diets used in terms of the influence on fat mass, blood pressure, and biochemical parameters. The preliminary data suggest that both described diets may be successfully used for improving central obesity-associated metabolic abnormalities. The project was financed by the National Science Centre awarded based on the number of decision DEC-013/09/B/NZ9/02365

Keywords: central european diet, central obesity, Mediterranean diet, metabolic abnormalities

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22 Circadian Clock and Subjective Time Perception: A Simple Open Source Application for the Analysis of Induced Time Perception in Humans

Authors: Agata M. Kołodziejczyk, Mateusz Harasymczuk, Pierre-Yves Girardin, Lucie Davidová


Subjective time perception implies connection to cognitive functions, attention, memory and awareness, but a little is known about connections with homeostatic states of the body coordinated by circadian clock. In this paper, we present results from experimental study of subjective time perception in volunteers performing physical activity on treadmill in various phases of their circadian rhythms. Subjects were exposed to several time illusions simulated by programmed timing systems. This study brings better understanding for further improvement of of work quality in isolated areas. 

Keywords: biological clock, light, time illusions, treadmill

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21 Biological Evaluation and Molecular Modeling Study of Thiosemicarbazide Derivatives as Bacterial Type IIA Topoisomerases Inhibitors

Authors: Paweł Stączek, Tomasz Plech, Aleksandra Strzelczyk, Katarzyna Dzitko, Monika Wujec, Edyta Kuśmierz, Piotr Paneth, Agata Paneth


In this contribution, we will describe the inhibitory potency of nine thiosemicarbazide derivatives against bacterial type IIA topoisomerases, their antibacterial profile, and molecular modeling evaluation. We have found that one of the tested compounds, 4-benzoyl-1-(2-methyl-furan-3-ylcarbonyl) thiosemicarbazide, remarkably inhibits the activity of S. aureus DNA gyrase with the IC50 below 5 μM. Besides, this compound displays antibacterial activity on Staphylococcus spp. and E. faecalis at non-cytotoxic concentrations in mammalian cells, with minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) values at 25 μg/mL. Based on the enzymatic and molecular modeling studies we propose two factors, i.e. geometry of molecule and hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance as important molecular properties for developing thiosemicarbazide derivatives as potent Staphylococcus aureus DNA gyrase inhibitors.

Keywords: bioactivity, drug design, topoisomerase, molecular modeling

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20 Searching for Novel Scaffolds of Triazole Non-Nucleoside Inhibitors of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase

Authors: Tomasz Frączek, Agata Paneth, Rafał Kamiński, Agnieszka Krakowiak, Piotr Paneth


Azoles are a promising class of the new generation of HIV-1 nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). From thousands of reported compounds, many possess the same basic structure of an aryl substituted azole ring linked by a thioglycolamide chain with another aromatic ring. To find novel extensions for this primary scaffold, we explored the 5-position substitution of triazole NNRTIs using molecular docking followed by synthesis of selected compounds. We discovered that heterocyclic substituents in 5-position of the triazole ring are detrimental to the inhibitory activity of compounds with 4-membered thioglycolamide linker. This substitution seems to be viable only for compounds with a shorter 2-membered linker such as in derivatives of 4‐benzyl‐3‐(benzyl-sulfanyl)‐5‐(thiophen‐2‐yl)‐4H‐1,2,4‐triazole reported earlier. A new scaffold of 2‐[(4‐benzyl‐5‐methyl‐4H‐1,2,4‐triazol‐3‐yl)sulfanyl]‐N‐phenylacetamide has been identified in this study.

Keywords: docking, molecular modeling, drug design, novel scaffolds

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19 Assessment of the High-Speed Ice Friction of Bob Skeleton Runners

Authors: Agata Tomaszewska, Timothy Kamps, Stephan R. Turnock, Nicola Symonds


Bob skeleton is a highly competitive sport in which an athlete reaches speeds up to 40 m/s sliding, head first, down an ice track. It is believed that the friction between the runners and ice significantly contributes to the amount of the total energy loss during a bob skeleton descent. There is only limited available experimental data regarding the friction of bob skeleton runners or indeed steel on the ice at high sliding speeds ( > 20 m/s). Testing methods used to investigate the friction of steel on ice in winter sports have been outlined, and their accuracy and repeatability discussed. A system thinking approach was used to investigate the runner-ice interaction during sliding and create concept designs of three ice tribometers. The operational envelope of the bob skeleton system has been defined through mathematical modelling. Designs of a drum, linear and inertia pin-on-disk tribometers were developed specifically for bob skeleton runner testing with the requirement of reaching up to 40 m/s speed and facilitate fresh ice sliding. The design constraints have been outline and the proposed solutions compared based on the ease of operation, accuracy and the development cost.

Keywords: bob skeleton, ice friction, high-speed tribometers, sliding friction

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18 Engineering Method to Measure the Impact Sound Improvement with Floor Coverings

Authors: Katarzyna Baruch, Agata Szelag, Jaroslaw Rubacha, Bartlomiej Chojnacki, Tadeusz Kamisinski


Methodology used to measure the reduction of transmitted impact sound by floor coverings situated on a massive floor is described in ISO 10140-3: 2010. To carry out such tests, the standardised reverberation room separated by a standard floor from the second measuring room are required. The need to have a special laboratory results in high cost and low accessibility of this measurement. The authors propose their own engineering method to measure the impact sound improvement with floor coverings. This method does not require standard rooms and floor. This paper describes the measurement procedure of proposed engineering method. Further, verification tests were performed. Validation of the proposed method was based on the analytical model, Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) model and empirical measurements. The received results were related to corresponding ones obtained from ISO 10140-3:2010 measurements. The study confirmed the usefulness of the engineering method.

Keywords: building acoustic, impact noise, impact sound insulation, impact sound transmission, reduction of impact sound

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17 Designing a Functional Bread Premixes Recipes Involving White Mulberry Fruit

Authors: Kobus-Cisowska Joanna, Flaczyk Ewa, Gramza-Michalowska Anna, Kmiecik Dominik, Przeor Monika, Marcinkowska Agata, Korczak Józef


The object of this study was to develop recipes and technology of production of functional bread with morus alba fruit addition. There were prepared four samples of functional breads and the control sample also. Bread recipe was designed for supporting the treatment of anemia, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Samples of bread were baked with mixes directly after preparation and after three months' storage, each time preparing the water and methanol extracts. The sensory analysis and nutritional value were estimated. The antioxidant activity were estimated used tests such as the ability to scavenge free radical DPPH, the ability to scavenge the ABTS cation, chelating properties and the total content of polyphenols. The study results showed that the prepared sample of functional breads were characterized by a high nutritional value with high concentration of biologically active compounds which showed antioxidant activity. In addition, the profile sensory of bread samples was highly rated. However, to determine whether they can be considered as a new product preset pro-health properties require additional nutritional studies - clinical trials.

Keywords: functional food, breads, white mulberry, bioactive components

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16 Forms of Social Provision for Housing Investments in Local Planning Acts for European Capitals: Comparative Study and Spatial References

Authors: Agata Twardoch


The processes of commodification of real estate and changes in housing markets have led to a situation where the prices of free market housing in European capitals are significantly higher than the purchasing value of average wages. This phenomenon has many negative social and spatial consequences. At the same time, the attractiveness of real estate as an asset makes these processes progress. Out of concern for sustainable social development, city authorities apply solutions to balance the burdensome effects of codification of housing. One of them is a social provision for housing investments. The article presents a comparative study of solutions applied in selected European capitals, on the example of Warsaw, Paris, London, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Vienna. The study was conducted along with works on expert report for the master plan for Warsaw. The forms of commissions applied in Local Planning Acts were compared, with particular reference to spatial solutions. The results of the analysis made it possible to determine common features of the solutions applied and to establish recommendations for further practice. Major findings of the study indicate that requirement of social provision is achievable in spatial planning documents. Study shows that application of social provision in private housing investments is a useful tool in housing policy against commodification.

Keywords: affordable housing, housing provision, spatial planning, sustainable social development

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15 The Effect of Addition of White Mulberry Fruit on the Polyphenol Content in the New Developed Bioactive Bread

Authors: Kobus-Cisowska Joanna, Flaczyk Ewa, Gramza-Michalowska Anna, Kmiecik Dominik, Przeor Monika, Marcinkowska Agata


In recent years, proceed to the attractiveness of typical bakery products. Expanding the education and nutrition knowledge society will develop the production of functional foods, which has a positive impact on human health. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the addition of white mulberry fruit on the content of biologically active compounds in the new designed functional bread premixes designed for selected disease: anemia, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. For flavonols and phenolic acids content UPLC was conducted, using an NovaPack C18 column and a gradient elution system. It was found that all attempts bread characterized by a high content of biologically active compounds: polyphenols, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. The highest total content of polyphenolic compounds found in the samples of bread for anemia, diabetes and cardiovascular disease both before and after storage. The analyzed sample differed in content of phenolic acids. The highest content of these compounds were found in samples of bread for anemia and diabetes. It was found that the analyzed sample contained phenolic acids that are derivatives of hydroxybenzoic and hydroxycinnamic acid. The new designed bread contained significant amounts of flavonols, of which the dominant was routine.

Keywords: mulberry, antioxidant, polyphenols, phenolic acids, flavonols

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14 The Effect of Addition of White Mulberry Fruit on the Sensory Quality of the New Developed Bioactive Bread

Authors: Kmiecik Dominik, Kobus-Cisowska Joanna, Gramza-Michalowska Anna, Marcinkowska Agata, Korczak Józef


The relationship between the choice of a proper diet, a diet, lifestyle man and his health has been known for a long time. Because of the increase in public awareness of food ingredients and their influence on health status, measures have been taken towards the production of food, which is designed to not only eat, but also to protect against the incidence of lifestyle diseases. For this purpose, the bio active products with healthy properties was developed. Mulberry have a very high nutritional value, rich in chemical composition and many properties used in the prevention of lifestyle diseases. In addition to basic chemical components, nutrients, mulberry fruit contain compounds having a physiological effect. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of white mulberry fruit on the sensory quality of bread to be healthy diet of people suffering from anemia, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Sensory analysis was carried out by the profile method. Intra-operative differentiators color, aroma, taste, texture, and overall assessment. Sensory analysis showed that all test trials were characterized by a uniform and concise consistency, similar in color from dark to light beige. The taste and smell of herbal characteristic was designed in an attempt to prevention of diabetes, while the other samples were characterized by a typical taste and smell of bread grain. There were no foreign taste and odor in the test bread. It was found that the addition of white mulberry fruit does not affect the sensory quality of the newly developed bioactive bread.

Keywords: mulberry, bread, bioactive, sensory analysis

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13 The Cytoprotective Role of Antioxidants in Mammalian Cells Exposed to Variable Temperature, Pressure Overload and Radiation in the Stratosphere

Authors: Dawid Przystupski, Agata Gorska, Paulina Rozborska, Weronika Bartosik, Olga Michel, Joanna Rossowska, Anna Szewczyk, Malgorzata Drag-Zalesinska, Jedrzej Gorski, Julita Kulbacka


Researchers are still looking for an answer to the question which has been fascinating the mankind for generations, specifically – is there life beyond Earth? As long as routine flights to other planets remain beyond our reach, there is a need to find alternative ways to conduct the astrobiological research. It is worth noticing that the part of the Earth’s atmosphere, stratosphere, has been found to show subcosmic environmental conditions, namely temperatures around -50°C, very rarefied air, increased cosmic radiation and the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. This phenomenon gives rise to the opportunity for the use of stratospheric environment as a research model for the space conditions. Therefore the idea of conducting astrobiological experiments during the stratospheric flights arose. Up to now, the preliminary work in this field included launching balloons containing solely microbiological samples into the stratosphere to figure out if they would be able to survive under the stratospheric conditions. In our study, we take this concept further, sending the human healthy and cancerous cells treated with various compounds to investigate whether these medicines are capable to protect the cells against stratospheric stress. Due to oxidative stress caused by ionizing radiation and temperature shock, we used natural compounds which display antioxidant properties. In this way, we were able to reduce the reactive oxygen species production affecting cells, which results in their death. After-flight laboratory tests of biological samples from the stratosphere have been performed and indicated the most active antioxidants as potential agents which can minimize the harmful impacts of stratospheric conditions, especially radiation and temperature.

Keywords: antioxidants, stratosphere, balloon flight, oxidative stress, cell death, radiation

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12 Anatomy of the Human Mitral Valve Leaflets: Implications for Transcatheter and Surgical Mitral Valve Repair Techniques

Authors: Agata Krawczyk-Ozog, Mateusz K. Holda, Mateusz Koziej, Danuta Sorysz, Zbigniew Siudak, Wieslawa Klimek-Piotrowska, Dariusz Dudek


Introduction: Rapid development of the surgical and less-invasive percutaneous mitral valve repair procedures greatly increase the interest of the mitral valve anatomy. The aim of this study was to characterize morphological variability of the mitral valve leaflets and to provide the size of their particular parts. Materials and Methods: In the study, we included 200 autopsied human hearts from Caucasian individuals (25% females) with mean age 47.5 (±17.9) without any valvular diseases. The morphology of the mitral valve was evaluated. The intercommissural and aorto-mural diameters of the mitral annulus were measured. All leaflets and their scallops were identified. The base and the height of the posteromedial commissure (PM-C), anterolateral commissure (AL-C), anterior leaflet (AL) and posterior leaflet (PL) with their scallops were measured. Results: The intercommissural diameter was 28.0±4.8 mm, the aorto-mural diameter 19.7±4.8 mm, circumference of the mitral annulus 89.9±12.6 mm and the area of the mitral valve 485.4±171.4 mm2. Classical mitral valves (AL+AL-C+PL(P1,P2,P3)+PM-C) were found in 141 (70.5%) specimens. In classical type, the mean AL base and height were 30.8±4.9 mm and 20.6±4.2 mm, while mean PL base and height 45.1±8.2 mm 12.9±2.8 mm respectively. The mean ratio of the AL base to PL base was 0.7±0.2. Variations in PL were found in 55 (27.5%) and in AL in 5 (2.5%) hearts. The most common variations were: valve with one accessory scallop (AcS) between P3 and PM-C (7%); AcS between P1 and AL-C (4%); connections of P2 and P3 scallops (4%); connections of P1 and P2 scallops (3%); AcS in AL (2.5%). All AcS were smaller than the main PL scallops. The mean intertrigonal distance was 21.9±3.8 mm. Conclusions: In all cases, the mitral valve is built by two main leaflets with possible variants in secondary to leaflets scallops (29.5%). The variations are largely associated with PL and are mostly related to the presence of AcS. Anatomically the AL is not divided into scallops, and it occupies 34.5% of the mitral annulus circumference. Understanding the anatomy of the mitral valve leaflets helps to planning and performing mitral valve repair procedures.

Keywords: accessory scallop, commissure, connected scallops, human heart, mitral leaflets, mitral valve

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11 Validation of the Formula for Air Attenuation Coefficient for Acoustic Scale Models

Authors: Katarzyna Baruch, Agata Szelag, Aleksandra Majchrzak, Tadeusz Kamisinski


Methodology of measurement of sound absorption coefficient in scaled models is based on the ISO 354 standard. The measurement is realised indirectly - the coefficient is calculated from the reverberation time of an empty chamber as well as a chamber with an inserted sample. It is crucial to maintain the atmospheric conditions stable during both measurements. Possible differences may be amended basing on the formulas for atmospheric attenuation coefficient α given in ISO 9613-1. Model studies require scaling particular factors in compliance with specified characteristic numbers. For absorption coefficient measurement, these are for example: frequency range or the value of attenuation coefficient m. Thanks to the possibilities of modern electroacoustic transducers, it is no longer a problem to scale the frequencies which have to be proportionally higher. However, it may be problematic to reduce values of the attenuation coefficient. It is practically obtained by drying the air down to a defined relative humidity. Despite the change of frequency range and relative humidity of the air, ISO 9613-1 standard still allows the calculation of the amendment for little differences of the atmospheric conditions in the chamber during measurements. The paper discusses a number of theoretical analyses and experimental measurements performed in order to obtain consistency between the values of attenuation coefficient calculated from the formulas given in the standard and by measurement. The authors performed measurements of reverberation time in a chamber made in a 1/8 scale in a corresponding frequency range, i.e. 800 Hz - 40 kHz and in different values of the relative air humidity (40% 5%). Based on the measurements, empirical values of attenuation coefficient were calculated and compared with theoretical ones. In general, the values correspond with each other, but for high frequencies and low values of relative air humidity the differences are significant. Those discrepancies may directly influence the values of measured sound absorption coefficient and cause errors. Therefore, the authors made an effort to determine an amendment minimizing described inaccuracy.

Keywords: air absorption correction, attenuation coefficient, dimensional analysis, model study, scaled modelling

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10 The Effect of Addition of White Mulberry Fruits on the Antioxidant Activity of the New Developed Bioactive Bread

Authors: Kobus-Cisowska Joanna, Flaczyk Ewa, Gramza-Michalowska Anna, Kmiecik Dominik, Przeor Monika, Marcinkowska Agata, Korczak Józef


Cereal products, including mainly bread is a staple food known from the beginning of history throughout the world. It is now believed that there is no replacement of the basic food. Bread, due to the high content of starch is the energy source for the proper functioning of our body. It also contains proteins, fats, vitamins, especially of the B group and vitamin E, a number of minerals, and fiber. The aim of the study was to evaluate the antioxidant activity of new developed bread premixes with mulberry fruits for people with anemia, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. From the finished product-bread, aqueous and methanol extracts was prepared, which in next step were analyzed to assess the activity of the radical DPPH test, ABTS, chelating activity, the ability to reduce metals. Extracts were prepared from bread were acquired with premixes directly after production and stored for three months. The resulting trial breads effect by different mechanisms of antioxidant. They showed the ability to scavenge radicals ABTS and DPPH and chelating activity. Methanol extracts showed significantly greater antioxidant activity in comparison with aqueous extracts, and the largest effect was estimated for sample of bread for anemia, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The greatest ability to scavenging ABTS radicals showed breads for anemia, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, while smaller for anemia and control sample. It was shown that the methanol extracts of the breads samples showed no ability to chelate iron (II). These properties are observed only in the aqueous extracts. The greatest ability attempt had anemia while the lowest control sample. Financial supported by the UE Project no POIG 01.01.02-00-061/09.

Keywords: morus alba, antioxidant activity, free radicals, polyphenols

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9 A Fluid-Walled Microfluidic Device for Cell Migration Studies

Authors: Cyril Deroy, Agata Rumianek, David R. Greaves, Peter R. Cook, Edmond J. Walsh


Various microfluidic platforms have been developed in the past couple of decades offering experimental methods for the study of cell migration; however, their implementation in the laboratory has remained limited. Some reasons cited for the lack of uptake include the technical complexity of the devices, high failure rate associated with gas-bubbles, biocompatibility concerns with the use of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and equipment/time/expertise requirements for operation and manufacture. As sample handling remains challenging due to the closed format of microfluidic devices, open microfluidic systems have been developed offering versatility and simplicity of use. Rather than confining fluids by solid walls, samples can be accessed directly over the open platform, by removing at least one of the solid boundaries, such as the cover. In this paper, a method for the fabrication of open fluid-walled microfluidic circuits for cell migration studies is introduced, where only materials commonly used by the life-science community are required; tissue culture dishes and cell media. The simplicity of the method, and ability to retrieve cells of interest are two key features of the method. Both passive and active flow-devices can be created in this way. To demonstrate the versatility of the method a cell migration assay is performed, which requires fabricating circuits for establishing chemical gradients, loading cells and incubating, creating chemical gradients, real time imaging of cell migration and finally retrieval of cells. The open architecture has high fidelity as it eliminates air bubble related failures and enables the precise control of gradients. The ability to fabricate custom microfluidic designs in minutes should make this method suitable for use in a wide range of cell migration studies.

Keywords: chemotaxis, fluid walls, gradient generation, open microfluidics

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8 Corporate Social Responsibility and the Legal Framework of Foreign Direct Investment: Time for Conceptual Innovation

Authors: Agata Ferreira


Rapidly increasing debates and initiatives in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) have reached the world of international investment law. CSR standards that focus on the operations of multinational companies are increasingly relevant in the context of international investment policy making. In the past, the connection between CSR standards and legal framework for foreign direct investment has been largely non-existent. Recently, however, there is a growing trend of a more balance approach to rights and obligations as between investors and states under investment treaties. CSR principles join other social and environmental measures slowly being included in the investment treaties to enhance their sustainable development dimension. Issues of CSR are present on negotiation tables of new mega regional investment treaties like TTIP for example. To date, only a very few bilateral investment treaties and a handful of other international treaties with investment provisions include CSR clauses. In addition, the existing provisions tend to be of a soft type, where parties merely acknowledge importance of good corporate governance and CSR for sustainable development or generally affirm their aim to encourage enterprises to observe internationally recognised guidelines and principles of CSR. The relevant provisions often leave it up to the states to encourage enterprises operating within their territories to voluntarily incorporate CSR principles. The interaction between general non-binding CSR standards, domestic laws and policies and provisions of international investment treaties have not been tested by investment tribunals yet. The role of investment treaties in raising awareness and promoting CSR is still in its infancy. The use of CSR standards in the international investment protection regime for promotion of CSR standards, and as a tool for disciplining investors into complying with such standards, pose a number of questions and is met with resistance from investors` lobbies. Integration of these two areas, CSR and international investment law, both consisting of multilayered, diverse and often overlapping instruments is by no means an easy task. Whether international investment world is ready to embrace CSR standards or shrug them off is a matter of uncertain future. The subject however has been raised, first introductions have been made and the time will show whether the relationship between legal framework of international investment and CSR will flourish or remain dormant.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, foreign direct investment, investment treaties, sustainable development

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7 Anticancer Study of Copper and Zinc Complexes with Doxorubicin

Authors: Grzegorz Swiderski, Agata Jablonska-Trypuc, Natalia Popow, Renata Swislocka, Wlodzimierz Lewandowski


Doxorubicin belongs to the group of anthracycline antitumor antibiotics. Because of the wide spectrum of actions, it is one of the most widely used anthracycline antibiotics, including the treatment of breast, ovary, bladder, lung cancers as well as neuroblastoma, lymphoma, leukemia and myeloid leukemia. Antitumor activity of doxorubicin is based on the same mechanisms as for most anthracyclines. Like the metal ions affect the nucleic acids on many biological processes, so the environment of the metal chelates of antibiotics can have a significant effect on the pharmacological properties of drugs. Complexation of anthracyclines with metal ions may contribute to the production of less toxic compounds. In the framework of this study, the composition of complexes obtained in aqueous solutions of doxorubicin with metal ions (Cu2+ and Zn2+). Complexation was analyzed by spectrophotometric titration in aqueous solution at pH 7.0. The pH was adjusted with 0.02M Tris-HCl buffer. The composition of the complexes found was Cu: doxorubicin (1: 2) and a Zn: doxorubicin (1: 1). The effect of Dox, Dox-Cu and Dox-Zn was examined in MCF-7 breast cancer cell line, which were obtained from American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). The compounds were added to the cultured cells for a final concentration in the range of 0,01µM to 0,5µM. The number of MCF-7 cells with division into living and dead, was determined by direct counts of cells with the use of trypan blue dye using LUNA Logos Biosystems cell counter. ApoTox-Glo Triplex Assay (Promega, Madison, Wisconsin, USA) was used according to the manufacturer’s instructions to measure the MCF-7 cells’ viability, cytotoxicity and apoptosis. We observed a decrease in cells proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. An increase in cytotoxicity and decrease in viability in the ApoTox Triplex assay was also showed for all tested compounds. Apoptosis, showed as caspase 3/7 activation, was observed only in Dox treatment. In Dox-Zn and Dox-Cu caspase 3/7 activation was not observed. This work was financially supported by National Science Centre, Poland, under the research project number 2014/13/B/NZ7/02 352.

Keywords: anticancer properties, anthracycline antibiotic, doxorubicine, metal complexes

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6 Social Business Model: Leveraging Business and Social Value of Social Enterprises

Authors: Miriam Borchardt, Agata M. Ritter, Macaliston G. da Silva, Mauricio N. de Carvalho, Giancarlo M. Pereira


This paper aims to analyze the barriers faced by social enterprises and based on that to propose a social business model framework that helps them to leverage their businesses and the social value delivered. A business model for social enterprises should amplify the value perception including social value for the beneficiaries while generating enough profit to escalate the business. Most of the social value beneficiaries are people from the base of the economic pyramid (BOP) or the ones that have specific needs. Because of this, products and services should be affordable to consumers while solving social needs of the beneficiaries. Developing products and services with social value require tie relationship among the social enterprises and universities, public institutions, accelerators, and investors. Despite being focused on social value and contributing to the beneficiaries’ quality of life as well as contributing to the governments that cannot properly guarantee public services and infrastructure to the BOP, many barriers are faced by the social enterprises to escalate their businesses. This is a work in process and five micro- and small-sized social enterprises in Brazil have been studied: (i) one has developed a kit for cervical uterine cancer detection to allow the BOP women to collect their own material and deliver to a laboratory for U$1,00; (ii) other has developed special products without lactose and it is about 70% cheaper than the traditional brands in the market; (iii) the third has developed prosthesis and orthosis to surplus needs that health public system have not done efficiently; (iv) the fourth has produced and commercialized menstrual panties aiming to reduce the consumption of dischargeable ones while saving money to the consumers; (v) the fifth develops and commercializes clothes from fabric wastes in a partnership with BOP artisans. The preliminary results indicate that the main barriers are related to the public system to recognize these products as public money that could be saved if they bought products from these enterprises instead of the multinational pharmaceutical companies, to the traditional distribution system (e.g. pharmacies) that avoid these products because of the low or non-existing profit, to the difficulty buying raw material in small quantities, to leverage investment by the investors, to cultural barriers and taboos. Interesting strategies to reduce the costs have been observed: some enterprises have focused on simplifying products, others have invested in partnerships with local producers and have developed their machines focusing on process efficiency to leverage investment by the investors.

Keywords: base of the pyramid, business model, social business, social business model, social enterprises

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5 The Employment Experiences of Qualified Refugees in the UK and the Impact on Identity, Integration, and Wellbeing: A Qualitative Enquiry

Authors: Amina El-Warari, Agata Vitale, Laura Caulfield, Jennifer Kinloch


Background: Unemployment levels among refugees in the UK are much higher than voluntary migrants and UK-born citizens. The lack of employment and/or of suitable employment has detrimental consequences on refugees’ ability to integrate and become active citizens in the host country. Research indicates that, when individuals are forced to migrate, one of the most significant aspects to building their identity is their previous profession; this particularly applies to qualified refugees. Despite this, there is little support available to them. The current study is set in this context and aims to explore highly qualified refugees’ employment-related experiences in the UK as well as their suggestions on how to develop specific interventions that can support them in finding suitable employment. Methods: A qualitative study design was employed. Qualitative methods are in fact well suited to research with refugees, as they allow them to give their direct opinion, rather than this being filtered by stakeholders. Listening to ‘the refugee’s voice’ means developing ‘a refugee centered perspective’ where the diverse narratives told by participants are organized to tell their direct collective story. A total of 12 refugees, attending a non-profit refugee organization in the south-west of England, took part in the study. The selection criteria were being over 18, having a level of English that allows them to sustain a conversation, and having a University degree and/or professional qualification. All participants were interviewed individually; the data were transcribed and analyzed thematically. Findings: Participants had very little support in finding suitable employment; this often only consisted of a few sessions in their local job centers and English tutorials. They indicated that being unemployed/underemployed negatively affected their sense of identity, their acculturative stress, and their in-group/ out-group relations. They suggested that specific employment interventions for qualified refugees should be delivered to them individually in order to address their specific needs. Furthermore, most participants suggested that these interventions should support them in volunteering in organizations that match their skills/ qualifications. They also indicated that the employment interventions should support them in having their qualifications recognized in the UK as well as building links with universities/ centers where they can receive adequate training on how to understand and adapt to the employments needs in the UK. Conclusions: These findings will provide the basis for the second stage of the research where specific employment interventions will be designed and tested with highly qualified refugees. In addition, these findings shed light refugee integration policy.

Keywords: employment interventions, identity, integration, qualified refugees

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4 Spectroscopic (Ir, Raman, Uv-Vis) and Biological Study of Copper and Zinc Complexes and Sodium Salt with Cichoric Acid

Authors: Renata Swislocka, Grzegorz Swiderski, Agata Jablonska-Trypuc, Wlodzimierz Lewandowski


Forming a complex of a phenolic compound with a metal not only alters the physicochemical properties of the ligand (including increase in stability or changes in lipophilicity), but also its biological activity, including antioxidant, antimicrobial and many others. As part of our previous projects, we examined the physicochemical and antimicrobial properties of phenolic acids and their complexes with metals naturally occurring in foods. Previously we studied the complexes of manganese(II), copper(II), cadmium(II) and alkali metals with ferulic, caffeic and p-coumaric acids. In the framework of this study, the physicochemical and biological properties of cicoric acid, its sodium salt, and complexes with copper and zinc were investigated. Cichoric acid is a derivative of both caffeic acid and tartaric acid. It has first been isolated from Cichorium intybus (chicory) but also it occurs in significant amounts in Echinacea, particularly E. purpurea, dandelion leaves, basil, lemon balm and in aquatic plants, including algae and sea grasses. For the study of spectroscopic and biological properties of cicoric acid, its sodium salt, and complexes with zinc and copper a variety of methods were used. Studies of antioxidant properties were carried out in relation to selected stable radicals (method of reduction of DPPH and reduction of FRAP). As a result, the structure and spectroscopic properties of cicoric acid and its complexes with selected metals in the solid state and in the solutions were defined. The IR and Raman spectra of cicoric acid displayed a number of bands that were derived from vibrations of caffeic and tartaric acids moieties. At 1746 and 1716 cm-1 the bands assigned to the vibrations of the carbonyl group of tartaric acid occurred. In the spectra of metal complexes with cichoric these bands disappeared what indicated that metal ion was coordinated by the carboxylic groups of tartaric acid. In the spectra of the sodium salt, a characteristic wide-band vibrations of carboxylate anion occurred. In the spectra of cicoric acid and its salt and complexes, a number of bands derived from the vibrations of the aromatic ring (caffeic acid) were assigned. Upon metal-ligand attachment, the changes in the values of the wavenumbers of these bands occurred. The impact of metals on the antioxidant properties of cicoric acid was also examined. Cichoric acid has a high antioxidant potential. Complexation by metals (zinc, copper) did not significantly affect its antioxidant capacity. The work was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland (grant no. 2015/17/B/NZ9/03581).

Keywords: chicoric acid, metal complexes, natural antioxidant, phenolic acids

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3 Halloysite Based Adsorbents for Removing Pollutants from Water Reservoirs

Authors: Agata Chelminska, Joanna Goscianska


The rapid growth of the world’s population and the resulting economic development have had an enormous influence on the environment. Multiple industrial processes generate huge amounts of wastewater containing dangerous substances, most of which are discharged into water bodies. These contaminants include pharmaceuticals and synthetic dyes. Regardless of the presence of wastewater treatment plants, a lot of pollutants cannot be easily eliminated by well-known technologies. Hence, more effective methods of removing resistant chemicals are being developed. Due to cost-effectiveness as well as the availability of a wide range of adsorbents, a large interest in the adsorption process as an alternative way of water purification has been observed. Clay minerals, e.g., halloysite, are one of the most researched natural adsorbents because of their availability, non-toxicity, high specific surface area, porosity, layered structure, and low cost. The negatively charged surface makes them ideal for binding cations and organic compounds. Halloysite can be subjected to modifications which enhance its adsorptive properties. The aim of the presented research was to apply pure and modified halloysite in removing particular pollutants (tetracycline, tartrazine, and phosphates) from aqueous solutions. Halloysite was modified with alcoholic and aqueous solutions of hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and urea in different concentrations and subsequently impregnated with lanthanum(III) chloride. Acidic and basic oxygen groups located on the surface of all materials were determined. Moreover, the adsorbents obtained were characterized by X-ray diffraction, low-temperature nitrogen adsorption, scanning, and transmission electron microscopy. The effectiveness of samples in tetracycline, tartrazine, and phosphates adsorption from the liquid phase was then studied in order to determine their potential application in eliminating contaminants from water reservoirs. Modifiers’ employment enabled obtaining materials that possess better adsorption properties, which makes them useful for removing various pollutants from water. Modifying the pure halloysite with CTAB and urea solutions and impregnating LaCl₃ led to the formation of acidic and basic oxygen functional groups on the surface. Their amount increases with an increasing percentage of lanthanum content. The acid-base properties of materials, as well as the type of functional groups that appear on their surface, have a significant influence on their sorption capacities towards antibiotics, dyes, and phosphate(V) anions. The selected contaminants adsorb onto the halloysite studied following the Langmuir type isotherm. The thermodynamic study indicated that the adsorption was a spontaneous and exothermic process. The adsorption equilibrium was rapidly attained after 120 min of contact time. Research showed that synthesized materials based on halloysite may be applied as adsorbents for antibiotics, organic dyes, and PO₄³- ions which are difficult to eliminate.

Keywords: adsorption processes, halloysite, minerals, water reservoirs pollutants

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2 Technology for Biogas Upgrading with Immobilized Algae Biomass

Authors: Marcin Debowski, Marcin Zielinski, Miroslaw Krzemieniewski, Agata Glowacka-Gil, Paulina Rusanowska, Magdalena Zielinska, Agnieszka Cydzik-Kwiatkowska


Technologies of biogas upgrading are now perceived as competitive solution combustion and production of electricity and heat. Biomethane production will ensure broader application as energy carrier than biogas. Biomethane can be used as fuel in internal combustion engines or introduced into the natural gas transmission network. Therefore, there is a need to search for innovative, economically and technically justified methods for biogas enrichment. The aim of this paper is to present a technology solution for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass. Reactor for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass can be used for removing CO₂ from the biogas, flue gases and the waste gases especially coming from different industry sectors, e.g. from the food industry from yeast production process, biogas production systems, liquid and gaseous fuels combustion systems, hydrocarbon processing technology. The basis for the technological assumptions of presented technology were laboratory works and analyses that tested technological variants of biogas upgrading. The enrichment of biogas with a methane content of 90-97% pointed to technological assumptions for installation on a technical scale. Reactor for biogas upgrading with algae biomass is characterized by a significantly lower cubature in relation to the currently used solutions which use CO₂ removal processes. The invention, by its structure, assumes achieving a very high concentration of biomass of algae through its immobilization in capsules. This eliminates the phenomenon of lowering the pH value, i.e. acidification of the environment in which algae grow, resulting from the introduction of waste gases at a high CO₂ concentration. The system for introducing light into algae capsules is characterized by a higher degree of its use, due to lower losses resulting from the phenomenon of absorption of light energy by water. The light from the light source is continuously supplied to the formed biomass of algae or cyanobacteria in capsules by the light tubes. The light source may be sunlight or a light generator of a different wavelength of light from 300 nm to 800 nm. A portion of gas containing CO₂, accumulated in the tank and conveyed by the pump is periodically introduced into the housing of the photobioreactor tank. When conveying the gas that contains CO₂, it penetrates the algal biomass in capsules through the outer envelope, displacing, from the algal biomass, gaseous metabolic products which are discharged by the outlet duct for gases. It contributes to eliminating the negative impact of this factor on CO₂ binding processes. As a result of the cyclic dosing of gases containing carbon dioxide, gaseous metabolic products of algae are displaced and removed outside the technological system. Technology for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass is suitable for the small biogas plant. The advantages of this technology are high efficiency as well as useful algae biomass which can be used mainly as animal feed, fertilizers and in the power industry. The construction of the device allows effective removal of carbon dioxide from gases at a high CO₂ concentration.

Keywords: biogas, carbon dioxide, immobilised biomass, microalgae, upgrading

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1 Anesthesia for Spinal Stabilization Using Neuromuscular Blocking Agents in Dog: Case Report

Authors: Agata Migdalska, Joanna Berczynska, Ewa Bieniek, Jacek Sterna


Muscle relaxation is considered important during general anesthesia for spine stabilization. In a presented case peripherally acting muscle relaxant was applied during general anesthesia for spine stabilization surgery. The patient was a dog, 11-years old, 26 kg, male, mix breed. Spine fracture was situated between Th13-L1-L2, probably due to the car accident. Preanesthetic physical examination revealed no sign underlying health issues. The dog was premedicated with midazolam 0.2 mg IM and butorphanol 2.4 mg IM. General anesthesia was induced with propofol IV. After the induction, the dog was intubated with an endotracheal tube and connected to an open-ended rebreathing system and maintained with the use of inhalation anesthesia with isoflurane in oxygen. 0,5 mg/ kg of rocuronium was given IV. Use of muscle relaxant was accompanied by an assessment of the degree of neuromuscular blockade by peripheral nerve stimulator. Electrodes were attached to the skin overlying at the peroneal nerve at the lateral cranial tibia. Four electrical pulses were applied to the nerve over a 2 second period. When satisfying nerve block was detected dog was prepared for the surgery. No further monitoring of the effectiveness of blockade was performed during surgery. Mechanical ventilation was kept during anesthesia. During surgery dog maintain stable, and no anesthesiological complication occur. Intraoperatively surgeon claimed that neuromuscular blockade results in a better approach to the spine and easier muscle manipulation which was helpful in order to see the fracture and replace bone fragments. Finally, euthanasia was performed intraoperatively as a result of vast myelomalacia process of the spinal cord. This prevented examination of the recovering process. Neuromuscular blocking agents act at the neuromuscular junction to provide profound muscle relaxation throughout the body. Muscle blocking agents are neither anesthetic nor analgesic; therefore inappropriately used may cause paralysis in fully conscious and feeling pain patient. They cause paralysis of all skeletal muscles, also diaphragm and intercostal muscles when given in higher doses. Intraoperative management includes maintaining stable physiological conditions, which involves adjusting hemodynamic parameters, ensuring proper ventilation, avoiding variations in temperature, maintain normal blood flow to promote proper oxygen exchange. Neuromuscular blocking agent can cause many side effects like residual paralysis, anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reactions, delayed recovery from anesthesia, histamine release, recurarization. Therefore reverse drug like neostigmine (with glikopyrolat) or edrofonium (with atropine) should be used in case of a life-threatening situation. Another useful drug is sugammadex, although the cost of this drug strongly limits its use. Muscle relaxant improves surgical conditions during spinal surgery, especially in heavily muscled individuals. They are also used to facilitate the replacement of dislocated joints as they improve conditions during fracture reduction. It is important to emphasize that in a patient with muscle weakness neuromuscular blocking agents may result in intraoperative and early postoperative cardiovascular and respiratory complications, as well as prolonged recovery from anesthesia. This should not appear in patients with recent spine fracture or luxation. Therefore it is believed that neuromuscular blockers could be useful during spine stabilization procedures.

Keywords: anesthesia, dog, neuromuscular block, spine surgery

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