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Open access

Peter M. Eze, Dominic O. Abonyi, Chika C. Abba, Peter Proksch, Festus B. C. Okoye and Charles O. Esimone

Abstract

Fungi remain a promising source of novel biologically active compounds with potentials in drug discovery and development. This study was aimed at investigating the secondary metabolites from endophytic Fusarium equiseti and Epicoccum sorghinum associated with leaves of Carica papaya collected from Agulu, Anambra State, Nigeria. Isolation of the endophytic fungi, taxonomic identification, fermentation, extraction and isolation of fungal secondary metabolites were carried out using standard procedures. Chromatographic separation and spectroscopic analyses of the fungal secondary metabolites yielded three toxigenic compounds - equisetin and its epimer 5’- epiequisetin from F. equiseti, and tenuazonic acid from E. sorghinum. These compounds are known to possess several beneficial biological properties that can be explored for pharmaceutical, agricultural or industrial purposes.

Open access

Mara Georgescu, Ștefania Mariana Raita and Dana Tăpăloagă

Abstract

Various antimicrobial solutions have been tested as additives for raw milk traditional cheeses, among which Nigella sativa cold pressed seed oil (NSSO) is recognized for its positive effect on the microbial quality of such products. The overall effect on the quality of enriched cheeses during ripening is still under extensive investigation. Three batches of traditional raw milk brined cheese were included in the current experiment: control cheese without Nigella sativa seed oil (NSSO) and cheese samples enriched with 0.2 and 1% w/w NSSO. Experimental cheese samples were analyzed in duplicates for total nitrogen content (TN), at 0, 14, 28 and 42 days of ripening, while single determinations of total nitrogen (WSN) and free amino acids (FAA) were performed at 14, 28 and 42 ripening days. The TN content revealed similar values for control cheeses and NSSO cheeses, and no significant differences were noticed within the three treatment groups (p >.05) throughout ripening. WSN values followed a significant rising shift in all cheeses during ripening, yet computing data obtained for the three considered treatments, despite an obvious higher WSN content of NSSO enriched cheeses, no statistical significance could be associated to this difference. The FAA composition of the experimental cheeses, varied quantitatively, by increasing with ripening time, but no qualitative variation was noticed during the follow-up period. The FAA composition of the did not vary significantly within treatments.

Open access

Rosa Dorta-Vásquez, Oscar Valbuena and Domenico Pavone-Maniscalco

Abstract

Paper production generates large quantities of a solid waste known as papermaking sludge (PS), which needs to be handled properly for final disposal. The high amount of this byproduct creates expensive economical costs and induces environmental and ecological risks. Therefore, it is necessary to search uses for PS, in order to reduce the negative environmental impact and to generate a more valuable byproduct. Due to the cellulolytic composition of PS, this work evaluated a solid state fermentation process using it as substrate to obtain spores of the fungus Trichoderma asperellum. Optimal conditions to obtain T. asperellum spores were: 60% water content, 3% (w/w) salts (Nutrisol P® and Nutrisol K®), inoculum concentration at 1x105 spores/g, and pasteurized or sterilized PS. Under these conditions it was possible to obtain 2.37x109 spores/g. T. asperellum spores applied directly to pepper (Capsicum anuum) seeds without PS increased significantly seedling dry mass in greenhouse assays. This work suggests an alternative, economic and abundant substrate for production of T. asperellum spores.

Open access

Benoit Fatou, Michel Salzet and Isabelle Fournier

Abstract

We previously demonstrated that remote infrared Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization technology (Spidermass) using endogenous water as matrix (or so called water assisted laser desorption/ionization) was enabling real-time in vitro and in vivo analysis of clinical pathological tissues. In the present work, Spidermass was used to biotype human pathogens either from liquid bacteria growth in time course, from petri dish or on smears. Reproducibility experiments as well as bacteria dispersion and lipids identifications with SpiderMass in MS/MS mode were undertaken. The whole of the data establish that SpiderMass instrument allows real time bacteria biotyping and can be useful in clinic for pathogen identification.

Open access

Munis Dundar, Satya Prakash, Ratnesh Lal and Donald K. Martin

Abstract

The field of biotechnology is large and could be considered tritely as simply the development of technology that is based on biology. It is clear that the concepts of biotechnology can spread to cover many different fields of application and so the future developments in biotechnology will be similarly wide-ranging across many fields of applications. Here we focus onto medical biotechnology and further refine our discussion onto considering aspects of genetics and nanotechnologies that could impact on the development of future biotechnologies in the medical field. These areas that we consider in this brief article provide the basis for a panel discussion on Future Biotechnology at the European Biotechnology Congress held in Valencia, Spain in April 2019.

Open access

Martin Koller, Paula Hesse and Gerhart Braunegg

Abstract

Polyhydroxyalkanoates, microbial polyesters produced in vivo starting from renewable resources, are considered the future materials of choice to compete recalcitrant petro-chemical plastic on the polymer market. In order to make polyhydroxyalkanoates market-fit, (techno)economics of their production need to be improved. Among the multifarious factors affecting costs of polyhydroxyalkanoate production, increased volumetric productivity is of utmost importance. Improving microbial growth kinetics and increasing cell density are strategies leading to a high concentration of catalytically active biomass within a short time; after changing cultivation conditions, these cells can accumulate polyhydroxyalkanoates as intracellular products. The resulting increase of volumetric productivity for polyhydroxyalkanoates can be realized by supplying complex nitrogen sources to growing microbial cultures. In the present study, the impact of different expensive and inexpensive complex nitrogen sources, in particular whey retentate, on the growth and specific growth rates of Hydrogenophaga pseudoflava was tested.

Based on a detailed kinetic process analysis, the study demonstrates that especially whole (not hydrolyzed) whey retentate, an amply available surplus material from dairy industry, displays positive effects on cultivations of H. pseudoflava in defined media (increase of concentration of catalytically active biomass after 26.25 h of cultivation by about 50%, increase of specific growth rate μ from 0.28 to 0.41 1/h during exponential growth), while inhibiting effects (inhibition constant K i = 6.1 g/L) of acidically hydrolyzed whey retentate need to be overcome. Considering the huge amounts of surplus whey accruing especially in Europe, the combined utilization of whey permeate (carbon source) and whey retentate (complex nitrogen source) for biopolyester production can be considered a viable bioeconomic strategy for the next future.

Open access

Samuel O. Onoja, Glory C. Onyebuchi, Ifeoma I. Ijeh and Maxwell I. Ezeja

Abstract

This study evaluate the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of Helianthus annuus Linn. in rats. Methanol extract of Helianthus annuus (HAE) leaf was used in this study. Formalin- and egg-albumin induced-paw edema were used to investigate the anti-inflammatory activities while acetic acid-induced writhing reflex and tail flick models were used to evaluate the analgesic properties. The doses of HAE used were 150, 300 and 600 mg/kg. Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) was used as reference drug in the anti-inflammatory and writhing reflex models while pentazocine (reference drug) was used in tail flick model. The negative control was dosed 5% tween-20 (10 ml/kg). The HAE exhibited significant (P < 0.05) dose-dependent anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. At 3 hour (h) post treatment, the HAE (300 mg/kg) produced 33.33% and 32.94% while ASA produced 36.36% and 35.29% reduction in paw volume in the formalin and egg-albumin induced paw edema models respectively when compared with negative control. In the acetic acid-induced writhing reflex, ASA and HAE (600 mg/kg) produced 67.89% and 35.78% reduction in the number of writhing, respectively when compared with the negative control. Pentazocine and HAE (300 mg/kg) caused 67.62% and 35.24% increase in pain reaction time when compared with the negative control. The study affirms the folkloric uses of Helianthus annuusin the management of pain and inflammation.

Open access

Mohamed Bencheikh, Abdelmajid Maghnouj, Jaouad Tajmouati and Abdessamad Didi

Abstract

This study aims to investigate and evaluate the secondary photons characterizations under flattening filter (FF) for high radiotherapy quality in terms of fluence, energy fluence, energy fluence distribution, spectral distribution and angular spread distribution of secondary photons, which are mainly coming from primary collimator originated in the whole Linac head. However, the flattening filter illuminates the photons of low energy. After this component, the secondary photons of low energy are coming from flattening filter and secondary collimators that contaminate the dosimetry for deep tumor treatment.

Fluence profile, energy profile and angular spread of secondary photons decreased with FF volume reduction percent but energy distribution and spectral distribution kept almost constant with FF volume reduction. The FF volume reduction allows reducing the secondary photons emergent from FF in number and in energy and it permits to increase the radiotherapy efficiency by decreasing the photons contamination when the cancer is treating.

Open access

Zeinab Fardi and Payvand Taherparvar

Abstract

Permanent and temporary implantation of I-125 brachytherapy sources has become an official method for the treatment of different cancers. In this technique, it is essential to determine dose distribution around the brachytherapy source to choose the optimal treatment plan. In this study, the dosimetric parameters for a new interstitial brachytherapy source I-125 (IrSeed-125) were calculated with GATE/GEANT4 Monte Carlo code. Dose rate constant, radial dose function and 2D anisotropy function were calculated inside a water phantom (based on the recommendations of TG-43U1 protocol), and inside several tissue phantoms around the IrSeed-125 capsule. Acquired results were compared with MCNP simulation and experimental data. The dose rate constant of IrSeed-125 in the water phantom was about 1.038 cGy·h−1U−1 that shows good consistency with the experimental data. The radial dose function at 0.5, 0.9, 1.8, 3 and 7 cm radial distances were obtained as 1.095, 1.019, 0.826, 0.605, and 0.188, respectively. The results of the IrSeed-125 is not only in good agreement with those calculated by other simulation with MCNP code but also are closer to the experimental results. Discrepancies in the estimation of dose around IrSeed-125 capsule in the muscle and fat tissue phantoms are greater than the breast and lung phantoms in comparison with the water phantom. Results show that GATE/GEANT4 Monte Carlo code produces accurate results for dosimetric parameters of the IrSeed-125 LDR brachytherapy source with choosing the appropriate physics list. There are some differences in the dose calculation in the tissue phantoms in comparison with water phantom, especially in long distances from the source center, which may cause errors in the estimation of dose around brachytherapy sources that are not taken account by the TG43-U1 formalism.

Open access

Ramaa Lingaiah, Md Abbas Ali, Ummay Kulsum, Muhtasim Aziz Muneem, Karthick Raj Mani, Sharif Ahmed, Md. Shakilur Rahman and M Salahuddin

Abstract

Aim: To estimate the Gross Tumor Volume (GTV) using different modes (axial, helical, slow, KV-CBCT & 4D-CT) of computed tomography (CT) in pulmonary tumors.

Materials & Methods: We have retrospectively included ten previously treated case of carcinoma of primary lung or metastatic lung using Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) in this study. All the patients underwent 4 modes of CT scan Axial, Helical, Slow & 4D-CT using GE discovery 16 Slice PET-CT scanner and daily KV-CBCT for the daily treatment verification. For standardization, all the patients underwent different modes of scan using 2.5 mm slice thickness, 16 detectors rows and field of view of 400mm. Slow CT was performed using axial mode scan by increasing the CT tube rotation time (typically 3 – 4 sec.) as per the breathing period of the patients. 4D-CT scans were performed and the entire respiratory cycle was divided into ten phases. Maximum Intensity Projections (MIP), Minimum Intensity Projections (MinIP) and Average Intensity Projections (AvIP) were derived from the 10 phases. GTV volumes were delineated for all the patients in all the scanning modes (GTVAX - Axial, GTVHL - Helical, GTVSL – Slow, GTVMIP -4DCT and GTVCB – KV-CBCT) in the Eclipse treatment planning system version 11.0 (M/S Varian Medical System, USA). GTV volumes were measured, documented and compared with the different modes of CT scans.

Results: The mean ± standard deviation (range) for MIP, slow, axial, helical & CBCT were 36.5 ± 40.5 (2.29 – 87.0), 35.38 ± 39.52 (2.1 – 82), 31.95 ± 37.29 (1.32 – 66.9), 28.98 ± 33.36 (1.01 – 65.9) & 37.16 ± 42.23 (2.29 – 92). Overall underestimation of helical scan and axial scan compared to MIP is 21% and 12.5%. CBCT and slow CT volume has a good correlation with the MIP volume.

Conclusion: For SBRT in lung tumors better to avoid axial and helical scan for target delineation. MIP is a still a golden standard for the ITV delineation, but in the absence of 4DCT scanner, Slow CT and KV-CBCT data may be considered for ITV delineation with caution.