• Biochemical liver function test in a transplant recipient: A case report

      Aslam, Fahim; Silmy, Shameemah (Acta Scientific, 2020-07-30)
      The percentage of liver transplantations over the last two decades has been on the rise across the world, nearly 33000 reported transplants took place in 2017 with an increase expected in the upcoming years. Majority of the recipients of liver transplant generally has liver cirrhosis caused by NAFLD/AFLD making them vulnerable to damage their other organs as well. In most cases the transplantation organ is donated by a blood relative within the family as most other donors have high chances of graft rejection. We report a case of liver cirrhosis patient with continuously liver function tests carried out for a period of three months, subsequently the patient was listed as one of the recipients for liver transplant as his biochemical parameters showed signs of liver failure progressing to severe state.
    • Biocompatible terpolyesters containing polyhydroxyalkanoate and sebacic acid structural segments - synthesis and characterization

      Kwiecien, Michal; Kwiecien, Iwona; Radecka, Iza; Kannappan, Vinodh; Morris, Mark R.; Adamus, Grazyna (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017-04-10)
      A convenient synthetic route of poly(3HB-co-3HH-co-SEB) terpolyesters has been reported. The developed protocol consists of two steps; poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHx) oligoesterdiols were synthesized via selective reduction of biopolyesters and then via their polycondensation with sebacoyl chloride the biodegradable terpolyesters, poly(3HB-co-3HH-co-SEB), were obtained. The structure of the obtained terpolyesters was established by NMR analysis supported by mass spectrometry. Modification of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) by incorporating units derived from sebacic acid into its chains resulted in terpolyesters with better physico-chemical properties than the starting PHBHx biopolyester. These new polyester materials have greater thermal stability than the starting biopolyester. Furthermore, the introduction of sebacic acid units to a polyester chain leads to the reduction of the glass transition temperatures of the materials and reduces the required processing temperature. A preliminary study confirmed that poly(3HB-co-3HH-co-SEB) terpolyesters can be used to create scaffolds for cell cultures in the form of a three-dimensional spatial structure. Moreover, a toxicity test of the obtained terpolyester carried out on human cells demonstrated that the novel terpolyester is not toxic to human cells in vitro.
    • Biodegradable PBAT/PLA blend with bioactive MCPA-PHBV conjugate suppresses weed growth

      Kwiecień, Iwona; Adamus, Grazyna; Jiang, Guozhan; Radecka, Iza; Baldwin, Timothy C.; Khan, Habib R.; Johnston, Brian; Pennetta, Valentina; Hill, David; Bretz, Inna; et al. (ACS Paragon Plus Environment, 2017-12-20)
      The herbicide 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) conjugated with poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) was prepared via a melt transesterification route. The resultant bioactive oligomer was then mixed with a blend of polylactide (PLA) and poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) with different loadings; to manufacture films to be used as a bioactive, biodegradable mulch to deliver the herbicide to target broadleaf weed species. The biological targeting of the MCPA-PHBV conjugate in the mulch film was investigated under glasshouse conditions using faba bean (Vicia faba) as a selective (non-target) model crop species having broadleaf morphology. The presence of the MCPA-PHBV conjugate in the biodegradable PBTA/PLA blend was shown to completely suppress the growth of broadleaf weed species, whilst displaying only a mild effect on the growth of the model crop. The degradation of the mulch film under glasshouse conditions was quite slow. The release of the MCPA-PHBV during this process was detected using NMR, GPC, EDS and DSC analyses, indicating that the majority of the MCPA diffused out after MCPA-PHBV conjugate bond scission. These data provide a strong “proof of concept” and show that this biodegradable, bioactive film is a good candidate for future field applications and may be of wide agricultural applicability.
    • Biological properties of low-toxicity PLGA and PLGA/PHB fibrous nanocomposite implants for osseous tissue regeneration. Part I: evaluation of potential biotoxicity

      Krucińska, Izabella; Żywicka, Bogusława; Komisarczyk, Agnieszka; Szymonowicz, Maria; Kowalska, Stanisława; Zaczyńska, Ewa; Struszczyk, Marcin; Czarny, Anna; Jadczyk, Piotr; Umińska-Wasiluk, Barbara; et al. (MDPI, 2017-11-29)
      In response to the demand for new implant materials characterized by high biocompatibility and bioresorption, two prototypes of fibrous nanocomposite implants for osseous tissue regeneration made of a newly developed blend of poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and syntheticpoly([R,S]-3-hydroxybutyrate), PLGA/PHB, have been developed and fabricated. Afibre-forming copolymer of glycolide and L-lactide (PLGA) was obtained by a unique method of synthesis carried out in blocksusing Zr(AcAc)4 as an initiator. The prototypes of the implants are composed of three layers of PLGA or PLGA/PHB, nonwoven fabrics with a pore structure designed to provide the best conditions for the cell proliferation. The bioactivity of the proposed implants has been imparted by introducing a hydroxyapatite material and IGF1, a growth factor. The developed prototypes of implants have been subjected to a set of in vitro and in vivobiocompatibility tests: in vitro cytotoxic effect, in vitro genotoxicity and systemic toxicity. Rabbitsshowed no signs of negative reactionafter implantation of the experimental implant prototypes.
    • Biomass extraction using non-chlorinated solvents for biocompatibility improvement of polyhydroxyalkanoates

      Jiang, Guozhan; Johnston, Brian; Townrow, David E; Radecka, Iza; Koller, Martin; Chaber, Pawel; Adamus, Grazyna; Kowalczuk, Marek (MDPI, 2018-07-03)
      An economically viable method to extract polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from cells is desirable for this biodegradable polymer of potential biomedical applications. In this work, two non-chlorinated solvents, cyclohexanone and -butyrolactone, were examined for extracting PHA produced by the bacterial strain Cupriavidus necator H16 cultivated on vegetable oil as a sole carbon source. The PHA produced was determined as a poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) homopolyester. The extraction kinetics of the two solvents was determined using gel permeation chromatography (GPC). When cyclohexanone was used as the extraction solvent at 120 C in 3 min, 95% of the PHB was recovered from the cells with a similar purity to that extracted using chloroform. With a decrease in temperature, the recovery yield decreased. At the same temperatures, the recovery yield of -butyrolactone was significantly lower. The effect of the two solvents on the quality of the extracted PHB was also examined using GPC and elemental analysis. The molar mass and dispersity of the obtained polymer were similar to that extracted using chloroform, while the nitrogen content of the PHB extracted using the two new solvents was slightly higher. In a nutshell, cyclohexanone in particular was identified as an expedient candidate to efficiently drive novel, sustainable PHA extraction processes.
    • Biomineralisation performance of bacteria isolated from a landfill in China

      Rajasekar, Adharsh; Wilkinson, Stephen; Sekar, Raju; Bridge, Jonathan; Medina-Roldán, Eduardo; K.S. Moy, Charles (2018-08-27)
      We report an investigation of microbially induced carbonate precipitation by seven indigenous bacteria isolated from a landfill in China. Bacterial strains were cultured in a medium supplemented with 25 mmol/L calcium chloride and 333 mmol/L urea. The experiments were carried out at 30 °C for 7 days with agitation by a shaking table at 130 r/min. Scanning electron microscopic and X-ray diffraction analyses showed variations in calcium carbonate polymorphs and mineral composition induced by all bacterial strains. The amount of carbonate precipitation was quantified by titration. The amount of carbonate precipitated in the medium varied among isolates, with the lowest being Bacillus aerius rawirorabr15 (LC092833) precipitating around 1.5 times more carbonate per unit volume than the abiotic (blank) solution. Pseudomonas nitroreducens szh_asesj15 (LC090854) was found to be the most efficient, precipitating 3.2 times more carbonate than the abiotic solution. Our results indicate that bacterial carbonate precipitation occurred through ureolysis and suggest that variations in carbonate crystal polymorphs and rates of precipitation were driven by strain-specific differences in urease expression and response to the alkaline environment. These results and the method applied provide benchmarking and screening data for assessing the bioremediation potential of indigenous bacteria for containment of contaminants in landfills.
    • Biomolecular interaction simulation of supramolecular topologies of organometallic assemblies of Bi(V) with antibiotic Tetracycline Amoxicillin drugs and their experimental activities evaluation

      Kumar, Rajiv; Gulia, Kiran; Chandra, Mina; Aggarwal, Anil K.; Kumar, Anil; Mittan, Sandeep; Mishra, Parashuram (Integrated Science, 2019-09-30)
      Antibiotic drugs i.e. tetracycline and amoxicillin, were used mixed ligands (ML), for designing, architecturing, tailoring and synthesis for synthesis of supramolecular topologies of organometallic assemblies of Bi(V), represented as OMCs‐Bi(V), having O5 set for bonding. Molecular models were proposed as a standard to judge specific interactions in topologies of molecules of ML and derived organometallic assemblies. In OMCs‐Bi(V), on chelation, polarity of Bi(V) get reduced to great extent due to overlap of ML orbital. As a result, delocalization of π‐electrons density clouds get spread over the surface of chelating ring and enhances penetration power of OMCs‐Bi(V) into lipid membranes. This influenced binding with enzyme sites in microorganisms. Some electron set for bonding groups present in ligands moieties display extensive biological activity that may be responsible for increase in hydrophobic character and liposolubility of supramolecular topologies of organometallic of assemblies; ultimately enhanced biological activity of OMCs‐Bi(V).
    • Bionic cartilage acellular matrix microspheres as scaffold for engineering cartilage

      Liu, Jun; Yu, Cheng; Lu, Gonggong; Tang, James Zhenggui; Wang, Yonghui; Zhang, Boqing; Sun, Yong; Lin, Hai; Wang, Qiguang; Liang, Jie; et al. (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018-12-12)
      Extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffolds made from decellularized natural cartilage have been successfully used in cartilage lesion repair, but allogeneic cartilage donors are always in shortage and xenogeneic cartilage tissues may have the risk of unknown disease transfer. In this study, we constructed artificial bionic cartilage microspheres by encapsulating MSCs in collagen microspheres and cultured in a chondrogenic-inducing medium. Then, acellular matrix microsphere (BCAMM) scaffolds were fabricated from the cultured microspheres at three different developmental stages. A novel technique was introduced to fabricate BCAMM scaffolds, which enabled the production and utilization of the scaffolds in a short time. Due to the differences in surface morphologies and biological compositions, the three BCAMM scaffolds showed different chondrogenic effects. The 10-day BCAMM (10-BCAMM) scaffold showed the best overall results, successfully inducing MSC chondrogenesis without any additional fetal bovine serum or induction components (TGF-β or dexamethasone). In comparison, the 5-day BCAMM (5-BCAMM) scaffold showed potential osteogenic effects. The advantages of micron-sized BCAMMs are outlined, specifically in the easier decellularization process without grinding, homogeneous cell seeding and infiltration, chondrogenic induction and better fitting to the irregular lesion shape.
    • Bioresorbable electrospun mats of poly(D, L)-lactide / poly[(R, S)-3-hydroxybutyrate] blends for potential use in the treatment of difficult-to-heal skin wounds

      Zięba, Magdalena; Włodarczyk, Jakub; Gupta, Abhishek; Pastusiak, Małgorzata; Chaber, Paweł; Janeczek, Henryk; Musioł, Marta; Sikorska, Wanda; Kaczmarczyk, Bożena; Radecka, Izabela; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-02-10)
      This study describes the preparation, physicochemical characterization and the biological studies of the polymeric delivery systems of proanthocyanidins (PCAN) extracted from Pelargonium sidoides for the potential use as wound dressings. In this study 20 wt% PCAN demonstrated good antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aures, a gram-positive wound pathogen. Poly(D,L-lactide) and atactic poly[(R,S)-3-hydroxybutyrate] biopolymers were used to construct biodegradable dressings. A series of polylactide/poly[(R,S)-3-hydroxybutyrate] (P(D,L)LA/a-PHB) blends, containing 10, 20, and 30 wt% of a-PHB were prepared and characterized by means of NMR, GPC, FT-IR, and DSC. Based on the findings, the P(D,L)LA/a-PHB [70/30 wt%] blend with the best thermomechanical properties (Tg value equal 37 °C) was chosen for the preparation of two kinds of electrospun mats, both with and without PCAN. About 50 % of PCAN was released from the tested mats during the first 10-12 days of incubation. The electrospun mats with elastic properties, ensuring compatibility with the wound topology, were obtained. The studies of hydrolytic degradation of the constructed mats allowed us to gain complete knowledge of their hydrolysis process, and examine the PCAN release profile as well as identify and characterize the molecular structure of the degradation products of the developed delivery system. Furthermore, preliminary cytotoxicity MTT tests (in vitro) results support the potential application of PCAN-loaded (P(D,L)LA/a-PHB) electrospun mats in wound dressings.
    • Biosorption of copper, nickel and cobalt ions from dilute solutions using BSA-coated air bubbles

      Nazari, Amir Mohammad; Cox, Phil; Waters, Kristian E. (Elsevier, 2014-09-29)
      This study probed the competitive biosorption behavior of a ternary system containing copper, nickel and cobalt ions using a novel material known as air-filled emulsion (AFE). AFE is a stable colloidal suspension in which fine protein-coated bubbles (<10 μm) generated by an ultrasonic technique are dispersed through the aqueous solution, introducing a high surface area between protein as an extractant and metal ions. Effect of different experimental conditions including metal solution pH, temperature, biomass dosage and metal ion concentration on metal ion uptake was investigated. It was observed that an increase in pH led to greater metal uptake; although, bovine serum albumin (BSA)-coated bubbles illustrated higher affinity for copper ions than for nickel and cobalt ions. Increasing the temperature up to 65 °C increased copper uptake to roughly 98%; however nickel and cobalt removal did not exhibit a significant change. BSAEM also demonstrated very different adsorption behaviors for copper, nickel and cobalt at various biomass and metal ion concentrations. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results revealed that amino, carboxylic and thiol groups of BSA-coated microcells are the active sorbing sites for metal ion uptake in the solution.
    • Biosynthetic interrelationships within polycyclic cembranoids isolated from corals: conjecture, biomimetic synthesis and reality

      Palframan, MJ; Pattenden, G (Wiley, 2019-11-29)
      © 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Macrocyclic furanobutenolide-based cembranoids are precursors to a wide variety of complex ring-fused diterpene structures in corals, implicating a wide variety of oxidation and photochemical processes, cyclisation and transannulation reactions, and skeletal rearrangements from a variety of reactive intermediates and pericyclic processes. This article gives an up to date personal perspective on the speculations that underpin these interesting biosynthetic interrelationships and summarises biomimetic synthesis and interconversions that would seem to vindicate some of these speculations.
    • Blockchain and IoMT against physical abuse: bullying in schools as a case study

      Ersotelos, Nikolaos; Bottarelli, Mirko; Al-Khateeb, Haider; Epiphaniou, Gregory; Alhaboby, Zhraa; Pillai, Prashant; Aggoun, Amar (MDPI AG, 2020-12-29)
      By law, schools are required to protect the well-being of students against problems such as on-campus bullying and physical abuse. In the UK, a report by the Office for Education (OfE) showed 17% of young people had been bullied during 2017–2018. This problem continues to prevail with consequences including depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and eating disorders. Additionally, recent evidence suggests this type of victimisation could intensify existing health complications. This study investigates the opportunities provided by Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) data towards next-generation safeguarding. A new model is developed based on blockchain technology to enable real-time intervention triggered by IoMT data that can be used to detect stressful events, e.g., when bullying takes place. The model utilises private permissioned blockchain to manage IoMT data to achieve quicker and better decision-making while revolutionising aspects related to compliance, double-entry, confidentiality, and privacy. The feasibility of the model and the interaction between the sensors and the blockchain was simulated. To facilitate a close approximation of an actual IoMT environment, we clustered and decomposed existing medical sensors to their attributes, including their function, for a variety of scenarios. Then, we demonstrated the performance and capabilities of the emulator under different loads of sensor-generated data. We argue to the suitability of this emulator for schools and medical centres to conduct feasibility studies to address sensor data with disruptive data processing and management technologies.
    • Bond performance of deep embedment FRP bars epoxy-bonded into concrete

      Caro, Manjola; Jemaa, Yaser; Dirar, Samir; Quinn, Andrew (Elsevier, 2017-08-07)
      With increasing numbers of strength-deficient concrete infrastructure assets, strengthening and repair of concrete structures is becoming an issue of international importance. This study examines the bond behaviour of deep embedment (DE) glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) and carbon FRP (CFRP) bars embedded into concrete prisms using an epoxy adhesive. The experimentally investigated parameters were the embedment length, FRP bar type and diameter, concrete compressive strength and hole diameter. The increase in embedded length enhanced the pull-out capacity for both GFRP and CFRP bar types. However, the bond strength and initial stiffness of the bond stress-slip curves decreased with the increase in embedded length. The specimens with DE CFRP bars had higher pull-out capacities and better bond performance than the corresponding specimens with DE GFRP bars. For the specimens with DE CFRP bars, the pull-out capacity increased with the increase in bar diameter and concrete strength but these two parameters did not affect the behaviour of the specimens with DE GFRP bars. The increase in hole diameter reduced the initial stiffness of the specimens with DE GFRP bars but affected neither the failure mode nor the failure loads. For the first time, this paper presents a mathematical model for predicting the bond strength of DE FRP bars. The mathematical model was validated against experimental results and demonstrated to produce accurate predictions. It is envisaged that both the mathematical model and the experimental results will contribute to the development of future design guidelines for DE concrete shear strengthening.
    • Bone mineral density in high-level endurance runners: part A—site-specific characteristics

      Herbert, AJ; Williams, AG; Lockey, SJ; Erskine, RM; Sale, C; Hennis, PJ; Day, SH; Stebbings, GK; School of Health Sciences, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK. adam.herbert@bcu.ac.uk. (Springer, 2021-09-12)
      Purpose: Physical activity, particularly mechanical loading that results in high-peak force and is multi-directional in nature, increases bone mineral density (BMD). In athletes such as endurance runners, this association is more complex due to other factors such as low energy availability and menstrual dysfunction. Moreover, many studies of athletes have used small sample sizes and/or athletes of varying abilities, making it difficult to compare BMD phenotypes between studies. Method: The primary aim of this study was to compare dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) derived bone phenotypes of high-level endurance runners (58 women and 45 men) to non-athletes (60 women and 52 men). Our secondary aim was to examine the influence of menstrual irregularities and sporting activity completed during childhood on these bone phenotypes. Results: Female runners had higher leg (4%) but not total body or lumbar spine BMD than female non-athletes. Male runners had lower lumbar spine (9%) but similar total and leg BMD compared to male non-athletes, suggesting that high levels of site-specific mechanical loading was advantageous for BMD in females only and a potential presence of reduced energy availability in males. Menstrual status in females and the number of sports completed in childhood in males and females had no influence on bone phenotypes within the runners. Conclusion: Given the large variability in BMD in runners and non-athletes, other factors such as variation in genetic make-up alongside mechanical loading probably influence BMD across the adult lifespan.
    • Bone mineral density in high-level endurance runners: Part B—genotype-dependent characteristics

      Herbert, AJ; Williams, AG; Lockey, SJ; Erskine, RM; Sale, C; Hennis, PJ; Day, SH; Stebbings, GK (Springer, 2021-09-22)
      Purpose: Inter-individual variability in bone mineral density (BMD) exists within and between endurance runners and non-athletes, probably in part due to differing genetic profiles. Certainty is lacking, however, regarding which genetic variants may contribute to BMD in endurance runners and if specific genotypes are sensitive to environmental factors, such as mechanical loading via training. Method: Ten single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified from previous genome-wide and/or candidate gene association studies that have a functional effect on bone physiology. The aims of this study were to investigate (1) associations between genotype at those 10 SNPs and bone phenotypes in high-level endurance runners, and (2) interactions between genotype and athlete status on bone phenotypes. Results: Female runners with P2RX7 rs3751143 AA genotype had 4% higher total-body BMD and 5% higher leg BMD than AC + CC genotypes. Male runners with WNT16 rs3801387 AA genotype had 14% lower lumbar spine BMD than AA genotype non-athletes, whilst AG + GG genotype runners also had 5% higher leg BMD than AG + GG genotype non-athletes. Conclusion: We report novel associations between P2RX7 rs3751143 genotype and BMD in female runners, whilst differences in BMD between male runners and non-athletes with the same WNT16 rs3801387 genotype existed, highlighting a potential genetic interaction with factors common in endurance runners, such as high levels of mechanical loading. These findings contribute to our knowledge of the genetic associations with BMD and improve our understanding of why some runners have lower BMD than others.
    • The Book of Snakes: A life-size guide to six hundred species from around the world (1st UK edition)

      O'Shea, Mark (Ivy Press, 2018-10-11)
      There are over 3,700 species of snake found on every continent except for Antarctica, ranging in size from Barbados’ tiny threadsnake to Southeast Asia’s massive reticulated python. More than any other creature snakes are surrounded by dark, compelling myths and legend, unsurprising since many constrict their prey to death, or kill with a venomous bite, using a diverse armory of venoms that affect the blood, tissues, organs, and respiration. However, it is especially true of snakes that the closer you observe them, the more exquisite they are in their intricate geometry of pattern, the fine texture of the overlapping scales, and the intricacies of their multifarious lifestyles. The Book of Snakes profiles 600 significant species from all 32 families—one in six of all known species—to create a beautiful collector’s piece that is both a significant resource for enthusiasts and scholars, and the most visually stimulating guide on the market.
    • Bothrochilus papuanus (Papuan Olive Python) Keratophagy

      O'Shea, Mark; Bigilale, Ilaiah (Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, 1991-06-01)
      Bothrochilus papuanus is now known to exhibit ophiophagic tendencies both in the wild (O'Shea 1988. Herp. Rev. 19(2):36) and in captivity (Boos 1983. ASRA Journal 2(1):28; B. W. Tryon, pers. comm.).
    • Branched polyurethanes based on synthetic polyhydroxybutyrate with tunable structure and properties

      Brzeska, Joanna; Elert, Anna; Morawska, Magda; Sikorska, Wanda; Rutkowska, Maria; Kowalczuk, Marek (MDPI, 2018-07-26)
      Branched, aliphatic polyurethanes (PURs) were synthesized and compared to linear analogues. The influence of polycaprolactonetriol and synthetic poly([R,S]-3-hydroxybutyrate) (R,S-PHB) in soft segments on structure, thermal and sorptive properties of PURs was determined. Using FTIR and Raman spectroscopies it was found that increasing the R,S-PHB amount in the structure of branched PURs reduced a tendency of urethane groups to hydrogen bonding. Melting enthalpies (on DSC thermograms) of both soft and hard segments of linear PURs were higher than branched PURs, suggesting that linear PURs were more crystalline. Oil sorption by samples of linear and branched PURs, containing only polycaprolactone chains in soft segments, was higher than in the case of samples with R,S-PHB in their structure. Branched PUR without R,S-PHB absorbed the highest amount of oil. Introducing R,S-PHB into the PUR structure increased water sorption. Thus, by operating the number of branching and the amount of poly([R,S]-3-hydroxybutyrate) in soft segments thermal and sorptive properties of aliphatic PURs could be controlled.