Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 692
Innovative Technologies for Extraction and Microencapsulation of Bioactives from Plant-Based Food Waste and Their Applications in Functional Food Development
The by-products generated from the processing of fruits and vegetables (F&V) largely are underutilized and discarded as organic waste. These organic wastes that include seeds, pulp, skin, rinds, etc., are potential sources of bioactive compounds that have health imparting benefits. The recovery of bioactive compounds from agro-waste by recycling them to generate functional food products is of increasing interest. However, the sensitivity of these compounds to external factors restricts their utility and bioavailability. In this regard, the current review analyses various emerging technologies for the extraction of bioactives from organic wastes. The review mainly aims to discuss the basic principle of extraction for extraction techniques viz. supercritical fluid extraction, subcritical water extraction, ultrasonic-assisted extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, and pulsed electric field extraction. It provides insights into the strengths of microencapsulation techniques adopted for protecting sensitive compounds. Additionally, it outlines the possible functional food products that could be developed by utilizing components of agricultural by-products. The valorization of wastes can be an effective driver for accomplishing food security goals.
The Importance of Extensional Rheology in Bolus Control during Swallowing
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-11-06)
Thickened fluids are commonly used in the medical management of individuals who suffer swallowing difficulty (known as dysphagia). Previous studies have shown that the rheological properties of a liquid affect the flow behavior of the bolus in swallowing, such as pharyngeal transit time. While there is no doubt that shear rheology is a highly important factor for bolus flow, it is suspected that extensional properties of a liquid bolus also plays an important role in swallowing, due to elongation of the bolus as it flows through the oropharynx. Our aim in this work was to observe the effect of extensional viscosity on pharyngeal transit time and elongation of the bolus during swallowing. Eight samples of thickened liquid barium that were shear-controlled, but varied in extensional viscosity and two samples that were extensional-controlled, but varied in shear viscosity were swallowed by eight healthy individuals. Data were collected under lateral view of videofluoroscopy swallow study (VFSS); measures of pharyngeal transit time and the ratio of the length to the width of the bolus on the frame of Upper Esophageal Sphincter (UES) opening were taken from the VFSS recordings. It was observed that the pharyngeal transit time generally increases when the fluids are thickened to higher IDDSI consistency. Additionally, higher extensional viscosity fluids reduced the elongation of the bolus during swallowing, thus potentially reducing the risk of post-swallow residue due to bolus breakage. This study confirmed the relevance of the extensional viscosity of the bolus in swallowing.
Lactic Acid and Salt Separation Using Membrane Technology
Acid whey is a by-product of cheese and yoghurt manufacture. The protein and lactose within acid whey can be recovered using nanofiltration and electrodialysis, but this leaves a waste stream that is a mixture of salts and lactic acid. To further add value to the acid whey treatment process, the possibility of recovering this lactic acid was investigated using either low energy reverse osmosis membranes or an electrodialysis process. Partial separation between lactic acid and potassium chloride was achieved at low applied pressures and feed pH in the reverse osmosis process, as a greater permeation of potassium chloride was observed under these conditions. Furthermore, lactic acid retention was enhanced by operating at lower temperature. Partial separation between lactic acid and potassium chloride was also achieved in the electrodialysis process. However, the observed losses in lactic acid increased with the addition of sodium chloride to the feed solution. This indicates that the separation becomes more challenging as the complexity of the feed solution increases. Neither process was able to achieve sufficient separation to avoid the use of further purification processes.
Rapid One-Step Selection Method for Generating Nucleic Acid Aptamers: Development of a DNA Aptamer against alpha-Bungarotoxin
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-07-30)
BACKGROUND: Nucleic acids based therapeutic approaches have gained significant interest in recent years towards the development of therapeutics against many diseases. Recently, research on aptamers led to the marketing of Macugen®, an inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) for the treatment of age related macular degeneration (AMD). Aptamer technology may prove useful as a therapeutic alternative against an array of human maladies. Considering the increased interest in aptamer technology globally that rival antibody mediated therapeutic approaches, a simplified selection, possibly in one-step, technique is required for developing aptamers in limited time period. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Herein, we present a simple one-step selection of DNA aptamers against α-bungarotoxin. A toxin immobilized glass coverslip was subjected to nucleic acid pool binding and extensive washing followed by PCR enrichment of the selected aptamers. One round of selection successfully identified a DNA aptamer sequence with a binding affinity of 7.58 µM. CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated a one-step method for rapid production of nucleic acid aptamers. Although the reported binding affinity is in the low micromolar range, we believe that this could be further improved by using larger targets, increasing the stringency of selection and also by combining a capillary electrophoresis separation prior to the one-step selection. Furthermore, the method presented here is a user-friendly, cheap and an easy way of deriving an aptamer unlike the time consuming conventional SELEX-based approach. The most important application of this method is that chemically-modified nucleic acid libraries can also be used for aptamer selection as it requires only one enzymatic step. This method could equally be suitable for developing RNA aptamers.
Highly NO2 sensitive caesium doped graphene oxide conductometric sensors
Here we report on the synthesis of caesium doped graphene oxide (GO-Cs) and its application to the development of a novel NO2 gas sensor. The GO, synthesized by oxidation of graphite through chemical treatment, was doped with Cs by thermal solid-state reaction. The samples, dispersed in DI water by sonication, have been drop-casted on standard interdigitated Pt electrodes. The response of both pristine and Cs doped GO to NO2 at room temperature is studied by varying the gas concentration. The developed GO-Cs sensor shows a higher response to NO2 than the pristine GO based sensor due to the oxygen functional groups. The detection limit measured with GO-Cs sensor is ≈90 ppb.
Facile and Scalable Synthesis of Robust Ni(OH)(2) Nanoplate Arrays on NiAl Foil as Hierarchical Active Scaffold for Highly Efficient Overall Water Splitting
Developing highly efficient low-cost electrocatalysts for both hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in alkaline electrolyte is essential to advance water electrolysis technology. Herein, Ni(OH)2 nanoplates aligned on NiAl foil (Ni(OH)2/NiAl) are developed by simply dealloying NiAl foil in KOH, which exhibits high electrocatalytic activity for OER with a small overpotential of 289 mV to achieve 10 mA cm-2 and outstanding durability with no detectable degradation during long-term operation. Furthermore, such Ni(OH)2/NiAl can effectively act as an active and robust hierarchical scaffold to simply electrodeposit other catalysts with intrinsically higher activity such as NiMo and NiFe nanoparticles for highly efficient HER and OER, respectively. The prepared NiFe/Ni(OH)2/NiAl displays superior OER catalytic activity with overpotentials of 246, 315, and 374 mV at 10, 100, and 500 mA cm-2, respectively. While NiMo/Ni(OH)2/NiAl catalyst exhibits remarkable HER performance with a small overpotential of 78 mV to deliver 10 mA cm-2. Consequently, the electrolysis device composed of the above two electrocatalysts demonstrates superb water splitting performance with a cell voltage of 1.59 V at 10 mA cm-2. These results open up opportunities to explore and optimize low-cost advanced catalysts for energy applications.
An Electrostatic Method for Manufacturing Liquid Marbles and Particle-Stabilized Aggregates
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2018-07-10)
We have developed a method for transferring particles from a powder bed to a liquid droplet using an electric field. This process has been used to create liquid marbles with characteristics not normally found in those formed by direct contact methods such as rolling. It has also been used to manufacture hydrophilic particle-liquid aggregates and more complex layered aggregates incorporating both hydrophobic and hydrophilic particles. This article briefly outlines the electrostatic aggregation method itself, the materials used and structures formed thus far, and explores the rich fundamental physics and chemistry underpinning the process as they are understood at present.
High Frequency Sonoprocessing: A New Field of Cavitation-Free Acoustic Materials Synthesis, Processing, and Manipulation.
Ultrasound constitutes a powerful means for materials processing. Similarly, a new field has emerged demonstrating the possibility for harnessing sound energy sources at considerably higher frequencies (10 MHz to 1 GHz) compared to conventional ultrasound (⩽3 MHz) for synthesizing and manipulating a variety of bulk, nanoscale, and biological materials. At these frequencies and the typical acoustic intensities employed, cavitation-which underpins most sonochemical or, more broadly, ultrasound-mediated processes-is largely absent, suggesting that altogether fundamentally different mechanisms are at play. Examples include the crystallization of novel morphologies or highly oriented structures; exfoliation of 2D quantum dots and nanosheets; polymer nanoparticle synthesis and encapsulation; and the possibility for manipulating the bandgap of 2D semiconducting materials or the lipid structure that makes up the cell membrane, the latter resulting in the ability to enhance intracellular molecular uptake. These fascinating examples reveal how the highly nonlinear electromechanical coupling associated with such high-frequency surface vibration gives rise to a variety of static and dynamic charge generation and transfer effects, in addition to molecular ordering, polarization, and assembly-remarkably, given the vast dimensional separation between the acoustic wavelength and characteristic molecular length scales, or between the MHz-order excitation frequencies and typical THz-order molecular vibration frequencies.
Demonstration of chemistry at a point through restructuring and catalytic activation at anchored nanoparticles
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2017-11-30)
Metal nanoparticles prepared by exsolution at the surface of perovskite oxides have been recently shown to enable new dimensions in catalysis and energy conversion and storage technologies owing to their socketed, well-anchored structure. Here we show that contrary to general belief, exsolved particles do not necessarily re-dissolve back into the underlying perovskite upon oxidation. Instead, they may remain pinned to their initial locations, allowing one to subject them to further chemical transformations to alter their composition, structure and functionality dramatically, while preserving their initial spatial arrangement. We refer to this concept as chemistry at a point and illustrate it by tracking individual nanoparticles throughout various chemical transformations. We demonstrate its remarkable practical utility by preparing a nanostructured earth abundant metal catalyst which rivals platinum on a weight basis over hundreds of hours of operation. Our concept enables the design of compositionally diverse confined oxide particles with superior stability and catalytic reactivity.
Multi-dimensional super-resolution imaging enables surface hydrophobicity mapping.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2016-12-08)
Super-resolution microscopy allows biological systems to be studied at the nanoscale, but has been restricted to providing only positional information. Here, we show that it is possible to perform multi-dimensional super-resolution imaging to determine both the position and the environmental properties of single-molecule fluorescent emitters. The method presented here exploits the solvatochromic and fluorogenic properties of nile red to extract both the emission spectrum and the position of each dye molecule simultaneously enabling mapping of the hydrophobicity of biological structures. We validated this by studying synthetic lipid vesicles of known composition. We then applied both to super-resolve the hydrophobicity of amyloid aggregates implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, and the hydrophobic changes in mammalian cell membranes. Our technique is easily implemented by inserting a transmission diffraction grating into the optical path of a localization-based super-resolution microscope, enabling all the information to be extracted simultaneously from a single image plane.