Publications by authors named "Sami Ullah"

141 Publications

Effect of dietary supplementation of lauric acid on growth performance, antioxidative capacity, intestinal development and gut microbiota on black sea bream (Acanthopagrus schlegelii).

PLoS One 2022 13;17(1):e0262427. Epub 2022 Jan 13.

College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

A feeding trial of eight weeks was conducted to examine the influence of food supplementation with lauric acid (LA) on Acanthopagrus schlegelii (juvenile black sea bream). A 24 percent fish meal baseline diet was created, while the other two diets were generated with dietary supplementation of graded points of LA at 0.1 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. Each diet was given a triplicate tank with 20 fish weighing 6.22 ± 0.19 g. In comparison with the control group, the weight gain rate, growth rate, as well as feed efficiency of fish fed of 0.1 percent diet of LA were considerably (P < 0.05) greater. The total body and dorsal muscle proximate compositions did not change significantly between groups (P > 0.05). Triglyceride (TG) content was considerably (P < 0.05) greater in the LA-supplemented meals eating group in comparison with the control group. In the group eating LA-supplemented meals, the height of villus and the number of goblet cells/villus were considerably (P < 0.05) larger. The microbial makeup of the gut was also studied. The differences in phyla, class, and family level were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Firmicutes in the phylum, Betaproteobacteri, Gammaproteobacteria, and Clostridia in the class, and Clostridiaceae in the family were all substantially increased with higher levels of LA supplementation (P < 0.05). According to the findings of this study, an LA-supplemented diet improves fish development, antioxidative capability, gut microbiota and intestinal health.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0262427PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8758039PMC
January 2022

Carboxymethyl cellulose coating delays ripening of harvested mango fruits by regulating softening enzymes activities.

Food Chem 2021 Dec 7:131804. Epub 2021 Dec 7.

Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800, Pakistan.

The effect of carboxymethyl cellulose [(1%) CMC] was evaluated on mango fruits under storage at 20 ± 1 °C for 20 days. The CMC coating noticeably reduced weight loss and disease incidence. Application of CMC delayed climacteric peak of ethylene and respiration rate with significantly reduced relative ion leakage, malondialdehyde, superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide content. The treated mangoes showed significantly lower L*, a*, b* and total carotenoids. The CMC treatment reduced the increase in cellulase, pectin methylesterase and polygalacturonase activity that delayed softening of mango fruits. In addition, activities of peroxidase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase and superoxide dismutase were substantially higher in CMC-treated mango fruits. The treated fruits showed significantly lower soluble solids and higher titratable acidity which thereby reduced the ripening index of mangoes. In conclusion, CMC treatment could be considered a potential pre-storage treatment to delay postharvest ripening and to conserve the eating quality of ambient stored mango fruits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.131804DOI Listing
December 2021

Modulation of drought adversities in Vicia faba by the application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and biochar.

Microsc Res Tech 2022 Jan 7. Epub 2022 Jan 7.

National Culture Collection of Pakistan, Bio-resources Conservation Institute (BCI), National Agriculture Research Center, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Drought is the greatest threat to world food security, seen as the catalyst for the great famines of the past. Given that the world's water supply is limited, it is likely that future demand of food for increasing population will further exacerbate the drought effects. Therefore, the present study was aimed to investigate the effect of biochar and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) Sphingobacterium pakistanensis (NCCP246) and Cellulomonas pakistanensis (NCCP11) on agronomic and physiological attributes of Vicia faba two varieties Desi (V1) and Pulista (V2) under induced drought stress. The seeds were sown in earthen pots filled with 3 kg sand and soil (1:2), and biochar (0 and 5% w/w) in triplicate arranged in complete randomized design. Analysis of biochar possessed 0.49 g cm bulk density, 9.6 pH; 5.4 cmol kg cation exchange capacity, 3.64% organic carbon and EC 6.7 ds/m. Agronomic attributes including seed LAI, LAR, SVI, %PHSI and RWC were improved by 30.4-180.4%, 14.37-47.20%, 37.64-50.91%, 18.21-30.80, and 35.82-54.34% in both varieties by the co-application of biochar and PGPR. Stomatal physiology and epidermal vigor was successfully improved by the application of PGPR and biochar as analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Photosynthetic pigments, flavonoids, phenols, proline and glycine betaine were amplified by 58.33-173.8%, 50.59-130.33%, 46.58-86.62%, 46.66-109.30%, 35.74-56.10%, and 21.96-77.22% in both varieties by the co-application of biochar and PGPR. So, the present work concluded that, combined application of biochar and PGPR could be an effective strategy to alleviate the adversities of drought in V. faba growing in drastic ecosystems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jemt.24047DOI Listing
January 2022

Selected Thiadiazine-Thione Derivatives Attenuate Neuroinflammation in Chronic Constriction Injury Induced Neuropathy.

Front Mol Neurosci 2021 16;14:728128. Epub 2021 Dec 16.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Neuropathic pain refers to a lesion or disease of peripheral and/or central somatosensory neurons and is an important body response to actual or potential nerve damage. We investigated the therapeutic potential of two thiadiazine-thione [TDT] derivatives, 2-(5-propyl-6-thioxo-1, 3, 5-thiadiazinan-3-yl) acetic acid [TDT1] and 2-(5-propyl-2-thioxo-1, 3, 5-thiadiazinan-3-yl) acetic acid [TDT2] against CCI (chronic constriction injury)-induced neuroinflammation and neuropathic pain. Mice were used for assessment of acute toxicity of TDT derivatives and no major toxic/bizarre responses were observed. Anti-inflammatory activity was assessed using the carrageenan test, and both TDT1 and TDT2 significantly reduced carrageenan-induced inflammation. We also used rats for the induction of CCI and performed allodynia and hyperalgesia-related behavioral tests followed by biochemical and morphological analysis using RT-qPCR, immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Our findings revealed that CCI induced clear-cut allodynia and hyperalgesia which was reversed by TDT1 and TDT2. To determine the function of TDT1 and TDT2 in glia-mediated neuroinflammation, Iba1 mRNA and protein levels were measured in spinal cord tissue sections from various experimental groups. Interestingly, TDT1 and TDT2 substantially reduced the mRNA expression and protein level of Iba1, implying that TDT1 and TDT2 may mitigate CCI-induced astrogliosis. molecular docking studies predicted that both compounds had an effective binding affinity for TNF-α and COX-2. The compounds interactions with the proteins were dominated by both hydrogen bonding and van der Waals interactions. Overall, these results suggest that TDT1 and TDT2 exert their neuroprotective and analgesic potentials by ameliorating CCI-induced allodynia, hyperalgesia, neuroinflammation and neuronal degeneration in a dose-dependent manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2021.728128DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8716630PMC
December 2021

Phytochemical Characterization and Evaluation of Biological Activities of Egyptian Carob Pods ( L.) Aqueous Extract: In Vitro Study.

Plants (Basel) 2021 Nov 29;10(12). Epub 2021 Nov 29.

Bio-Screening and Preclinical Trial Lab, Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21511, Egypt.

(Carob) is an evergreen Mediterranean tree, and carob pods are potentially nutritive and have medicinal value. The present study was carried out to estimate the possible biological activities of phytochemical-characterized carob pod aqueous extract (CPAE). The phytochemical contents of CPAE were determined by using colorimetric methods and HPLC. In addition, the free radical scavenging properties and anti-diabetic, anti-hemolytic, and antimicrobial activities were estimated by using standardized in vitro protocols. The phytochemical analysis revealed that CPAE was rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, and alkaloids, where it contained a significant amount of gallic acid, catechin, and protocatechuic acid. Furthermore, CPAE exhibited strong antioxidant activity where it prevented the formation of 2, 2-Diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazyl, hydroxyl, and nitric oxide free radicals. Additionally, it had a potent inhibitory effect against digestive enzymes (amylase, maltase, sucrase, and lactase). Moreover, CPAE exhibited anti-, anti-, anti-, and anti-herpes simplex type I virus (HSV-I). Finally, CPAE protected the erythrocyte membrane from hypotonic solution-induced hemolysis. Altogether, CPAE could be regarded as an interesting source of biologically active antioxidant, anti-diabetic, and antimicrobial preparation for a potential application in pharmaceutical and food supplement fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants10122626DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8706755PMC
November 2021

Green synthesized nano-cellulose polyethylene imine-based biological membrane.

Food Chem Toxicol 2021 Dec 23;160:112773. Epub 2021 Dec 23.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Jalan Broga, Semenyih, 43500, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Electronic address:

In hemodialysis process, membrane serves as a barrier between blood and the dialysate. The barrier when contacted by blood accompanied activation of coagulation, immunity, and cellular passageways. In the recent years, hemodialysis membrane's biocompatibility has become a issue which leads to reduce the performance during the separation process. In previous work, we developed and evaluated a cellulose-based membrane blended with polyaziridine or polyetyleneimine in formic acid for hydrophilicity, pure water flux, surface morphology, and permeation efficiency. Biocompatibility was accessed, by conducting cellular viability and cellular attachments tests. In this study, the membrane compared to a non-treated control, and cell viability revealed active and growing cell cultures after 14 days. During the cellular attachment experiment, cell cultures attached to the fabricated membrane simulated the formation of cell junctions, proving that the membrane is non-toxic and biocompatible. CA + PEI + FA membrane tested with a blood mimic fluid having density identical to renal patient's blood. The BSA concentration in the feed solution was the same as that in the blood of the renal patient. The results revealed that the CA + PEI + FA membrane was able to reject 99% bovine serum albumin (BSA) and 69.6% urea. Therefore, from biocompatibility and blood mimic fluid testing, it is confirmed that the CA + PEI + FA membrane is the finest implant for dialysis applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2021.112773DOI Listing
December 2021

Targeting Inflammasome Activation in COVID-19: Delivery of RNA Interference-Based Therapeutic Molecules.

Biomedicines 2021 Dec 3;9(12). Epub 2021 Dec 3.

Department of Health Technology and Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China.

Mortality and morbidity associated with COVID-19 continue to be significantly high worldwide, owing to the absence of effective treatment strategies. The emergence of different variants of SARS-CoV-2 is also a considerable source of concern and has led to challenges in the development of better prevention and treatment strategies, including vaccines. Immune dysregulation due to pro-inflammatory mediators has worsened the situation in COVID-19 patients. Inflammasomes play a critical role in modulating pro-inflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and their activation is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Numerous preclinical and clinical trials for COVID-19 treatment using different approaches are currently underway. Targeting different inflammasomes to reduce the cytokine storm, and its associated complications, in COVID-19 patients is a new area of research. Non-coding RNAs, targeting inflammasome activation, may serve as an effective treatment strategy. However, the efficacy of these therapeutic agents is highly dependent on the delivery system. MicroRNAs and long non-coding RNAs, in conjunction with an efficient delivery vehicle, present a potential strategy for regulating NLRP3 activity through various RNA interference (RNAi) mechanisms. In this regard, the use of nanomaterials and other vehicle types for the delivery of RNAi-based therapeutic molecules for COVID-19 may serve as a novel approach for enhancing drug efficacy. The present review briefly summarizes immune dysregulation and its consequences, the roles of different non-coding RNAs in regulating the NLRP3 inflammasome, distinct types of vectors for their delivery, and potential therapeutic targets of microRNA for treatment of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9121823DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8698532PMC
December 2021

Preparation and Characterization of Silymarin-Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles with Enhanced Anti-Fibrotic Therapeutic Effects against Hepatic Fibrosis in Rats: Role of MicroRNAs as Molecular Targets.

Biomedicines 2021 Nov 25;9(12). Epub 2021 Nov 25.

Department of Biochemistry, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21516, Egypt.

Background: The main obstacles of silymarin (SIL) application in liver diseases are its low bioavailability, elevated metabolism, rapid excretion in bile and urine, and inefficient intestinal resorption. The study aimed to synthesize and characterize silymarin-conjugated gold nanoparticles (SGNPs) formulation to improve SIL bioavailability and release for potentiating its antifibrotic action.

Methods: Both SGNPs and gold nanoparticles (GNPs) were prepared and characterized using standard characterization techniques. The improved formulation was assessed for in vitro drug release study and in vivo study on rats using CCl induced hepatic fibrosis model. SIL, SGNPs, and GNPs were administered by oral gavage daily for 30 days. At the end of the study, rats underwent anesthesia and were sacrificed, serum samples were collected for biochemical analysis. Liver tissues were collected to measure the genes and microRNAs (miRNAs) expressions. Also, histopathological and immunohistochemistry (IHC) examinations of hepatic tissues supported these results.

Results: The successful formation and conjugation of SGNPs were confirmed by measurements methods. The synthesized nanohybrid SGNPs showed significant antifibrotic therapeutic action against CCl-induced hepatic damage in rats, and preserved normal body weight, liver weight, liver index values, retained normal hepatic functions, lowered inflammatory markers, declined lipid peroxidation, and activated the antioxidant pathway nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (NRF2). The antifibrotic activities of SGNPs mediated through enhancing the hepatic expression of the protective miRNAs; miR-22, miR-29c, and miR-219a which results in suppressed expression of the main fibrosis mediators; TGFβR1, COL3A1, and TGFβR2, respectively. The histopathology and IHC analysis confirmed the anti-fibrotic effects of SGNPs.

Conclusions: The successful synthesis of SGNPs with sizes ranging from 16 up to 20 nm and entrapment efficiency and loading capacity 96% and 38.69%, respectively. In vivo studies revealed that the obtained nano-formulation of SIL boosted its anti-fibrotic effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9121767DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8698929PMC
November 2021

Psychological and Clinical Predictors of COVID-19 Severity and Outcomes.

Cureus 2021 Nov 10;13(11):e19458. Epub 2021 Nov 10.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, PAK.

Objective The present study aimed to assess the psychological and clinical determinants of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and their association with the disease severity and outcomes. Methods This prospective study was conducted at Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar-Pakistan. Admitted patients were screened for COVID-19 with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and subsequently, 250 COVID positive patients were included in the final analysis. Data were obtained from the patient's medical chart; demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded using a structured questionnaire. Psychological determinants, including anxiety and depression, were measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The predictors of disease severity and outcomes (recovery vs. mortality) were also studied. Results A total of 250 patients were included in this study; out of which, 193 patients recovered from this deadly virus and 57 died. Based on psychological assessment, 58.4% of the enrolled COVID-19 patients had poor HADS scores. Most of the patients who died (70.2%) had severe symptoms (poor HADS scores). Similarly, 49.6% of the total cases were observed with poor HADS, and 50.9% of those who died had severe depression. Conclusion It is concluded from the study results that psychological distress is frequent in COVID-19 patients. Age, hypertension, fatigue, abnormal respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, ferritin, and poor HADS sore were determined as the significant predictors of COVID-19 severity and outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.19458DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8654141PMC
November 2021

Clinical Investigation on the Impact of Cannabis Abuse on Thyroid Hormones and Associated Psychiatric Manifestations in the Male Population.

Front Psychiatry 2021 3;12:730388. Epub 2021 Dec 3.

Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, India.

Cannabis abuse is a common public health issue and may lead to considerable adverse effects. Along with other effects, the dependence on cannabis consumption is a serious problem which has significant consequences on biochemical and clinical symptoms. This study intends to evaluate the harmful effects of the use of cannabis on thyroid hormonal levels, cardiovascular indicators, and psychotic symptoms in the included patients. This prospective multicenter study was conducted on cannabis-dependent patients with psychotic symptoms ( = 40) vs. healthy control subjects ( = 40). All participants were evaluated for psychiatric, biochemical, and cardiovascular physiological effects. Patients were selected through Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV criteria and urine samples, exclusively for the evaluation of cannabis presence. Serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), T3, and T4 levels were measured using the immunoassay technique. Patients were assessed for severity of depressive, schizophrenic, and manic symptoms using international ranking scales. Various quantifiable factors were also measured for the development of tolerance by cannabis. Among the patients of cannabis abuse, 47.5% were found with schizophrenia, 20% with schizoaffective symptoms, 10% with manic symptoms, and 22.5% with both manic and psychotic symptoms. In the group-group and within-group statistical analysis, the results of thyroid hormones and cardiovascular parameters were non-significant. The psychiatric assessment has shown highly significant ( < 0.001) difference of positive, negative, general psychopathology, and total scores [through Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) rating scales] in patients vs. the healthy control subjects. The study revealed that cannabis abuse did not significantly alter thyroid hormones and cardiovascular parameters due to the development of tolerance. However, the cannabis abuse might have a significant contributing role in the positive, negative, and manic symptoms in different psychiatric disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.730388DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8678041PMC
December 2021

Using mathematical models to evaluate germination rate and seedlings length of chickpea seed (Cicer arietinum L.) to osmotic stress at cardinal temperatures.

PLoS One 2021 17;16(12):e0260990. Epub 2021 Dec 17.

Institute of Biotechnology and Microbiology, Bacha Khan University, Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Cicer arietinum is the 3rd most important cool season legume crop growing in vast arid and semi-arid regions of the world. A lab experiment was designed using hydrothermal time model (HTT) to investigate the chickpea seed germination (SG) behavior, cardinal temperatures and germination responses across fluctuating temperatures (Ts) and water potentials (Ψs). Seeds of chickpea var. NIFA 1995 were germinated at six constant Ts (7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42°C) each having the following five water potentials: 0, -0.2, -0.4-0.6 and -0.8 MPa. Germination percentage (G%) decreased significantly at (*P ≤ 0.05) from 86.7% at 28°C in -0.2 MPa to 10% in -0.2 MPa at 7°C. The germination rate (GR = 1/t50) against different T percentiles exhibited that linear increase was observed in the GR pattern above and below the To. Based on the confidence intervals of the model coefficients and (R2: 0.96), the average cardinal temperatures were 4.7, 23 and 44.2°C for the base (Tb), optimal (To) and ceiling (Tc) temperatures respectively. θT1 value was observed maximum at 28°C in -0.2 MPa and decreases with decreasing Ψ (-0.8 MPa). In comparison with control, the θT2 value was also highest in -0.2 MPa at 28°C. The thermal time (TT) concept is well fitted to germination fraction data in distilled water with an R2 value increasing 0.972. The hydro time constant (θH) increased with an increase in T to To and then decreased when T>To. The ѱb(50) irregularly varied with increasing T, σΨb was also recorded lowest (0.166 MPa) at 28°C and highest (0.457 MPa) at 7°C. Based on the statistical analysis, cardinal temperatures, hydrothermal time constant (θHTT) and germination findings the HTT gives an insight into the interactive effect of T and Ψ on seed germination time courses under varying environmental conditions.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0260990PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8683030PMC
January 2022

Future advances and challenges of nanomaterial-based technologies for electromagnetic interference-based technologies: A review.

Environ Res 2022 Apr 25;205:112402. Epub 2021 Nov 25.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham, Malaysia, 43500, Semenyih, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Electronic address:

The emerging growth of the electronic devices applications has arisen the serious problems of electromagnetic (EM) wave pollution which resulting in equipment malfunction. Therefore, polymer-based composites have been considered good candidates for better EMI shielding due to their significant characteristics including, higher flexibility, ultrathin, lightweight, superior conductivity, easy fabrication processing, environmentally friendly, corrosion resistive, better adhesion with physical, chemical and thermal stability. This review article focused on the concept of the EMI shielding mechanism and challenges with the fabrication of polymer-based composites. Subsequently, recent advancements in the polymer composites applications have been critically reviewed. In addition, the impact of polymers and polymer nanocomposites with different fillers such as organic, inorganic, 2D, 3D, mixture and hybrid nano-fillers on EMI shielding effectiveness has been explored. Lastly, future research directions have been proposed to overcome the limitations of current technologies for further advancement in EMI shielding materials for industrial applications. Based on reported literature, it has been found that the low thickness based lightweight polymer is considered as a best material for excellent material for next-generation electronic devices. Optimization of polymer composites during the fabrication is required for better EMI shielding. New nano-fillers such as functionalization and composite polymers are best to enhance the EMI shielding and conductive properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.112402DOI Listing
April 2022

Experimental Studies on the Impact of the Projected Ocean Acidification on Fish Survival, Health, Growth, and Meat Quality; Black Sea Bream (), Physiological and Histological Studies.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Oct 31;11(11). Epub 2021 Oct 31.

Ocean Academy, Zhejiang University, Zhoushan 316100, China.

Acidification (OA), a global threat to the world's oceans, is projected to significantly grow if CO continues to be emitted into the atmosphere at high levels. This will result in a slight decrease in pH. Since the latter is a logarithmic scale of acidity, the higher acidic seawater is expected to have a tremendous impact on marine living resources in the long-term. An 8-week laboratory experiment was designed to assess the impact of the projected pH in 2100 and beyond on fish survival, health, growth, and fish meat quality. Two projected scenarios were simulated with the control treatment, in triplicates. The control treatment had a pH of 8.10, corresponding to a pCO of 321.37 ± 11.48 µatm. The two projected scenarios, named Predict_A and Predict_B, had pH values of 7.80-pCO = 749.12 ± 27.03 and 7.40-pCO = 321.37 ± 11.48 µatm, respectively. The experiment was preceded by 2 weeks of acclimation. After the acclimation, 20 juvenile black sea breams () of 2.72 ± 0.01 g were used per tank. This species has been selected mainly due to its very high resistance to diseases and environmental changes, assuming that a weaker fish resistance will also be susceptibly affected. In all tanks, the fish were fed with the same commercial diet. The seawater's physicochemical parameters were measured daily. Fish samples were subjected to physiological, histological, and biochemical analyses. Fish growth, feeding efficiency, protein efficiency ratio, and crude protein content were significantly decreased with a lower pH. Scanning electron microscopy revealed multiple atrophies of microvilli throughout the small intestine's brush border in samples from Predict_A and Predict_B. This significantly reduced nutrient absorption, resulting in significantly lower feed efficiency, lower fish growth, and lower meat quality. As a result of an elevated pCO in seawater, the fish eat more than normal but grow less than normal. Liver observation showed blood congestion, hemorrhage, necrosis, vacuolation of hepatocytes, and an increased number of Kupffer cells, which characterize liver damage. Transmission electron microscopy revealed an elongated and angular shape of the mitochondrion in the liver cell, with an abundance of peroxisomes, symptomatic of metabolic acidosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11113119DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8614255PMC
October 2021

Physiological and biochemical responses of Brassica napus L. to drought-induced stress by the application of biochar and Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria.

Microsc Res Tech 2021 Nov 23. Epub 2021 Nov 23.

National Culture Collection of Pakistan, Bio-resources Conservation Institute (BCI), National Agriculture Research Center, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Climate change induces biotic and abiotic stress conditions, which badly affect the yield of crops with leading to the biochemical and physiological damages to plants. Biochar and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) alleviate the effect of drought condition therefore a field study was conducted to examine the single and combine application of drought tolerant Pseudomonas sp. and Staphylococcus sp. with biochar of Morus alba L. wood to mitigate the adverse effects of drought stress in two genotypes of Brassica napus L. including Punjab sarson and westar. Physioco-chemical analysis of biochar showed 5.4 cmol/kg cation exchange capacity, 6.9 ds/m electrical conductivity, pH of 9.6, 0.50 g/cm bulk density, and organic carbon 3.64%. Synergistic application of PGPR and biochar developed the plant antioxidant enzyme including catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and also enhanced the content of photosynthetic pigments like chlorophyll pigments, carotenoids content, and anthocyanin content. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) study revealed that biochar and PGPR improved epidermal vigor and stomatal physiology. Malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H O ), APX, and osmolyte content including proline increased in drought stress, which were then decreased by these growth promoters. These results are very important as they illustrate the potential of PGPR and biochar to alleviate the adverse consequences of drought stress and offer a way of increasing the tolerance of B. napus L. plant grown under induced drought stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jemt.23993DOI Listing
November 2021

A review on sensing and catalytic activity of nano-catalyst for synthesis of one-step ammonia and urea: Challenges and perspectives.

Chemosphere 2021 Nov 13:132806. Epub 2021 Nov 13.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham, Malaysia, Semenyih, 43500, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Electronic address:

One of the most significant chemical operations in the past century was the Haber-Bosch catalytic synthesis of ammonia, a fertilizer vital to human life. Many catalysts are developed for effective route of ammonia synthesis. The major challenges are to reduce temperature and pressure of process and to improve conversion of reactants produce green ammonia. The present review, briefly discusses the evolution of ammonia synthesis and current advances in nanocatalyst development. There are promising new ammonia synthesis catalysts of different morphology as well as magnetic nanoparticles and nanowires that could replace conventional Fused-Fe and Promoted-Ru catalysts in existing ammonia synthesis plants. These magnetic nanocatalyst could be basis for the production of magnetically induced one-step green ammonia and urea synthesis processes in future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.132806DOI Listing
November 2021

Modulating response of Zea mays to induced salinity stress through application of nitrate mediated silver nanoparticles and indole acetic acid.

Microsc Res Tech 2021 Nov 14. Epub 2021 Nov 14.

Plant Physiology Lab., Department of Botany, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Nanotechnology has been amplified in different areas of science as well as agriculture in the present era. So, the present work was designed to evaluate the result of nitrate mediated silver nanoparticles (Nit-AgNPs) and indole acetic acid (IAA) on physio-biochemical features of the selected maize variety (Pahari white) under 40 and 80 mM salinity induction. Seeds were propagated in triplicates in earthen pots (18 cm inferior and superior inside diameter, 20 cm stature, and 2 cm breadth) filled with silt and soil (1:2) having 3.09-5.12 Electrical conductivity (EC), 6.8-7.3 pH, and 4-16% moisture contents. Scanning electron microscopy results showed the average particle size around 90 nm indicating a high surface area suitable for adsorption properties, agglomerated, roughly spherical, and were uniformly dispersed. Elemental quantification of biosynthesized AgNPs analyzed via energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy showed a strong peak at 3.0 KeV along with the presence of elements K, N, O, and C. Results of Thermo-gravimetric Analysis (TGA)/Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) showed endothermic major decline at 150-300°C, while exothermic peak at 300-400°C. The growth responses at 40 mM salinity concentration have been reduced representing from the least boundary of chlorophyll "a," "b," and peroxidase content, whereas; this adverse effect has been reduced by operation of Nit-AgNPs as separate treatment and in combination with IAA. From the current study, it has been concluded that salinity concentration at 80 mM adversely affected the values of osmolytes, protein, and superoxide dismutase whereas the maximum amplitude of proline reduced by the application of Nit-AgNPs as distinct treatment indicating that the plant behaves normal with the combined application of nanoparticles and IAA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jemt.23982DOI Listing
November 2021

The Time Machine framework: monitoring and prediction of biodiversity loss.

Trends Ecol Evol 2022 Feb 9;37(2):138-146. Epub 2021 Nov 9.

Environmental Genomics Group, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK; The Alan Turing Institute, British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB, UK. Electronic address:

Transdisciplinary solutions are needed to achieve the sustainability of ecosystem services for future generations. We propose a framework to identify the causes of ecosystem function loss and to forecast the future of ecosystem services under different climate and pollution scenarios. The framework (i) applies an artificial intelligence (AI) time-series analysis to identify relationships among environmental change, biodiversity dynamics and ecosystem functions; (ii) validates relationships between loss of biodiversity and environmental change in fabricated ecosystems; and (iii) forecasts the likely future of ecosystem services and their socioeconomic impact under different pollution and climate scenarios. We illustrate the framework by applying it to watersheds, and provide system-level approaches that enable natural capital restoration by associating multidecadal biodiversity changes to chemical pollution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2021.09.008DOI Listing
February 2022

Morpho-physiological and biochemical attributes of Chili (Capsicum annum L.) genotypes grown under varying salinity levels.

PLoS One 2021 4;16(11):e0257893. Epub 2021 Nov 4.

Department of Land Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

Climate change is causing soil salinization, resulting in huge crop losses throughout the world. Multiple physiological and biochemical pathways determine the ability of plants to tolerate salt stress. Chili (Capsicum annum L.) is a salt-susceptible crop; therefore, its growth and yield is negatively impacted by salinity. Irreversible damage at cell level and photo inhibition due to high production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and less CO2 availability caused by water stress is directly linked with salinity. A pot experiment was conducted to determine the impact of five NaCl salinity levels, i.e., 0,1.5, 3.0, 5.0 and 7.0 dS m-1 on growth, biochemical attributes and yield of two chili genotypes ('Plahi' and 'A-120'). Salinity stress significantly reduced fresh and dry weight, relative water contents, water use efficiency, leaf osmotic potential, glycine betaine (GB) contents, photosynthetic rate (A), transpiration rate (E), stomatal conductance (Ci), and chlorophyll contents of tested genotypes. Salinity stress significantly enhanced malondialdehyde (MDA) contents and activities of the enzymatic antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POD). In addition, increasing salinity levels significantly reduced the tissue phosphorus and potassium concentrations, while enhanced the tissue sodium and chloride concentrations. Genotype 'Plahi' had better growth and biochemical attributes compared to 'A-120'. Therefore, 'Plahi' is recommended for saline areas to improve chili production.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0257893PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8568292PMC
December 2021

Diagnostic Performance and Appropriate Cut-Offs of Different Anthropometric Indicators for Detecting Children with Overweight and Obesity.

Biomed Res Int 2021 15;2021:1608760. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Medical College of Rzeszów University, ul. Kopisto 2a, 35-959 Rzeszów, Poland.

In the clinical settings, different anthropometric indicators like neck circumference (NC), waist circumference (WC), midupper arm circumference (MUAC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and arm-to-height ratio (AHtR) have been suggested for evaluating overweight and obesity in children. The comparative ability of these indicators in Pakistan is yet unknown. This study is aimed at examining the validity of different anthropometric indicators of overweight and obesity simultaneously and at determining their superlative cut-off values that would correctly detect overweight and obesity in children. For this purpose, the dataset of anthropometric measurements height, weight, WC, MUAC, and NC of 5,964 Pakistani children, aged 5-12 years collected in a cross-sectional multiethnic anthropometric survey (MEAS), was used. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to assess the validity of different anthropometric indicators. The most sensitive and specific cut-off points, positive and negative predictive values of each indicator were also calculated. The results of the ROC curve indicated that all the studied indicators had a good performance but the indicators AHtR and WHtR had the highest value of the area under the curve (AUC) for the screening of children with overweight and obesity (AUC > 0.80). In the overall sample, AHtR, WHtR, MUAC, WC, and NC cut-off points indicative of overweight, in both boys and girls, were 0.14, 0.46, 18.41 cm, 62.86 cm, and 26.36 cm and 0.14, 0.47, 18.16 cm, 64.39 cm, and 26.54 cm, respectively; the corresponding values for obesity were 0.14, 0.47, 18.67 cm, 62.10 cm, and 26.36 cm and 0.14, 0.48, 20.19 cm, 64.39 cm, and 25.27 cm. We concluded that the sex-specific cut-off points for AHtR, WHtR, MUAC, WC, and NC can be used to diagnose overweight and obesity in Pakistani children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/1608760DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8457951PMC
January 2022

Challenges and recent trends with the development of hydrogel fiber for biomedical applications.

Chemosphere 2022 Jan 23;287(Pt 1):131956. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham, Malaysia, 43500, Semenyih, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Hydrogel is the most emblematic soft material which possesses significantly tunable and programmable characteristics. Polymer hydrogels possess significant advantages including, biocompatible, simple, reliable and low cost. Therefore, research on the development of hydrogel for biomedical applications has been grown intensely. However, hydrogel development is challenging and required significant effort before the application at an industrial scale. Therefore, the current work focused on evaluating recent trends and issues with hydrogel development for biomedical applications. In addition, the hydrogel's development methodology, physicochemical properties, and biomedical applications are evaluated and benchmarked against the reported literature. Later, biomedical applications of the nano-cellulose-based hydrogel are considered and critically discussed. Based on a detailed review, it has been found that the surface energy, intermolecular interactions, and interactions of hydrogel adhesion forces are major challenges that contribute to the development of hydrogel. In addition, compared to other hydrogels, nanocellulose hydrogels demonstrated higher potential for drug delivery, 3D cell culture, diagnostics, tissue engineering, tissue therapies and gene therapies. Overall, nanocellulose hydrogel has the potential for commercialization for different biomedical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.131956DOI Listing
January 2022

Health impacts of indoor air pollution from household solid fuel on children and women.

J Hazard Mater 2021 08 17;416:126127. Epub 2021 May 17.

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil and Groundwater Pollution Control, and State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Integrated Surface Water-Groundwater Pollution Control, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China; Consortium on Health, Environment, Education and Research (CHEER), Department of Science and Environmental Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

The inefficient and incomplete combustion of solid fuel (SF) is associated with high levels of indoor air pollutants leading to 3.55 million deaths annually. The risk is higher in women and children, due to their higher exposure duration and unique physical properties. The current article aims to provide a critical overview regarding the use of solid fuel, its associated pollutants, their toxicity mechanisms and, most importantly the associated health impacts, especially in women and children. Pollutants associated with SF mostly include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, particulate matter, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, and their concentrations are two- to threefold higher in indoor environments. These pollutants can lead to a variety of health risks by inducing different toxicity mechanisms, such as oxidative stress, DNA methylation, and gene activation. Exposed children have an increased prevalence of low birth weight, acute lower respiratory tract infections, anemia and premature mortality. On the other hand, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular diseases are the major causes of disability and premature death in women. Indoor air pollution resulting from SF combustion is a major public health threat globally. To reduce the risks, it is important to identify future research gaps and implement effective interventions and policies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126127DOI Listing
August 2021

Restoration impacts on rates of denitrification and greenhouse gas fluxes from tropical coastal wetlands.

Sci Total Environ 2022 Jan 21;803:149577. Epub 2021 Aug 21.

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, University of Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK.

Forested coastal wetlands are globally important systems sequestering carbon and intercepting nitrogen pollution from nutrient-rich river systems. Coastal wetlands that have suffered extensive disturbance are the target of comprehensive restoration efforts. Accurate assessment of restoration success requires detailed mechanistic understanding of wetland soil biogeochemical functioning across restoration chrono-sequences, which remains poorly understood for these sparsely investigated systems. This study investigated denitrification and greenhouse gas fluxes in mangrove and Melaleuca forest soils of Vietnam, using the N-Gas flux method. Denitrification-derived NO was significantly higher from Melaleuca than mangrove forest soils, despite higher potential rates of total denitrification in the mangrove forest soils (8.1 ng N g h) than the Melaleuca soils (6.8 ng N g h). Potential NO and CO emissions were significantly higher from the Melaleuca soils than from the mangrove soils. Disturbance and subsequent recovery had no significant effect on N biogeochemistry except with respect to the denitrification product ratio in the mangrove sites, which was highest from the youngest mangrove site. Potential CO and CH fluxes were significantly affected by restoration in the mangrove soils. The lowest potential CO emissions were observed in the mid-age plantation and potential CH fluxes decreased in the older forests. The mangrove system, therefore, may remove excess N and improve water quality with low greenhouse gas emissions, whereas in Melaleucas, increased NO and CO emissions also occur. These emissions are likely balanced by higher carbon stocks observed in the Melaleuca soils. These mechanistic insights highlight the importance of ecosystem restoration for pollution attenuation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from coastal wetlands. Restoration efforts should continue to focus on increasing wetland area and function, which will benefit local communities with improved water quality and potential for income generation under future carbon trading.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149577DOI Listing
January 2022

Organotin (IV) complexes with sulphonyl hydrazide moiety. Design, synthesis, characterization, docking studies, cytotoxic and anti-leishmanial activity.

J Biomol Struct Dyn 2021 Aug 30:1-11. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Malakand, Chakdara, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Due to a lack of therapeutic options for the pathological condition of leishmaniasis, which is characterized by polymorphic lesions and skin surface infections, Leishmania genus parasites damaged dermis and mucosa. There was a need to synthesize and characterize some new complexes. This study evaluated the biological activities preferably anti-Leishmanial activity of organotin (IV) containing sulphonyl hydrazide derivatives. A series of six new organotin (IV) complexes 1-6 labeled as R2SnL2; R = Methyl (1), Butyl (2), Phenyl (3) and R3SnL; R = Methyl (4), Butyl (5), Phenyl (6) has been synthesized as reflux method derived from N'- (2,4-dinitrophenyl)-4-methylphenylsulfonylhydrazide (L). All compounds were characterized through FT-IR, 1HNMR, 13CNMR, and elemental analysis. Structural analysis confirms the formation of six complexes (1-6). All derivatives have been screened for their pharmacological activities. Interestingly, compound showed promising activity against leishmania promastigotes with low cytotoxicity. All results were further elaborated through docking studies performed on leishmania donovoni synthetase PDB: ID 3QW3 that acts as an essential building block for the viability of Leishmania promastigotes. This research effectively synthesized sulphonyl hydrazide ligand and its six new organotin (IV) derivatives, which were tested for biological properties such as antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, and ideally anti-leishmanial activity and cytotoxicity. Studies have confirmed that these compounds have the potency to be a good candidate against leishmaniasis. Computational studies were carried out to recognize the binding affinities for leishmania donovoni synthetase.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07391102.2021.1970625DOI Listing
August 2021

Phytochemical and pharmacognostic studies of Buddleja asiatica leaves.

Microsc Res Tech 2022 Feb 30;85(2):510-520. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Department of Botany, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Buddleja asiatica commonly known as "Booi" is a large deciduous shrub belongs to family Scrophulariaceae, traditionally used as antipyretic, analgesic, hypotensive, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal agent recorded from essential oil obtained from leaves. The literature revealed that the plant has been widely used for many other purposes. The said plant has been analyzed through pharmacognostic techniques such as morphological, microscopic, and physio-chemical evaluations to keep the originality of the plant and to avoid adulteration. Morphologically, the plant is evergreen shrub, while organoleptic studies showed that the leaf has glabrous upper surface and tomentose lower surface, with slightly bitter taste and aromatic odor. Anatomically, the leaf showed typical dicot histological differentiation with hypostomatic nature having highest frequency (90%) of actinocytic stomata. The average stomatal number and stomatal index were 336 ± 39.5 and 30.01 ± 2.34, respectively. The palisade cell ratio, vein termination, and vein islet number were 9.2 ± 0.72, 10.2 ± 3.1, and 10.3 ± 3.3, respectively. Various tissue fragments have been observed during powdered drug analysis of the leaf. Preliminary phytochemical screening confirmed the presence of proteins, phenols, alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, tannins, and glycosides. Fluorescence analysis in ordinary day light and under UV light along with extractive values was also analyzed. The above-mentioned studies that have been reported, for the first time, for the said plant may be significant to establish the pharmacognostic and phytochemical standards of the said species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jemt.23924DOI Listing
February 2022

Effect of exogenous alpha-tocopherol on physio-biochemical attributes and agronomic performance of lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) under drought stress.

PLoS One 2021 6;16(8):e0248200. Epub 2021 Aug 6.

Centre of Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Sciences, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Water being a vital part of cell protoplasm plays a significant role in sustaining life on earth; however, drastic changes in climatic conditions lead to limiting the availability of water and causing other environmental adversities. α-tocopherol being a powerful antioxidant, protects lipid membranes from the drastic effects of oxidative stress by deactivating singlet oxygen, reducing superoxide radicals, and terminating lipid peroxidation by reducing fatty acyl peroxy radicals under drought stress conditions. A pot experiment was conducted and two groups of lentil cultivar (Punjab-2009) were exposed to 20 and 25 days of drought induced stress by restricting the availability of water after 60th day of germination. Both of the groups were sprinkled with α-tocopherol 100, 200 and 300 mg/L. Induced water deficit stress conditions caused a pronounced decline in growth parameters including absolute growth rate (AGR), leaf area index (LAI), leaf area ratio (LAR), root shoot ratio (RSR), relative growth rate (RGR), chlorophyll a, b, total chlorophyll content, carotenoids, and soluble protein content (SPC) which were significantly enhanced by exogenously applied α-tocopherol. Moreover, a significant increase was reported in total proline content (TPC), soluble sugar content (SSC), glycine betaine (GB) content, endogenous tocopherol levels, ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT) peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities. On the contrary, exogenously applied α-tocopherol significantly reduced the concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). In conclusion, it was confirmed that exogenous application of α-tocopherol under drought induced stress regimes resulted in membrane protection by inhibiting lipid peroxidation, enhancing the activities of antioxidative enzymes (APX, CAT, POD, and SOD) and accumulation of osmolytes such as glycine betaine, proline and sugar. Consequently, modulating different growth, physiological and biochemical attributes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248200PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8345888PMC
November 2021

Self-healing epoxy coating synthesis by embedment of metal 2-methyl imidazole and acetylacetonate complexes with microcapsules.

Chemosphere 2021 Dec 8;285:131492. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham, Malaysia, 43500, Semenyih, Selangor, Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Electronic address:

The restoration of mechanical properties is desired for creating the self-healing coatings with no corrosion capabilities. The encapsulation of epoxy resins is limited by various factors in urea and melamine formaldehyde microcapsules. An improved method was developed, where epoxy resin was encapsulated by individual wrapping of poly(melamine-formaldehyde) and poly(urea-formaldehyde) shell around emulsified epoxy droplets via oil-in-water emulsion polymerization method. The synthesized materials were characterized analytically. The curing of the epoxy was achieved by adding the [Ni/Co(2-MI)].2NO as a latent hardener and iron acetylacetonate [Fe(acac)] as a latent accelerator. Isothermal and non-isothermal differential scanning calorimetric analysis revealed lower curing temperature (T = 116 °C) and lower activation energies (Ea ≈ 69-75 kJ/mol). The addition of microcapsules and complexes did not adversely alter the flexural strength and flexural modulus of the epoxy coatings. The adhesion strength of neat coating decreased from 6310.8 ± 31 to 4720.9 ± 60 kPa and percent healing increased from 50.83 to 67.45% in the presence of acetylacetonate complex at 10 wt% of microcapsules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.131492DOI Listing
December 2021

Morphological and elemental evaluation of biochar through analytical techniques and its combined effect along with plant growth promoting rhizobacteria on Vicia faba L. under induced drought stress.

Microsc Res Tech 2021 Dec 30;84(12):2947-2959. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

National Culture Collection of Pakistan (NCCP), Bio-resources Conservation Institute (BCI), National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad, Pakistan.

Drought is a persistent and complex natural vulnerability whose rate and extent of recurrence are expected to increase with climate change. Regardless of the progress made in responding and adapting to water scarcity, drought stress causes severe afflictions. Therefore, the present study has been accomplished in Department of Botany, University of Peshawar to investigate the effect of biochar and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) Cellulomonas pakistanensis (NCCP11) and Sphingobacterium pakistanensis (NCCP246) on Vicia faba under drought stress. Two varieties of seeds Desi (V1) and Pulista (V2) were obtained from Cereal Crop Research Institute (CCRI) Nowshera, sown in earthen pots in triplicate filled with 3 kg soil and sand (2:1) and biochar (0 and 5% w/w). Scanning electron microscopy of biochar showed porous nature and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy spectroscopy showed C, Ca, Mg, and Na elemental composition. Germination parameters including germination energy (GE), Timson germination index (TGI), germination index (GI), and water use efficiency (WUE) were amplified to 28.04, 19.17, 25.72, and 43.62% in V1, respectively, and 14.38, 16.66, 19.79, and 41.50% in V2 respectively, by the co-application of biochar and PGPR. Agronomical attributes including, fresh and dry weight of leaves, root, and shoot were significantly reduced, which were positively ameliorated by 28.57, 36.36, 16, 10.47, 14.28, and 10%, respectively, by the application of biochar and PGPR especially by NCCP246 in combination as well as individually. It has been concluded that, adversities of drought significantly condensed with the application of biochar and PGPR, which may be important in agricultural practices carried out in water-deficient regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jemt.23854DOI Listing
December 2021

Nanotechnology and artificial intelligence to enable sustainable and precision agriculture.

Nat Plants 2021 07 24;7(7):864-876. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Climate change, increasing populations, competing demands on land for production of biofuels and declining soil quality are challenging global food security. Finding sustainable solutions requires bold new approaches and integration of knowledge from diverse fields, such as materials science and informatics. The convergence of precision agriculture, in which farmers respond in real time to changes in crop growth with nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, offers exciting opportunities for sustainable food production. Coupling existing models for nutrient cycling and crop productivity with nanoinformatics approaches to optimize targeting, uptake, delivery, nutrient capture and long-term impacts on soil microbial communities will enable design of nanoscale agrochemicals that combine optimal safety and functionality profiles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41477-021-00946-6DOI Listing
July 2021

Evaluation of body-surface-area adjusted dosing of high-dose methotrexate by population pharmacokinetics in a large cohort of cancer patients.

BMC Cancer 2021 Jun 20;21(1):719. Epub 2021 Jun 20.

Department I of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Background: The aim of this study was to identify sources of variability including patient gender and body surface area (BSA) in pharmacokinetic (PK) exposure for high-dose methotrexate (MTX) continuous infusion in a large cohort of patients with hematological and solid malignancies.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective PK analysis of MTX plasma concentration data from hematological/oncological patients treated at the University Hospital of Cologne between 2005 and 2018. Nonlinear mixed effects modeling was performed. Covariate data on patient demographics and clinical chemistry parameters was incorporated to assess relationships with PK parameters. Simulations were conducted to compare exposure and probability of target attainment (PTA) under BSA adjusted, flat and stratified dosing regimens.

Results: Plasma concentration over time data (2182 measurements) from therapeutic drug monitoring from 229 patients was available. PK of MTX were best described by a three-compartment model. Values for clearance (CL) of 4.33 [2.95-5.92] L h and central volume of distribution of 4.29 [1.81-7.33] L were estimated. An inter-occasion variability of 23.1% (coefficient of variation) and an inter-individual variability of 29.7% were associated to CL, which was 16 [7-25] % lower in women. Serum creatinine, patient age, sex and BSA were significantly related to CL of MTX. Simulations suggested that differences in PTA between flat and BSA-based dosing were marginal, with stratified dosing performing best overall.

Conclusion: A dosing scheme with doses stratified across BSA quartiles is suggested to optimize target exposure attainment. Influence of patient sex on CL of MTX is present but small in magnitude.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-021-08443-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8214796PMC
June 2021

A Model-Based Approach to Assess Unstable Creatinine Clearance in Critically Ill Patients.

Clin Pharmacol Ther 2021 11 11;110(5):1240-1249. Epub 2021 Jul 11.

Department I of Pharmacology, Center for Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Creatinine clearance is an important tool to describe the renal elimination of drugs in pharmacokinetic (PK) evaluations and clinical practice. In critically ill patients, unstable kidney function invalidates the steady-state assumption underlying equations, such as Cockcroft-Gault. Although measured creatinine clearance (mCrCL) is often used in nonsteady-state situations, it assumes that observed data are error-free, neglecting frequently occurring errors in urine collection. In contrast, compartmental nonlinear mixed effects models of creatinine allow to describe dynamic changes in kidney function while explicitly accounting for a residual error associated with observations. Based on 530 serum and 373 urine creatinine observations from 138 critically ill patients, a one-compartment creatinine model with zero-order creatinine generation rate (CGR) and first-order CrCL was evaluated. An autoregressive approach for interoccasion variability provided a distinct model improvement compared to a classical approach (Δ Akaike information criterion (AIC) -49.0). Fat-free mass, plasma urea concentration, age, and liver transplantation were significantly related to CrCL, whereas weight and sex were linked to CGR. The model-based CrCL estimates were superior to standard approaches to estimate CrCL (or glomerular filtration rate) including Cockcroft-Gault, mCrCL, four-variable modification of diet in renal disease (MDRD), six-variable MDRD, and chronic kidney disease epidemiology collaboration as a covariate to describe cefepime and meropenem PKs in terms of objective function value. In conclusion, a dynamic model of creatinine kinetics provides the means to estimate actual CrCL despite dynamic changes in kidney function, and it can easily be incorporated into population PK evaluations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpt.2341DOI Listing
November 2021
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