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  • Open access
  • 19 Reads
Enlarging the NSAIDs family: Molecular Docking of Designed Pyrazole and Oxadiazole Derivatives as Novel Anti-Inflammatory Agents

The development of the NSAID family has represented a stimulating approach in the treatment of inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis, and for the management of acute pains, in relation to the well-known traditional Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (t-NSAIDs). Over the years, research has shown that essential mediators such as arachidonic acid metabolites are important in inflammation. Cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) pathways takes primary role in inflammation and has responsible for many human diseases, like cancer, arthritis, psoriasis, and neurological disorders. Prompted by the pursuit for new cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, we have identified novel classes of pyrazole and oxadiazole derivatives as potentially powerful anti-inflammatory molecules. This virtual screening aims to predict the binding affinity of newly designed pyrazole and oxadiazole derivatives against potential molecular target related to the inflammatory process through the molecular docking approach. Results showed very good anti-inflammatory activity against cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) binding protein 1CX2. And based on the molecular docking results it is observed that two molecules have good binding affinity with targeted protein. The issues gained with these classes of compounds represent, nowadays, a potent stimulus for a further enlargement of the NSAIDs family.

  • Open access
  • 46 Reads
Impact of different cross-linking agents on functional, rheological, and structural properties of talipot palm starch: A non-conventional source of stem starch

Talipot palm (Corypha umbraculifera L .) is a non-conventional source of stem starch with a starch yield of 76%. Talipot starch was cross-linked with epichlorohydrin (EPS) and phosphoric acid (PS), significantly altered the functional, pasting, rheological, and structural properties. Amylose content of talipot starch was significantly decreased by cross-linking, and it increased the relative crystallinity. The swelling power of talipot starch was increased in EPS; however, it was decreased in PS. A similar trend was observed in the pasting profile, and EPS has higher peak and final viscosities. The cross-linking with epichlorohydrin and phosphoric acid significantly decreased the pasting temperature of talipot starch. The native starch gel has a hardness of 45.54 N, which was increased to 149.69 N in EPS, whereas it decreased to 13.62 N in PS. The paste clarity of all the samples was found to be decreased during cold storage. As compared to the native, both EPS and PS exhibited high paste clarity. The percentage syneresis was considerably decreased in cross-linked starches. The magnitude of both G’ and G” was significantly changed by cross-linking. EPS exhibited increased G’ and G” values, whereas it decreased in PS.

  • Open access
  • 39 Reads
The effect of Heat-moisture treatment (HMT) on the structural, functional properties and digestibility of citric acid modified Plectranthus rotundifolius starch

In this study, P. rotundifolius starch, a new source of starch, was subjected to HMT, citric acid, and HMT-citric acid modification and studied the change in crystalline pasting and functional properties and in vito digestibility. XRD showed an A-type diffraction pattern to the native starch and was unaffected by all modifications. The relative crystallinity and the gelatinization enthalpy significantly decreased (p ≤ 0.05) on dual modification. A new peak at 1724 cm−1 was observed in the FT-IR spectra of citric acid modified starch, and the intensity of the peak became stronger in HMT followed by citric acid starch, which was consistent with the results of degree of substitution. Native starch showed a peak viscosity of 3343 cP and significantly decreased on citric acid modification, and HMT treatment increases the effectiveness of the citric acid modification. The in vito digestibility of P. rotundifolius starch was significantly affected by both single and dual modifications. The crystalline destruction in starch granules during HMT enhanced the substitution of citrate in the starch granule, improving the SDS and RS percentage in dual modified starch. The HMT-citric acid dual modification method was shown to modify starches with different properties and could be used as a substitute for producing low glycaemic index foods.

  • Open access
  • 30 Reads
Determining the effect of plant extracts on the development and characterization of biodegradable composite films from Corypha umbraculifera L. stem starch

Films and coatings fabricated with renewable biopolymers and antimicrobial agents have attracted research interest owing to their contribution to food safety and biodegradability. The study aims to determine the effect of natural plant extracts from the leaves of curry tree, neem, tulsi, and Mexican mint for developing and characterizing biodegradable composite films of talipot starch and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) matrices. Talipot starch isolated from the stem of talipot palm (Corypha umbraculifera L.) is an underutilized source of starch with a high yield (76%). All composite films were prepared using the solution blending-casting method. The dominant properties of biodegradable film such as structural, morphological, barrier, and antimicrobial properties were studied. The relative crystallinity of composite films comparatively increased with native talipot starch film. The surface of talipot starch film made with CMC and plant extracts showed higher roughness and opacity. Incorporation of plant extracts into talipot starch and CMC matrices decreased water vapor permeability (WVP) and oxygen permeability (OP), indicating improved barrier properties of the films. Antimicrobial activity assessed by the inhibition zone method showed that composite films exhibited excellent antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. These results revealed that biodegradable composite films from non-conventional starch of talipot palm could potentially substitute the single-use petroleum-based films and can be used as bioactive packaging materials for food applications.

  • Open access
  • 46 Reads
Bacterial nanocellulose films loaded with nisin Z -antibacterial efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus strains

Burn wounds can lead to numerous severe complications including bacterial infections causing patient morbidity and mortality, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. The Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus is one of the major causes of nosocomial infections in burn patients. Furthermore, the considerable increase of the microbial resistance against traditional antibiotics is leading towards alternative strategies to treat bacterial infections. Nisin Z is an antimicrobial peptide which exhibits a significant antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. The incorporation of peptide and other biomolecules within a biopolymer matrix provides protection maintaining their antimicrobial potential. Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) has been widely used as wound dressings. Its impressive water retention capacity (> 99 %) and porosity are beneficial to manage wounds due to its potential to absorb exudates, providing a breathable and humid environment. In this work, the functionalization of BNC with nisin Z (BNC-NZ) via vacuum filtration is reported. The entrapment of the peptide inside the BNC films was confirmed through morphological characterization using Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectrometry. Typical absorbance peaks of nisin Z are easily identifiable at 1647 cm-1 (amide group) and 1520 cm-1 (bending of primary amines). Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) suggested that nisin Z did not interfere with the BNC matrix. The antimicrobial activity of nisin Z against S. aureus strains including a multiple drug-resistant, was verified by Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBC). Agar Diffusion and Shake Flask methods revealed the potential of BNC-NZ for prospective applications in burn wound dressings.

  • Open access
  • 30 Reads
Comparative Analyses of the Gelsolin Homology Domains of Gelsolin and Flightless-I
, , , , , , , ,

Flightless-I is a unique member of the gelsolin superfamily alloying six gelsolin homology (GH) domains and leucine-rich repeats. Flightless-I is an established regulator of the actin cytoskeleton. However, its biochemical activities in actin dynamics regulation are still largely elusive. To better understand its biological functioning, we studied Flightless-I by in vitro fluorescence spectroscopy and single filament TIRF microscopy approaches. We found that Flightless-I inhibits actin assembly by high-affinity (∼ nM) filament barbed end capping, moderately facilitates nucleation by low-affinity (∼ µM) monomer binding and does not sever actin filaments in vitro. Flightless-I was found to interact with actin and affect actin dynamics in a calcium-independent fashion. Notably, our functional analyses indicate that GSN and Flightless-I respond to calcium differently implying different conformational characteristics of the GH domains in the two proteins. Bioinformatics analyses predict that the sequence elements responsible for calcium activation of GSN are not conserved in the GH domains of Flightless-I. Consistently, the use of the hydrophobic fluorescent dye (8-anilinonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid; ANS) revealed that unlike that of GSN the conformational behavior of the GH domains Flightless-I was not significantly affected by calcium-binding. Altogether, our work reveals different calcium-response and predicts distinct modes of activation of GSN and Flightless-I.

New National Excellence Program of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology ÚNKP-21-3-II-PTE-997 (PG), University of Pécs, Medical School, KA-2021-30 (AV). We thank József Mihály (Institute of Genetics, Biological Research Centre) for the Flightless-I plasmids and Robert C. Robinson (Okoyama University) for the GSN plasmid.

  • Open access
  • 24 Reads
Pipeline to develop and characterize a potential regenerative topical treatment based on lavender essential oil and the CW49 peptide

Wound healing in adult mammals results in scar formation, which prevents recovering the full functionality of the original skin. This dermatology area is constantly evolving and specially focuses on aging, and the design of recovery treatments upon skin burns. Due to the previously reported regenerative, healing, and anti-inflammatory effects of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil and the CW49 peptide. We selected these two natural compounds to formulate a topical treatment with potential regenerative capability. This was accomplished by synthesizing oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions 10:90% w/w with lavender oil and the CW49 peptide. The formulations were characterized physicochemically and evaluated in terms of biocompatibility, antibacterial activity, and wound healing potential. The results showed that emulsions exhibited a droplet size of about 1 µm, a marked pseudoplastic behavior and a superior shelf stability of over 9 months. Additionally, they induced 35% hemolysis when compared with the positive control (similar to commercially available controls), induced platelet aggregation and has a potent antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (20% of growth inhibition). The wound healing potential was preliminary evaluated for the CW49 peptide in a 2D scratch wound model of human keratinocytes, demonstrating an effective concentration for closure of 20 μg/mL. Thus far, we established a pipeline to develop and characterize the regenerative potential of bio-based topical treatments and particularly those based on lavender essential oil and the CW49 peptide.

  • Open access
  • 8 Reads
Liposomal supramolecular strustures based on the antiviral active nanomaterials

Liposomal supramolecular strustures (SMS) are widespread in different areas of modern science. Due to their unique, multifaceted and flexible properties, nanomaterials circumvent many challenges in diverse fields of medicine, including health, diagnosis, and treatment nanoliposomes being one of the most widely used nanoparticles in biomedicine [1]. Liposomes have been considered promising and versatile drug vesicles. Compared with traditional drug delivery systems, liposomes exhibit better properties, including site-targeting, sustained or controlled release, protection of drugs from degradation and clearance, superior therapeutic effects, and lower toxic side effects [2]. All these advantages are important for the development of efficient antiviral drugs which is one of the topical problems in modern virology.
Polysaccharides extracted from mushrooms have received a growing attention in the biomedical application [3]. They exhibit many biological activities including immune regulation, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, antivirus, antitumor, and so on. Increasing advances in nanotechnology and nanoscience have raised great hopes in the field of biomedicine.
To deliver polysaccharide glucuronoxylomannan (GXM) extracted from the yellow brain mushroom Tremella mesenterica to sites of action liposomes have been used as specific targeted systems. For the investigation of the impact of GMX containing SMS on the functionality of Tobacco mosaic virus surface plasmon resonance method was used. These have been found out to improve the bioavailability of GXM polysaccharide and enhance its pharmacodynamic action.

[1] Nakhaei P, Margiana R, Bokov D.O, Abdelbasset W.K, Jadidi Kouhbanani M.A, Varma R.S, Marofi F, Jarahian M, Beheshtkhoo N. (2021) Liposomes: Structure, Biomedical Applications, and Stability Parameters With Emphasis on Cholesterol. Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. 9:705886. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2021.705886
[2] Liu, P.; Chen, G.; Zhang, J. A Review of Liposomes as a Drug Delivery System: Current Status of Approved Products, Regulatory Environments, and Future Perspectives. Molecules 2022, 27, 1372.
[3] Friedman, M. Mushroom Polysaccharides: Chemistry and Antiobesity, Antidiabetes, Anticancer, and Antibiotic Properties in Cells, Rodents, and Humans. Foods 2016, 5, 80.

  • Open access
  • 30 Reads
Modeling and simulation of magnetoliposome formation by encapsulation of core-shell, magnetite-chitosan nanoparticles in liposomes enabled by a low-cost microfluidic system

Research in nanostructured materials has led to the development of different applications of relevance in the fields of medicine and biomedical engineering. In this regard, the field of drug delivery has probably benefited the most due to the possibility to engineer vehicles of high potency and increased activity and selectivity toward selected intracellular targets. Such vehicles can therefore potentially address one of the major cornerstones of modern pharmacology, which is increasing the bioavailibity of drugs of low permeability. Our research group has developed cell-penetration nanobioconjugates by interfacing several nanomaterials (e.g., chitosan, gelatin nanoparticles, graphene oxide, and magnetite) with translocaing peptides. The obtained nanobioconjugates have demonstrated facilitated cell internalization and endosomal escape abilities. To improve cell penetration even further, we encapsulated the magnetite-based nanobioconjugates into liposomes (to form magnetoliposomes) with very appealing results. Our plan is to expand the available nanoplatforms by combining the attributes of magnetite and polymeric nanoparticles through a core-shell system comprised of magnetite (core) and chitosan (shell). The encapsulation process has been successfully accomplished with the aid of passive micromixers with different channel geometries to favor intimate contact between the dispersed phase (nanoparticles) and the continuous phase (phospholipid solution). To model the encapsulation process, we implemented an Eulerian simulation in the software COMSOL Multiphysics® 6.0 (COMSOL Inc, Stockholm, Sweden) where mixing required the Navier-Stokes equations as governing equations of momentum transport, turbulence, eddie viscosity, and damping functions to approximate turbulence using the κ-ε turbulence model near the walls. The simulation was conducted for the different geometries (i.e., SARS, chambers, and serpentine and for Reynolds numbers ranging from 0.2 to 10 Also, we tested a low Reynolds turbulent model using the κ-ε model given in the Euler-Euler module. The Euler-Euler approach showed that the encapsulation reaches higher encapsulation efficiency (EE%) values compared with the previously implemented mixture model. Our encapsulation results indicate that including the κ-ε turbulence model with low Reynolds turbulence model near the walls provide a higher agreement between in-silico and experimental approaches. Future work will be dedicated to evaluating the performance of our previously tested magnetophoretic separators with the newly developed encapsulates, to assure sufficient purity for further biocompatibility testing.

  • Open access
  • 27 Reads
Structure, properties and biological activity of chitosan salts with L- and D-aspartic acid

A comprehensive study of the structure, properties and biological functionality of salt chitosan complexes with L- and D-aspartic acid (AspA) was carried out. It has been established that these polymer salts differ in spatial organization, chirooptic characteristics, surface charge, and macrocoil size. In experiments in vitro on a wide range of biological objects (unicellular algae, planktonic crustaceans, aerobic bacterial microorganisms, cell cultures, and test plants) it was found that the chitosan salt with D-AspA exhibited the best biological activity. The results obtained confirm our hypothesis that the biological homochiral hierarchy principles are most consistent with chitosan (D-aminoglucan) derivatives with the D-antipode of the acid.

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