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NEURODAT'21 IBRO-PERC Lecture on Neuromorphic Engineering

<EN> This talk is part of the NEURODAT’21 training program funded by IBRO-PERC Soft Skills Training call of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) and the Pan-Europe Regional Committee (PERC). NEURODAT’21 is devoted to promote soft skills on entry level medicine and also STEMS area students interested on neurosciences. On this talk I made an introduction to the basic concepts related to Neuromorphic engineering for mimic neuro-biological architectures found in biological neurologic tissues and organ systems.

<ES> Esta charla forma parte del programa de formación NEURODAT'21 financiado por la convocatoria IBRO-PERC Soft Skills Training de la Organización Internacional de Investigación del Cerebro (IBRO) y el Comité Regional Paneuropeo (PERC). NEURODAT'21 se dedica a promover las habilidades blandas en la medicina de nivel de entrada y también a los estudiantes del área STEMS interesados en neurociencias. En esta charla hice una introducción a los conceptos básicos relacionados con la ingeniería neuromórfica para imitar arquitecturas neurobiológicas que se encuentran en tejidos neurológicos biológicos y sistemas de órganos.

Language Note: English-Spanish bi-lingual talk and text.

  • Open access
  • 31 Reads
Acute toxicity of phenanthrene on the clam Ruditapes decussatus

Phenanthrene, a major component of crude oil, is one of the most predominant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in aquatic ecosystems. The present study aimed to assess the in vitro effects of phenanthrene on the clam, Ruditapes decussatus. For this purpose, haemolymph samples were exposed for 24 h to two concentrations (10-3 and 10-5 mg mL-1) of this pollutant. Immune function was assessed using a combination of humoral and cellular responses. The toxic exposure caused alteration in the immune parameters of clams with a significant increase (ANOVA, p<0.05) in total haemocyte count and haemocyte mortality and a significant decrease (ANOVA, p<0.05) in lysozyme and esterase activities. This study investigates the direct effects of phenanthrene on humoral and cellular immune functions in clam Ruditapes decussatus. Further research is necessary to clarify the immunomodulatory effect of this contaminant on the whole animal.

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Functional green synthesized noble metallic nanoparticles with potential antimicrobial activity

Nanoparticles are versatile materials widely applied in numerous scientific fields from the textile industry to nanomedicine and optical sensors. Their synthesis is achieved using conventional chemical synthesis as well as unconventional routes that start from renewable sources such as plants and their constituent parts (e.g.: stem, bark, root, seeds, flowers, etc.). Green alternative routes allow not only a proper preservation of the shape and sized of the metallic nanoparticles but, in many cases, gives better results in terms of stability and functionality. This research paper describes the green synthesis of two functional nanoparticles, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) from aqueous plant extract of Birthwort (Aristolochia clematitis), a native European herbaceous plant from Aristolochiaceae family. Silver and gold nanoparticles were green synthesized at room temperature and at 500 C and the resulted functional noble nanoparticles were characterized using UV – Vis, FTIR, DLS techniques. Kinetics involved recording UV-Vis spectra at different time intervals and antioxidant activity was evaluated by the DPPH technique. Also, antimicrobial activity was evaluated using known strains.

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Silver nanoparticles via Passiflora incarnata: Synthesis, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity

Passiflora incarnata L. is a medicinal plant, used all over the world, especially for its contribution to reducing anxiety and stress. Passion flower compounds, leaves and flowers, presented beneficial properties for human body. Scientific studies have shown the antioxidant and antibacterial potential of flavonoids and tannins present in medicinal or ornamental plants. In this research paper, it is demonstrated the beneficial components of Passiflora incarnata L. leaves, quantitative (polyphenols, flavonoids, etc.) and qualitative (alkaloids, carbohidrates, terpenoids, etc) characterizing it. The next step was to developed a simple green and economical method for synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using this Passiflora incarnata L. plant. The analytical techniques studies suggested that Passiflora incarnata L. have played an important role in the reduction and stabilization of silver nanoparticles. Using UV-Vis method, it was observed an intense peak between 450-500 nm specific for silver nanoparticles. optical microscopy revealed the formation of spherical nanoparticles with size less than 100 nm, after ultrasonication. The eco-friendly silver nanoparticles presented strong
antioxidant properties, so AgNP-Passiflora incarnata L. leaves sample has a higher activity than mulberry extract sample. The antimicrobial activity of Passiflora incarnata L. was tested on Candida albicans yeast and it was observed an important antimicrobial activity.

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Effect of an alkaline-thermal pre-treatment and irradiation with accelerated electrons on the enzymatic obtaining of hydrolyzed keratin

On a global scale, millions of tons of feathers are generated annually as a by-product of slaughter in the poultry industry [1]. These, generally tend to be incinerated [2] or disposed in sanitary landfills, which implies a great environmental problem. However, chicken feathers can be a low-cost source of protein since approximately 90% of its composition corresponds to keratin [3]. Keratin in water-soluble form has different applications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, textile, biomedical and food industries [1,4]. The extraction of this protein with sodium sulphide has a high yield; however, it generates hydrogen sulfide gas, which, in high concentrations, can be toxic and difficult to handle [5]. The present research work aimed to establish an enzymatic process to obtain hydrolyzed keratin from chicken feathers; The effect of an alkaline-thermal pretreatment, a pretreatment with ionizing radiation and the combination of both on the amount of soluble keratin obtained was also studied.
The feathers were washed, dried, ground and irradiated, in an electron accelerator, with a dose of 25 kGy [6]. The irradiated feather meal was subjected to an alkaline-thermal pretreatment, for which a 0.5 M NaOH solution was added in an autoclave, for 2 min, at 95 ° C. In the supernatant, the amount of protein was quantified by the Biuret method; while, the solid fraction was used for the enzymatic hydrolysis process with trypsin, bromelain or alcalase, under the optimal conditions of temperature and pH for each one. The enzyme that made it possible to obtain the greatest amount of soluble protein was selected. To determine the effects of alkaline-thermal pretreatment and irradiation on the amount of keratin recovered, an enzymatic hydrolysis was performed with the selected enzyme, from feather meal without any pretreatment (SIN), only with irradiation (IR), only with the alkaline-thermal pretreatment (AT) and with both processes (IRAT). The results were analyzed in the Statgraphics Centurion 18 program, through an ANOVA and a multiple range test by Fisher's method, with 95% confidence. Raman analyzes were performed on the irradiated, unirradiated feather meal and the aqueous sample from the IRAT treatment after enzymatic hydrolysis, with a Progeny brand field spectrometer (Rigaku Analytical Devices, Wilmington, USA). The total exposure time for each Raman spectrum was 3 s and the laser power was 280 kW.
It was determined that alcalase allowed to achieve the best results (p <0.05), followed by trypsin, while the lowest value was obtained with bromelain. On the other hand, with the best treatment (IRAT), 90.31% of the protein was recovered, in soluble form. In the treatment in which only enzymatic hydrolysis (SIN) was carried out, the least amount of protein was obtained, with a yield of 1.18%.
Exposure of feather meal to ionizing radiation, alkaline conditions and relatively high temperatures and pressures significantly improved the soluble protein yield obtained in a consecutive enzymatic hydrolysis with alkalse. In addition, the treatment of the feather meal with accelerated electrons (IR) increased the performance of the process, compared to the control (feather meal without any pretreatment), but this increase was overshadowed when the feathers were subjected to the alkaline-thermal process. In the Raman spectra, bands corresponding to characteristic groups of the keratin structure were observed, both in feather meal and in soluble protein.

<ES> A escala mundial, millones de toneladas de plumas son generadas anualmente como subproducto del faenamiento en la industria avícola [1]. Estas, generalmente suelen ser incineradas [2] o dispuestas en rellenos sanitarios, lo cual implica una gran problemática ambiental. No obstante, las plumas de pollo pueden ser una fuente de proteína de bajo costo debido a que, aproximadamente, el 90 % de su composición corresponde a queratina [3]. La queratina en forma hidrosoluble tiene distintas aplicaciones en la industria farmacéutica, cosmética, textil, biomédica y alimenticia [1,4]. La extracción de esta proteína con sulfuro de sodio tiene un alto rendimiento; sin embargo, genera gas sulfhídrico, el cual, en altas concentraciones puede ser tóxico y difícil de manipular [5]. El presente trabajo de investigación tuvo como objetivo establecer un proceso enzimático para la obtención de queratina hidrolizada a partir de plumas de pollo; se estudió también el efecto de un pretratamiento alcalino-térmico, un pretratamiento con radiaciones ionizantes y la combinación de ambos sobre la cantidad de queratina soluble obtenida.
Las plumas se lavaron, secaron, molieron e irradiaron, en un acelerador de electrones, con una dosis de 25 kGy [6]. La harina de plumas irradiada se sometió a un pretratamiento alcalino-térmico, para el cual se agregó una solución de NaOH 0,5 M en autoclave, durante 2 min, a 95 °C. En el sobrenadante se cuantificó la cantidad de proteína por el método de Biuret; mientras que, la fracción sólida se utilizó para el proceso de hidrólisis enzimática con tripsina, bromelina o alcalasa, bajo las condiciones óptimas de temperatura y pH para cada una. Se seleccionó la enzima que permitió obtener la mayor cantidad de proteína soluble. Para determinar los efectos del pretratamiento alcalino-térmico y de la irradiación sobre la cantidad de queratina recuperada, se realizó una hidrólisis enzimática con la enzima seleccionada, a partir harina de plumas sin ningún pretratamiento (SIN), solo con irradiación (IR), solo con el pretratamiento alcalino-térmico (AT) y con ambos procesos (IRAT). Los resultados se analizaron en el programa Statgraphics Centurion 18, a través de un ANOVA y una prueba de rangos múltiples por el método de Fisher, con el 95 % de confianza. Se realizaron análisis Raman en la harina de plumas irradiada, sin irradiar y en la muestra acuosa del tratamiento IRAT después de la hidrólisis enzimática, con un espectrómetro de campo, marca Progeny (Rigaku Analytical Devices, Wilmington, USA). El tiempo total de exposición para cada espectro Raman fue de 3 s y la potencia del láser fue de 280 kW.
Se determinó que la alcalasa permitió conseguir los mejores resultados (p<0,05), seguida de la tripsina, mientras que, con la bromelina se obtuvo el menor valor. Por otro lado, con el mejor tratamiento (IRAT) se recuperó un 90,31 % de la proteína, en forma soluble. En el tratamiento en el que únicamente se realizó la hidrólisis enzimática (SIN), se obtuvo la menor cantidad de proteína, con un rendimiento de 1,18 %.
La exposición de la harina de plumas a radiación ionizante, a condiciones alcalinas y a temperaturas y presiones relativamente altas mejoró significativamente el rendimiento de proteína soluble obtenido en una consecutiva hidrólisis enzimática con alcalasa. Además, el tratamiento de la harina de plumas con electrones acelerados (IR) aumentó el rendimiento del proceso, frente al control (harina de plumas sin ningún pretratamiento), pero este incremento se vio opacado cuando las plumas fueron sometidas al proceso alcalino-térmico. En los espectros Raman se observaron bandas correspondientes a grupos característicos de la estructura de la queratina, tanto en la harina de plumas, como en la proteína soluble.

  • Open access
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Sodium tetradecyl sulfate: An overview based on patents

Sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS) is a synthetic organic compound that is prepared by the aldol condensation of methyl isobutyl ketone and 2-ethylhexanal, followed by sulfonation of the resulting alcohol. STS is the largest and the most important class of synthetic surfactant used in medicine. It is utilized exclusively as an active ingredient with sclerosing effects. This treatment, called sclerotherapy, has shown efficacy in a number of conditions.

This work in the form of patentability study presents the state by introducing what has been innovated and patented concerning STS. Furthermore, a detailed analysis of the patentability, by using the “chemical compounds search” of The PATENTSCOPE database, has been provided regarding publication years, inventors, applicants, owners, jurisdictions and classifications.

  • Open access
  • 60 Reads
Using Technology in Provision of Recovery Supports for Methadone Patients in Vietnam

The Vietnam’s methadone maintenance treatment program, including the dispensing medication and psychosocial supports have been seen as a great success to control HIV/AIDS among people who use and inject opioid or heroin. Vietnam has one of Asia’s fastest growing HIV rates. By the end of 2015, the number of people living with HIV was approximately 250,000. To date, the HIV epidemic has been concentrated among people who inject drugs (PWID), primarily heroin and those using amphetamine type stimulants (ATS). Piloted in 2008, initially as an harm reduction approach, as of July 2021, approximately 53 thousands patients are on treatment at 361 specialized methadone clinics in all 63 provinces of Vietnam.

The government of Vietnam has seen Methadone very cost effective in controlling HIV epidemic and in improving all aspects of life. The program has been also proven in increasing HIV testing, putting those HIV positive and adhere to ARV treatment. When treated and recovered well, patients reduce using drugs and sharing needle, as such reduce HIV infection and other blood born diseases such as hepatitis B and C. Building an effective substance use disorder treatment system and skilled workforce capable of responding to changes in drug use problems requires innovations, such as using technology to ensure patients adhere to treatment and therapies, including counseling, group recovery and social supports.

We would like to share our summer experience on having an internship to work in Dai Dong Methadone clinic and suggest few solutions for improving treatment and recovery efforts

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Repurposing Drugs to Find HIV-1 Protease Inhibitors: A Virtual Study

HIV-1 protease, a homodimer, has attracted the interest of many researchers due to its essential role in HIV replication and subsequent functional activities. It hydrolyses different viral proteins into their functional form to help in maturing the virus for further extending the disease propagation. The present workflow in this research was designed to identify potential HIV-1 protease inhibitors from library of approved drugs (1,428 compounds) using computational techniques in Computer-Aided-Drug-Design (CADD). The inhibitory potency of the dataset was evaluated using the lowest theoretical binding energies of the target-ligand complex. Software and tools such as Molecular Operating Environment (MOE), AutoDock Vina, Discovery Studio used in CADD were employed during the process of this work. This study suggest the possibility of repurposing some current drugs (from the library) to having potential HIV Protease inhibitory effect.

  • Open access
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Protein ligand complexation: a computational and experimental approach

Herein, we present an integrated computational and experimental study to tackle the interactions between proteins and ligands. As an example of a protein we have chosen fibrinogen, a blood serum protein related to coagulation processes. While as a ligand we have chosen a penicillin: cloxacillin. With respect to computational tools molecular docking simulation with elastic network based on collective low-frequency normal modes and perturbation response scanning maps were proposed to evaluate the conformational binding mechanism. With respect to the experimental part, the tools chosen were calorimetric (ITC and DSC) and spectroscopic (Raman and fluorescence). The combination of all these techniques will give us a broad and concise view of the bonding process between the two species.

  • Open access
  • 70 Reads

Bearing on drug-protein interaction network with structural features

Herein, we present an integrated computational and experimental study to tackle the interactions between proteins and ligands. As an example of a protein we have chosen fibrinogen, a blood serum protein related to coagulation processes. While as a ligand we have chosen a penicillin: cloxacillin. With respect to computational tools molecular docking simulation with elastic network based on collective low-frequency normal modes and perturbation response scanning maps were proposed to evaluate the conformational binding mechanism. With respect to the experimental part, the tools chosen were calorimetric (ITC and DSC) and spectroscopic (Raman and fluorescence). The combination of all these techniques will give us a broad and concise view of the bonding process between the two species.