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Molecules, Volume 28, Issue 23 (December-1 2023) – 257 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): There is an ongoing quest to find blue-emitting materials with a high quantum yield and narrow emission bandwidth for LED applications. A promising class is Cu(I)-based compounds, where the size and electronic structure of the organic countercation modulates the emission properties of the copper(I)-based anion. Yet, the emission mechanism of these halocuprates(I) is not understood. Here, thin films of a molecular salt containing [Cu2Br4]2− as the blue-emitting anion and tetraethylammonium as the countercation are studied using transient absorption and emission spectroscopy. The emission is identified as phosphorescence from a long-lived (57 μs) triplet state, which is formed from the originally excited singlet state with a time constant of 184 ps. The possible implications of LED applications are discussed. View this paper
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18 pages, 2420 KiB  
Review
Mechanism and Progress of Natural Products in the Treatment of NAFLD-Related Fibrosis
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7936; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237936 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 931
Abstract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has emerged as the most prevalent chronic liver disorder worldwide, with liver fibrosis (LF) serving as a pivotal juncture in NAFLD progression. Natural products have demonstrated substantial antifibrotic properties, ushering in novel avenues for NAFLD treatment. This study [...] Read more.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has emerged as the most prevalent chronic liver disorder worldwide, with liver fibrosis (LF) serving as a pivotal juncture in NAFLD progression. Natural products have demonstrated substantial antifibrotic properties, ushering in novel avenues for NAFLD treatment. This study provides a comprehensive review of the potential of natural products as antifibrotic agents, including flavonoids, polyphenol compounds, and terpenoids, with specific emphasis on the role of Baicalin in NAFLD-associated fibrosis. Mechanistically, these natural products have exhibited the capacity to target a multitude of signaling pathways, including Hedgehog, Wnt/β-catenin, TGF-β1, and NF-κB. Moreover, they can augment the activities of antioxidant enzymes, inhibit pro-fibrotic factors, and diminish fibrosis markers. In conclusion, this review underscores the considerable potential of natural products in addressing NAFLD-related liver fibrosis through multifaceted mechanisms. Nonetheless, it underscores the imperative need for further clinical investigation to authenticate their effectiveness, offering invaluable insights for future therapeutic advancements in this domain. Full article
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18 pages, 1714 KiB  
Review
Research Progress on Effects of Ginsenoside Rg2 and Rh1 on Nervous System and Related Mechanisms
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7935; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237935 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 955
Abstract
Neurological-related disorders are diseases that affect the body’s neurons or peripheral nerve tissue, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The development of neurological disorders can cause serious harm to the quality of life and functioning of the patient. The use [...] Read more.
Neurological-related disorders are diseases that affect the body’s neurons or peripheral nerve tissue, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The development of neurological disorders can cause serious harm to the quality of life and functioning of the patient. The use of traditional therapeutic agents such as dopamine-promoting drugs, anticholinergic drugs, cholinesterase inhibitors, and NMDA receptor antagonists is often accompanied by a series of side effects such as drug resistance, cardiac arrhythmia, liver function abnormalities, and blurred vision. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find a therapeutic drug with a high safety profile and few side effects. Herbal medicines are rich in active ingredients that are natural macromolecules. Ginsenoside is the main active ingredient of ginseng, which has a variety of pharmacological effects and is considered to have potential value in the treatment of human diseases. Modern pharmacological studies have shown that ginsenosides Rg2 and Rh1 have strong pharmacological activities in the nervous system, with protective effects on nerve cells, improved resistance to neuronal injury, modulation of neural activity, resistance to cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury, improvement of brain damage after eclampsia hemorrhage, improvement of memory and cognitive deficits, treatment of AD and vascular dementia, alleviation of anxiety, pain, and inhibition of ionic-like behavior. In this article, we searched the pharmacological research literature of Rg2 and Rh1 in the field of neurological diseases, summarized the latest research progress of the two ginsenosides, and reviewed the pharmacological effects and mechanisms of Rg2 and Rh1, which provided a new way of thinking for the research of the active ingredients in ginseng anti-neurological diseases and the development of new drugs. Full article
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23 pages, 6413 KiB  
Review
Progress in the Research on Branched Polymers with Emphasis on the Chinese Petrochemical Industry
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7934; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237934 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 686
Abstract
Polymer flooding, one of the main methods for improving crude oil recovery using chemical flooding technology in China, is widely used for actual oil displacement. Partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) is a commonly used linear polymer in polymer flooding, but it exhibits poor temperature [...] Read more.
Polymer flooding, one of the main methods for improving crude oil recovery using chemical flooding technology in China, is widely used for actual oil displacement. Partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) is a commonly used linear polymer in polymer flooding, but it exhibits poor temperature and salt resistance due to its molecular structure. Therefore, branched polymers have been studied. This article provides a review of the specific synthetic methods and current practical applications in the petrochemical field of dendritic polymers and hyperbranched macromolecules. The advantages and disadvantages of each synthetic method for branched polymers are also elaborated. Finally, the application prospects of branched polymers are discussed. The feasibility of branched polymers in large quantities should be further verified through additional field tests, which should address concerns such as synthesis costs and reaction efficiency. Full article
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15 pages, 1107 KiB  
Review
Nondestructive Metabolomic Fingerprinting: FTIR, NIR and Raman Spectroscopy in Food Screening
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7933; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237933 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 912
Abstract
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the maintenance of food quality and food safety on the basis of metabolomic fingerprinting using vibrational spectroscopy combined with multivariate chemometrics. Nontargeted spectroscopy techniques such as FTIR, NIR and Raman can provide fingerprint information [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the maintenance of food quality and food safety on the basis of metabolomic fingerprinting using vibrational spectroscopy combined with multivariate chemometrics. Nontargeted spectroscopy techniques such as FTIR, NIR and Raman can provide fingerprint information for metabolomic constituents in agricultural products, natural products and foods in a high-throughput, cost-effective and rapid way. In the current review, we tried to explain the capabilities of FTIR, NIR and Raman spectroscopy techniques combined with multivariate analysis for metabolic fingerprinting and profiling. Previous contributions highlighted the considerable potential of these analytical techniques for the detection and quantification of key constituents, such as aromatic amino acids, peptides, aromatic acids, carotenoids, alcohols, terpenoids and flavonoids in the food matrices. Additionally, promising results were obtained for the identification and characterization of different microorganism species such as fungus, bacterial strains and yeasts using these techniques combined with supervised and unsupervised pattern recognition techniques. In conclusion, this review summarized the cutting-edge applications of FTIR, NIR and Raman spectroscopy techniques equipped with multivariate statistics for food analysis and foodomics in the context of metabolomic fingerprinting and profiling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Metabolomics for Food and Beverages Analysis)
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7 pages, 1532 KiB  
Communication
Application of Sonotriboluminescence to Determine Arene Molecules in Hydrocarbons
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7932; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237932 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 634
Abstract
The sonotriboluminescence of suspensions of terbium(III) and europium(III) sulfates in decane without and in the presence of benzene, toluene and p-xylene was studied. The choice of crystals of these lanthanides is due to the fact that they have intense luminescence during mechanical [...] Read more.
The sonotriboluminescence of suspensions of terbium(III) and europium(III) sulfates in decane without and in the presence of benzene, toluene and p-xylene was studied. The choice of crystals of these lanthanides is due to the fact that they have intense luminescence during mechanical action, and also do not dissolve in hydrocarbon solvents. During ultrasonic exposure to suspensions in pure alkanes, bands of Ln3+ ions and N2 in the UV region are recorded in the luminescence spectrum. When aromatic hydrocarbon molecules are added, bands of benzene, toluene and p-xylene molecules, coinciding with their photoluminescence spectra, are recorded in the sonotriboluminescence spectra in the UV region. The high sensitivity of the luminescence of suspensions to arene additives made it possible to obtain the dependence of the characteristic fluorescence of arene molecules in the sonotriboluminescence spectra on their concentration in suspensions. The limits of detection of benzene, toluene and p-xylene in the composition of this suspension were established. The lower limits of detection from the sonotriboluminescence spectra for xylene, toluene and benzene are 0.1, 3 and 50 ppmv, respectively. Fluorescence bands of these molecules were also recorded in the sonotriboluminescence spectra of suspensions in commercial dodecane and heptane with additives of commercial gasoline (up to 1%). The results obtained can be used for luminescent detection of aromatic compounds in saturated hydrocarbons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ultrasound Chemistry)
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12 pages, 3900 KiB  
Article
Indole Diterpene Derivatives from the Aspergillus flavus GZWMJZ-288, an Endophytic Fungus from Garcinia multiflora
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7931; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237931 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 669
Abstract
A new indole diterpene, 26-dihydroxyaflavininyl acetate (1), along with five known analogs (26) were isolated from the liquid fermentation of Aspergillus flavus GZWMJZ-288, an endophyte from Garcinia multiflora. The structures of these compounds were identified through [...] Read more.
A new indole diterpene, 26-dihydroxyaflavininyl acetate (1), along with five known analogs (26) were isolated from the liquid fermentation of Aspergillus flavus GZWMJZ-288, an endophyte from Garcinia multiflora. The structures of these compounds were identified through NMR, MS, chemical reaction, and X-ray diffraction experiments. Enzyme inhibition activity screening found that compounds 1, 4, and 6 have a good binding affinity with NPC1L1, among which compound 6 exhibited a stronger binding ability than ezetimibe at a concentration of 10 µM. Moreover, compound 5 showed inhibitory activity against α-glucosidase with an IC50 value of 29.22 ± 0.83 µM, which is 13 times stronger than that of acarbose. The results suggest that these aflavinine analogs may serve as lead compounds for the development of drugs targeting NPC1L1 and α-glucosidase. The binding modes of the bioactive compounds with NPC1L1 and α-glucosidase were also performed through in silico docking studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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11 pages, 1306 KiB  
Article
Antifungal and Phytotoxic Activities of Isolated Compounds from Helietta parvifolia Stems
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7930; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237930 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 612
Abstract
The identification of natural and environmentally friendly pesticides is a key area of interest for the agrochemical industry, with many potentially active compounds being sourced from numerous plant species. In this study, we report the bioassay-guided isolation and identification of phytotoxic and antifungal [...] Read more.
The identification of natural and environmentally friendly pesticides is a key area of interest for the agrochemical industry, with many potentially active compounds being sourced from numerous plant species. In this study, we report the bioassay-guided isolation and identification of phytotoxic and antifungal compounds from the ethyl acetate extract of Helietta parvifolia stems. We identified eight compounds, consisting of two coumarins and six alkaloids. Among these, a new alkaloid, 2-hydroxy-3,6,7-trimethoxyquinoline-4-carbaldehyde (6), was elucidated, along with seven known compounds. The phytotoxicity of purified compounds was evaluated, and chalepin (4) was active against Agrostis stolonifera at 1 mM with 50% inhibition of seed germination and it reduced Lemna pausicotata (duckweed) growth by 50% (IC50) at 168 μM. Additionally, we evaluated the antifungal activity against the fungal plant pathogen Colletotrichum fragariae using a thin-layer chromatography bioautography assay, which revealed that three isolated furoquinoline alkaloids (flindersiamine (3), kokusagenine (7), and maculine (8)) among the isolated compounds had the strongest inhibitory effects on the growth of C. fragariae at all tested concentrations. Our results indicate that these active natural compounds, i.e., (3), (4), (7), and (8), could be scaffolds for the production of more active pesticides with better physicochemical properties. Full article
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19 pages, 1066 KiB  
Review
Effects of Natural Products on Enzymes Involved in Ferroptosis: Regulation and Implications
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7929; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237929 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 810
Abstract
Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death that is characterized by the accumulation of iron-dependent lipid peroxides. The regulation of ferroptosis involves both non-enzymatic reactions and enzymatic mechanisms. Natural products have demonstrated potential effects on various enzymes, including GPX4, HO-1, NQO1, NOX4, [...] Read more.
Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death that is characterized by the accumulation of iron-dependent lipid peroxides. The regulation of ferroptosis involves both non-enzymatic reactions and enzymatic mechanisms. Natural products have demonstrated potential effects on various enzymes, including GPX4, HO-1, NQO1, NOX4, GCLC, and GCLM, which are mainly involved in glutathione metabolic pathway or oxidative stress regulation, and ACSL3 and ACSL4, which mainly participate in lipid metabolism, thereby influencing the regulation of ferroptosis. In this review, we have provided a comprehensive overview of the existing literature pertaining to the effects of natural products on enzymes involved in ferroptosis and discussed their potential implications for the prevention and treatment of ferroptosis-related diseases. We also highlight the potential challenge that the majority of research has concentrated on investigating the impact of natural products on the expression of enzymes involving ferroptosis while limited attention is given to the regulation of enzyme activity. This observation underscores the considerable potential and scope for exploring the influence of natural products on enzyme activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discovery of Enzyme Inhibitors from Natural Products II)
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12 pages, 8522 KiB  
Article
Effect of Surface Pt Doping on the Reactivity of Au(111) Surfaces towards Methanol Dehydrogenation: A First-Principles Density Functional Theory Investigation
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7928; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237928 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 612
Abstract
The surprisingly high catalytic activity of gold has been known to the heterogeneous catalysis community since the mid-1980s. Significant efforts have been directed towards improving the reactivity of these surfaces towards important industrial reactions. One such strategy is the introduction of small amounts [...] Read more.
The surprisingly high catalytic activity of gold has been known to the heterogeneous catalysis community since the mid-1980s. Significant efforts have been directed towards improving the reactivity of these surfaces towards important industrial reactions. One such strategy is the introduction of small amounts of other metals to create Au-based surface alloys. In this work, we investigated the synergistic effect of the Pt doping of a Au(111) surface on decreasing the activation barrier of the methanol dehydrogenation elementary step within first-principles density functional theory. To this end, we constructed several models of Pt-doped Au(111) surfaces, including a full Pt overlayer and monolayer. The effect of Pt surface doping was then investigated via the computation of the adsorption energies of the various chemical species involved in the catalytic step and the estimation of the activation barriers of methanol dehydrogenation. Both the electronic and strain effects induced by Pt surface doping substantially lowered the activation energy barrier of this important elementary reaction step. Moreover, in the presence of preadsorbed atomic oxygen, Pt surface doping could be used to reduce the activation energy for methanol dehydrogenation to as low as 0.1 eV. Full article
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20 pages, 3979 KiB  
Article
Oxidation Treatments Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Convert Paper-Grade Eucalyptus Kraft Pulp into Dissolving-Grade Pulp
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7927; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237927 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 768
Abstract
Converting paper-grade bleached Kraft pulp into dissolving pulp using eco-friendly chemicals on-site at the mill is a challenge for the pulp industry. In this study, two oxidation systems are evaluated: the first one is based on the use of hydrogen peroxide at various [...] Read more.
Converting paper-grade bleached Kraft pulp into dissolving pulp using eco-friendly chemicals on-site at the mill is a challenge for the pulp industry. In this study, two oxidation systems are evaluated: the first one is based on the use of hydrogen peroxide at various levels of alkalinity; the second one investigates the use of sodium periodate followed by hydrogen peroxide to convert aldehydes into carboxyls and enhance their hemicelluloses removal. Our results have shown that when using only peroxide, the removal of hemicelluloses was not sufficient to improve the pulp’s dissolving ability. Conversely, the periodate–peroxide system proved to be more efficient. Results regarding the pulp purity, solubility, degradation (pulp viscosity and cellulose molecular mass distribution), brightness, and its potential applications were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Analytical Chemistry)
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14 pages, 4147 KiB  
Article
Pharmacological Evidence That Dictyostelium Differentiation-Inducing Factor 1 Promotes Glucose Uptake Partly via an Increase in Intracellular cAMP Content in Mouse 3T3-L1 Cells
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7926; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237926 - 04 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 617
Abstract
Differentiation-inducing factor 1 (DIF-1) isolated from the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum can inhibit mammalian calmodulin-dependent cAMP/cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE1) in vitro. DIF-1 also promotes glucose uptake, at least in part, via a mitochondria- and AMPK-dependent pathway in mouse 3T3-L1 fibroblast cells, but the [...] Read more.
Differentiation-inducing factor 1 (DIF-1) isolated from the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum can inhibit mammalian calmodulin-dependent cAMP/cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE1) in vitro. DIF-1 also promotes glucose uptake, at least in part, via a mitochondria- and AMPK-dependent pathway in mouse 3T3-L1 fibroblast cells, but the mechanism underlying this effect has not been fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated the effects of DIF-1 on intracellular cAMP and cGMP levels, as well as the effects that DIF-1 and several compounds that increase cAMP and cGMP levels have on glucose uptake in confluent 3T3-L1 cells. DIF-1 at 20 μM (a concentration that promotes glucose uptake) increased the level of intracellular cAMP by about 20% but did not affect the level of intracellular cGMP. Neither the PDE1 inhibitor 8-methoxymethyl-3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine at 10–200 μM nor the broad-range PDE inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine at 40–400 μM had any marked effects on glucose uptake. The membrane-permeable cAMP analog 8-bromo-cAMP at 200–1000 μM significantly promoted glucose uptake (by 20–25%), whereas the membrane-permeable cGMP analog 8-bromo-cGMP at 3–100 μM did not affect glucose uptake. The adenylate cyclase activator forskolin at 1–10 μM promoted glucose uptake by 20–30%. Thus, DIF-1 may promote glucose uptake by 3T3-L1 cells, at least in part, via an increase in intracellular cAMP level. Full article
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10 pages, 912 KiB  
Article
Application of Accelerated Predictive Stability Studies in Extemporaneously Compounded Formulations of Chlorhexidine to Assess the Shelf Life
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7925; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237925 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 804
Abstract
Industrially fabricated medicines have a well-defined shelf life supported by rigorous studies before their approval for commercialization. However, the shelf life of extemporaneous compounding topical formulations prepared at hospitals tends to be shorter, especially when no data are available to prove a longer [...] Read more.
Industrially fabricated medicines have a well-defined shelf life supported by rigorous studies before their approval for commercialization. However, the shelf life of extemporaneous compounding topical formulations prepared at hospitals tends to be shorter, especially when no data are available to prove a longer stability period. Also, the storage conditions are unknown in many circumstances. Accelerated Predictive Stability (APS) studies have been shown to be a useful tool to predict in a faster and more accurate manner the chemical stability of extemporaneously compounded formulations requiring a minimum amount of formulation, thereby reducing the chemical drug waste per study. Shelf life will be allocated based on scientific data without compromising drug efficacy or safety. In this work, the APS approach was applied to the commercially available Cristalmina® (CR) and an extemporaneously compounded formulation of chlorhexidine (DCHX). A different degradation kinetic was found between DCHX and CR (Avrami vs. zero-order kinetics, respectively). This can explain the different shelf life described by the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements Registration Pharmaceuticals Human Use (ICH) conditions between both formulations. A predicted stability for the DCHX solution was obtained from the extrapolation of the degradation rate in long-term conditions from the Arrhenius equation. The estimated degradation from the Arrhenius equation for DCHX at 5 °C, 25 °C, and 30 °C at 365 days was 3.1%, 17.4%, and 25.9%, respectively. The predicted shelf life, in which the DCHX content was above 90%, was 26.67 months under refrigerated conditions and 5.75 and 2.24 months at 25 and 30 °C, respectively. Currently, the Spanish National Formulary recommends a shelf life of no longer than 3 months at room temperature for DCHX solution. Based on the predicted APS and confirmed by experimental long-term studies, we have demonstrated that the shelf life of DCHX extemporaneously compounded formulations could be prolonged by up to 6 months. Full article
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17 pages, 7433 KiB  
Article
Enhancing c-Si Solar Cell Efficiency in the UV Region: Photophysical Insights into the Use of Eu3+ Complexes for Down-Shifting Layer Applications
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7924; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237924 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 662
Abstract
[Eu(3DPIQC)3] (where DPIQC = 3-(diphenyl phosphoryl)-1-isoquinolinecarboxylate), a luminescent europium complex with antenna ligands, has been carefully embedded within a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) matrix and the resulting material was used to prepare films used as luminescent down-shifting layers (LDSLs) for [...] Read more.
[Eu(3DPIQC)3] (where DPIQC = 3-(diphenyl phosphoryl)-1-isoquinolinecarboxylate), a luminescent europium complex with antenna ligands, has been carefully embedded within a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) matrix and the resulting material was used to prepare films used as luminescent down-shifting layers (LDSLs) for crystalline Si-based solar cells. The films were characterized using photoluminescence spectroscopy, atomic force spectroscopy (AFM), UV-Vis spectroscopy, and fluorescence microscopy. The AFM analysis shows films with low surface roughness, while fluorescence microscopy revealed that the Eu complex embedded in PVB assumed a spheroidal configuration, a morphology especially beneficial for optical applications. The so-obtained LDSLs were utilized as energy converters in c-Si solar cells to enhance the utilization of high-energy photons, thereby improving their overall efficiency. The determination of photovoltaic parameters carried out before and after the deposition of the LDSLs on the c-Si cells confirms a positive effect on the efficiency of the cell. The Jsc increases from 121.6 mA/cm2 to 124.9 mA/cm2, and the open circuit voltage (Voc) is found to be unrelated to the complex concentration in the films. The fill factor (FF) remains constant with the Eu concentration. The EQE curves indicate an enhancement in the performance of the photovoltaic cells within the UV region of the spectrum for all coated devices. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was also carried out in order to analyze the effect of the Eu complex in the charge transfer process of the devices. Full article
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17 pages, 5989 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Flotation Agents on the Nucleation and Growth of Potassium Chloride
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7923; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237923 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 574
Abstract
The flotation agent is an important collector in the production of potassium chloride and is brought into the crystallization stage with the reflux of the mother liquor. Octadecylamine Hydrochloride (ODA), 1-Dodecylamine Hydrochloride (DAH) and Sodium 1-dodecanesulfonate (SDS) were selected to study their effect [...] Read more.
The flotation agent is an important collector in the production of potassium chloride and is brought into the crystallization stage with the reflux of the mother liquor. Octadecylamine Hydrochloride (ODA), 1-Dodecylamine Hydrochloride (DAH) and Sodium 1-dodecanesulfonate (SDS) were selected to study their effect on the nucleation of potassium chloride. Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement was used to collect the nucleation-induced periods of KCl in the presence of flotation agents at different supersaturations. Then, empirical equations, classical nucleation theory and growth mechanism equations were employed for data analysis. It was found that the presence of flotation agents increased the nucleation sequence m, and m(ODA) > m(SDS) > m(DAH) > m(H2O). In addition, the interfacial energy data obtained using classical nucleation theory suggest that the flotation agents used in our paper promoted the homogeneous nucleation of KCl (reduced from 5.3934 mJ·m−2 to 5.1434 mJ·m−2) and inhibited the heterogeneous nucleation of KCl (increased from 2.8054 mJ·m−2 to 3.6004 mJ·m−2). This investigation also revealed that the growth of potassium chloride was consistent with the 2D nucleation-mediated growth mechanism, and the addition of flotation agent did not change the growth mechanism of potassium chloride. Finally, the particle size distribution results were exactly consistent with the order of nucleation order m. The study of nucleation kinetics and growth mechanisms of different flotation agents on potassium chloride can provide guidance for optimizing the production process of potassium chloride and developing new flotation agents. Full article
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15 pages, 2935 KiB  
Review
A Review of Synthesis and Applications of Al2O3 for Organic Dye Degradation/Adsorption
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7922; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237922 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 765
Abstract
This comprehensive review investigates the potential of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) as a highly effective adsorbent for organic dye degradation. Al2O3 emerges as a promising solution to address environmental challenges associated with dye discharge due to its [...] Read more.
This comprehensive review investigates the potential of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) as a highly effective adsorbent for organic dye degradation. Al2O3 emerges as a promising solution to address environmental challenges associated with dye discharge due to its solid ceramic composition, robust mechanical properties, expansive surface area, and exceptional resistance to environmental degradation. The paper meticulously examines recent advancements in Al2O3-based materials, emphasizing their efficacy in both organic dye degradation and adsorption. Offering a nuanced understanding of Al2O3’s pivotal role in environmental remediation, this review provides a valuable synthesis of the latest research developments in the field of dye degradation. It serves as an insightful resource, emphasizing the significant potential of aluminum oxide in mitigating the pressing environmental concerns linked to organic dye discharge. The application of Al2O3-based catalysts in the photocatalytic treatment of multi-component organic dyes necessitates further exploration, particularly in addressing real-world wastewater complexities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Energy Conversion and Water Sustainability)
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12 pages, 3984 KiB  
Article
The Synergistic Effect of Biosynthesized Silver Nanoparticles and Phytocompound as a Novel Approach to the Elimination of Pathogens
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7921; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237921 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 660
Abstract
Due to the wide applications of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), research on their ecological synthesis has been extensive in recent years. In our study, biogenic silver nanoparticles were synthesized extracellularly using the white rot fungus Trametes versicolor via two cultivation methods: static and shaking. The [...] Read more.
Due to the wide applications of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), research on their ecological synthesis has been extensive in recent years. In our study, biogenic silver nanoparticles were synthesized extracellularly using the white rot fungus Trametes versicolor via two cultivation methods: static and shaking. The cell filtrate of the fungus was used as a reducing agent in the process of nanoparticle synthesis. Characterization of the obtained nanoparticles was carried out using UV–VIS spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The biosynthesized nanoparticles have antimicrobial potential against pathogenic bacteria, particularly in Gram-negative strains. The bactericidal effect was obtained for E. coli at a concentration of 7 µg/mL. The use of higher concentrations of compounds was necessary for Gram-positive bacteria. Taking into account the problem of the risk of cytotoxicity of AgNPs, combined therapy using a phytochemical was used for the first time, which was aimed at reducing the doses of nanoparticles. The most representative synergistic effect was observed in the treatment of 5 µg/mL silver nanoparticles in combination with 15 µg/mL ursolic acid against E. coli and P. aeruginosa with a bactericidal effect. Moreover, the coadministration of nanoparticles considerably reduced the growth of both Staphylococcus strains, with a bactericidal effect against S. aureus. The viability test confirmed the strong synergistic effect of both tested compounds. Silver nanoparticles synthesized using the T. versicolor showed excellent antibacterial potential, which opens perspectives for future investigations concerning the use of the nanoparticles as antimicrobials in the areas of health. Full article
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13 pages, 9296 KiB  
Article
Mesoporous-Layered Double Oxide/MCM-41 Composite with Enhanced Catalytic Performance for Cyclopentanone Aldol Condensation
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7920; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237920 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 658
Abstract
Layered double oxides are widely employed in catalyzing the aldol condensation for producing biofuels, but its selectivity and stability need to be further improved. Herein, a novel MCM-41-supported Mg–Al-layered double oxide (LDO/MCM-41) was prepared via the in situ integration of a sol–gel process [...] Read more.
Layered double oxides are widely employed in catalyzing the aldol condensation for producing biofuels, but its selectivity and stability need to be further improved. Herein, a novel MCM-41-supported Mg–Al-layered double oxide (LDO/MCM-41) was prepared via the in situ integration of a sol–gel process and coprecipitation, followed by calcination. This composite was first employed to catalyze the self-condensation of cyclopentanone for producing high-density cycloalkane precursors. LDO/MCM-41 possessed large specific surface area, uniform pore size distribution, abundant medium basic sites and Bronsted acid sites. Compared with the bulk LDO, LDO/MCM-41 exhibited a higher selectivity for C10 and C15 oxygenates at 150 °C (93.4% vs. 84.6%). The selectivity for C15 was especially enhanced on LDO/MCM-41, which was three times greater than that on LDO. The stability test showed that naked LDO with stronger basic strength had a rapid initial activity, while it suffered an obvious deactivation due to its poor carbon balance. LDO/MCM-41 with lower basic strength had an enhanced stability even with a lower initial activity. Under the optimum conditions (50% LDO loading, 170 °C, 7 h), the cyclopentanone conversion on LDO/MCM-41 reached 77.8%, with a 60% yield of C10 and 15.2% yield of C15. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porous Materials as Catalysts and Sorbents)
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15 pages, 3244 KiB  
Article
Helium Cold Atmospheric Plasma Causes Morphological and Biochemical Alterations in Candida albicans Cells
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7919; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237919 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 681
Abstract
(1) Background: Previous studies reported the promising inhibitory effect of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) on Candida albicans. However, the exact mechanisms of CAP’s action on the fungal cell are still poorly understood. This study aims to elucidate the CAP effect on C. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Previous studies reported the promising inhibitory effect of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) on Candida albicans. However, the exact mechanisms of CAP’s action on the fungal cell are still poorly understood. This study aims to elucidate the CAP effect on C. albicans cell wall, by evaluating the alterations on its structure and biochemical composition; (2) Methods: C. albicans cells treated with Helium-CAP were analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) in order to detect morphological, topographic and biochemical changes in the fungal cell wall. Cells treated with caspofungin were also analyzed for comparative purposes; (3) Results: Expressive morphological and topographic changes, such as increased roughness and shape modification, were observed in the cells after CAP exposure. The alterations detected were similar to those observed after the treatment with caspofungin. The main biochemical changes occurred in polysaccharides content, and an overall decrease in glucans and an increase in chitin synthesis were detected; (4) Conclusions: Helium-CAP caused morphological and topographic alterations in C. albicans cells and affected the cell wall polysaccharide content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma Technology and Biomedical Applications)
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10 pages, 4573 KiB  
Article
Facile Synthesis of Nd2Fe14B Hard Magnetic Particles with Microwave-Assisted Hydrothermal Method
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7918; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237918 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 505
Abstract
The synthesis of Nd-Fe-B magnetic powders via chemical techniques presents significant promise, but poses challenges due to their inherent chemical instability. In this investigation, Nd-Fe-B hard magnetic particles were synthesized utilizing an eco-friendly and simple microwave-assisted hydrothermal synthetic method. The technique involves the [...] Read more.
The synthesis of Nd-Fe-B magnetic powders via chemical techniques presents significant promise, but poses challenges due to their inherent chemical instability. In this investigation, Nd-Fe-B hard magnetic particles were synthesized utilizing an eco-friendly and simple microwave-assisted hydrothermal synthetic method. The technique involves the synthesis of the Nd-Fe-B oxide precursor using the microwave-assisted hydrothermal method, followed by reduction–diffusion using CaH2. The microwave-assisted hydrothermal technique presents a viable approach for preparing Nd-Fe-B precursor particles, offering advantages such as time and energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. The synthesized Nd-Fe-B particles demonstrated a coercivity of up to 2.3 kOe. These magnetic particles hold significant potential for use in high-performance permanent magnets, and can effectively contribute to developing high-energy density exchange-coupled nanocomposite magnets. This study also offers valuable insights into the design and synthesis of additional magnetic materials based on rare earth elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis and Characterization of Materials in Chemistry)
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10 pages, 1252 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Spray-Dried Porcine Plasma and Hydrolyzed Porcine Protein as Animal-Blood-Derived Protein Ingredients for Pet Nutrition
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7917; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237917 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 908
Abstract
Spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) and hydrolyzed porcine protein (HPP) are promising animal protein ingredients sourced from healthy animal blood that are rich in biomolecules, including immunoglobulins, and can be an appropriate and valuable animal protein ingredient to supply the growing need for ingredients [...] Read more.
Spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) and hydrolyzed porcine protein (HPP) are promising animal protein ingredients sourced from healthy animal blood that are rich in biomolecules, including immunoglobulins, and can be an appropriate and valuable animal protein ingredient to supply the growing need for ingredients that meet the natural needs of carnivorous pets. The aim of this preliminary study was to analyze the chemical composition and mineral profile of a novel HPP compared with results for SDPP. The basic composition analysis followed AOAC guidelines, and the elemental analysis utilized atomic absorption spectrometry. Statistical comparisons employed an independent Student’s t-test (p < 0.05). Both SDPP and HPP are low in moisture (<4.3%) and rich in protein, with SDPP significantly exceeding HPP (75.4% vs. 71.4%). They boast mineral richness indicated by crude ash content (12.7% and 12.5%), featuring Na, K, P, and the trace elements Mo, Fe, and Zn. Notably, SDPP contains elevated molybdenum levels (51.39 mg/100 g vs. 10.93 mg/100 g in HPP), an essential element for diverse animal functions. Quantifying these elements in raw materials aids in achieving optimal nutrient levels in the final product. The study underscores SDPP as an excellent protein source, confirming that its nutritional value is similar to or better than other protein components in pet food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomolecules of Natural Origin: Fundamentals and Applications)
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26 pages, 4639 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances on Electrochemical Sensors for Detection of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs)
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7916; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237916 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 832
Abstract
Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs), a new category of contaminants currently in the limelight, are a major issue of global concern. The pervasive nature of CECs and their harmful effects, such as cancer, reproductive disorders, neurotoxicity, etc., make the situation alarming. The perilous [...] Read more.
Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs), a new category of contaminants currently in the limelight, are a major issue of global concern. The pervasive nature of CECs and their harmful effects, such as cancer, reproductive disorders, neurotoxicity, etc., make the situation alarming. The perilous nature of CECs lies in the fact that even very small concentrations of CECs can cause great impacts on living beings. They also have a nature of bioaccumulation. Thus, there is a great need to have efficient sensors for the detection of CECs to ensure a safe living environment. Electrochemical sensors are an efficient platform for CEC detection as they are highly selective, sensitive, stable, reproducible, and prompt, and can detect very low concentrations of the analyte. Major classes of CECs are pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, personal care products, endocrine disruptors, newly registered pesticides, and disinfection by-products. This review focusses on CECs, including their sources and pathways, health effects caused by them, and electrochemical sensors as reported in the literature under each category for the detection of major CECs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials Chemistry)
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11 pages, 1129 KiB  
Article
A Facile and General Oxidative Hydroxylation of Organoboron Compounds: Citric Acid as an Efficient Catalyst in Water to Access Phenolic and Alcoholic Motifs
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7915; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237915 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 547
Abstract
An efficient and convenient method for the synthesis of phenols and aliphatic alcohols is described in this paper. The oxidative hydroxylation reaction of various organoboron compounds proceeded smoothly by employing H2O2 as the oxidant and citric acid as the catalyst [...] Read more.
An efficient and convenient method for the synthesis of phenols and aliphatic alcohols is described in this paper. The oxidative hydroxylation reaction of various organoboron compounds proceeded smoothly by employing H2O2 as the oxidant and citric acid as the catalyst in water at room temperature to produce phenols and aliphatic alcohols in satisfactory to excellent yields (up to 99% yield). Various synthetically useful functional groups, such as halogen atom, cyano, and nitro groups, remain intact during the oxidative hydroxylation. The developed catalytic system also could accommodate phenylboronic pinacol ester and potassium phenyltrifluoroborate to give the target product good yields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Green and Sustainable Chemistry)
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12 pages, 13023 KiB  
Article
An AIE Metal Iridium Complex: Photophysical Properties and Singlet Oxygen Generation Capacity
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7914; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237914 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 643
Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has garnered significant attention in the fields of cancer treatment and drug-resistant bacteria eradication due to its non-invasive nature and spatiotemporal controllability. Iridium complexes have captivated researchers owing to their tunable structure, exceptional optical properties, and substantial Stokes displacement. However, [...] Read more.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has garnered significant attention in the fields of cancer treatment and drug-resistant bacteria eradication due to its non-invasive nature and spatiotemporal controllability. Iridium complexes have captivated researchers owing to their tunable structure, exceptional optical properties, and substantial Stokes displacement. However, most of these complexes suffer from aggregation-induced quenching, leading to diminished luminous efficiency. In contrast to conventional photosensitizers, photosensitizers exhibiting aggregation-induced luminescence (AIE) properties retain the ability to generate a large number of reactive oxygen species when aggregated. To overcome these limitations, we designed and synthesized a novel iridium complex named Ir-TPA in this study. It incorporates quinoline triphenylamine cyclomethylated ligands that confer AIE characteristics for Ir-TPA. We systematically investigated the photophysical properties, AIE behavior, spectral features, and reactive oxygen generation capacity of Ir-TPA. The results demonstrate that Ir-TPA exhibits excellent optical properties with pronounced AIE phenomenon and robust capability for producing singlet oxygen species. This work not only introduces a new class of metal iridium complex photosensitizer with AIE attributes but also holds promise for achieving remarkable photodynamic therapeutic effects in future cellular experiments and biological studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Applications of Transition Metal Complexes)
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16 pages, 1418 KiB  
Article
A Green Bioactive By-Product Almond Skin Functional Extract for Developing Nutraceutical Formulations with Potential Antimetabolic Activity
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7913; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237913 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 827
Abstract
(1) Background: almond peels are rich in polyphenols such as catechin and epicatechin, which are important anti-free-radical agents, anti-inflammatory compounds, and capable of breaking down cholesterol plaques. This work aims to evaluate the biological and technological activity of a “green” dry aqueous extract [...] Read more.
(1) Background: almond peels are rich in polyphenols such as catechin and epicatechin, which are important anti-free-radical agents, anti-inflammatory compounds, and capable of breaking down cholesterol plaques. This work aims to evaluate the biological and technological activity of a “green” dry aqueous extract from Sicilian almond peels, a waste product of the food industry, and to develop healthy nutraceuticals with natural ingredients. Eudraguard® Natural is a natural coating polymer chosen to develop atomized formulations that improve the technological properties of the extract. (2) Methods: the antioxidant and free radical scavenger activity of the extract was rated using different methods (DPPH assay, ABTS, ORAC, NO). The metalloproteinases of the extracts (MMP-2 and MMP-9), the enhanced inhibition of the final glycation products, and the effects of the compounds on cell viability were also tested. All pure materials and formulations were characterized using UV, HPLC, FTIR, DSC, and SEM methods. (3) Results: almond peel extract showed appreciable antioxidant and free radical activity with a stronger NO inhibition effect, strong activity on MMP-2, and good antiglycative effects. In light of this, a food supplement with added health value was formulated. Eudraguard® Natural acted as a swelling substrate by improving extract solubility and dissolution/release (4) Conclusions: almond peel extract has significant antioxidant activity and MMP/AGE inhibition effects, resulting in an optimal candidate to formulate safe microsystems with potential antimetabolic activity. Eudraguard® Natural is capable of obtaining spray-dried microsystems with an improvement in the extract‘s biological and technological characteristics. It also protects the dry extract from degradation and oxidation, prolonging the shelf life of the final product. Full article
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16 pages, 2215 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of 2-Substituted Quinazolin-4(3H)-Ones with Antiproliferative Activities
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7912; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237912 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 877
Abstract
Sixteen new 2-substituted quinazolines were synthesized using a straightforward methodology starting from 2-methoxybezoic acid or 3-methoxy-2-naphthoic acid. The anti-proliferative activity of the target compounds was evaluated against nine cancer cell lines. Additionally, all the compounds were screened for their potency and selectivity against [...] Read more.
Sixteen new 2-substituted quinazolines were synthesized using a straightforward methodology starting from 2-methoxybezoic acid or 3-methoxy-2-naphthoic acid. The anti-proliferative activity of the target compounds was evaluated against nine cancer cell lines. Additionally, all the compounds were screened for their potency and selectivity against a panel of 109 kinases and four bromodomains, using Differential Scanning Fluorimetry (DSF). Compound 17 bearing a 2-methoxyphenyl substitution along with a basic side chain displayed a remarkable profile against the majority of the tested cell lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Heterocyclic Compounds)
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19 pages, 2403 KiB  
Communication
Systematic Analysis of 2′-O-Alkyl Modified Analogs for Enzymatic Synthesis and Their Oligonucleotide Properties
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7911; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237911 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 886
Abstract
Enzymatic oligonucleotide synthesis is used for the development of functional oligonucleotides selected by in vitro selection. Expanding available sugar modifications for in vitro selection helps the functional oligonucleotides to be used as therapeutics reagents. We previously developed a KOD DNA polymerase mutant, KOD [...] Read more.
Enzymatic oligonucleotide synthesis is used for the development of functional oligonucleotides selected by in vitro selection. Expanding available sugar modifications for in vitro selection helps the functional oligonucleotides to be used as therapeutics reagents. We previously developed a KOD DNA polymerase mutant, KOD DGLNK, that enzymatically synthesized fully-LNA- or 2′-O-methyl-modified oligonucleotides. Here, we report a further expansion of the available 2′-O-alkyl-modified nucleotide for enzymatic synthesis by KOD DGLNK. We chemically synthesized five 2′-O-alkyl-5-methyluridine triphosphates and incorporated them into the oligonucleotides. We also enzymatically synthesized a 2′-O-alkyl-modified oligonucleotide with a random region (oligonucleotide libraries). The 2′-O-alkyl-modified oligonucleotide libraries showed high nuclease resistance and a wide range of hydrophobicity. Our synthesized 2′-O-alkyl-modified oligonucleotide libraries provide novel possibilities that can promote the development of functional molecules for therapeutic use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamer Generation and Bioapplication)
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16 pages, 2515 KiB  
Review
Can We Improve Diosmetin Activity? The State-of-the-Art and Promising Research Directions
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7910; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237910 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Diosmetin is a natural substance widely distributed in nature, with documented multidirectional biological effects. The wide spectrum of biological activity of diosmetin gives hope that derivatives of this flavonoid may also be used as drugs or dietary supplements used in many diseases. Modification [...] Read more.
Diosmetin is a natural substance widely distributed in nature, with documented multidirectional biological effects. The wide spectrum of biological activity of diosmetin gives hope that derivatives of this flavonoid may also be used as drugs or dietary supplements used in many diseases. Modification of the structure may, on the one hand, lead to an increase in biological potency, new biological activity, or an increase in solubility and thus bioavailability. This is an important direction of research because the use of pure diosmetin is limited due to its low bioavailability. This work is an attempt to collect information on the possibility of modifying the structure of diosmetin and its impact on biological activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heterocycles: Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation)
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34 pages, 3299 KiB  
Review
Are There Lipid Membrane-Domain Subtypes in Neurons with Different Roles in Calcium Signaling?
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7909; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237909 - 02 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
Lipid membrane nanodomains or lipid rafts are 10–200 nm diameter size cholesterol- and sphingolipid-enriched domains of the plasma membrane, gathering many proteins with different roles. Isolation and characterization of plasma membrane proteins by differential centrifugation and proteomic studies have revealed a remarkable diversity [...] Read more.
Lipid membrane nanodomains or lipid rafts are 10–200 nm diameter size cholesterol- and sphingolipid-enriched domains of the plasma membrane, gathering many proteins with different roles. Isolation and characterization of plasma membrane proteins by differential centrifugation and proteomic studies have revealed a remarkable diversity of proteins in these domains. The limited size of the lipid membrane nanodomain challenges the simple possibility that all of them can coexist within the same lipid membrane domain. As caveolin-1, flotillin isoforms and gangliosides are currently used as neuronal lipid membrane nanodomain markers, we first analyzed the structural features of these components forming nanodomains at the plasma membrane since they are relevant for building supramolecular complexes constituted by these molecular signatures. Among the proteins associated with neuronal lipid membrane nanodomains, there are a large number of proteins that play major roles in calcium signaling, such as ionotropic and metabotropic receptors for neurotransmitters, calcium channels, and calcium pumps. This review highlights a large variation between the calcium signaling proteins that have been reported to be associated with isolated caveolin-1 and flotillin-lipid membrane nanodomains. Since these calcium signaling proteins are scattered in different locations of the neuronal plasma membrane, i.e., in presynapses, postsynapses, axonal or dendritic trees, or in the neuronal soma, our analysis suggests that different lipid membrane-domain subtypes should exist in neurons. Furthermore, we conclude that classification of lipid membrane domains by their content in calcium signaling proteins sheds light on the roles of these domains for neuronal activities that are dependent upon the intracellular calcium concentration. Some examples described in this review include the synaptic and metabolic activity, secretion of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, neuronal excitability (long-term potentiation and long-term depression), axonal and dendritic growth but also neuronal cell survival and death. Full article
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15 pages, 10564 KiB  
Article
Efficient Selective Capture of Carbon Dioxide from Nitrogen and Methane Using a Metal-Organic Framework-Based Nanotrap
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7908; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237908 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 632
Abstract
Selective carbon capture from exhaust gas and biogas, which mainly involves the separation of CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4 mixtures, is of paramount importance for environmental and industrial requirements. Herein, we propose an interesting metal-organic framework-based nanotrap, namely ZnAtzCO [...] Read more.
Selective carbon capture from exhaust gas and biogas, which mainly involves the separation of CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4 mixtures, is of paramount importance for environmental and industrial requirements. Herein, we propose an interesting metal-organic framework-based nanotrap, namely ZnAtzCO3 (Atz = 3-amino-1,2,4-triazolate, CO32− = carbonate), with a favorable ultramicroporous structure and electrostatic interactions that facilitate efficient capture of CO2. The structural composition and stability were verified by FTIR, TGA, and PXRD techniques. Particularly, ZnAtzCO3 demonstrated high CO2 capacity in a wide range of pressures, with values of 44.8 cm3/g at the typical CO2 fraction of the flue gas (15 kPa) and 56.0 cm3/g at the CO2 fraction of the biogas (50 kPa). Moreover, ultrahigh selectivities over CO2/N2 (15:85, v:v) and CO2/CH4 (50:50, v:v) of 3538 and 151 were achieved, respectively. Molecular simulations suggest that the carbon atom of CO2 can form strong electrostatic Cδ+···δ−O-C interactions with four oxygen atoms in the carbonate ligands, while the oxygen atom of CO2 can interact with the hydrogen atoms in the triazolate ligands through Oδ−···δ+H-C interactions, which makes ZnAtzCO3 an optimal nanotrap for CO2 fixation. Furthermore, breakthrough experiments confirmed excellent real-world separation toward CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4 mixtures on ZnAtzCO3, demonstrating its great potential for selective CO2 capture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zeolites and Porous Materials: Synthesis, Properties and Applications)
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22 pages, 4164 KiB  
Article
Determination of the Concentration of Heavy Metals in Artisanal Cheeses Produced in the Mexican States of Tabasco and Chiapas
Molecules 2023, 28(23), 7907; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28237907 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Cheese consumption provides humans with minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins. In Mexico, several cheese varieties are produced, each with its texture, scent, and flavor. The artisanal cheeses made in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas—including, among others, the varieties named crema (cream), doble [...] Read more.
Cheese consumption provides humans with minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins. In Mexico, several cheese varieties are produced, each with its texture, scent, and flavor. The artisanal cheeses made in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas—including, among others, the varieties named crema (cream), doble crema (double cream), oaxaca, panela, fresco, bola, poro, cotija, and asadero—have a high demand in the domestic and foreign markets. The intensification of anthropic activity in these states causes an increased emission to the environment of contaminants like heavy metals, which could reach human foodstuffs through the food chains. In particular, heavy metal contents in cheeses consumed daily by these states’ local populations might represent a public health risk. Because of that, our objectives in this work were to determine the concentrations of lead, cadmium, nickel, copper, zinc, and iron in artisanal cheeses produced in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas and to determine the values of the hazard quotient (HQ), total hazard quotient (THQ), and cancer risk total (CRT) for adult and young men and women. The results of our analyses of cheese samples from the states of Tabasco and Chiapas showed that the average concentrations (mg kg−1) of cadmium (0.0023 ± 0.002, 0.0023 ± 0.002 mg kg−1, respectively, for each state), lead (0.0047 ± 0.00, 0.0051 ± 0.002), nickel (0.0039 ± 0.0046, 0.0031 ± 0.0039), copper (0.0199 ± 0.021, 0.0202 ± 0.022), zinc (0.1611 ± 0.18, 0.194 ± 0.21), and iron (61.84 ± 4.23, 65.76 ± 6.61 mg kg−1), the first three values lower than the limits established by the FAO/WHO and Codex Alimentarius. The value of THQ that we obtained was less than one, and that of CRT was within the limits established by the US-EPA, which means that the consumption of artisanal cheeses from Tabasco and Chiapas by humans does not imply a risk of disease or cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances and Future Challenges in Food Analysis II)
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