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Molecules, Volume 29, Issue 7 (April-1 2024) – 271 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Gas-phase ion chemistry can have relevant impacts on atmospheric processes, including cloud condensation nuclei formation influenced by cosmic rays. This study explores the relevant HO2 and protonated formaldehyde formation from methanol radical cation and oxygen following an exothermic ionic route. Experimental synchrotron studies reveal a rapid hydrogen transfer, and computational analysis elucidates reaction dynamics and kinetics, indicating rapid capture theory kinetics. This research deepens our understanding of atmospheric chemical reactions, emphasizing the role of ion-driven processes. View this paper
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13 pages, 4619 KiB  
Article
Phenylspirodrimane with Moderate Reversal Effect of Multidrug Resistance Isolated from the Deep-Sea Fungus Stachybotrys sp. 3A00409
by Xinhua Ma, Min Wu, Zhenwei Chen, Fan Cao, Tianhua Zhong, Zhuhua Luo, Zongze Shao, Yonghong Zhang, Limin Chen and Zhiqiang Zhang
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1685; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071685 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 609
Abstract
Two new phenylspirodrimanes, stachybotrins K and L (1 and 2), together with eight known analogues (310), were isolated from deep-sea-derived Stachybotrys sp. MCCC 3A00409. Their structures were determined by extensive NMR data and mass spectroscopic analysis. Absolute [...] Read more.
Two new phenylspirodrimanes, stachybotrins K and L (1 and 2), together with eight known analogues (310), were isolated from deep-sea-derived Stachybotrys sp. MCCC 3A00409. Their structures were determined by extensive NMR data and mass spectroscopic analysis. Absolute configurations of new compounds were determined through a comparison of their circular dichroism (CD) spectra with other reported compounds. The possible reversal effects of all compounds were assayed in the resistant cancer cell lines. Stachybotrysin B (8) can reverse multidrug resistance (MDR) in ABCB1-overexpression cells (KBv200, Hela/VCR) at the non-cytotoxic concentration. Doxorubicin accumulation assay and molecular-docking analysis reveal that the mechanism of its reversal MDR effect may be related to the increase in the intracellular concentration of substrate anticancer drugs. Full article
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13 pages, 3465 KiB  
Article
Facilitated Unidirectional Electron Transmission by Ru Nano Particulars Distribution on MXene Mo2C@g-C3N4 Heterostructures for Enhanced Photocatalytic H2 Evolution
by Qiuyu Chen, Zonghan Huang, Meng Liu, Xiaoping Li, Yuxuan Du, Xiaobao Chen, Dahu Ding, Shengjiong Yang, Yang Chen and Rongzhi Chen
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1684; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071684 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Precious metals exhibit promising potential for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), but their limited abundance restricts widespread utilization. Loading precious metal nanoparticles (NPs) on 2D/2D heterojunctions has garnered considerable interest since it saves precious metal consumption and facilitates unidirectional electron transmission from semiconductors [...] Read more.
Precious metals exhibit promising potential for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), but their limited abundance restricts widespread utilization. Loading precious metal nanoparticles (NPs) on 2D/2D heterojunctions has garnered considerable interest since it saves precious metal consumption and facilitates unidirectional electron transmission from semiconductors to active sites. In this study, Ru NPs loaded on MXenes Mo2C by an in-site simple strategy and then formed 2D/2D heterojunctions with 2D g-C3N4 (CN) via electrostatic self-assembly were used to enhance photocatalytic H2 evolution. Evident from energy band structure analyses such as UV-vis and TRPL, trace amounts of Ru NPs as active sites significantly improve the efficiency of the hydrogen evolution reaction. More interestingly, MXene Mo2C, as substrates for supporting Ru NPs, enriches photoexcited electrons from CN, thereby enhancing the unidirectional electron transmission. As a result, the combination of Ru-Mo2C and CN constructs a composite heterojunction (Ru-Mo2C@CN) that shows an improved H2 production rate at 1776.4 μmol∙g−1∙h−1 (AQE 3.58% at 400 nm), which is facilitated by the unidirectional photogenerated electron transmission from the valence band on CN to the active sites on Ru (CN→Mo2C→Ru). The study offers fresh perspectives on accelerated unidirectional photogenerated electron transmission and saved precious metal usage in photocatalytic systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Composite Photocatalysts)
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15 pages, 4730 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Lipophilicity of Angularly Condensed Diquino- and Quinonaphthothiazines as Potential Candidates for New Drugs
by Daria Klimoszek, Małgorzata Jeleń, Beata Morak-Młodawska and Małgorzata Dołowy
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1683; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071683 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Lipophilicity is one of the most important properties of compounds required to estimate the absorption, distribution, and transport in biological systems, in addition to solubility, stability, and acid–base nature. It is crucial in predicting the ADME profile of bioactive compounds. The study assessed [...] Read more.
Lipophilicity is one of the most important properties of compounds required to estimate the absorption, distribution, and transport in biological systems, in addition to solubility, stability, and acid–base nature. It is crucial in predicting the ADME profile of bioactive compounds. The study assessed the usefulness of computational and chromatographic methods (thin-layer chromatography in a reversed-phase system, RP-TLC) for estimating the lipophilicity of 21 newly synthesized compounds belonging to diquinothiazines and quinonaphthiazines. In order to obtain reliable values of the relative lipophilicities of diquinothiazines and quinonaphthiazines, the partition coefficients obtained using different algorithms such as AlogPs, AClogP, AlogP, MLOGP, XLOGP2, XLOGP3, logP, and ClogP were compared with the chromatographic RM0 values of all the tested compounds measured by the experimental RP-TLC method (logPTLC). Additionally, logPTLC values were also correlated with other descriptors, as well as the predicted ADME and drug safety profiling parameters. The linear correlations of logPTLC values of the tested compounds with other calculated molecular descriptors such as molar refractivity, as well as ADME parameters (Caco-2 substrates, P-gp inhibitors, CYP2C19, and CYP3A4) generally show poor predictive power. Therefore, in silico ADME profiling can only be helpful at the initial step of designing these new candidates for drugs. The compliance of all discussed diquinothiazines and naphthoquinothiazines with the rules of Lipiński, Veber, and Egan suggests that the tested pentacyclic phenothiazine analogs have a chance to become therapeutic drugs, especially orally active drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Analytical Chemistry)
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21 pages, 808 KiB  
Review
New Avenues and Major Achievements in Phytocompounds Research for Glioblastoma Therapy
by Aleksandra Majchrzak-Celińska and Elżbieta Studzińska-Sroka
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1682; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071682 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 677
Abstract
Phytocompounds have been evaluated for their anti-glioblastoma actions for decades, with promising results from preclinical studies but only limited translation into clinics. Indeed, by targeting multiple signaling pathways deregulated in cancer, they often show high efficacy in the in vitro studies, but their [...] Read more.
Phytocompounds have been evaluated for their anti-glioblastoma actions for decades, with promising results from preclinical studies but only limited translation into clinics. Indeed, by targeting multiple signaling pathways deregulated in cancer, they often show high efficacy in the in vitro studies, but their poor bioavailability, low tumor accumulation, and rapid clearance compromise their efficacy in vivo. Here, we present the new avenues in phytocompound research for the improvement of glioblastoma therapy, including the ways to enhance the response to temozolomide using phytochemicals, the current focus on phytocompound-based immunotherapy, or the use of phytocompounds as photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy. Moreover, we present new, intensively evaluated approaches, such as chemical modifications of phytochemicals or encapsulation into numerous types of nanoformulations, to improve their bioavailability and delivery to the brain. Finally, we present the clinical trials evaluating the role of phytocompounds or phytocompound-derived drugs in glioblastoma therapy and the less studied phytocompounds or plant extracts that have only recently been found to possess promising anti-glioblastoma properties. Overall, recent advancements in phytocompound research are encouraging; however, only with more 3D glioblastoma models, in vivo studies, and clinical trials it is possible to upgrade the role of phytocompounds in glioblastoma treatment to a satisfactory level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products Based Anticancer Drugs)
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19 pages, 3942 KiB  
Article
Deacetylated Konjac Glucomannan with a Slower Hydration Rate Delays Rice Digestion and Weakens Appetite Response
by Chenfeng Xu, Kaixuan Cheng, Yu Kang, Chao Cheng, Chi Zhang and Longchen Shang
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1681; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071681 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 631
Abstract
The physical characteristics of chyme during gastrointestinal digestion are considered to significantly affect nutrient digestion and absorption (such as glucose diffusion), which has an impact on postprandial satiety. The present study aims to analyze the hydration rate (HR) and rheological properties of deacetylated [...] Read more.
The physical characteristics of chyme during gastrointestinal digestion are considered to significantly affect nutrient digestion and absorption (such as glucose diffusion), which has an impact on postprandial satiety. The present study aims to analyze the hydration rate (HR) and rheological properties of deacetylated konjac glucomannan (DKGM) at different degrees and then explore their effects on rice texture, digestive properties, and the subjects’ post-meal appetite. The present results show that, as the deacetylation degree (DD) of KGM increased, the intersection point of the viscoelastic modulus shifted to a high shear rate frequency, and as the swelling time of the DKGM was prolonged, its HR decreased significantly. The results of the in vitro gastrointestinal digestion tests show that the hardness and chewability of the rice in the fast-hydration group (MK1) were remarkably reduced. In contrast, the slow-hydration group (MK5) exhibited an outstanding ability to resist digestion. The kinetics of starch hydrolysis revealed that the HR of the rice in the fast-hydration group was 1.8 times faster than that of the slow-hydration group. Moreover, it was found that the subjects’ appetite after the meal was highly related to the HR of the MK. Their hunger (p < 0.001), desire to eat (p < 0.001), and prospective food consumption (p < 0.001) were significantly inhibited in the slow-hydration group (MK5) compared to the control. This study explored the nutritional effects of the hydration properties derived from the DKGM, which may contribute to modifying the high glycemic index food and provide ideas for the fabrication of food with enhanced satiating capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Level Changes in Food Processing: Invisible Treasures)
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35 pages, 1581 KiB  
Review
An Update in Computational Methods for Environmental Monitoring: Theoretical Evaluation of the Molecular and Electronic Structures of Natural Pigment–Metal Complexes
by Gabriella Josephine Maranata, Sandra Megantara and Aliya Nur Hasanah
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1680; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071680 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 677
Abstract
Metals are beneficial to life, but the presence of these elements in excessive amounts can harm both organisms and the environment; therefore, detecting the presence of metals is essential. Currently, metal detection methods employ powerful instrumental techniques that require a lot of time [...] Read more.
Metals are beneficial to life, but the presence of these elements in excessive amounts can harm both organisms and the environment; therefore, detecting the presence of metals is essential. Currently, metal detection methods employ powerful instrumental techniques that require a lot of time and money. Hence, the development of efficient and effective metal indicators is essential. Several synthetic metal detectors have been made, but due to their risk of harm, the use of natural pigments is considered a potential alternative. Experiments are needed for their development, but they are expensive and time-consuming. This review explores various computational methods and approaches that can be used to investigate metal–pigment interactions because choosing the right methods and approaches will affect the reliability of the results. The results show that quantum mechanical methods (ab initio, density functional theory, and semiempirical approaches) and molecular dynamics simulations have been used. Among the available methods, the density functional theory approach with the B3LYP functional and the LANL2DZ ECP and basis set is the most promising combination due to its good accuracy and cost-effectiveness. Various experimental studies were also in good agreement with the results of computational methods. However, deeper analysis still needs to be carried out to find the best combination of functions and basis sets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational and Theoretical Chemistry for Material Research)
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10 pages, 823 KiB  
Article
Valorization of Purple Phototrophic Bacteria Biomass Resulting from Photo Fermentation Aimed at Biohydrogen Production
by Grazia Policastro, Alessandra Cesaro and Massimiliano Fabbricino
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1679; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071679 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 649
Abstract
This study evaluated the feasibility of contextually producing hydrogen, microbial proteins, and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) using a mixed culture of purple phototrophic bacteria biomass under photo fermentative conditions. To this end, three consecutive batch tests were conducted to analyze the biomass growth curve and [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the feasibility of contextually producing hydrogen, microbial proteins, and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) using a mixed culture of purple phototrophic bacteria biomass under photo fermentative conditions. To this end, three consecutive batch tests were conducted to analyze the biomass growth curve and to explore the potential for optimizing the production process. Experimental findings indicated that inoculating reactors with microorganisms from the exponential growth phase reduced the duration of the process. Furthermore, the most effective approach for simultaneous hydrogen production and the valorization of microbial biomass was found when conducting the process during the exponential growth phase of the biomass. At this stage, achieved after 3 days of fermentation, the productivities of hydrogen, PHB, and microbial proteins were measured at 63.63 L/m3 d, 0.049 kg/m3 d, and 0.045 kg/m3 d, respectively. The biomass composition comprised a total intracellular compound percentage of 56%, with 27% representing PHB and 29% representing proteins. Under these conditions, the estimated daily revenue was maximized, amounting to 0.6 $/m3 d. Full article
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18 pages, 8168 KiB  
Article
Effect of Metal Elements on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Ultrafine Cemented Carbide Prepared by SPS
by Hao Jiang, Siyuan Fu, Zichang Zhang, Shun Wang and Zhiwei Zhao
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1678; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071678 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 550
Abstract
To satisfy the needs of precision machining, ultrafine tungsten carbide (WC)-based cemented carbide with fine grain size and excellent mechanical properties was prepared. Ultrafine cemented carbide was prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS) using WC, Co as raw materials and metal elements V, [...] Read more.
To satisfy the needs of precision machining, ultrafine tungsten carbide (WC)-based cemented carbide with fine grain size and excellent mechanical properties was prepared. Ultrafine cemented carbide was prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS) using WC, Co as raw materials and metal elements V, and Cr as additives, and the effects of metal elements on the microstructure and mechanical properties of cemented carbide were investigated. The results show that the specimen (91.6WC-1.2V-1.2Cr-6Co) prepared at 1350 °C, 6 min, 25 MPa has the best mechanical properties (HV 2322.9, KIC 8.7 MPa·m1/2) and homogeneous microstructure. The metal elements could react with WC to form a (W, V, Cr) Cx segregation layer, which effectively inhibits the growth of WC grains (300 nm). The combination of SPS and metal element additives provides a new approach for the preparation of ultrafine cemented carbides with excellent properties. Full article
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13 pages, 3513 KiB  
Article
Robust Thiazole-Linked Covalent Organic Frameworks for Water Sensing with High Selectivity and Sensitivity
by Kewei Wang, Zhaoxia Wu, Na Ji, Tingxia Wang, Yongxin Gu, Zhixiang Zhao, Yong Guo, Xiaoyan Wang, Zhifang Jia and Bien Tan
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1677; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071677 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 679
Abstract
The rational design of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) with hydrochromic properties is of significant value because of the facile and rapid detection of water in diverse fields. In this report, we present a thiazole-linked COF (TZ-COF-6) sensor with a large surface area, ultrahigh [...] Read more.
The rational design of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) with hydrochromic properties is of significant value because of the facile and rapid detection of water in diverse fields. In this report, we present a thiazole-linked COF (TZ-COF-6) sensor with a large surface area, ultrahigh stability, and excellent crystallinity. The sensor was synthesized through a simple three-component reaction involving amine, aldehyde, and sulfur. The thiazole and methoxy groups confer strong basicity to TZ-COF-6 at the nitrogen sites, making them easily protonated reversibly by water. Therefore, TZ-COF-6 displayed color change visible to the naked eye from yellow to red when protonated, along with a red shift in absorption in the ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectra (UV-vis DRS) when exposed to water. Importantly, the water-sensing process was not affected by polar organic solvents, demonstrating greater selectivity and sensitivity compared to other COF sensors. Therefore, TZ-COF-6 was used to detect trace amounts of water in organic solvents. In strong polar solvents, such as N,N-dimethyl formamide (DMF) and ethanol (EtOH), the limit of detection (LOD) for water was as low as 0.06% and 0.53%, respectively. Even after 8 months of storage and 15 cycles, TZ-COF-6 retained its original crystallinity and detection efficiency, displaying high stability and excellent cycle performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for Sensing Applications)
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14 pages, 3698 KiB  
Article
Development of Paper-Based Fluorescent Molecularly Imprinted Polymer Sensor for Rapid Detection of Lumpy Skin Disease Virus
by Samr Kassem, Mervat E. Hamdy, Karim M. Selim, Dalia M. A. Elmasry, Momtaz A. Shahein and Dalia M. El-Husseini
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1676; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071676 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 684
Abstract
Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) is a notifiable viral disease caused by Lumpy Skin Disease virus (LSDV). It is usually associated with high economic losses, including a loss of productivity, infertility, and death. LSDV shares genetic and antigenic similarities with Sheep pox virus (SPV) [...] Read more.
Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) is a notifiable viral disease caused by Lumpy Skin Disease virus (LSDV). It is usually associated with high economic losses, including a loss of productivity, infertility, and death. LSDV shares genetic and antigenic similarities with Sheep pox virus (SPV) and Goat pox (GPV) virus. Hence, the LSDV traditional diagnostic tools faced many limitations regarding sensitivity, specificity, and cross-reactivity. Herein, we fabricated a paper-based turn-on fluorescent Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP) sensor for the rapid detection of LSDV. The LSDV-MIPs sensor showed strong fluorescent intensity signal enhancement in response to the presence of the virus within minutes. Our sensor showed a limit of detection of 101 log10 TCID50/mL. Moreover, it showed significantly higher specificity to LSDV relative to other viruses, especially SPV. To our knowledge, this is the first record of a paper-based rapid detection test for LSDV depending on fluorescent turn-on behavior. Full article
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15 pages, 891 KiB  
Article
Citrus limon Wastes from Part of the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa: Medicinal, Sustainable Agricultural, and Bio-Resource Potential
by Phumelele Nodola, Gugulethu M. Miya, Vuyokazi Mazwi, Ayodeji O. Oriola, Opeoluwa O. Oyedeji, Yiseyon S. Hosu, Simon K. Kuria and Adebola O. Oyedeji
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1675; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071675 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 537
Abstract
The fruits of Citrus limon are often purchased for their vitamin C-rich juice, while the fruit peel and the tree leaves are discarded as wastes. This study obtained the chemical profiles of the essential oils (EOs) of C. limon wastes (the peel and [...] Read more.
The fruits of Citrus limon are often purchased for their vitamin C-rich juice, while the fruit peel and the tree leaves are discarded as wastes. This study obtained the chemical profiles of the essential oils (EOs) of C. limon wastes (the peel and leaves), evaluated their medicinal value as antioxidants, their potential for sustainable use in agriculture as an insecticide for post-harvest preservation of grains, and their potential as a bioresource in livestock feed formulations. The EOs were isolated from C. limon leaves and peel using a hydro-distillation method on a Clevenger apparatus. The oil constituents were identified using the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) hyphenated technique. The oils were evaluated for their in vitro antioxidant activity using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric-reducing antioxidant power methods. An insecticidal study was conducted using contact toxicity, fumigation, and repellence bioassay methods against Sitophilus zeamais (maize weevils). Finally, the predicted income from using lemon peel as an alternative or substitute ingredient for maize in livestock feed formulations was obtained through a conventional simulation method. Chemically, limonene was found to be present in all the EOs analyzed (12–52%), while α-pinene was only found in the fresh leaf and peel oils (13.3% and 10.6%). Caryophyllene oxide was identified as the major component of the dried leaf oil (17.7%). At 20 µg m, the dry peel oil exhibited the highest inhibitory activity (52.41 ± 0.26%) against the DPPH radical, which was comparable to L-ascorbic acid (a standard antioxidant) at 54.25 ± 3.55%. The insecticidal study revealed that the dry peel oil is a better insect repellent (73.33 ± 6.95% at 10 µL) and fumigant (LC50 = 0.17 µL g−1 after 48 h) natural agent compared to the peel oil. Conversely, the dry peel oil showed a better contact activity (LC50 = 1.69 µL g−1) against the maize weevils compared to the dry leaf oil. The simulation study showed the cost of using dry lemon peel as an alternative to maize in livestock feed formulation to be ZAR 2.8 billion, compared against the higher cost of feed formulation with maize, which currently stands at ZAR 24.9 billion. This study has shown that C. limon wastes (the peel and leaves) contain EOs with unique chemical profiles, valuable medicinal properties as free radical scavengers, and considerable insecticidal properties for agricultural use in post-harvest grain preservation, presenting a cost-effective and promising bioresource for livestock feed production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Bioactive Compounds in Pharmaceuticals)
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26 pages, 4570 KiB  
Review
Research Progress on the Combination of Quorum-Sensing Inhibitors and Antibiotics against Bacterial Resistance
by Jiahao Wang, Xingyue Lu, Chenjie Wang, Yujie Yue, Bin Wei, Huawei Zhang, Hong Wang and Jianwei Chen
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1674; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071674 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Bacterial virulence factors and biofilm development can be controlled by the quorum-sensing (QS) system, which is also intimately linked to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. In previous studies, many researchers found that quorum-sensing inhibitors (QSIs) can affect the development of bacterial biofilms and prevent [...] Read more.
Bacterial virulence factors and biofilm development can be controlled by the quorum-sensing (QS) system, which is also intimately linked to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. In previous studies, many researchers found that quorum-sensing inhibitors (QSIs) can affect the development of bacterial biofilms and prevent the synthesis of many virulence factors. However, QSIs alone have a limited ability to suppress bacteria. Fortunately, when QSIs are combined with antibiotics, they have a better therapeutic effect, and it has even been demonstrated that the two together have a synergistic antibacterial effect, which not only ensures bactericidal efficiency but also avoids the resistance caused by excessive use of antibiotics. In addition, some progress has been made through in vivo studies on the combination of QSIs and antibiotics. This article mainly expounds on the specific effect of QSIs combined with antibiotics on bacteria and the combined antibacterial mechanism of some QSIs and antibiotics. These studies will provide new strategies and means for the clinical treatment of bacterial infections in the future. Full article
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14 pages, 1885 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Essential Oils from Asteraceae Plants on Behavior and Selected Physiological Parameters of the Bird Cherry-Oat Aphid
by Paweł Czerniewicz, Hubert Sytykiewicz and Grzegorz Chrzanowski
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071673 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 534
Abstract
Essential oils (EOs), including those from the Asteraceae plants, have been shown to have promising insecticidal activity against a wide range of insect pests. Understanding the mechanism of action of EOs is one of the studied aspects. The present study aimed to evaluate [...] Read more.
Essential oils (EOs), including those from the Asteraceae plants, have been shown to have promising insecticidal activity against a wide range of insect pests. Understanding the mechanism of action of EOs is one of the studied aspects. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of essential oils from Achillea millefolium, Santolina chamaecyparissus, Tagetes patula and Tanacetum vulgare on the settling and probing behavior of the bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.). In addition, the effect of the oils on the activity of such enzymes as trypsin, pepsin and α- and β-glucosidase involved in the metabolism of proteins and sugars of the insects was examined. The leaf-choice bioassays demonstrated that the studied EOs limited aphid settling for at least 24 h after the treatment. The application of EOs also inferred with aphid probing behavior by reducing the total probing time and total duration of phloem sap ingestion. Aphids spent more time in the search phase due to an increase in the number and total duration of pathway phases. Moreover, the activity of the studied proteases and glucosidases significantly decreased in R. padi females exposed to the EOs. The enzyme inhibition varied depending on the applied oil and exposure time. Generally, the EOs with stronger deterrent activity also showed higher inhibitory effects. The results suggest that the tested EOs disrupt key digestive processes in R. padi which may be an important factor determining their aphicidal activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils II)
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17 pages, 3251 KiB  
Article
Bicarbazole-Benzophenone Based Twisted Donor-Acceptor Derivatives as Potential Blue TADF Emitters for OLEDs
by Iram Siddiqui, Prakalp Gautam, Dovydas Blazevicius, Jayachandran Jayakumar, Sushanta Lenka, Daiva Tavgeniene, Ernestas Zaleckas, Saulius Grigalevicius and Jwo-Huei Jou
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071672 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 746
Abstract
Over the past few decades, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) find applications in smartphones, televisions, and the automotive sector. However, this technology is still not perfect, and its application for lighting purposes has been slow. For further development of the OLEDs, we designed twisted [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) find applications in smartphones, televisions, and the automotive sector. However, this technology is still not perfect, and its application for lighting purposes has been slow. For further development of the OLEDs, we designed twisted donor-acceptor-type electroactive bipolar derivatives using benzophenone and bicarbazole as building blocks. Derivatives were synthesized through the reaction of 4-fluorobenzophenone with various mono-alkylated 3,3′-bicarbazoles. We have provided a comprehensive structural characterization of these compounds. The new materials are amorphous and exhibit suitable glass transition temperatures ranging from 57 to 102 °C. They also demonstrate high thermal stability, with decomposition temperatures reaching 400 °C. The developed compounds exhibit elevated photoluminescence quantum yields (PLQY) of up to 75.5% and favourable HOMO-LUMO levels, along with suitable triplet-singlet state energy values. Due to their good solubility and suitable film-forming properties, all the compounds were evaluated as blue TADF emitters dispersed in commercial 4,4′-bis(N-carbazolyl)-1,10-biphenyl (CBP) host material and used for the formation of emissive layer of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) in concentration-dependent experiments. Out of these experiments, the OLED with 15 wt% of the emitting derivative 4-(9′-{2-ethylhexyl}-[3,3′]-bicarbazol-9-yl)benzophenone exhibited superior performance. It attained a maximum brightness of 3581 cd/m2, a current efficacy of 5.7 cd/A, a power efficacy of 4.1 lm/W, and an external quantum efficacy of 2.7%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Functional Materials: Design, Modeling and Characterization)
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17 pages, 6610 KiB  
Article
An Evaluation of the Impact of 60Co Irradiation on Volatile Organic Compounds of Olibanum Using Gas Chromatography Ion Mobility Spectrometry
by Qiao Luo, Shanshuo Liu, Ye He, Jiayao Liu, Xinyu Zhang, Liqiu Zheng and Dan Huang
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1671; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071671 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 509
Abstract
Olibanum is a resinous traditional Chinese medicine that is directly used as a powder. It is widely used in China and is often combined with other traditional Chinese medicine powders to promote blood circulation and relieve pain, as well as to treat rheumatism, [...] Read more.
Olibanum is a resinous traditional Chinese medicine that is directly used as a powder. It is widely used in China and is often combined with other traditional Chinese medicine powders to promote blood circulation and relieve pain, as well as to treat rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Powdered traditional Chinese medicine is often easily contaminated by microorganisms and 60Co irradiation is one of the good sterilization methods. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the main active ingredient of olibanum. The aim of this study was to validate the optimum doses of 60Co irradiation and its effect on VOCs. 60Co irradiation was applied in different doses of 0 kGy, 1.5 kGy, 3.0 kGy, and 6.0 kGy. Changes in VOCs were detected using gas chromatography ion mobility spectrometry. A total of 81 VOCs were identified. The odor fingerprint results showed that, with an increase in irradiation dose, most of the VOCs of olibanum changed. Through principal component analysis, cluster analysis, and partial least squares discriminant analysis, it was demonstrated that, at 1.5 kGy, the impact of radiation on the VOCs of olibanum was minimal, indicating this is a relatively good irradiation dose. This study provides a theoretical basis for the irradiation processing and quality control of resinous medicinal materials such as olibanum and it also provides a good reference for irradiation technology development and its application to functional foods, thus making it both significant from a research perspective and useful from an application perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Analytical Methods for Natural Products)
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13 pages, 6076 KiB  
Article
PVP Passivated δ-CsPbI3: Vacancy Induced Visible-Light Absorption and Efficient Photocatalysis
by Jianfeng Wen, Xin Du, Feng Hua, Yiting Gu, Ming Li and Tao Tang
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1670; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071670 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 511
Abstract
The aqueous instability of halide perovskite seriously hinders its direct application in water as a potential photocatalyst. Here, we prepared a new type of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) passivated δ-CsPbI3 (δ-CsPbI3@PVP) microcrystal by a facile method. This material can be uniformly dispersed [...] Read more.
The aqueous instability of halide perovskite seriously hinders its direct application in water as a potential photocatalyst. Here, we prepared a new type of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) passivated δ-CsPbI3 (δ-CsPbI3@PVP) microcrystal by a facile method. This material can be uniformly dispersed in water and stably maintain its crystal structure for a long time, breaking through the bottleneck of halide perovskite photocatalysis in water. Under visible light, δ-CsPbI3@PVP can almost completely photodegrade organic dyes (including Rhodamine B, methylene blue, and crystal violet) in only 20 min. The efficient photocatalytic activity is attributed to the enhanced visible light absorption arising from PbI2 defects in δ-CsPbI3@PVP and the intrinsic low photoluminescence quantum yield of δ-CsPbI3, which induces efficient light absorption and photocatalytic activity. We highlight δ-CsPbI3@PVP as an effective aqueous photocatalyst, and this study provides new insights into how to exploit the potential of halide perovskite in photocatalytic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Catalysis in Environmental Protection)
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26 pages, 6802 KiB  
Review
Structures and Dynamics of Complex Guest Molecules in Confinement, Revealed by Solid-State NMR, Molecular Dynamics, and Calorimetry
by Nadia B. Haro Mares, Sonja C. Döller, Till Wissel, Markus Hoffmann, Michael Vogel and Gerd Buntkowsky
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1669; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071669 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 591
Abstract
This review gives an overview of current trends in the investigation of confined molecules such as water, small and higher alcohols, carbonic acids, ethylene glycol, and non-ionic surfactants, such as polyethylene glycol or Triton-X, as guest molecules in neat and functionalized mesoporous silica [...] Read more.
This review gives an overview of current trends in the investigation of confined molecules such as water, small and higher alcohols, carbonic acids, ethylene glycol, and non-ionic surfactants, such as polyethylene glycol or Triton-X, as guest molecules in neat and functionalized mesoporous silica materials employing solid-state NMR spectroscopy, supported by calorimetry and molecular dynamics simulations. The combination of steric interactions, hydrogen bonds, and hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions results in a fascinating phase behavior in the confinement. Combining solid-state NMR and relaxometry, DNP hyperpolarization, molecular dynamics simulations, and general physicochemical techniques, it is possible to monitor these confined molecules and gain deep insights into this phase behavior and the underlying molecular arrangements. In many cases, the competition between hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions between polar and non-polar moieties of the guests and the host leads to the formation of ordered structures, despite the cramped surroundings inside the pores. Full article
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23 pages, 7146 KiB  
Article
Network Pharmacology Analysis of Liquid-Cultured Armillaria ostoyae Mycelial Metabolites and Their Molecular Mechanism of Action against Gastric Cancer
by Zhishuo Wang, Ruiqi Wang, Zhiguo Na, Shanshan Liang, Fan Wu, Hongyao Xie, Xue Zhang, Wei Xu and Xin Wang
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1668; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071668 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 673
Abstract
Armillaria sp. are traditional edible medicinal mushrooms with various health functions; however, the relationship between their composition and efficacy has not yet been determined. Here, the ethanol extract of liquid-cultured Armillaria ostoyae mycelia (AOME), a pure wild Armillaria sp. strain, was analyzed using [...] Read more.
Armillaria sp. are traditional edible medicinal mushrooms with various health functions; however, the relationship between their composition and efficacy has not yet been determined. Here, the ethanol extract of liquid-cultured Armillaria ostoyae mycelia (AOME), a pure wild Armillaria sp. strain, was analyzed using UHPLC-QTOF/MS, network pharmacology, and molecular docking techniques. The obtained extract affects various metabolic pathways, such as JAK/STAT and PI3K/AKT. The extract also contains important compounds such as 4-(dimethylamino)-N-[7-(hydroxyamino)-7-oxoheptyl] benzamide, isoliquiritigenin, and 7-hydroxycoumarin. Moreover, the extract targets key proteins, including EGFR, SCR, and IL6, to suppress the progression of gastric cancer, thereby synergistically inhibiting cancer development. The molecular docking analyses indicated that the main compounds stably bind to the target proteins. The final cell culture experimental data showed that the ethanol extract inhibited MGC-803 gastric cancer cells. In summary, our research revealed the beneficial components of AOME for treating gastric cancer and its associated molecular pathways. However, further research is needed to confirm its effectiveness and safety in gastric cancer patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discovery, Isolation, and Mechanisms of Bioactive Natural Products)
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14 pages, 1661 KiB  
Article
A General Method to Access Underexplored Ylideneamino Sulfates as Interrupted Beckmann-Type Rearrangement Intermediates
by Yifei Zhou and Alan M. Jones
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1667; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071667 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 455
Abstract
The Beckmann rearrangement of ketoximes to their corresponding amides, using a Brønsted acid-mediated fragmentation and migration sequence, has found wide-spread industrial application. We postulated that the development of a methodology to access ylideneamino sulfates using tributylsulfoammonium betaine (TBSAB) would afford isolable Beckmann-type intermediates [...] Read more.
The Beckmann rearrangement of ketoximes to their corresponding amides, using a Brønsted acid-mediated fragmentation and migration sequence, has found wide-spread industrial application. We postulated that the development of a methodology to access ylideneamino sulfates using tributylsulfoammonium betaine (TBSAB) would afford isolable Beckmann-type intermediates and competent partners for subsequent rearrangement cascades. The ylideneamino sulfates generated, isolated as their tributylammonium salts, are sufficiently activated to undergo Beckmann rearrangement without additional reagent activation. The generation of sulfuric acid in situ from the ylideneamino sulfate giving rise to a routine Beckmann rearrangement and additional amide bond cleavage to the corresponding aniline was detrimental to reaction success. The screening of bases revealed inexpensive sodium bicarbonate to be an effective additive to prevent classic Brønsted acid-mediated fragmentation and achieve optimal conversions of up to 99%. Full article
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12 pages, 1579 KiB  
Article
Thermodynamically Stable Functionalization of Microporous Aromatic Frameworks with Sulfonic Acid Groups by Inserting Methylene Spacers
by Simon F. Winterstein, Michael Bettermann, Jana Timm, Roland Marschall and Jürgen Senker
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1666; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071666 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 548
Abstract
Porous aromatic frameworks (PAFs) are an auspicious class of materials that allow for the introduction of sulfonic acid groups at the aromatic core units by post-synthetic modification. This makes PAFs promising for proton-exchange materials. However, the limited thermal stability of sulfonic acid groups [...] Read more.
Porous aromatic frameworks (PAFs) are an auspicious class of materials that allow for the introduction of sulfonic acid groups at the aromatic core units by post-synthetic modification. This makes PAFs promising for proton-exchange materials. However, the limited thermal stability of sulfonic acid groups attached to aromatic cores prevents high-temperature applications. Here, we present a framework based on PAF-303 where the acid groups were added as methylene sulfonic acid side chains in a two-step post-synthetic route (SMPAF-303) via the intermediate chloromethylene PAF (ClMPAF-303). Elemental analysis, NMR spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were used to characterize both frameworks and corroborate the successful attachment of the side chains. The resulting framework SMPAF-303 features high thermal stability and an ion-exchange capacity of about 1.7 mequiv g−1. The proton conductivity depends strongly on the adsorbed water level. It reaches from about 10−7 S cm−1 for 33% RH to about 10−1 S cm−1 for 100% RH. We attribute the strong change to a locally alternating polarity of the inner surfaces. The latter introduces bottleneck effects for the water molecule and oxonium ion diffusion at lower relative humidities, due to electrolyte clustering. When the pores are completely filled with water, these bottlenecks vanish, leading to an unhindered electrolyte diffusion through the framework, explaining the conductivity rise. Full article
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17 pages, 13351 KiB  
Article
Luteolin-7-O-β-d-glucuronide Ameliorates Cerebral Ischemic Injury: Involvement of RIP3/MLKL Signaling Pathway
by Xing Fan, Fang Lin, Yu Chen, Yuling Dou, Ting Li, Xinxin Jin, Jintao Song and Fang Wang
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071665 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 715
Abstract
Luteolin-7-O-β-d-glucuronide (LGU) is a major active flavonoid glycoside compound that is extracted from Ixeris sonchifolia (Bge.) Hance, and it is a Chinese medicinal herb mainly used for the treatment of coronary heart disease, angina pectoris, cerebral infarction, etc. In the present [...] Read more.
Luteolin-7-O-β-d-glucuronide (LGU) is a major active flavonoid glycoside compound that is extracted from Ixeris sonchifolia (Bge.) Hance, and it is a Chinese medicinal herb mainly used for the treatment of coronary heart disease, angina pectoris, cerebral infarction, etc. In the present study, the neuroprotective effect of LGU was investigated in an oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) model and a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rat model. In vitro, LGU was found to effectively improve the OGD-induced decrease in neuronal viability and increase in neuronal death by a 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and a lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage rate assay, respectively. LGU was also found to inhibit OGD-induced intracellular Ca2+ overload, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) depletion, and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) decrease. By Western blotting analysis, LGU significantly inhibited the OGD-induced increase in expressions of receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 3 (RIP3) and mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL). Moreover, molecular docking analysis showed that LGU might bind to RIP3 more stably and firmly than the RIP3 inhibitor GSK872. Immunofluorescence combined with confocal laser analyses disclosed that LGU inhibited the aggregation of MLKL to the nucleus. Our results suggest that LGU ameliorates OGD-induced rat primary cortical neuronal injury via the regulation of the RIP3/MLKL signaling pathway in vitro. In vivo, LGU was proven, for the first time, to protect the cerebral ischemia in a rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model, as shown by improved neurological deficit scores, infarction volume rate, and brain water content rate. The present study provides new insights into the therapeutic potential of LGU in cerebral ischemia. Full article
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19 pages, 5737 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Dialdehyde Cellulose Nanofibrils Derived from Cotton Linter Fibers and Wood Fibers
by Qiyuan Tu, Wenhua Gao, Junjie Zhou, Jinglin Wu, Jinsong Zeng, Bin Wang and Jun Xu
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071664 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Two types of cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) were isolated from cotton linter fibers and hardwood fibers through mechanical fibrillation methods. The dialdehyde cellulose nanofibrils (DACNFs) were prepared through the periodate oxidation method, and their morphological and structural properties were investigated. The characteristics of the [...] Read more.
Two types of cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) were isolated from cotton linter fibers and hardwood fibers through mechanical fibrillation methods. The dialdehyde cellulose nanofibrils (DACNFs) were prepared through the periodate oxidation method, and their morphological and structural properties were investigated. The characteristics of the DACNFs during the concentration process were also explored. The AFM analysis results showed that the mean diameters of wood fiber-based CNFs and cotton fiber-based CNFs were about 52.03 nm and 69.51 nm, respectively. However, the periodate oxidation treatment process obviously reduced the nanofibril size and destroyed the crystalline region of the nanofibrils. Due to the high crystallinity of cotton fibers, the cotton fiber-based DACNFs exhibited a lower aldehyde content and suspension stability compared to the wood fiber-based DACNFs. For the concentration process of the DACNF suspension, the bound water content of the concentrated cotton fiber-based DACNFs was lowered to 0.41 g/g, which indicated that the cotton fiber-based DACNFs could have good redispersibility. Both the wood fiber-based and cotton fiber-based DACNF films showed relatively good transmittance and mechanical strength. In addition, to the cotton fiber-based DACNF films had a very low swelling ratio, and the barrier water vapor and oxygen properties of the redispersed cotton fiber-based DACNF films decreased by very little. In sum, this study has demonstrated that cotton fibers could serve as an effective alternative to wood fibers for preparing CNFs, and that cotton fiber-based DACNFs have huge application prospects in the field of packaging film materials due to their stable properties during the concentration process. Full article
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26 pages, 4347 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Fermentation on the Chemical Constituents of Gastrodia Tuber Hallimasch Powder (GTHP) Estimated by UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap HRMS and HPLC
by Yaning Wu, Hongwei Zhang, Jianguang Zhu, Zhenling Zhang, Songbo Ma, Yongqi Zhao, Yiming Wang, Jun Yuan, Xing Guo, Yajing Li and Shuai Zhang
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1663; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071663 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Objective: To compare the effect of fermentation on the chemical constituents of Gastrodia Tuder Halimasch Powder (GTHP), to establish its fingerprinting and multicomponent content determination, and to provide a basis for the processing, handling, and clinical application of this herb. Methods: Ultra-high-performance liquid [...] Read more.
Objective: To compare the effect of fermentation on the chemical constituents of Gastrodia Tuder Halimasch Powder (GTHP), to establish its fingerprinting and multicomponent content determination, and to provide a basis for the processing, handling, and clinical application of this herb. Methods: Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole-Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap HRMS) was used to conduct a preliminary analysis of the chemical constituents in GTHP before and after fermentation. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to determine some major differential components of GTHP and establish fingerprints. Cluster analysis (CA), and principal component analysis (PCA) were employed for comprehensive evaluation. Results: Seventy-nine compounds were identified, including flavonoids, organic acids, nucleosides, terpenoids, and others. The CA and PCA results showed that ten samples were divided into three groups. Through standard control and HPLC analysis, 10 compounds were identified from 22 peaks, namely uracil, guanosine, adenosine, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF), daidzin, genistin, glycitein, daidzein, genistein, and ergosterol. After fermentation, GTHP exhibited significantly higher contents of uracil, guanosine, adenosine, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, and ergosterol and significantly lower genistein and daidzein contents. Conclusions: The UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap HRMS and HPLC methods can effectively identify a variety of chemical components before and after the fermentation of GTHP. This study provides a valuable reference for further research on the rational clinical application and quality control improvement of GTHP. Full article
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18 pages, 6416 KiB  
Article
Fluorescence Detection of Pb2+ in Environmental Water Using Biomass Carbon Quantum Dots Modified with Acetamide-Glycolic Acid Deep Eutectic Solvent
by Shiwen Xing, Keyang Zheng, Lei Shi, Kaiming Kang, Zhixiao Peng, Xiaojie Zhang, Baoyou Liu, Huilong Yang and Gang Yue
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071662 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 616
Abstract
In this study, a novel green fluorescent probe material, nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (N-CQDs), was prepared by a one-step hydrothermal synthesis method using walnut green skin as a carbon source and acetamide-glycolic acid deep eutectic solvent (AGADES) as a modifier. By covalent coupling, [...] Read more.
In this study, a novel green fluorescent probe material, nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (N-CQDs), was prepared by a one-step hydrothermal synthesis method using walnut green skin as a carbon source and acetamide-glycolic acid deep eutectic solvent (AGADES) as a modifier. By covalent coupling, the amide chromophore in AGADES is designed to cover the surface of walnut green skin carbon quantum dots (W-CQDs), forming a fluorescence energy resonance effect and improving the fluorescence performance of the carbon quantum dots. The prepared N-CQDs have a uniform particle size distribution, and the fluorescence quantum efficiency has increased from 12.5% to 32.5%. Within the concentration range of 0.01~1000 μmol/L of Pb2+, the linear detection limit is 1.55 nmol/L, which can meet the trace detection of Pb2+ in the water environment, and the recycling rate reaches 97%. This method has been successfully applied to the fluorescence detection and reuse of Pb2+ in actual water bodies, providing new ideas and methods for the detection of heavy metal ions in environmental water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanomaterials: Synthesis and Application, 2nd Edition)
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16 pages, 2858 KiB  
Article
Metabolic Characteristics and Discriminative Diagnosis of Growth Hormone Deficiency and Idiopathic Short Stature in Preadolescents and Adolescents
by Yajie Chang, Jing Chen, Hongwei Zhu, Rong Huang, Jinxia Wu, Yanyan Lin, Quanquan Li, Guiping Shen and Jianghua Feng
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1661; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071661 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 514
Abstract
Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and idiopathic short stature (ISS) are the most common types of short stature (SS), but little is known about their pathogenesis, and even less is known about the study of adolescent SS. In this study, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based [...] Read more.
Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and idiopathic short stature (ISS) are the most common types of short stature (SS), but little is known about their pathogenesis, and even less is known about the study of adolescent SS. In this study, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomic analysis combined with least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) were performed to identify the biomarkers of different types of SS (including 94 preadolescent GHD (PAG), 61 preadolescent ISS (PAI), 43 adolescent GHD (ADG), and 19 adolescent ISS (ADI)), and the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) was further used to evaluate the predictive power of potential biomarkers. The results showed that fourteen, eleven, nine, and fifteen metabolites were identified as the potential biomarkers of PAG, PAI, ADG, and ADI compared with their corresponding controls, respectively. The disturbed metabolic pathways in preadolescent SS were mainly carbohydrate metabolism and lipid metabolism, while disorders of amino acid metabolism played an important role in adolescent SS. The combination of aspartate, ethanolamine, phosphocholine, and trimethylamine was screened out to identify PAI from PAG, and alanine, histidine, isobutyrate, methanol, and phosphocholine gave a high classification accuracy for ADI and ADC. The differences in metabolic characteristics between GHD and ISS in preadolescents and adolescents will contribute to the development of individualized clinical treatments in short stature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy)
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16 pages, 3304 KiB  
Article
Use of Residual Malt from an Artisanal Beer Brewing Process in the Biosynthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Mediated by Nucleating and Structure-Directing Agents
by César A. Dueñas-Bolaños, Margarita Cid-Hernández, Gilberto Velázquez-Juárez, Luis A. García-Casillas, Luis J. González-Ortiz, María Judith Sánchez-Peña, Azucena Herrera-González, Oscar Guillermo Zúñiga-González and Edgar J. López-Naranjo
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1660; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071660 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1213
Abstract
Biosynthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely used in varied applications, which are morphology dependent. Consequently, a morphology-controlled synthesis is mandatory. Although there are several studies focused on the plant extract-based biosynthesis of metallic nanoparticles, the use of extracts obtained from agro-wastes is scant. [...] Read more.
Biosynthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely used in varied applications, which are morphology dependent. Consequently, a morphology-controlled synthesis is mandatory. Although there are several studies focused on the plant extract-based biosynthesis of metallic nanoparticles, the use of extracts obtained from agro-wastes is scant. Furthermore, information regarding morphology modification through the use of additional agents is even more scarce. Thus, in this study, AgNPs were synthesized using a malt extract (ME) obtained from an artisanal beer brewing process residue. Additionally, sodium chloride (NaCl), gum arabic (GA), and talc (T) were used in an attempt to modify the morphology of AgNPs. XRD, DLS, SEM, and TEM results demonstrate that stable AgNPs of different sizes and shapes were synthesized. FTIR, HPLC analysis, and the quantification of total proteins, free amino acids, reducing sugars, and total polyphenols before and after AgNPs synthesis showed that ME biomolecules allowed them to act as a source of reducing and stabilizing agents. Therefore, this study provides evidence that ME can be successfully used to biosynthesize AgNPs. Additionally, the antibacterial activity of AgNPs against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria was evaluated. Results indicate that AgNPs show a higher antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. Full article
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16 pages, 814 KiB  
Review
Advancing Gastrointestinal Health: Curcumin’s Efficacy and Nanopreparations
by Jialin Ji, Zhaojie Ma and Yingshuai Wang
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1659; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071659 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Curcumin (CCM) is a polyphenol compound extracted from the turmeric rhizome. It has various biological activities, including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant. Due to its diverse activities, it is often used by researchers to study the therapeutic effects on various diseases. However, its [...] Read more.
Curcumin (CCM) is a polyphenol compound extracted from the turmeric rhizome. It has various biological activities, including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant. Due to its diverse activities, it is often used by researchers to study the therapeutic effects on various diseases. However, its poor solubility leads to poor bioavailability, and it is necessary to increase the water solubility with the help of carriers to improve the therapeutic effect. Gastrointestinal disease is a major global health problem that continues to affect human health. In this review, we have summarized the possible mechanism and therapeutic effect of CCM in various gastrointestinal diseases, and the improvement in the curative effect of CCM with nanopreparation. Finally, we concluded that there have been many clinical trials of CCM in combination with other drugs for the treatment of gastrointestinal disease, but so far, few have used CCM nanomaterials for treatment. Although in vitro and preclinical experiments have shown that nanopreparations can improve the efficacy of CCM, there are still insufficient studies on the safety of carriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Curcumin and Its Derivatives)
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13 pages, 5227 KiB  
Article
Fluorescent Paper Based on CQDs/Rhodamine B: A Ratio and Sensitive Detection Platform for On-Site Fe3+ Sensing
by Guangda Han, Jihai Cai, Lu Yang, Xiaoyun Li and Xiaoying Wang
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1658; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071658 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Fluorescent sensors with single reading are generally subject to unpredictable disturbs from environmental and artificial factors. In order to overcome this barrier of detection reliability, a paper-based optical sensor with proportional fluorescence was established and further combined with a smartphone for visual, on-site [...] Read more.
Fluorescent sensors with single reading are generally subject to unpredictable disturbs from environmental and artificial factors. In order to overcome this barrier of detection reliability, a paper-based optical sensor with proportional fluorescence was established and further combined with a smartphone for visual, on-site and quantitative detection of Fe3+, which affects the color, smell and taste of water, and endangers the health of plants and animals. The ratio fluorescent probe was fabricated by rhodamine B and carbon quantum dots derived from xylan. The red fluorescence of rhodamine B was inert to Fe3+, which was referred to as background. And blue emitting carbon quantum dots functioned as signal report units, which would be quenched by Fe3+ and make the fluorescence of the ratio probe change from purple to red. The quantitative detection of Fe3+ was conducted by investigating the RGB value of fluorescent images with a smartphone. With the increase of Fe3+ concentration, the R/B (red/blue) value of the fluorescent paper gradually increased. The linear detection range was 10–180 μM, and the limit of detection was 198.2 nM. The application of ratio fluorescent paper with a smartphone provides a facile method for the rapid detection of ions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass-Derived Materials for Environmental Applications)
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16 pages, 5592 KiB  
Article
Highly Sensitive and Selective Toluene Gas Sensors Based on ZnO Nanoflowers Decorated with Bimetallic AuPt
by Huiting Peng, Yiping Liu, Yinfeng Shen, Ling Xu, Jicun Lu, Ming Li, Hong-Liang Lu and Liming Gao
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071657 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 2193
Abstract
Efficient sensors for toluene detecting are urgently needed to meet people’s growing demands for both environment and personal health. Metal oxide semiconductor (MOS)-based sensors have become brilliant candidates for the detection of toluene because of their superior performance over gas sensing. However, gas [...] Read more.
Efficient sensors for toluene detecting are urgently needed to meet people’s growing demands for both environment and personal health. Metal oxide semiconductor (MOS)-based sensors have become brilliant candidates for the detection of toluene because of their superior performance over gas sensing. However, gas sensors based on pure MOS have certain limitations in selectivity, operating temperature, and long-term stability, which hinders their further practical applications. Noble metals (including Ag, Au, Pt, Pd, etc.) have the ability to enhance the performance of MOS-based sensors via surface functionalization. Herein, ZnO nanoflowers (ZNFs) modified with bimetallic AuPt are prepared for toluene detection through hydrothermal method. The response of a AuPt@ZNF-based gas sensor can reach 69.7 at 175 °C, which is 30 times, 9 times, and 10 times higher than that of the original ZNFs, Au@ZNFs, and Pt@ZNFs, respectively. Furthermore, the sensor also has a lower optimal operating temperature (175 °C), good stability (94% of previous response after one month), and high selectivity towards toluene, which is the result of the combined influence of the electronic and chemical sensitization of noble metals, as well as the unique synergistic effect of the AuPt alloy. In summary, AuPt@ZNF-based sensors can be further applied in toluene detection in practical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanochemistry)
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14 pages, 4880 KiB  
Article
Cu(II)-Loaded Polydopamine-Coated Urchin-like Titanate Microspheres as a High-Performance IMAC Adsorbent for Hemoglobin Separation
by Qian Zhang, Linlin Hu, Jianyu Yang, Pengfei Guo, Jinhong Wang and Weifen Zhang
Molecules 2024, 29(7), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29071656 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC) adsorbents generally have excellent affinity for histidine-rich proteins. However, the leaching of metal ions from the adsorbent usually affects its adsorption performance, which greatly affects the reusable performance of the adsorbent, resulting in many limitations in practical [...] Read more.
Immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC) adsorbents generally have excellent affinity for histidine-rich proteins. However, the leaching of metal ions from the adsorbent usually affects its adsorption performance, which greatly affects the reusable performance of the adsorbent, resulting in many limitations in practical applications. Herein, a novel IMAC adsorbent, i.e., Cu(II)-loaded polydopamine-coated urchin-like titanate microspheres (Cu-PDA-UTMS), was prepared via metal coordination to make Cu ions uniformly decorate polydopamine-coated titanate microspheres. The as-synthesized microspheres exhibit an urchin-like structure, providing more binding sites for hemoglobin. Cu-PDA-UTMS exhibit favorable selectivity for hemoglobin adsorption and have a desirable adsorption capacity towards hemoglobin up to 2704.6 mg g−1. Using 0.1% CTAB as eluent, the adsorbed hemoglobin was easily eluted with a recovery rate of 86.8%. In addition, Cu-PDA-UTMS shows good reusability up to six cycles. In the end, the adsorption properties by Cu-PDA-UTMS towards hemoglobin from human blood samples were analyzed by SDS-PAGE. The results showed that Cu-PDA-UTMS are a high-performance IMAC adsorbent for hemoglobin separation, which provides a new method for the effective separation and purification of hemoglobin from complex biological samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromatography and Extraction Techniques for Chemical Applications)
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