|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 170|
The present study aims to assess the biological nitrogen fixation in the soybean tested in different Moroccan soils combined with the rhizobial inoculation. These effects were evaluated by the plant growth mainly by the aerial biomass production, total nitrogen content and the proportion of the nitrogen fixed. This assessment clearly shows that the inoculation with bacteria increases the growth of soybean. Five different soils and a control (peat) were used. The rhizobial inoculation was performed by applying the peat that contained a mixture of 2 strains Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 and Bradyrhizobium. The biomass, the total nitrogen content and the proportion of nitrogen fixed were evaluated under different treatments. The essay was realized at the greenhouse the Faculty of Sciences, Moulay Ismail University. The soybean has shown a great response for the parameters assessed. Moreover, the best response was reported by the inoculated plants compared to non- inoculated and to the absolute control. Finally, good production and the best biological nitrogen fixation present an important ecological technology to improve the sustainable production of soybean and to ensure the increase of the fertility of soils.
Legume crops are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen by the symbiotic relation with specific bacteria, which allows the use of the mineral nitrogen-fertilizer to be reduced, or even excluded, resulting in more profit for the farmers and less pollution for the environment. Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) is one of the most important legumes with its high content of both protein and oil. However, it is recommended to combine the two nitrogen sources under stress conditions in order to overcome its negative effects. Drought stress is one of the most important abiotic stresses that increasingly limits soybean yields. A precise rate of mineral nitrogen under drought conditions is not confirmed, as it depends on many factors; soybean yield-potential and soil-nitrogen content to name a few. An experiment was conducted during 2017 growing season in Debrecen, Hungary to investigate the effects of nitrogen source on the physiology and the yield of the soybean cultivar 'Boglár'. Three N-fertilizer rates including no N-fertilizer (0 N), 35 kg ha-1 of N-fertilizer (35 N) and 105 kg ha-1 of N-fertilizer (105 N) were applied under three different irrigation regimes; severe drought stress (SD), moderate drought stress (MD) and control with no drought stress (ND). Half of the seeds in each treatment were pre-inoculated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum inoculant. The overall results showed significant differences associated with fertilization and irrigation, but not with inoculation. Increasing N rate was mostly accompanied with increased chlorophyll content and leaf area index, whereas it positively affected the plant height only when the drought was waived off. Plant height was the lowest under severe drought, regardless of inoculation and N-fertilizer application and rate. Inoculation increased the yield when there was no drought, and a low rate of N-fertilizer increased the yield furthermore; however, the high rate of N-fertilizer decreased the yield to a level even less than the inoculated control. On the other hand, the yield of non-inoculated plants increased as the N-fertilizer rate increased. Under drought conditions, adding N-fertilizer increased the yield of the non-inoculated plants compared to their inoculated counterparts; moreover, the high rate of N-fertilizer resulted in the best yield. Regardless of inoculation, the mean yield of the three fertilization rates was better when the water amount increased. It was concluded that applying N-fertilizer to provide the nitrogen needed by soybean plants, with the absence of N2-fixation process, is very important. Moreover, adding relatively high rate of N-fertilizer is very important under severe drought stress to alleviate the drought negative effects. Further research to recommend the best N-fertilizer rate to inoculated soybean under drought stress conditions should be executed.
Fe-based amorphous feedstock powders are used as the matrix into which various ratios of hard B4C nanoparticles (0, 5, 10, 15, 20 vol.%) as reinforcing agents were prepared using a planetary high-energy mechanical milling. The ball-milled nanocomposite feedstock powders were also sprayed by means of high-velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) technique. The characteristics of the powder particles and the prepared coating depending on their microstructures and nanohardness were examined in detail using nanoindentation tester. The results showed that the formation of the Fe-based amorphous phase was noticed over the course of high-energy ball milling. It is interesting to note that the nanocomposite coating is divided into two regions, namely, a full amorphous phase region and homogeneous dispersion of B4C nanoparticles with a scale of 10–50 nm in a residual amorphous matrix. As the B4C content increases, the nanohardness of the composite coatings increases, but the fracture toughness begins to decrease at the B4C content higher than 20 vol.%. The optimal mechanical properties are obtained with 15 vol.% B4C due to the suitable content and uniform distribution of nanoparticles. Consequently, the changes in mechanical properties of the coatings were attributed to the changes in the brittle to ductile transition by adding B4C nanoparticles.
In this study, we developed and simulated nano-drug delivery systems efficacy in compare to free drug prescription. Computational models can be utilized to accelerate experimental steps and control the experiments high cost. Molecular dynamics simulation (MDS), in particular NAMD was utilized to better understand the anti-cancer drug interaction with cell membrane model. Paclitaxel (PTX) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) were selected for the drug molecule and as a natural phospholipid nanocarrier, respectively. This work focused on two important interaction parameters between molecules in terms of center of mass (COM) and van der Waals interaction energy. Furthermore, we compared the simulation results of the PTX interaction with the cell membrane and the interaction of DPPC as a nanocarrier loaded by the drug with the cell membrane. The molecular dynamic analysis resulted in low energy between the nanocarrier and the cell membrane as well as significant decrease of COM amount in the nanocarrier and the cell membrane system during the interaction. Thus, the drug vehicle showed notably better interaction with the cell membrane in compared to free drug interaction with the cell membrane.
This paper presents the results of the development of asphalt nanocomposites containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with high resistance to permanent deformation, aiming to increase the performance of asphalt surfaces in relation to the rutting problem. Asphalt nanocomposites were prepared with the addition of different proportions of CNTs (1%, 2% and 3%) in relation to the weight of asphalt binder. The base binder used was a conventional binder (50-70 penetration) classified as PG 58-22. The optimum percentage of CNT addition in the asphalt binder (base) was determined through the evaluation of the rheological and empirical characteristics of the nanocomposites produced. In order to evaluate the contribution and the effects of the nanocomposite (optimized) in relation to the rutting, the conventional and nanomodified asphalt mixtures were tested in a French traffic simulator (Orniéreur). The results obtained demonstrate the efficient contribution of the asphalt nanocomposite containing CNTs to the resistance to permanent deformation of the asphalt mixture.
Zinc sulphide (ZnS) quantum dots (QDs) were synthesized successfully via simple sonochemical method. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) analysis revealed the average size of QDs of the order of 3.7 nm. The band gap of the QDs was tuned to 5.2 eV by optimizing the synthesis parameters. UV-Vis absorption spectra of ZnS QD confirm the quantum confinement effect. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis confirmed the formation of single phase ZnS QDs. To fabricate the diode, blend of ZnS QDs and P3HT was prepared and the heterojunction of PEDOT:PSS and the blend was formed by spin coating on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated glass substrate. The diode behaviour of the heterojunction was analysed, wherein the ideality factor was found to be 2.53 with turn on voltage 0.75 V and the barrier height was found to be 1.429 eV. ZnS-Graphene QDs nanocomposite was characterised for the surface morphological study. It was found that the synthesized ZnS QDs appear as quasi spherical particles on the graphene sheets. The average particle size of ZnS-graphene nanocomposite QDs was found to be 8.4 nm. From voltage-current characteristics of ZnS-graphene nanocomposites, it is observed that the conductivity of the composite increases by 104 times the conductivity of ZnS QDs. Thus the addition of graphene QDs in ZnS QDs enhances the mobility of the charge carriers in the composite material. Thus, the graphene QDs, with high specific area for a large interface, high mobility and tunable band gap, show a great potential as an electron-acceptors in photovoltaic devices.
Despite the appropriate characteristics of 177Lu and DOTATOC, to our best knowledge, the therapeutic benefit of 177Lu-DOTATOC complex in breast cancer has not been reported until now. In this study, biodistribution of 177Lu-DOTA-TOC in mouse tumor model for evaluation of possible utilization of this complex in breast cancer treatment was investigated.177Lu was prepared with the specific activity of 2.6-3 GBq.mg-1 and radionuclidic purity higher than 99%. The radiolabeled complex was prepared in the optimized conditions with the radiochemical purity higher than 99%. The final solution was injected to the BALB/c mice with adenocarcinoma breast cancer. The biodistribution results showed major accumulation in the kidneys as the major excretion route and the somatostatin receptor-positive tissues such as pancreas compared with the other tissues. Also, significant uptake was observed in tumor even in longer time after injection. According to the results obtained in this research study, somatostatin receptors expressed in breast cancers can be targeted with DOTATOC analogues especially with 177Lu-DOTATOC as an ideal therapeutic agent.
T7 phage could be used as a perfect vector for peptides expression and haptens presentation. T7-3GnRH recombinant phage was constructed by inserting three copies of Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) gene into the multiple cloning site of T7 Select 415-1b phage genome. The positive T7-3GnRH phage was selected by using polymerase chain reaction amplification, and the p10B-3GnRH fusion protein was verified by SDS-PAGE and Western-blotting assay. T7-3GnRH vaccine was made and immunized with 1010 pfu in 0.2 ml per dose in mice. Blood samples were collected at an interval in weeks, and anti-GnRH antibody and testosterone concentrations were detected by ELISA and radioimmunoassay, respectively. The results show that T7-3GnRH phage particles confer a high immunogenicity to the GnRH-derived epitope. Moreover, the T7-3GnRH vaccine induced higher level of anti-GnRH antibody than ImproVac®. However, the testosterone concentrations in both immunized groups were at a similar level, and the testis developments were significantly inhibited compared to controls. These findings demonstrated that the anti-GnRH antibody could neutralize the endogenous GnRH to down regulate testosterone level and limit testis development, highlighting the potential value of T7-3GnRH in the immunocastration vaccine research.
The effect of gamma ray irradiation on morphology and optical properties of ZnO/Mesoporous silica (MPS) nanocomposite was studied. The ZnO/MPS nanocomposite was irradiated with gamma rays of doses 30, 60, and 90 kGy and dose-rate of irradiation was 0.15 kGy/hour. Irradiated samples are characterized with FE-SEM, FT-IR, UV-vis, and Photoluminescence (PL) spectrometers. SEM pictures showed that morphology changed from spherical to flake like morphology. UV-vis analysis showed that the band gap increased with increase of gamma ray irradiation dose. This enhancement of the band gap is assigned to the depletion of oxygen vacancies with irradiation. The intensity of PL peak decreased gradually with increase of gamma ray irradiation dose. The decrease in PL intensity is attributed to the decrease of oxygen vacancies at the interface due to poor interface and improper passivation between ZnO/MPS.
In this study, raw coffee wastewater (CWW) was used as a complex substrate for anaerobic digestion. The inoculum adaptation stage, microbial diversity analysis and biomethane potential (BMP) tests were performed. A fast inoculum adaptation stage was used by the replacement of vinasse to CWW in an anaerobic sequential batch reactor (AnSBR) operated at mesophilic conditions. Illumina MiSeq sequencing was used to analyze the microbial diversity. While, BMP tests using inoculum adapted to CWW were carried out at different inoculum to substrate (I/S) ratios (2:1, 3:1 and 4:1, on a VS basis). Results show that the adaptability percentage was increased gradually until it reaches the highest theoretical value in a short time of 10 d; with a methane yield of 359.10 NmL CH4/g COD-removed; Methanobacterium beijingense was the most abundant microbial (75%) and the greatest specific methane production was achieved at I/S ratio 4:1, whereas the lowest was obtained at 2:1, with BMP values of 320 NmL CH4/g VS and 151 NmL CH4/g VS, respectively. In conclusion, gradual replacement of substrate was a feasible method to adapt the inoculum in a short time even using complex raw substrates, whereas in the BMP tests, the specific methane production was proportional to the initial amount of inoculum.
Ecological pollution is of great concern for human health and the environment. Numerous organic and inorganic pollutants usually discharged into the water caused carcinogenic or toxic effect for human and different life form. In this respect, this work aims to treat water contaminated by organic and inorganic waste using sorbent based on polystyrene. Therefore, two different series of adsorbent material were prepared; the first one included the preparation of polymeric sorbent from the reaction of styrene acrylate ester and alkyl acrylate. The second series involved syntheses of composite ion exchange resins of waste polystyrene and amorphous carbon thin film (WPS/ACTF) by solvent evaporation using micro emulsion polymerization. The produced ACTF/WPS nanocomposite was sulfonated to produce cation exchange resins ACTF/WPSS nanocomposite. The sorbents of the first series were characterized using FTIR, 1H NMR, and gel permeation chromatography. The thermal properties of the cross-linked sorbents were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis, and the morphology was characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The removal of organic pollutant was determined through absorption tests in a various organic solvent. The chemical and crystalline structure of nanocomposite of second series has been proven by studies of FTIR spectrum, X-rays, thermal analysis, SEM and TEM analysis to study morphology of resins and ACTF that assembled with polystyrene chain. It is found that the composite resins ACTF/WPSS are thermally stable and show higher chemical stability than ion exchange WPSS resins. The composite resin was evaluated for calcium hardness removal. The result is evident that the ACTF/WPSS composite has more prominent inorganic pollutant removal than WPSS resin. So, we recommend the using of nanocomposite resin as new potential applications for water treatment process.
The dog tapeworms Echinococcus granulosus develop hydatid cysts in various organs in human and domestic animals worldwide including Bangladesh. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize the genotype of E. granulosus isolated from cattle using 12S rRNA and Cytochrome oxidase 1 (COX 1) genes. A total of 43 hydatid cyst samples were collected from 390 examined cattle samples derived from slaughterhouses. Among them, three cysts were fertile. Genomic DNA was extracted from germinal membrane and/or protoscoleces followed by PCR amplification of mitochondrial 12S rRNA and Cytochrome oxidase 1 gene fragments. The sequence data revealed existence of G1 (64.28%) and possible G3 (21.43%) genotypes for the first time in Bangladesh. The study indicates that common sheep strain G1 is the dominant subtype of E. granulosus in Chittagong region of Bangladesh. This will increase our understanding of the epidemiology of hydatidosis in the southern part of the country and will be useful to plan suitable control measures in the long run.
The occurrence of high nocturnal surface ozone over a tropical urban area (23̊ 32′16.99″ N and 87̊ 17′ 38.95″ E) is analyzed in this paper. Five incidences of nocturnal ozone maxima are recorded during the observational span of two years (June, 2013 to May, 2015). The maximum and minimum values of the surface ozone during these five occasions are 337.630 μg/m3 and 13.034 μg/m3 respectively. HYSPLIT backward trajectory analyses and wind rose diagrams support the horizontal transport of ozone from distant polluted places. Planetary boundary layer characteristics, concentration of precursor (NO2) and meteorology are found to play important role in the horizontal and vertical transport of surface ozone during nighttime.
Exposure to ionizing radiation has been found to induce changes in poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) homopolymers. The high dose gamma irradiation process induces the formation of C=C and C=O bonds in its [CH2-CF2]n main chain. The irradiation also provokes crosslinking and chain scission. All these radio-induced defects lead to changes in the PVDF crystalline structure. As a consequence, it is common to observe a decrease in the melting temperature (TM) and melting latent heat (LM) and some changes in its ferroelectric features. We have investigated the possibility of preparing nanocomposites of PVDF with graphene oxide (GO) through the radio-induction of molecular bonds. In this work, we discuss how the gamma radiation interacts with the nanocomposite crystalline structure.
In recent years, polymer/clay nanocomposites have generated great interest in the polymer industry as a new type of composite material because of their superior properties, which includes high heat deflection temperature, gas barrier performance, dimensional stability, enhanced mechanical properties, optical clarity and flame retardancy when compared with the pure polymer or conventional composites. The investigation of change of the tensile properties of organoclay/linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) nanocomposites with the use of Dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) (as plasticizer) and calcite (as filler) has been aimed. The composites and organoclay synthesized were characterized using the techniques such as XRD, HRTEM and FTIR techniques. The spectroscopic results indicate that platelets of organoclay were well dispersed within the polymeric matrix. The tensile properties of the composites were compared considering the stress-strain curve drawn for each composite and pure polymer. It was observed that the composites prepared by adding the plasticizer at different ratios and a certain amount of calcite exhibited different tensile behaviors compared to pure polymer.
Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) or hydrogels with three-dimensional hydrophilic network structure are high-performance water absorbent and retention materials. The in situ synthesis of metal nanoparticles within polymeric network as antibacterial agents for bio-applications is an approach that takes advantage of the existing free-space into networks, which not only acts as a template for nucleation of nanoparticles, but also provides long term stability and reduces their toxicity by delaying their oxidation and release. In this work, SAP/nanosilver nanocomposites were successfully developed by a unique green process at room temperature, which involves in situ formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) within hydrogels as a template. The aim of this study is to investigate whether these AgNPs-loaded hydrogels are potential candidates for antimicrobial applications. Firstly, the superabsorbents were prepared through radical copolymerization via grafting and crosslinking of acrylamide (AAm) onto chitosan backbone (Cs) using potassium persulfate as initiator and N,N’-methylenebisacrylamide as the crosslinker. Then, they were hydrolyzed to achieve superabsorbents with ampholytic properties and uppermost swelling capacity. Lastly, the AgNPs were biosynthesized and entrapped into hydrogels through a simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective method using aqueous silver nitrate as a silver precursor and curcuma longa tuber-powder extracts as both reducing and stabilizing agent. The formed superabsorbents nanocomposites (Cs-g-PAAm)/AgNPs were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), UV-visible Spectroscopy, Attenuated Total reﬂectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). Microscopic surface structure analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) has showed spherical shapes of AgNPs with size in the range of 3-15 nm. The extent of nanosilver loading was decreased by increasing Cs content into network. The silver-loaded hydrogel was thermally more stable than the unloaded dry hydrogel counterpart. The swelling equilibrium degree (Q) and centrifuge retention capacity (CRC) in deionized water were affected by both contents of Cs and the entrapped AgNPs. The nanosilver-embedded hydrogels exhibited antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These comprehensive results suggest that the elaborated AgNPs-loaded nanomaterials could be used to produce valuable wound dressing.
Increasing demands of contemporary applications for high strength and lightweight materials prompted the development of metal-matrix composites (MMCs). After the discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in 1991 (revealing an excellent set of mechanical properties) became one of the most promising strengthening materials for MMC applications. Additionally, the relatively low density of the nanotubes imparted high specific strengths, making them perfect strengthening material to reinforce MMCs. In the present study, aluminum-multiwalled carbon nanotubes (Al-MWCNTs) composite was prepared in an air induction furnace. The dispersion of the nanotubes in molten aluminum was assisted by inherent string action of induction heating at 790°C. During the fabrication process, multifunctional fluxes were used to avoid oxidation of the nanotubes and molten aluminum. Subsequently, the melt was cast in to a copper mold and cold rolled to 0.5 mm thickness. During metallographic examination using a scanning electron microscope, it was observed that the nanotubes were effectively dispersed in the matrix. The mechanical properties of the composite were significantly increased as compared to pure aluminum specimen i.e. the yield strength from 65 to 115 MPa, the tensile strength from 82 to 125 MPa and hardness from 27 to 30 HV for pure aluminum and Al-CNTs composite, respectively. To recognize the associated strengthening mechanisms in the nanocomposites, three foremost strengthening models i.e. shear lag model, Orowan looping and Hall-Petch have been critically analyzed; experimental data were found to be closely satisfying the shear lag model.
Polymer-particle interactions can be effectively utilized to produce composites that possess physicochemical properties superior to that of neat polymer. The incorporation of fillers with dimensions comparable to polymer chain size produces composites with extra-ordinary properties owing to very high surface to volume ratio. The dispersion of nanoparticles is achieved by inducing steric repulsion realized by grafting particles with polymeric chains. A comprehensive understanding of the interparticle interaction between these functionalized nanoparticles plays an important role in the synthesis of a stable polymer nanocomposite. With the focus on incorporation of clay sheets in a polymer matrix, we theoretically construct the polymer mediated interparticle potential for two nanosheets grafted with polymeric chains. The self-consistent field theory (SCFT) is employed to obtain the inhomogeneous composition field under equilibrium. Unlike the continuum models, SCFT is built from the microscopic description taking in to account the molecular interactions contributed by both intra- and inter-chain potentials. We present the results of SCFT calculations of the interaction potential curve for two grafted nanosheets immersed in the matrix of polymeric chains of dissimilar chemistry to that of the grafted chains. The interaction potential is repulsive at short separation and shows depletion attraction for moderate separations induced by high grafting density. It is found that the strength of attraction well can be tuned by altering the compatibility between the grafted and the mobile chains. Further, we construct the interaction potential between two nanosheets grafted with diblock copolymers with one of the blocks being chemically identical to the free polymeric chains. The interplay between the enthalpic interaction between the dissimilar species and the entropy of the free chains gives rise to a rich behavior in interaction potential curve obtained for two separate cases of free chains being chemically similar to either the grafted block or the free block of the grafted diblock chains.
In the field of civil engineering, Structural Health Monitoring is a topic of growing interest. Effective monitoring instruments permit the control of the working conditions of structures and infrastructures, through the identification of behavioral anomalies due to incipient damages, especially in areas of high environmental hazards as earthquakes. While traditional sensors can be applied only in a limited number of points, providing a partial information for a structural diagnosis, novel transducers may allow a diffuse sensing. Thanks to the new tools and materials provided by nanotechnology, new types of multifunctional sensors are developing in the scientific panorama. In particular, cement-matrix composite materials capable of diagnosing their own state of strain and tension, could be originated by the addition of specific conductive nanofillers. Because of the nature of the material they are made of, these new cementitious nano-modified transducers can be inserted within the concrete elements, transforming the same structures in sets of widespread sensors. This paper is aimed at presenting the results of a research about a new self-sensing nanocomposite and about the implementation of smart sensors for Structural Health Monitoring. The developed nanocomposite has been obtained by inserting multi walled carbon nanotubes within a cementitious matrix. The insertion of such conductive carbon nanofillers provides the base material with piezoresistive characteristics and peculiar sensitivity to mechanical modifications. The self-sensing ability is achieved by correlating the variation of the external stress or strain with the variation of some electrical properties, such as the electrical resistance or conductivity. Through the measurement of such electrical characteristics, the performance and the working conditions of an element or a structure can be monitored. Among conductive carbon nanofillers, carbon nanotubes seem to be particularly promising for the realization of self-sensing cement-matrix materials. Some issues related to the nanofiller dispersion or to the influence of the nano-inclusions amount in the cement matrix need to be carefully investigated: the strain sensitivity of the resulting sensors is influenced by such factors. This work analyzes the dispersion of the carbon nanofillers, the physical properties of the fresh dough, the electrical properties of the hardened composites and the sensing properties of the realized sensors. The experimental campaign focuses specifically on their dynamic characterization and their applicability to the monitoring of full-scale elements. The results of the electromechanical tests with both slow varying and dynamic loads show that the developed nanocomposite sensors can be effectively used for the health monitoring of structures.
The environmental fate of organic contaminants in soils is influenced significantly by the pH, texture of soil, water content and also presence of organic matter. In this study, biodegradation of endosulfan isomers was studied in two different soils (Soil A and Soil B) that have contrasting properties in terms of their texture, pH, organic content, etc. Two Nocardia sp., which were isolated from soil, were used for degradation of endosulfan. Soils were contaminated with commercial endosulfan. Six sets were maintained from two different soils, contaminated with different endosulfan concentrations for degradation experiments. Inoculated and uninoculated mineral media with Nocardia isolates were added to the soils and mixed. Soils were incubated at a certain temperature (30 °C) during ten weeks. Residue endosulfan and its metabolites’ concentrations were determined weekly during the incubation period. The changes of the soil microorganisms were investigated weekly.