The aim of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition of ripe Juniperus excelsa M. Bieb. galbuli (female cones) collected from "Izgoraloto Gyune" Reserve in Krichim, Bulgaria. The moisture (36.88%), abs. weight 693.96 g/1000 pcs., and the ash content (10.57%) of ripe galbuli were determined. Lipid fraction (9.12%), cellulose (13.54%), protein (13.64%), and total carbohydrates (31.20%) were evaluated in the ripe galbuli. It was found that the ripe galbuli contained glucose (4.00%) and fructose (4.25%), but disaccharide sucrose was not identified. The main macro elements presented in the sample were K (8390.00 mg/kg), Ca (4596.00 g/kg), Mg (837.72 mg/kg), followed by Na (7.69 mg/kg); while the detected microelements consisted of Zn (8.51 mg/kg), Cu (4.66 mg/kg), Mn (3.65 mg/kg), Fe (3.26 mg/kg), Cr (3.00 mg/kg), Cd (< 0.1 mg/kg), and Pb (0.01 mg/kg).
This paper summarizes the work conducted to assess the root cause of the failure of a medium commercial vehicle leaf spring failed in service. Macro- and micro-fractographic analyses by scanning electron microscope as well as material verification tests were conducted in order to understand the failure mechanisms and root cause of the failure. Findings from the fractographic analyses indicated that failure mechanism is fatigue. Crack initiation was identified to have occurred from a point on the top surface near to the front face and to the left side. Two other crack initiation points were also observed, however, these cracks did not propagate. The propagation mode of the fatigue crack revealed that the cyclic loads resulting in crack initiation and propagation were unidirectional bending. Fractographic analyses have also showed that the root cause of the fatigue crack initiation and propagation was loading the part above design stress. Material properties of the part were also verified by chemical composition analysis, microstructural analysis by optical microscopy and hardness tests.
The Lar Igneous Suite (LIS), east of Iran, is part of post collisional alkaline magmatism related to Late Cretaceous- mid Eocene Sistan suture zone. The suite consists of a wide variety of igneous rocks, from volcanic to intrusive and hypabissal rocks such as tuffs, trachyte, monzonite, syenites and lamprophyres. Syenitic rocks which mainly occur in a giant ring dike and stocks, are shoshonitic to potassic-ultrapotassic (K2O/Na2O > 2 wt.%; MgO > 3 wt.%; K2O > 3 wt.%) in composition and are also associated with Cu-Mo mineralization. In this study, chemical composition of biotites within the Lar syenites (LS) is determined by electron microprobe analysis. The results show that LS biotites are Ti-Mg-biotites (phlogopite) which contain relatively high Ti and Mg, and low Fe concentrations. The Mg/(Fe2++ Mg) ratio in these biotites range between 0.56 and 0.73 that represent their transitionally chemical evolution. TiO2 content in these biotites is high and in the range of 3.0-5.4 wt.%. These chemical characteristics indicate that the LS biotites are primary and have been crystallized directly from magma. The investigations also demonstrate that the LS biotites have crystallized from a magma of orogenic nature. Temperature and pressure are the most significant factors controlling Mg and Ti content in the LS biotites, respectively. The results show that the LS biotites crystallized at temperatures (T) between 800 to 842 °C and pressures (P) between 0.99 to 1.44 kbar. These conditions are indicative of a crystallization depth of 3.26-4.74 km.
Goat dairy products are gaining popularity worldwide. In developing countries, but also in many marginal regions of the Mediterranean area, goats represent a great part of the economy and ensure food security. In fact, these small ruminants are able to convert efficiently poor weedy plants and small trees into traditional products of high nutritional quality, showing great resilience to different climatic and environmental conditions. In developed countries, goat milk is appreciated for the presence of health-promoting compounds, bioactive compounds such as conjugated linoleic acids, oligosaccharides, sphingolipids and polyammines. This paper focuses on the recent advances in literature on the nutritional properties of goat milk and on innovative techniques to improve its quality as to become a promising functional food. The environmental sustainability of different methodologies of production has also been examined. Goat milk is valued today as a food of high nutritional value and functional properties as well as small environmental footprint. It is widely consumed in many countries due to high nutritional value, lower allergenic potential, and better digestibility when compared to bovine milk, that makes this product suitable for infants, elderly or sensitive patients. The main differences in chemical composition between a cow and goat milk rely on fat globules that in goat milk are smaller and in fatty acids that present a smaller chain length, while protein, fat, and lactose concentration are comparable. Milk nutritional properties have demonstrated to be strongly influenced by animal diet, genotype, and welfare, but also by season and production systems. Furthermore, there is a growing interest in the dairy industry in goat milk for its relatively high concentration of prebiotics and a good amount of probiotics, which have recently gained importance for their therapeutic potential. Therefore, goat milk is studied as a promising matrix to develop innovative functional foods. In addition to the economic and nutritional value, goat milk is considered a sustainable product for its small environmental footprint, as they require relatively little water and land, and less medical treatments, compared to cow, these characteristics make its production naturally vocated to organic farming. Organic goat milk production has becoming more and more interesting both for farmers and consumers as it can answer to several concerns like environment protection, animal welfare and economical sustainment of rural populations living in marginal lands. These evidences make goat milk an ancient food with novel properties and advantages to be valorized and exploited.
The objective of the present study is to determine the critical control points during the production, transportation and storage conditions of compound feeds to be used in the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) feed safety management system. A total of 40 feed samples were taken after 20 and 40 days of storage periods from the 10 dairy and 10 beef cattle farms following the transportation of the compound feeds from the factory. In addition, before transporting the feeds from factory immediately after production of dairy and beef cattle compound feeds, 10 from each total 20 samples were taken as 0 day. In all feed samples, chemical composition and total aflatoxin levels were determined. The aflatoxin levels in all feed samples with the exception of 2 dairy cattle feeds were below the maximum acceptable level. With the increase in storage period in dairy feeds, the aflatoxin levels were increased to 4.96 ppb only in a BS8 dairy farm. This value is below the maximum permissible level (10 ppb) in beef cattle feed. The aflatoxin levels of dairy feed samples taken after production varied between 0.44 and 2.01 ppb. Aflatoxin levels were found to be between 0.89 and 3.01 ppb in dairy cattle feeds taken on the 20th day of storage at 10 dairy cattle farm. On the 40th day, feed aflatoxin levels in the same dairy cattle farm were found between 1.12 and 7.83 ppb. The aflatoxin levels were increased to 7.83 and 6.31 ppb in 2 dairy farms, after a storage period of 40 days. These obtained aflatoxin values are above the maximum permissible level in dairy cattle feeds. The 40 days storage in pellet form in the HACCP feed safety management system can be considered as a critical control point.
European eels (Anguilla anguilla) belong to Anguilliformes order and Anguillidae family. They are generally classified as warm-water fish. Eels have a great commercial value in Europe and Asian countries. Eels can reach high weights, although their commercial size is relatively low in some countries. The capture of larger eels would facilitate the recovery of the species, as well as having a greater number of either glass eels or elvers for aquaculture. In the last years, the demand and the price of eels have increased significantly. However, European eel is considered critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The biochemical composition of fishes is an important aspect of quality and affects the nutritional value and consumption quality of fish. In addition, knowing this composition can help predict an individual’s condition for their recovery. Fish is known to be important source of protein rich in essential amino acids. However, there is very little information about changes in amino acids composition of European eels with increase in size. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of two different weight categories on the amino acids content in muscle tissue of wild European eels. European eels were caught in River Ulla (Galicia, NW Spain), during winter. The eels were slaughtered in ice water immersion. Then, they were purchased and transferred to the laboratory. The eels were subdivided into two groups, according to the weight. The samples were kept frozen (-20 °C) until their analysis. Frozen eels were defrosted and the white muscle between the head and the anal hole. was extracted, in order to obtain amino acids composition. Thirty eels for each group were used. Liquid chromatography was used for separation and quantification of amino a cids. The results conclude that the eels are rich in glutamic acid, leucine, lysine, threonine, valine, isoleucine and phenylalanine. The analysis showed that there are significant differences (p < 0.05) among the eels with different sizes. Histidine, threonine, lysine, hydroxyproline, serine, glycine, arginine, alanine and proline were higher in small eels. European eels muscle presents between 45 and 46% of essential amino acids in the total amino acids. European eels have a well-balanced and high quality protein source in the respect of E/NE ratio. However, eels with higher weight showed a better ratio of essential and non-essential amino acid.
22 physicochemical variables have been determined in water samples collected weekly from January to December in 2013 from three sampling stations located within a major drinking water reservoir. Classical Multivariate Curve Resolution Alternating Least Squares (MCR-ALS) analysis was used to investigate the environmental factors associated with the physico-chemical variability of the water samples at each of the sampling stations. Matrix augmentation MCR-ALS (MA-MCR-ALS) was also applied, and the two sets of results were compared for interpretative clarity. Links between these factors, reservoir inflows and catchment land-uses were investigated and interpreted in relation to chemical composition of the water and their resolved geographical distribution profiles. The results suggested that the major factors affecting reservoir water quality were those associated with agricultural runoff, with evidence of influence on algal photosynthesis within the water column. Water quality variability within the reservoir was also found to be strongly linked to physical parameters such as water temperature and the occurrence of thermal stratification. The two methods applied (MCR-ALS and MA-MCR-ALS) led to similar conclusions; however, MA-MCR-ALS appeared to provide results more amenable to interpretation of temporal and geological variation than those obtained through classical MCR-ALS.
Titania slag is a high quality raw material containing titanium in the subsequent process of titanium pigment. The effects of cooling approaches of granulating, water cooling, and air cooling on chemical, phases, and acidolysis of Panzhihua titania slag were investigated. Compared to the original slag which was prepared by the conventional processing route, the results show that the titania slag undergoes oxidation of Ti3+during different cooling ways. The Ti2O3 content is 17.50% in the original slag, but it is 16.55% and 16.84% in water cooled and air-cooled slag, respectively. Especially, the Ti2O3 content in granulated slag is decreased about 27.6%. The content of Fe2O3 in granulated slag is approximately 2.86% also obviously higher than water (<0.5%) or air-cooled slag (<0.5%). Rutile in cooled titania slag was formed because of the oxidation of Ti3+. The rutile phase without a noticeable change in water cooled and air-cooled slag after the titania slag was cooled, but increased significantly in the granulated slag. The rate of sulfuric acid acidolysis of cooled slag is less than the original slag. The rate of acidolysis is 90.61% and 92.46% to the water-cooled slag and air-cooled slag, respectively. However, the rate of acidolysis of the granulated slag is less than that of industry slag about 20%, only 74.72%.
This study investigates the removal of silica, alumina and phosphorus as impurities from Sanje iron ore using wet high-intensity magnetic separation (WHIMS). Sanje iron ore contains low-grade hematite ore found in Nampundwe area of Zambia from which iron is to be used as the feed in the steelmaking process. The chemical composition analysis using X-ray Florence spectrometer showed that Sanje low-grade ore contains 48.90 mass% of hematite (Fe2O3) with 34.18 mass% as an iron grade. The ore also contains silica (SiO2) and alumina (Al2O3) of 31.10 mass% and 7.65 mass% respectively. The mineralogical analysis using X-ray diffraction spectrometer showed hematite and silica as the major mineral components of the ore while magnetite and alumina exist as minor mineral components. Mineral particle distribution analysis was done using scanning electron microscope with an X-ray energy dispersion spectrometry (SEM-EDS) and images showed that the average mineral size distribution of alumina-silicate gangue particles is in order of 100 μm and exists as iron-bearing interlocked particles. Magnetic separation was done using series L model 4 Magnetic Separator. The effect of various magnetic separation parameters such as magnetic flux density, particle size, and pulp density of the feed was studied during magnetic separation experiments. The ore with average particle size of 25 µm and pulp density of 2.5% was concentrated using pulp flow of 7 L/min. The results showed that 10 T was optimal magnetic flux density which enhanced the recovery of 93.08% of iron with 53.22 mass% grade. The gangue mineral particles containing 12 mass% silica and 3.94 mass% alumna remained in the concentrate, therefore the concentrate was further treated in the second stage WHIMS using the same parameters from the first stage. The second stage process recovered 83.41% of iron with 67.07 mass% grade. Silica was reduced to 2.14 mass% and alumina to 1.30 mass%. Accordingly, phosphorus was also reduced to 0.02 mass%. Therefore, the two stage magnetic separation process was established using these results.
A field study was conducted to evaluate the chemical composition and quality of the Aronia fruits, as well as the possibilities of Aronia cultivation on soils contaminated with heavy metals. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (NFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The study included four varieties of Aronia; Aron variety, Hugin variety, Viking variety and Nero variety. The Aronia was cultivated according to the conventional technology on areas at a different distance from the source of pollution NFMW- Plovdiv (1 km, 3.5 km, and 15 km). The concentrations of macroelements, microelements, and heavy metals in Aronia fruits were determined. The dry matter content, ash, sugars, proteins, and fats were also determined. Aronia is a crop that is tolerant to heavy metals and can successfully be grown on soils contaminated with heavy metals. The increased content of heavy metals in the soil leads to less absorption of the nutrients (Ca, Mg and P) in the fruit of the Aronia. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the Aronia fruit varieties.
This paper deals with the possibility of safe incorporation fluidised bed combustion fly ash (waste material) into cement matrix together with next commonly used secondary raw material, which is high-temperature fly ash. Both of these materials have a very high pozzolanic ability, and the right combination could bring important improvements in both the physico-mechanical properties and the better durability of a cement composite. This paper tries to determine the correct methodology for designing green concrete by using modern methods measuring rheology of fresh concrete and following hydration processes. The use of fluidised bed combustion fly ash in cement composite production as an admixture is not currently common, but there are some real possibilities for its potential. The most striking negative aspect is its chemical composition which supports the development of new product formation, influencing the durability of the composite. Another disadvantage is the morphology of grains, which have a negative effect on consistency. This raises the question of how this waste can be used in concrete production to emphasize its positive properties and eliminate negatives. The focal point of the experiment carried out on cement pastes was particularly on the progress of hydration processes, aiming for the possible acceleration of pozzolanic reactions of both types of fly ash.
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) coated polypropylene (PP) films containing Zataria multiflora (ZEO) essential oils (4%) as an antimicrobial packaging for chicken breast stored at 4 °C. To increase PP film hydrophilicity, it was treated by atmospheric cold plasma prior to coating by CMC. Then, different films including PP, PP/CMC, PP/CMC containing 4% of ZEO were used for the chicken meat packaging in vapor phase. Total viable count and pseudomonads population and oxidative (TBA) changes of the chicken breast were analyzed during shelf life. Results showed that the shelf life of chicken meat kept in films containing ZEO improved from three to nine days compared to the control sample without any direct contact with the film. Study of oxygen barrier properties of bilayer film without essential oils (0.096 cm3 μm/m2 d kPa) in comparison with PP film (416 cm3 μm/m2 d kPa) shows that coating of PP with CMC significantly reduces oxygen permeation of the obtained packaging (P<0.05), which reduced aerobic bacteria growth. Chemical composition of ZEO was also evaluated by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), and this shows that thymol was the main antimicrobial and antioxidant component of the essential oil. The results revealed that PP/CMC containing ZEO has good potential for application as active food packaging in indirect contact which would also improve sensory properties of product.
The aim of this study was to analyze long term changes of surface water quality in Latvia, spatial variability of water chemical composition, possible impacts of different pollution sources as well as to analyze the measures to protect national water resources - river basin management. Within this study, the concentrations of major water ingredients and microelements in major rivers and lakes of Latvia have been determined. Metal concentrations in river and lake waters were compared with water chemical composition. The mean concentrations of trace metals in inland waters of Latvia are appreciably lower than the estimated world averages for river waters and close to or lower than background values, unless regional impacts determined by local geochemistry. This may be explained by a comparatively lower level of anthropogenic load. In the same time in several places, direct anthropogenic impacts are evident, regarding influences of point sources both transboundary transport impacts. Also, different processes related to pollution of surface waters in Latvia have been analyzed. At first the analysis of changes and composition of pollutant emissions in Latvia has been realized, and the obtained results were compared with actual composition of atmospheric precipitation and their changes in time.
In this article reduced nutritional value of the rabbits’ meat at 1, 1 dimethylhydrazine experimental toxicosis is shown. The assay was performed on liquid chromatograph SHIMADZU LC-20 Prominence (Japan) with fluorometric and spectrophotometric detector. This research has revealed that samples of rabbit meat of the experimental group had significant differences from the control group:in amino acids concentration from 1.2% to 9.1%; vitamin concentration from 11.2% to 60.5%, macro – minerals concentration from 17.4% to 78.1% and saturated fatty acids concentration from 17,1% to 34.5%, respectively. The decrease in the chemical composition of rabbits’ meat at 1,1 dimethylhydrazine toxicosis may be due to changes in the internal processes associated with impaired metabolic homeostasis of animals.
Ancient Thai perfumed powder was used as a fragrance for clothing, food, and the body. Plant-based natural Thai perfume products are known as Pang-Rum. The objective of this study was to evaluate the stability of essential oils after six months of incubation. The chemical compositions were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), in terms of the qualitative composition of the isolated essential oil. The isolation of the essential oil of natural products by incubate sample for 5 min at 40 ºC is described. The volatile components were identified by percentage of total peak areas comparing their retention times of GC chromatograph with NIST mass spectral library. The results show no significant difference in the seven chromatograms of perfumed powder (Pang-Rum) both with binder and without binder. Further identification was done by GC-MS. Some components of Pang-Rum with/without binder were changed by temperature and time.
Thermal insulating composites help to reduce the total power consumption in a building by creating a barrier between external and internal environment. Such composites can be used in the roofing tiles or wall panels for exterior surfaces. This study purposes to develop lightweight cement-based composites for thermal insulating applications. Waste materials like silica fume (an industrial by-product) and fly ash cenosphere (FAC) (hollow micro-spherical shells obtained as a waste residue from coal fired power plants) were used as partial replacement of cement and lightweight filler, respectively. Moreover, aerogel, a nano-porous material made of silica, was also used in different dosages for improved thermal insulating behavior, while poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) fibers were added for enhanced toughness. The raw materials including binders and fillers were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-Ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis techniques in which various physical and chemical properties of the raw materials were evaluated like specific surface area, chemical composition (oxide form), and pore size distribution (if any). Ultra-lightweight cementitious composites were developed by varying the amounts of FAC and aerogel with 28-day unit weight ranging from 1551.28 kg/m3 to 1027.85 kg/m3. Excellent mechanical and thermal insulating properties of the resulting composites were obtained ranging from 53.62 MPa to 8.66 MPa compressive strength, 9.77 MPa to 3.98 MPa flexural strength, and 0.3025 W/m-K to 0.2009 W/m-K as thermal conductivity coefficient (QTM-500). The composites were also tested for peak temperature difference between outer and inner surfaces when subjected to heating (in a specially designed experimental set-up) by a 275W infrared lamp. The temperature difference up to 16.78 oC was achieved, which indicated outstanding properties of the developed composites to act as a thermal barrier for building envelopes. Microstructural studies were carried out by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) for characterizing the inner structure of the composite specimen. Also, the hydration products were quantified using the surface area mapping and line scale technique in EDS. The microstructural analyses indicated excellent bonding of FAC and aerogel in the cementitious system. Also, selective reactivity of FAC was ascertained from the SEM imagery where the partially consumed FAC shells were observed. All in all, the lightweight fillers, FAC, and aerogel helped to produce the lightweight composites due to their physical characteristics, while exceptional mechanical properties, owing to FAC partial reactivity, were achieved.
In horse nutrition, the most suitable cereal for their rations composition could be defined as oats and barley. Oats have high nutritive value because it provides more protein, fiber, iron and zinc than other whole grains, has good taste, and an activity of stimulating metabolic changes in the body. Another cereal – barley is very similar to oats as a feed except for some characteristics that affect how it is used; however, barley is lower in fiber than oats and is classified as a "heavy" feed. The value of oats and barley grain, first of all is dependent on its composition. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has long been considered and used as a significant method in component and quality analysis and as an emerging technology for authenticity applications for cereal quality control. This paper presents the chemical and amino acid composition of different varieties of barley and oats, also digestible energy of different cereals for horses. Ten different spring barley (n = 5) and oats (n = 5) varieties, grown in one location in Lithuania, were assayed for their chemical composition (dry matter, crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, crude fiber, starch) and amino acids content, digestible amino acids and amino acids digestibility. Also, the grains digestible energy for horses was calculated. The oats and barley samples reflectance spectra were measured by means of NIRS using Foss-Tecator DS2500 equipment. The chemical components: fat, crude protein, starch and fiber differed statistically (P<0.05) between the oats and barley varieties. The highest total amino acid content between oats was determined in variety Flamingsprofi (4.56 g/kg) and the lowest – variety Circle (3.57 g/kg), and between barley - respectively in varieties Publican (3.50 g/kg) and Sebastian (3.11 g/kg). The different varieties of oats digestible amino acid content varied from 3.11 g/kg to 4.07 g/kg; barley different varieties varied from 2.59 g/kg to 2.94 g/kg. The average amino acids digestibility of oats varied from 74.4% (Liz) to 95.6% (Fen) and in barley - from 75.8 % (Tre) to 89.6% (Fen). The amount of digestible energy in the analyzed varieties of oats and barley was an average compound 13.74 MJ/kg DM and 14.85 MJ/kg DM, respectively. An analysis of the results showed that different varieties of oats compared with barley are preferable for horse nutrition according to the crude fat, crude fiber, ash and separate amino acids content, but the analyzed barley varieties dominated the higher amounts of crude protein, the digestible Liz amount and higher DE content, and thus, could be recommended for making feed formulation for horses combining oats and barley, taking into account the chemical composition of using cereal varieties.
The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of special additives such as chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid on productivity parameters, carcass characteristics and meat quality of fattening pigs. The test started with 40 days old fattening pigs (mongrel (mother) and Yorkshire (father)) and lasted up to 156 days of age. During the fattening period, 32 pigs were divided into 2 groups (control and experimental) with 4 replicates (total of 8 pens). The pigs were fed for 16 weeks’ ad libitum with a standard wheat-barley-soybean meal compound (Control group) supplemented with chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid (dosage 2 kg/t of feed, Experimental group). Meat traits in live pigs were measured by ultrasonic equipment Piglog 105. The results obtained throughout the experimental period suggest that supplementation of chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid tend to positively affect average daily gain and feed conversion ratio of pigs for fattening (p < 0.05). Pigs’ evaluation with Piglog 105 showed that thickness of fat in the first and second point was by 4% and 3% respectively higher in comparison to the control group (p < 0.05). Carcass weight, yield, and length, also thickness of fat showed no significant difference among the groups. The water holding capacity of meat in Experimental group was lower by 5.28%, and tenderness – lower by 12% compared with that of the pigs in the Control group (p < 0.05). Regarding pigs’ meat chemical composition of the experimental group, a statistically significant difference comparing with the data of the control group was not determined. Cholesterol concentration in muscles of pigs fed diets supplemented with chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid was lower by 7.93 mg/100 g of muscle in comparison to that of the control group. These results suggest that supplementation of chelators, zinc sulphate and silicic acid in the feed for fattening pigs had significant effect on pigs growing performance and meat quality.
Polymers exposed to laser or plasma treatment or modified with different wet methods which enable the introduction of nanoparticles or biologically active species, such as amino-acids, may find many applications both as biocompatible or anti-bacterial materials or on the contrary, can be applied for a decrease in the number of cells on the treated surface which opens application in single cell units. For the experiments, two types of materials were chosen, a representative of non-biodegradable polymers, polyethersulphone (PES) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) as biodegradable material. Exposure of solid substrate to laser well below the ablation threshold can lead to formation of various surface structures. The ripples have a period roughly comparable to the wavelength of the incident laser radiation, and their dimensions depend on many factors, such as chemical composition of the polymer substrate, laser wavelength and the angle of incidence. On the contrary, biopolymers may significantly change their surface roughness and thus influence cell compatibility. The focus was on the surface treatment of PES and PHB by pulse excimer KrF laser with wavelength of 248 nm. The changes of physicochemical properties, surface morphology, surface chemistry and ablation of exposed polymers were studied both for PES and PHB. Several analytical methods involving atomic force microscopy, gravimetry, scanning electron microscopy and others were used for the analysis of the treated surface. It was found that the combination of certain input parameters leads not only to the formation of optimal narrow pattern, but to the combination of a ripple and a wrinkle-like structure, which could be an optimal candidate for cell attachment. The interaction of different types of cells and their interactions with the laser exposed surface were studied. It was found that laser treatment contributes as a major factor for wettability/contact angle change. The combination of optimal laser energy and pulse number was used for the construction of a surface with an anti-cellular response. Due to the simple laser treatment, we were able to prepare a biopolymer surface with higher roughness and thus significantly influence the area of growth of different types of cells (U-2 OS cells).
Tissue engineering includes combination of materials and techniques used for the improvement, repair or replacement of the tissue. Scaffolds, permanent or temporally material, are used as support for the creation of the "new cell structures". For this important component (scaffold), a variety of materials can be used. The advantage of some polymeric materials is their cytocompatibility and possibility of biodegradation. Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) is a biodegradable, semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer. PLLA can be fully degraded into H2O and CO2. In this experiment, the effect of the surface modification of biodegradable polymer (performed by plasma treatment) on the various cell types was studied. The surface parameters and changes of the physicochemical properties of modified PLLA substrates were studied by different methods. Surface wettability was determined by goniometry, surface morphology and roughness study were performed with atomic force microscopy and chemical composition was determined using photoelectron spectroscopy. The physicochemical properties were studied in relation to cytocompatibility of human osteoblast (MG 63 cells), rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and human stem cells (ASC) of the adipose tissue in vitro. A fluorescence microscopy was chosen to study and compare cell-material interaction. Important parameters of the cytocompatibility like adhesion, proliferation, viability, shape, spreading of the cells were evaluated. It was found that the modification leads to the change of the surface wettability depending on the time of modification. Short time of exposition (10-120 s) can reduce the wettability of the aged samples, exposition longer than 150 s causes to increase of contact angle of the aged PLLA. The surface morphology is significantly influenced by duration of modification, too. The plasma treatment involves the formation of the crystallites, whose number increases with increasing time of modification. On the basis of physicochemical properties evaluation, the cells were cultivated on the selected samples. Cell-material interactions are strongly affected by material chemical structure and surface morphology. It was proved that the plasma treatment of PLLA has a positive effect on the adhesion, spreading, homogeneity of distribution and viability of all cultivated cells. This effect was even more apparent for the VSMCs and ASCs which homogeneously covered almost the whole surface of the substrate after 7 days of cultivation. The viability of these cells was high (more than 98% for VSMCs, 89-96% for ASCs). This experiment is one part of the basic research, which aims to easily create scaffolds for tissue engineering with subsequent use of stem cells and their subsequent "reorientation" towards the bone cells or smooth muscle cells.
A comparative research on the impact of compost on uptake and allocation of nutrients and heavy metals and quality of Oriental tobacco Krumovgrad 90 has been carried out. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the lead zinc smelter near the town of Kardzali, Bulgaria, after closing the lead production. The compost treatments had significant effects on the uptake and allocation of plant nutrients and heavy metals. The incorporation of compost leads to decrease in the amount of heavy metals present in the tobacco leaves, with Cd, Pb and Zn having values of 36%, 12% and 6%, respectively. Application of the compost leads to increased content of potassium, calcium and magnesium in the leaves of tobacco, and therefore, may favorably affect the burning properties of tobacco. The incorporation of compost in the soil has a negative impact on the quality and typicality of the oriental tobacco variety of Krumovgrad 90. The incorporation of compost leads to an increase in the size of the tobacco plant leaves, the leaves become darker in colour, less fleshy and undergo a change in form, becoming (much) broader in the second, third and fourth stalk position. This is accompanied by a decrease in the quality of the tobacco. The incorporation of compost also results in an increase in the mineral substances (pure ash), total nicotine and nitrogen, and a reduction in the amount of reducing sugars, which causes the quality of the tobacco leaves to deteriorate (particularly in the third and fourth harvests).
A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Salvia sclarea L. for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The content of heavy metals in different parts of Salvia sclarea L. (roots, stems, leaves and inflorescences) was determined by ICP. The essential oil of the Salvia sclarea L. was obtained by steam distillation in laboratory conditions and was analyzed for heavy metals and its chemical composition was determined. Salvia sclarea L. is a plant which is tolerant to heavy metals and can be grown on contaminated soils. Based on the obtained results and using the most common criteria, Salvia sclarea L. can be classified as Pb hyperaccumulator and Cd and Zn accumulators, therefore, this plant has suitable potential for the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. Favorable is also the fact that heavy metals do not influence the development of the Salvia sclarea L., as well as on the quality and quantity of the essential oil. For clary sage oil obtained from the processing of clary sage grown on highly contaminated soils, its key odour-determining ingredients meet the quality requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia and BS ISO 7609 regarding Bulgarian clary sage oil and/or have values that are close to the limits of these standards. The possibility of further industrial processing will make Salvia sclarea L. an economically interesting crop for farmers of phytoextraction technology.
Bitumen has been widely used as the binder of aggregate in road pavement due to its good viscoelastic properties, as a viscous organic mixture with various chemical compositions. Bitumen is a liquid at high temperature and it becomes brittle at low temperatures, and this temperature-sensitivity can cause the rutting and cracking of the pavement and limit its application. Therefore, the properties of existing asphalt materials need to be enhanced. The pavement with polymer modified bitumen exhibits greater resistance to rutting and thermal cracking, decreased fatigue damage, as well as stripping and temperature susceptibility; however, they are expensive and their applications have disadvantages. Bituminous mixtures are composed of very irregular aggregates bound together with hydrocarbon-based asphalt, with a low volume fraction of voids dispersed within the matrix. Montmorillonite (MMT) is a layered silicate with low cost and abundance, which consists of layers of tetrahedral silicate and octahedral hydroxide sheets. Recently, the layered silicates have been widely used for the modification of polymers, as well as in many different fields. However, there are not too much studies related with the preparation of the modified asphalt with MMT, currently. In this study, organo-clay-modified bitumen, and calcareous aggregate and organo-clay blends were prepared by hot blending method with OMMT, which has been synthesized using a cationic surfactant (Cetyltrymethylammonium bromide, CTAB) and long chain hydrocarbon, and MMT. When the exchangeable cations in the interlayer region of pristine MMT were exchanged with hydrocarbon attached surfactant ions, the MMT becomes organophilic and more compatible with bitumen. The effects of the super hydrophobic OMMT onto the micro structural and mechanic properties (Marshall Stability and volumetric parameters) of the prepared blends were investigated. Stability and volumetric parameters of the blends prepared were measured using Marshall Test. Also, in order to investigate the morphological and micro structural properties of the organo-clay-modified bitumen and calcareous aggregate and organo-clay blends, their SEM and HRTEM images were taken. It was observed that the stability and volumetric parameters of the prepared mixtures improved significantly compared to the conventional hot mixes and even the stone matrix mixture. A micro structural analysis based on SEM images indicates that the organo-clay platelets dispersed in the bitumen have a dominant role in the increase of effectiveness of bitumen - aggregate interactions.
One of the tasks in contemporary biotechnology, pharmacology and other fields of human activities is to obtain biologically active substances from plants. They are very essential in the treatment of many diseases due to their actually high therapeutic value without visible side effects. However, sometimes the possibility of obtaining the metabolites is limited due to the reduction of wild-growing plants. That is why the plant cell cultures are of great interest as alternative sources of biologically active substances. Besides, during the monitored cultivation, it is possible to obtain substances that are not synthesized by plants in nature. Isolated culture of Ajuga genevensis with high growth activity and ability of regeneration was obtained using MS nutrient medium. The agar-diffusion method showed that aqueous extracts of callus culture revealed high antimicrobial activity towards various gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis A1WT; B. mesentericus WDCM 1873; Staphylococcus aureus WDCM 5233; Staph. citreus WT) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli WKPM M-17; Salmonella typhimurium TA 100) microorganisms. The broth dilution method revealed that the minimal and half maximal inhibitory concentration values against E. coli corresponded to the 70 μg/mL and 140 μg/mL concentration of the extract respectively. According to the photochemiluminescent analysis, callus tissue extracts of leaf and root origin showed higher antioxidant activity than the same quantity of A. genevensis intact plant extract. A. genevensis intact plant and callus culture extracts showed no cytotoxic effect on K-562 suspension cell line of human chronic myeloid leukemia. The GC-MS analysis showed deep differences between the qualitative and quantitative composition of callus culture and intact plant extracts. Hexacosane (11.17%); n-hexadecanoic acid (9.33%); and 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol (4.28%) were the main components of intact plant extracts. 10-Methylnonadecane (57.0%); methoxyacetic acid, 2-tetradecyl ester (17.75%) and 1-Bromopentadecane (14.55%) were the main components of A. genevensis callus culture extracts. Obtained data indicate that callus culture of A. genevensis can be used as an alternative source of biologically active substances.