36 research outputs found

    Proposing a Tool for Supply Chain Configuration: An Application to Customised Production

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    This work aims to develop methodologies and tools to support the design and management of sustainable processes for the production of biodegradable polyhydroxyalcanoates (PHAs) biopolymers. PHAs are linear polyesters produced in nature by bacteria through aerobic fermentation of many carbon sources, completely biodegradable and biocompatible. We carried out a study inherent to the advancement of an innovative, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable technology for isolating PHAs from bacteria mixed cultures by combining: (a) innovative cells' pre-treatments and polymer purification's strategy by means of TiO2/UV or Ag0 nanostructured materials; (b) polymer extraction through a green and safe system directly applicable to bacterial cultures, which combines the advantages of solvent extraction and these of dissolution of the non-PHAs cellular matrix through surfactants; (c) monitoring and control tools for process energy and efficiency management. The outcomes put the basis for the design and subsequent building of a working pilot system for the production of completely biodegradable and biocompatible PHAs. The efficiency can be improved and the investments and operating costs can be decreased thanks to the optimization of the production process with the introduction of safe and cheap PHAs extraction route without use of toxic and harmful chemicals and the integration of monitoring and automation tools. The engineering and integration of nano-TiO2 phase within textile fibres and their use as photocatalytic active media for bacteria pre- and post-treatment of waste water added a new opportunity for improving process efficiency and sustainability

    The macrophage marker translocator protein (TSPO) is down-regulated on pro-inflammatory 'M1' human macrophages.

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    The translocator protein (TSPO) is a mitochondrial membrane protein, of as yet uncertain function. Its purported high expression on activated macrophages, has lent utility to TSPO targeted molecular imaging in the form of positron emission tomography (PET), as a means to detect and quantify inflammation in vivo. However, existing literature regarding TSPO expression on human activated macrophages is lacking, mostly deriving from brain tissue studies, including studies of brain malignancy, and inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Here, we utilized three human sources of monocyte derived macrophages (MDM), from THP-1 monocytes, healthy peripheral blood monocytes and synovial fluid monocytes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, to undertake a detailed investigation of TSPO expression in activated macrophages. In this work, we demonstrate a consistent down-regulation of TSPO mRNA and protein in macrophages activated to a pro-inflammatory, or 'M1' phenotype. Conversely, stimulation of macrophages to an M2 phenotype with IL-4, dexamethasone or TGF-ő≤1 did not alter TSPO expression, regardless of MDM source. The reasons for this are uncertain, but our study findings add some supporting evidence for recent investigations concluding that TSPO may be involved in negative regulation of inflammatory responses in macrophages


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    Experimental neonatal colibacillosis, in newborn piglets was attempted using 4 groups of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains, as follows: 1) Two strains from serogroup 0149:K91, both producing thermolabile enterotoxin (LT) and K88 colonization factor; 2) Two strains from serogroup 0101:K30, producing thermostable enterotoxin (STa) and K99 colonization factor; 3) One strain from serogroup 0517:K?, producing thermostable enterotoxin of the STb type and K88 antigen, and 4) One strain from serogroup 08:K?, producing STa enterotoxin and a new colonization factor, named F42. All fourteen piglets inoculated orally with these strains of ETEC developed clinical disease and died up to 42 hours after inoculation, being possible to visualize, by indirect fluorescent antibody technique, in all of them, that colonization of small intestine by the inoculated ETEC had occurred. The production of STa "in vivo", into the gut, by strains from group 2 and 4 was an important factor to prove that experimental colibacillosis did occur. In fact, coprocultures either from the diarrheic stools or from the gut contents revealed a high rate of LT+-K88+ and STa+-K99+ colonies recovery. Though some quantitative differences among the examined materials have been observed, the recovery of STa+-F42+ colonies was lower than in the former groups of ETEC strains. However clinical symptoms, production of STa "in vivo" and colonization of the gut of inoculated piglets proved that F42 antigen is undoubtedly a new colonization factor among ETEC involved in porcine colibacillosis.1041671111