Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Lupine Publishers| 3rd Nerve Palsy After Microsurgical Clipping of Basilar Top Aneurysm

 Lupine Publishers| Journal of Neurology and Brain Disorders


Postoperative oculomotor nerve palsy is a rare complication that occurs in the setting of micro¬surgical aneurysm clipping. While a number of theories have been postulated to explain the development of postoperative oculomotor nerve palsies, the underlying pathophysiology of such complications still remain to be elucidated. In this report, we present a case of postoperative isolated ipsilateral oculomotor nerve palsy after clipping of basilar tip aneurysm which we believe may be attributed to periperative oculomotor nerve manipulation related neuropraxia.

Keywords:Oculomotor Nerve Palsy; Basilar Apex Aneurysm; Postoperative


Oculomotor nerve is the third cranial nerve that enters the orbit through the superior orbital fissure and controls muscles that drive most movements of the eye and raise the eyelid. Oculomotor nerve is derived from the basal plate of the embryonic midbrain. Cranial nerves IV and VI also participate in the control of eye movement. Oculomotor nerve palsy is an eye condition resulting from damage to the third cranial nerve or a branch there of. As the name suggests, oculomotor nerve supplies the major¬ity of the muscles that control eye movements. Therefore, damages to oculomotor nerve will render affected individuals unable to move his or her eye normally. Unilateral oculomotor nerve palsy is often encountered in the setting of ipsilateral aneurysms located at the Posteri¬or Communicating Artery (PcomA), Internal Carotid Artery (ICA) or their junction (PcomA/ICA). There have been some reports on ocu¬lomotor nerve palsy as a result of aneurysms in basilar tip, anterior artery or anterior communi¬cating artery. In the present report, we describe a case of basilar apex aneurysm presenting with ipsilateral postoperative oculo¬motor nerve palsy that is thought to be attrib¬uted to peroperative oculomotor nerve handling followed by neuropraxia.

Case Report

A 55years old hypertension male with no other significant past medical history or contributing family history complained about sudden severe headache for one hour followed by several episodes of vomiting and unconsciousness for 05 hours on admission at our hospital. Physical examination results were within nor¬mal limits except for considerable neck stiffness, positive Kernig sign and Brudzinski’s sign. Computed Tomography (CT) scan demonstrated diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage, which was especially concentrated in ambient, sylvian fissure, interpeduncular and suprasellar cisterns with intraventricular extensions and mild triventricular hydrocephalus (Figure1). Computed tomography of the head show¬ing diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage especially concentrated in ambient, sylvian fissure, interpeduncular and suprasellar cisterns with intraventricular extensions and mild triventricular hydrocephalus. CT Angiography (CTA) revealed a large saccular basilar tip aneurysm (approximately 10.7×9.5×10.5mm) (Figures 2A & 2B). The aneurysm was micro surgically clipped (Figures 4) via the right Orbitozygomatic approach (Figures 3A & 3B). Postoperatively the patient developed complete right third nerve palsy characterized by the presence of dilated pupil, ptosis and downward deviation and abduction of the eyeball. CT scan revealed no postoperative intracranial hematoma and the surgical clip was in the proper location. However, compression of the basal cisterns and assessment of the ventricular system were noted (Figure 5). Postoperative CTA showed no existence of another aneurysm or vasospasm (Figure 6). The patient was discharged 02 weeks after the surgery. At this point, his mydriasis and eye lid drooping were still present to a lesser extent. At one-month follow-up, the patient’s pupil was slightly contracted and reflexed reluctantly to direct and indirect light stimulation.

Figure 1: Computed tomography of the head show¬ing diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage especially concentrated in ambient, sylvian fissure, interpeduncular and suprasellar cisterns with intraventricular extensions and mild triventricular hydrocephalus.


Figure 5: CT scan revealed no postoperative intracranial hematoma and the surgical clip was in the proper location.


Figure 6: Postoperative CTA showed no existence of another aneurysm or vasospasm and the surgical clip was in the proper location.


Figure 7: On postoperative day two, the patient developed a complete right third nerve palsy.


There are many proposed hypotheses pertain¬ing to the etiology of oculomotor nerve palsy before and after aneurysm surgery. Direct com¬pression by the aneurysm is the most classic and common cause. Other causes include direct injury to the third nerve intraoperatively [1-6], microvascular ischemia [7-9], focal hemato¬ma formation [3], vasospasm [8-12], anomaly of the vessels along the oculomotor nerve [10], elevated intracranial pressure and herniation, compression by intracranial structures other than aneurysms [7], and undetermined ori-gins [11]. In the present case, compression by aneurysm may not be possible because of the anatomi¬cal distance between the two entities. Postoperative CT, CTA decrease the chances of hematoma formation, vasospasm and elevated intracranial pressure. Although we cannot rule out the possibility of ischemic injury to the oculomotor nerve. Small vessel ischemic injury to oculomotor nerve usu¬ally exhibits pupilsparing [9] whereas our patient demonstrated a blown pupil. So, we believe that, probably from coarse dissection of the cavernous sinus dura and as well as direct anterior clinoidectomy or from heat of the low power drill may be responsible for the 3rd nerve palsy of our patient.


The novel use of intramuscular cerebrolysin and citicoline in a patient with kernicterus was safe and effective.

The Neuroreparative Effects of Cerebrolysin have Been Attributed to [3-5]:

a) Inhibition of apoptosis.

b) Improving synaptic plasticity and induction of neurogenesis.

c) Augmenting the proliferation, differentiation, and migration of adult.

d) subventricular zone neural progenitor stem cells, contributing to neurogenesis.

e) Induction of stem-cell proliferation in the brain.

Citicoline (cytidine diphosphate choline) is a mononucleotide made of ribose, pyrophosphate, cytosine and choline is a watersoluble naturally occurring substance that is generally grouped with the B vitamins. It is also considered a form of the essential nutrient choline. It is a safe substance with generally minor side effects which may include digestive intolerance after oral administration [6]. An accumulating research evidence suggests that citicoline is endowed with interesting pharmacological properties that can make it useful in the treatment of various disorders that has no universally accepted effective treatment including neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, brain ischemia, hemorrhagic stroke, Alzheimer’s disease; and ocular condition such as glaucoma, nonarteritic ischemic neuropathy and amblyopia [6].

The Neuro-Protective Effects of Citicoline Were Attributed to the Followings [6]:

a) Preservation of cardiolipin and sphingomyelin

b) Preservation of arachidonic acid content of phosphatidylcholine and

c) phosphatidylethanolamine.

d) Partial restoration of phosphatidylcholine levels.

e) Stimulation of glutathione synthesis and glutathione reductase activity.

f) Reduction of phospholipase A2 activity.

g) Increasing glucose metabolism in the brain.

h) Increasing cerebral blood flow.

Reducing oxidative stress and preventing excessive inflammatory response in the brain by inhibiting the release of free fatty acids and reducing blood brain barrier breakdown. Enhances cellular communication by increasing the availability of neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Lowering increased glutamate concentrations and increasing the decreased ATP concentrations induced by ischemia. Citicoline increases dopamine receptor densities, and therefore could improve memory impairment resulting from poor environmental conditions. Citicoline could also improve focus and mental energy and could be useful in the treatment of attention deficit disorder. Citicoline has also been shown to improve visual function in patients with glaucoma [7].


The novel use of intramuscular cerebrolysin and citicoline in a patient with kernicterus was safe and effective.

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Monday, 3 October 2022

Lupine Publishers| Visual Impairment and its Rehabilitation: A Review

 Lupine Publishers| Journal of Ophthalmology


Visual impairment (VI) is a condition of reduced visual performance that cannot be remedied by refractive correction (spectacles or contact lenses), surgery or medical methods. Visual Impairment is a broader term that encompasses both Low vision and Blindness. The prevalence of visual impairment is estimated to be around 2.2 billion in the world as per World Health Organization (WHO). Causes of Visual Impairment differs significantly in different regions. Saying that, still cataract and refractive errors are main causes of visual impairment globally. Owing to its negative impact on the individual’s dailies, professional life, productive time, confidence, and self-respect, VI needs to be addressed timely and appropriately. Visual impairments do have profound consequences for the individual, however effective rehabilitation services can restore independence and therefore ameliorate these consequences and restore the individual’s quality of life.

Keywords: Visual Impairment; Blindness; low Vision; Rehabilitation; Optical Devices; Non-Optical Devices


Impairment of any kind (sensorial or motor) is a bane for any human being. With visual impairment being one of the leading causes of sensorial impairment, it is necessary to acknowledge its prevalence, causes and methods to avoid them, if possible. Also, at the same time, it is important to understand that the term “visual impairment”, “blindness” and “Low vision” are not synonymous; rather visual impairment includes low vision as well as blindness. Simply, Visual impairment (VI) is a condition of reduced visual performance that cannot be remedied by refractive correction (spectacles or contact lenses), surgery or medical methods [1]. Various definitions of visual impairment have been given by various concerned authorities. International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) defines visual impairment categories primarily on the basis of recommendations made by a World Health Organization (WHO) Study Group in 1972 [2] and defines as:

• low vision is defined as visual acuity of less than 6/18, but equal to or better than 3/60, or a corresponding visual field loss to less than 20 degrees in the better eye with best possible correction
• blindness is defined as visual acuity of less than 3/60, or a corresponding visual field loss to less than 10 degrees in the better eye with best possible correction.

Since, the ICD definition of visual impairment is based on best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), which exclude uncorrected refractive error as a cause of visual impairment, leading to substantial underestimation of the total visual impairment burden by about 38%, Lalit Dandona [3] and colleagues debated a revision in these definitions and defined:

a person with low vision as one who has impairment of visual functioning even after treatment and/or refractive correction, and has a visual acuity of less than 6/18 to light perception, or a visual field of less than 10° from the point of fixation, but who uses, or is potentially able to use, vision for the planning and/or execution of a task [4].
• blindness is defined as visual acuity of less than 6/60, equivalent to central visual field of 20° [5,6].
• A guideline has been instated to define “Legal Blindness” by Social Security Act to help people receive government assistance, such as Social Security disability benefits. Legal Blindness is defined as:

Remaining vision in the better eye after best correction is 20/200 (6/60) or less OR contraction of the peripheral visual fields in the better eye (A) to 10 degrees or less from the point of fixation; or (B) so the widest diameter subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees [7].
Some other definitions and types of blindness adopted by different countries and institutions are:

Avoidable Blindness

It is the blindness that could be either treated or prevented by known, cost effective means. It can either be preventable or curable. It includes:

• Cataract
• Glaucoma
• Diabetic retinopathy
• Corneal infections
• Ocular trauma
• Refractive error

Curable Blindness

It is the stage of blindness where the damage is reversible by prompt management. E.g.: Cataract

Preventable Blindness

It is the type of blindness in which the loss of vision that could have been completely prevented by effective preventive and prophylactic measures
Example: Xerophthalmia

Manifest Blindness

It restricts the accomplishment of tasks for daily living leading to impairment in mobility.
Vision less than 1/60 to just perception of light in the better eye with best correction is considered as manifest blindness

Absolute Blindness

It restricts the ability of even perceiving the light. E.g.: Optic atrophy.

Economic Blindness

It is the level of blindness that prevents an individual from earning his wages. Vision less than 6/60 to 3/60 in the better eye with best correction is considered as economic blindness

Social Blindness

It hampers an individual from socially interacting with the family and peer groups in a satisfactory manner. Vision less than 3/60 to 1/60 in the better eye with best correction is considered as social blindness.


The classification of visual impairment varies worldwide [8]. Since ICD is considered the standard worldwide classification therefore, the ICD definitions of visual impairment are used most often for worldwide estimates of visual impairment. The ICD-11 classification of visual impairment (which specifies all levels of vision loss, for each eye, and is used for coding a visual impairment as the diagnosis) is listed in the table below [2] (Table 1):

Table 1:


In the above table, it should be noted that in the revision of the ICD-10 categories of visual impairment proposed in 2003 by a WHO consultation on the development of standards for characterization of vision loss, low vision is replaced by two categories: moderate visual impairment (presenting visual acuity less than 6/18 but equal to or better than 6/60) and severe visual impairment (presenting visual acuity less than 6/60 but equal to or better than 3/60) [9]. Also, the previous classifications of visual impairment considered visual acuity as the only determining factor for categorizing visual impairment; loss of function due to hemianopia, loss of contrast sensitivity, photophobia, visual distortion, diplopia, or visual perceptual difficulties were not considered. These factors have been addressed on ICD-10 and ICD-11. Vision impairment results as an involvement of more than one factor which may include visual acuity, visual field, and contrast sensitivity. Therefore, these are the most clinically useful quantifiers of visual impairment [8].

Prevalence and Incidence:

According to World Health Organization, globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, of whom at least 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed [10], among whom 1 billion people includes those with moderate or severe distance vision impairment or blindness [10] However, with the introduction of the global initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness (vision 2020: the right to sight), many agree that the initiative is in the right direction to reduce the prevalence of avoidable blindness [11]. Estimates of the number of visually impaired persons vary, depending upon the criteria used [12]. In 2002, it was estimated that with bestcorrected vision there were 161 million individuals with VI globally [13]. However, when the prevalence of uncorrected refractive error was included, this value increased substantially to 314 million individuals with VI [14]. This implies that an additional 153 million individuals were visually impaired from uncorrected refractive error alone [14]. This statistics stress upon the underestimation of total visually impaired population if uncorrected refractive error is to be looked. Thus, the importance of correction and management of refractive error is significantly high for the management of visual impairment [15].
An interesting fact is that, the majority of the visually impaired population are among the elderly and shows female preponderance. The incidence of visual impairment increases with age; more than two-thirds of persons with low vision are over the age of 65 [16] The global prevalence of blindness is greater in women than in men [17], especially among high-income regions which may be attributed to longer life expectancies and lack of access to health care services especially in rural areas [18]. Visual impairment secondary to uncorrected refractive error starts at a younger age than cataract [19], therefore childhood blindness must not be undermined. Vision impairment, particularly among children interferes with most life experiences [20]. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the number of blind children in the world to be approximately 1.4 million, out of which three quarter resides within developing and underdeveloped countries like Nepal.20 According to mid-term review of Nepal Blindness Survey 2010, an estimated 1,013,041 children less than 16 years of age (prevalence among under 16 age group assumed to be 10% based on different studies varying from 3 to 20%); 1,164,053 persons between 16-35 years of age have uncorrected refractive error for distance (estimated prevalence 15%) [21].

Causes and Risk Factors:

Not only the ocular morbidities, but also the systemic health conditions including trauma can pre-dispose a person to ocular abnormalities, rendering them visually impaired. The causes of visual impairment are numerous, including not only congenital and acquired ocular conditions, but systemic diseases with ocular complications and neurological insult and trauma. The major causes of visual impairment in vary widely from region to region, being largely determined by socioeconomic development, and the availability of primary health care and eye care services20 The Vision 2020- Right to Sight has identified five priorities for elimination of preventable blindness and they are: Cataract, Trachoma, Onchocerciasis, Childhood blindness and Refractive errors and low vision services. However, the causes of visual impairment are largely determined by the economy of the country. Refractive error is one of the most common causes of visual impairment around the world and the second leading cause of treatable blindness19 which remain as a common cause in both developed and developing countries. Globally, the leading causes of blindness and moderate and severe VI include uncorrected refractive error, cataract, and macular degeneration [22]. The major causes of blindness in developed and developing countries are shown in the table below (Table 2):

Table 2:


The incidence of these conditions increases with age. So, increasing age is the single- most risk factor for visual impairment. However, the causes of visual impairment among children are different from those of adults. Among children, the causes of vision impairment vary considerably across countries; for example, in developing countries congenital cataract is a leading cause, whereas in developed it is more likely to be retinopathy of prematurity, uncorrected refractive errors remain a common cause [20]. Though the global burden of childhood blindness is insignificant in comparison to that of adult, children have life time of blindness ahead. So, the proper cause and management should be instituted more readily among pediatric age groups. According to Nepal Blindness Survey (NBS), 1981 and Mid-term Review of NBS, 2010, the major causes of childhood blindness and the main avoidable causes in Nepal are:

• Cataract
• Glaucoma
• Retinopathy of prematurity is emerging in major cities
• Refractive errors
• Low vision, which encompasses visual impairment and blindness from untreatable causes


Visual impairments are pervasive in their effect on the individual’s entire life: social, occupational, recreational, and familial life. Blindness, of all chronic illnesses and disabilities, is the second leading cause of inability to work, with visual impairments being historically correlated with underemployment, unemployment, and poverty [23]. Recent studies have also suggested that sensory impairments, including visual impairment increase the risk for mortality, especially among the elderly. Vision loss can affect one’s quality of life (QOL), independence, and mobility and has been linked to falls, injury, and worsening of mental health, cognition, social function, employment, and educational attainment. The economic impact of vision loss is also substantial. Individuals with VI experience more symptoms of depression than those without. The implications of childhood blindness and VI may be more significant because of greater life expectancies [10].


It has been reported that proper management of individuals with VI can provide the same quality of life as that of normally sighted individuals [24]. Therefore, rehabilitation should be made accessible to every visually impaired person. A visually impaired person needs following types of rehabilitation:

Medical Rehabilitation:

This includes early identification of the visually impaired people and timely management which can be either medical or surgical management. Medical rehabilitation not only includes correction of refractive error, but prevention of any predisposing factors like early cataract surgery, timely management of retinal and optic nerve disease to stop progression and preserve the residual useful vision, vitamin A supplements among children. Low Vision Aids form an important part of medical rehabilitation of visually impaired people so that they can benefit from their residual useful vision. They are of two types, optical & non-optical.
1. Optical type: Spectacle magnifiers, Handheld and stand magnifiers, Microscopic lenses, Telescopic lenses, Projection devices etc.
2. Non-optical type: Large print books, Type writers, Typo scopes, Special illumination devices, Talking books etc.

Educational Rehabilitation:

Educational rehabilitation includes education avenues provided to the visually impaired in the residential blind schools with the facility of Braille system of education. Louis Braille’s invention of Braille alphabet system in 1832 provided a tremendous impetus to the education of visually impaired children throughout the world. After gaining primary education from these schools, these children are placed in regular schools in the general education system. This system of education that is, first Braille from special blind school and then learning from general schools in the presence of regular teachers as well as a resource teacher is known as integrated system of education. It aims at normalizing the life and education of visually impaired children in the least restrictive environment along with sighted children in general schools.

Vocational Rehabilitation:

Vocational rehabilitation aims at helping the visually impaired earn their livelihood and live as useful citizens. They are taught simple occupations like candle making, chalk making, book binding, chair canning etc. Rehabilitation intervention can affect coping patterns over time and that direction and magnitude of such an effect may depend on the type of rehabilitation received.

Psychosocial Rehabilitation:

It includes mobility training, training for basic life skills and social support. Mobility training can be provided with cane or guide person or devices. Visually impaired needs to have a good and efficient training in the use of his remaining senses so that he acquires some amount of independence in his mobility. Basic survival skills should be taught. The social support extended by family and community is very important.


The burden of visual impairment is prevalent in every country, be it developing or developed. Visual impairments do have profound consequences for the individual, however effective rehabilitation services can restore independence and therefore ameliorate these consequences and restore the individual’s quality of life. Therefore, proper counseling, timely referrals and appropriate low vision aids, trainings and rehabilitations are very important aspects of eye care and patient management.

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Saturday, 1 October 2022

Lupine Publishers | Carbon Nanotubes: Exploring Intrinsic Medicinal Activities and Biomedical Applications

 Lupine Publishers | Journal of Oncology


Carbon Nano materials the king of nonmaterial’s have fascinating nanofamily including buckyballs or buckminsterfullerenes [1], multiwalled carbon nanotubes [2], the single-walled carbon naotubes(SWCNTs) [3], Carbon Nanohorns(CNHs), Carbon nanocones, Carbon nanofibers (CNFs), carbon nanothread, Buckypaper, carbon dots, nanodimons, nanoonions, nanorods, nanoribbons. Also called as powerful particles, CNTs (carbon nanotubes) has thus bloomed over the past decade [4,5]. Increasing evidence has shown that certain CNT properties such as nano-sized dimension, high surface energy, and large reactive surface area are directly correlated to their biological activities [6,7]. Great property of loading various biomolecules, diagnostic and therapeutic moieties resulting in diversified biomedical applications of CNTs (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Intrinsic Biomedical Applications of Carbon Nanotubes (CNT).


I. Diagonsis and Imaging: CNT act as biosensor or Nanorobots, which helps in diagnosis of disease, their progression level and their pathological condition in quick and better way. CNT biosensor are made up by conjugating different biochemicals with CNTs, like in glucuometer biosensor, glucose peroxidase is conjugated with CNTs that is use for the detection of blood sugar level in diabetic patients. Another example is SWCNTs-DNA biosensor that is use of detection of antigen –antibody comlex, which further helps in molecular diagnosis in pathology [7,8]. Complex of fluorescent agents and CNTs act as radio-opique agent that is use for the detection of cell and biological system in In-vivo organs [9].

II. Cancer Therapy: Carbon nantubes are effective against Pancreatic Cancer, Brain Cancer, Blood Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer, Liver Cancer, Lymph Node, Metastasis, Prostate Cancer by using different anticancer drugs like Paclitaxel, Daunorubicin, Amphotericin B, Carboplatin, siRNA, Doxorubicin, Metal halides, Methotrexate etc. Apart from drug delivery route there are another two methods for cancer therapy using CNTs are immunotherapy and anti-tumor hyperthermia therapy [10].

III. Gene Therapy: CNTs and CNHs are used as vector in genetic engineering due to their cylindrical nature, which wrap the desired DNA and deliver it to target site to cure the genetic disorders by correcting misread or missense gene sequence [7].

IV. Infection/HIV Therapy: CNTs itself have antimicrobial activity by oxidising intracellular glutathione and resulted increase the oxidative stress on microbial cell that cause natural death of pathogen. CNTs also used in number of vaccinations to active immune response by triggering MHC-II, which further promote natural antibody production to stop the infection [11]. HIV( human immunodeficiency virus) that attack the immune response and decline the natural immunity, till date we cannot stop it completely but we can suppress or stop virus multiplication and control the disease .In this case conjugation of CNTs with siRNA that further deliver to T-Cell to stop virus proliferation [12].

V. Ocular Delivery: In case of ocular delivery there are number of challenges to deliver the drug to get adequate response with minimizing risk of infection. So therefore, SWCNTs-NH₃+ used as carrier to deliver antigen synthetic vaccination, safely and effectively by avoiding risk of necrosis and tissue degeneration [13].

VI. As Antioxidant: CNTs and CNHs are natural anti-oxidants. They are used in preserving drug molecules in formulation by inhibiting their oxidation. Furthermore, due to this property they are also used in anti-aging cosmetics products that oxidized the skin and stay it healthy and young [7].

VII. Neurodegenerative (ND)/Alzheimer Disease: Graphene sheets, and by extension CNTs, are excellent conductors of electricity, and thus are highly useful in the regeneration of neurons. Neurons can grow successfully on CNT beds, and modifying the surface with 4-hydroxyonoenal, known to be involved with neuron growth, can improve the neuron length and degree of branching over CNTs [11]. CNTs have many small additional sites that provide high surface area for external modification that’s why it is use as carrier to deliver the acetylcholine through blood brain barrier (BBB) and to treat Alzheimer Disease [14-16].

VIII. Tissue/Bone Regenreation: CNTs for the purpose of bone regeneration are being developed, which use negatively charged functional groups with calcium bonded to them. This can provide a scaffold to which hydroxyapatite, the most common inorganic component of bone, can attach. CNTs are very strong, stiff, and flexible which makes them an excellent alternative to the titanium or ceramic bone scaffolds [17,18].

IX. Carbon based nonmaterial by virtue of its therapeutic and diagnostic dual functions have emerged as theranostic nanomedicine. Carbon nanotubes intrinsic medicinal activities along with drug candidates may enhance the effectiveness of drug delivery. Unprecedented growth of patents and publication in last decade has forecasted the future of carbon based drug materials. A precise control for synthesis, purification and tools to increase solubility and further bio-functionality may lead to the development of carbon naotube based formulations. There is a need of clinical investigations for exploring the intrinsic medicinal activities of carbon nanotubes.

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Friday, 30 September 2022

Lupine Publishers | Common Types of Neurogenetic Disorders, A Brief Review

 Lupine Publishers | Journal of Pediatrics and Neonatology

Mini Review

There are various genetic disorders which can involve the nervous system or confined to the nervous system alone. This is a brief review on some neurogenetic disorders. Gene mutations disorders are the most common types of neurogenetic disorders. Myotonic syndromes, muscular dystrophies and motor neuron disease are some examples of these disorders. Genetic imprinting in some disorders like Prader–Willi syndrome and Angelman’s syndrome can be seen. In both of these syndromes there is a disruption on a part of chromosome 15 which the autosomal genes differential expression depends on their parental origin (maternal genes disruption in Prader–Willi syndrome and father’s genes disruption in Angelman’s syndrome). Duplication of part of chromosome 17 which includes the peripheral myelin protein 22 gene coding, can cause some types of hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy. The patients with such disorder would develop sensory loss, distal weakness and wasting. Hereditary neuropathy with a liability to pressure palsies is an example of neurogenetic disorders with gene deletions. In this disorder there is a deletion on chromosome 17. This large deletion includes the peripheral myelin protein 22 gene coding. The affected patients can develop recurrent focal entrapment neuropathies. Mitochondrial disorders are other disorders which may result from mitochondria genome defects and nuclear-coded genes defects [1-2].
Disorders related to Trinucleotide repeat are other neurogenetic disorders. Expanded and abnormal triplet repeat in the genome can cause some disorders to appear. Friedreich’s ataxia and Huntington’s disease are two examples of Trinucleotide repeat disorders [3-4]. As the new genetic studying methods have been developed and is now under development, finding the genetic basis of some neurological disorders can be possible due to such developments and this causes to know the certain neurogenetic pathologies better.

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Thursday, 29 September 2022

Lupine Publishers | Potentials of Unconventional Liming Materials in Reducing Soil Acidity

 Lupine Publishers | Journal of Food & Nutrition


The shells of molluscs (oyster-Spondulusspinosus and snail - Achatina achatina), which are known to contain high amounts of calcium carbonate and which are abundant in the state were compared with commercial lime in the management of soils developed on acid sands in Akwa Ibom State. Results showed high neutralizing equivalent value of 65 and 75% for oyster and snail shells, respectively compared to 76% for CaC03. Chemical composition of mollusc shells indicated high mean Ca contents of 461.0 ± 28.4 and 441.0 ± 56.6gkg-1for oyster and snail shells while CaC03 contained 541.1 ± 41.7gkg Magnesium contents were higher in oyster (215.2 ± 5.1 gkg-1) than in snail (182.4 ± 17.2gkg-1) shells and CaC03 (91.2 ± 8.7gkg-1). Iron content was 796mgkg-1for oyster, 127mgkg-1for snail and 292mgkg-1for CaC03. The mollusc shells and CaC03, drastically reduced the exchange acidity and increased the soil pH, basic nutrients (Ca and Mg), effective cation exchange capacity and percent base saturation of the studied soil. Mollusc shells compared favorably with CaC03 and could serve as alternative liming materials for soil developed on acid sands in Akwa Ibom State.

Keywords: Mollusc shells; Liming equivalence; Acid sands; Chemical composition


Soil acidity is a major problem in the production of arable crops in the humid tropical soils. Yields of many crops are highly reduced by soil acidity. Most of agricultural soils in Akwa Ibom State are derived from Coastal plain sands and Beach ridge sands and are generally referred to as ‘Acid sands’ [1], because they are strongly weathered, sandy and highly acidic. Most arable crops give poor yields and for the crops to do well the soils will have to be limed to remove the adverse effects of high acidity. The source of limestone close to Akwa Ibom State is M famosing in Cross River State and this limestone is used mainly for the manufacture of cement and a raw material in the iron and steel industry. The limestone in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has not been exploited so far for any purpose. There is therefore lack of limestone in the area for agricultural purposes. There is also the problem of lack of awareness of the farmers about the importance of lime in reducing soil acidity and thus bringing about high yields of arable crops in the high acidic soils of the area. The high cost and unavailability of commercial lime underscores the need to look for cheap and alternative sources of liming materials for management of soils developed on acid sands in Akwa Ibom State. It was also to create the awareness of the importance of liming to the farmers. The use of mollusc shells may provide the solutions since the shells are found to contain high percentage of calcium carbonate, which is the active compound in liming materials. Mollusc sea foods are. sources of animal protein to Akwa Ibom people and beyond, and for many coastal inhabitants. Their shells are commonly found thrown away in the market places and around homes. They include snail, slug, periwinkle, clam, oyster and other shells.
The objectives of this study were
(i) To determine calcium carbonate equivalence of oyster and snail shells.
(ii) Evaluate the chemical composition of snail and oyster shells as liming materials for soils developed on acid sands in Akwa Ibom State and
(iii) Examine the effects of these shells relative to commercial lime on selected soil chemical properties.

Materials and Methods

Study area

Soil samples were taken from the University of IJyo Teaching and Research Farm while mollusc shells were collected at their dumping site near Etuk Market, along Aka Road in Oyo Metropolis. Uyo is situated at latitude 4030’ and 5030’N and longitude 7075’ and 7093’E. The area experiences two distinct seasons: the wet and dry seasons. The wet or rainy season begins from April and lasts till October. It is characterized by heavy rainfall of about 2500- 4000mm per annum. The rainfall is bimodal with peaks in July and September and a relatively moisture stressed period in August, known as “August break”. The dry season starts from November till March. It is characterized by high temperature with a mean annual temperature of 28 °C. The highest temperatures are experienced between January through March, the period described by Enwezor et al. [2] as overhead passage of the sun. Relative humidity is between 75% and 95%. The soil in the area is formed on coastal plain sands parent materials and has been described as Typic Paleudult [3].

Soil analysis

Composite soil samples were taken at (0-30cm) depth. The samples were air dried and sieved (< 2mm). The samples were processed for chemical analysis. The soils were analyzed using the procedures described in Il TA [4]. Soil pH was determined in 1:2.5 soil to water ratio using the glass electrode pH metre and organic carbon was determined using wet oxidation method. Total Nitrogen (N) was determined by the Kjeldahl digestion method, available phosphorus (P) was extracted with Bray P-1 method and P in the extract measured by the blue colour method. Exchange acidity (EA) was extracted with IN KCI and estimated in the extract by titration. Exchangeable bases were extracted using INNH40Ac. Potassium (K) and Sodium (Na) were determined by flame photometer while calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) were determined by EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid) titration using NaOH. Effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) was taken as the sum of the exchangeable bases and exchangeable acidity.

Percentage base saturation was computed using the formula:
%BS = x 100

Collection and preparation of mollusc shells

Mollusc shells (snail and oyster) were collected from the dumping site near Etuk Market in Uyo metropolis. Commercial lime (calcium carbonate) was bought and used as control sample. The shells were washed in warm water and rinsed thoroughly with distilled water. They were placed in clean watch glasses, oven-dried at 80 °C for 48 hours, and were separately crushed to powder in a hammer mill and sieved to obtain particles less than 2mm. The samples and commercial lime were analyzed for Ca, Mg, K, Na, P, and organic carbon. The iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), and molybdenum (MO) contents were also determined using the procedures recommended by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists [5]. One gram (lg) of each material was digested with a mixture of concentrated trioxonitrate (v), tetraoxochloroate (Vll) and hydrofluoric acids in the ratio of 1:1:1 in a fume cupboard at 130 °C, the digests were cooled and 20ml of distilled water added, filtered and made up to mark with distilled water. Na and K in the digest were measured using flame analyzer while Ca and Mg were determined by EDTA. Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B, and MO were measured with atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) while P was determined by the molybdenum blue method.

Determination of liming equivalence of oyster and snail shells

Measured 0.5g of milled snail and oyster shells were placed in a 250ml flask, and 50ml of 0.5M HCI added, swirled gently and then boiled gently on a steam bath for 5 minutes. The flask was cooled, and 2-3 drops of phenolphthalein indicator added. The surplus acid was back titrated with 0.25M NaOH. The calcium carbonate equivalence was calculated as follows:

Effect of mollusc shells (snail and oyster) on pH and other chemical properties

The method adopted was described by Jacobs and Reed [6], The soil sample was oven-dried at 105 °C, ground into powder and sieved. One hundred grams (100 g) of sieved soil sample was placed in each beaker thus. (i) Soil (100 g), (ii) CaC03 only (1g), (iii) Snail only (1g), (iv) Oyster only (1g), (v) Snail (lg) + 100g of soil, (vi) Oyster (lg) + 100g of soil, (vii) CaC03 (lg) + 100 g of soil.
Twenty (20)ml of distilled water was added and stirred to mix. The mixture was allowed to stand for 1 hour with occasional stirring. The pH was measured using glass electrode pH metre. Similar experiment was set up thus:
a. snail (2g) + 100g soil
b. oyster (2g) + 100g soil
c. CaC03 (2g) + 100g soil
To assess the effect of liming materials on chemical properties of the soil and the experiment was left for 21 days with occasional stirring. The soil samples were taken and analyzed for exchangeable bases, exchange acidity, available P, organic carbon and total N. Effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) and percent base saturation were obtained by calculation. Other parameters were Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, B and MO, using atomic absorption spectrophotometer after digestion.

Statistical analysis

The study used mean and standard deviation (X ± SD).

Results and Discussion

Mineral composition of oyster and snail shells and calcium carbonate

Liming equivalence of oyster and snail shells

Liming equivalence, which is the measurement of the relative value of the liming material in oyster and snail shells, .is presented in Figure 1. The shells have high neutralizing equivalent values, 65% for oyster shell and 75% for snail shell compared to calcium carbonate with 76.00%. These values are similar to those obtained by Tisdale et al. [7], implying that oyster and snail shells are good liming materials. Mean macronutrient contents of mollusc shells and commercial lime (CaC03) are presented in Table 1. Ca content of oyster (461.0gkg-1) and snail (441.0gkg-1) shells were lower than that of CaC03 (541.1gkg-1). Mg content of mollusc shells was higher in oyster (215.2gkg-1) than snail (182.4gkg-1) shells with commercial lime having the least (91.2gkg-1). In a similar study, Inyang (2006) obtained 373gkg-1 and 536gkg-1 Ca and 27.1gkg-1and 27.3gkg-1and Mg for oyster and snail shells, respectively, while commercial lime used advantage in 508gkg-1 and 208gkg-1 Mg. The relatively high contents of Mg in the shells are of significance because when made available to plants it improves plant growth especially through the synthesis of chlorophyll. All the liming materials were low in K (2.0-2.5gkg-1) while Na was moderate in oyster (3.7gkg-1) and snail (2.4gkg-1) shells but low in CaC03 (1.3gkg-1). The low Na content in commercial lime can be attributed to beneficiation while the shells had not been purified and sodium may be present as silicates.

Figure 1: Liming equivalence of mollusc shells.


Table 1: Mean values of macronutrient content of mollusk shell and commercial lime.


N and P were low in the shells and CaC03 (Table 1). However, since liming materials are usually applied in large quantities, (in mega grams per hectare), the low concentration of N and P in the shells may translate into significant level of addition to soils. The ash content, an index of mineral content in biota, was very high and values were the same for the liming materials (98%). This result implies that mollusc shells would be good sources of mineral elements to plants if properly ground and applied to soils. Organic carbon contents of the shells under study and commercial lime were high with the highest value obtained in oyster shell (70.9gkg- 1), followed by CaC03 (54.5gkg-1) and the least value was found in snail shell (36.4gkg-1). These values translate to high organic matter contents of 93.96gkg-1 for CaC03, 122.23gkg-1 for oyster shell and 62.75gkg-1 for snail shell, respectively. The carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio described as an indication of the type of organic matter present and in particular, the degree of humification [8], was very high (in favour of organic C) in mollusc shells and CaC03 studied. This confirms the fact that mollusc shells are poor sources of N. The micronutrient contents of mollusc shells and commercial lime are presented in Table 2. Fe concentration was highest for oyster shell (795.7mgkg-l) and least in snail shell (127.1mgkg-1) Mn was quite low with values of 0.517mgkg-1 , 0.227mgkg-1 and 0.192 mgkg-1 for CaC03, snail and oyster shells, respectively. The value of Zn was also low while Cu, B and MO were found in trace amounts in both the shells and commercial lime. The critical levels of 1.0, 0.5, 0.2 and 0.13mgkg-1 for Mn, Zn, Cu and B [9] and Oyinlola [10] show that the amount in these materials may not have any significant influence in the soil. However, since limes are usually applied in large quantities, the concentrations of these micronutrients may increase considerably, depending on the pH of the soil and quantity of liming materials supplied. Again, the very high concentration of Fe in the liming materials may not pose any threat to crops grown since the solubility of this element will decline with increase in the pH of the soil.

Table 2: Mean of micronutrient content of molusc shell and commercial lime.


Soil properties

Some chemical properties of the soil studied before and after liming are presented in Table 3. The soil was strongly acidic with low total N (0.24gkg-1) and organic carbon content (9.70gkg-1). With a separating index of 25 between fertile and infertile soil [8], the C/N ratio of 40 obtained for this soil indicates that the soil is poor in N. Available P content of the soil was high and far above the (15-25mgkg-1) determined as critical level for this zone [11]. Calcium level was moderate (3.60 cmolkg-1) while K was lower than Na in the soil. Exchange acidity was high (3.6cmolkg-1) and effective cation exchange capacity low (9.14cmolkg-1) show that percent base saturation was high (60%) and within the >50% regarded as critical value for a fertile soil [8].

Effect of liming materials on soil chemical properties

Results of incubating the soils with liming materials for 21 days indicate that all the liming materials significantly raised the soil pH to between 7.58 and 7.72, representing or 61.8, 58.9 and 00.2% by commercial lime respectively, oyster and snail shells. As shown in Table 1, snail shell and calcium carbonate were moderately alkaline (pH 8.98 and 8.23) while was very ‘strongly alkaline (pH 11.36) Such that oyster and snail shells could be used as suitable alternative liming materials for acid soils. Inyang [12] and Akpabio [13] noted that mollusc shells were as effective as calcium carbonate in reducing soil acidity. Liming soil with oyster and, snail shells increased organic C content from 9.70gkg-1 in the unlimed soil to 12.15 and 10.10gkg-1, respectively but decreased to 9.55gkg-1 in CaC03 treated soil. The liming materials had no effect on total N content of the soil. Available P content in the soil after treatment with mollusc shells was 123.75mgkg-1 for oyster and 115.12mgkg-1 for snail shells. Commercial lime had the least effect on the P value (95.-1) of the three liming materials. These values are many times above the critical level of 15-25mgkg-1 P for soils of this zone but lower than the amount of P before application of liming materials. Ibia et al. [14] and Effiong et al. [15] had observed increased availability of P when acid soils were limed, while a report by IlTA [16] indicated that available P decreased as the amount of various liming materials increased, in three Ultisols. The reduction of P content following liming might have resulted from phosphate fixation which is always a problem in alkaline soils due to the formation of complex insoluble calcium phosphates [17]. High pH value and available Ca content are also closely related to low availability of P especially at conditions of low Na content [18]. Liming acid soil with various liming materials increased exchangeable Ca and Mg, exchange acidity, ECEC and percent base saturation (Table 3). Exchangeable Ca increased appreciably from 3.60cmolkg-1 in the unlimed soil to 34.80, 25.60 and 25.40 cmolkg-1 in soil treated with lime, oyster and snail shells, respectively. Previous studies showed that exchangeable Ca increased with the quantity of lime applied [19,15]. Mg content also increased from 1.60 to 4.40, 3.40 and 4.60 cmol kg-1 in soil treated with lime, snail, and oyster shells. The various liming materials had no significant effect on K and Na, because of the very low concentrations of these two nutrients in the liming materials and soil. Brady and Weil [17] noted that the availability of K in soil may decrease or increase due to liming. The reduction of soil acidity is one of the most commonly mentioned specific effects of lime. As indicated in Table 4, exchange acidity was reduced by 80, 76 and 69%, respectively by snail, lime and oyster shells. This reduction raised soil pH and increased ECEC and percent base saturation, remarkably in the soil. Effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) increased from 9.14cmolkg-1 in unlimed soil to 40.36, 31.79 and 30.00cmolkg-1 in the soil treated with lime, oyster, and snail shells, respectively. The micronutrient content of the soil after liming are presented in Table 4. Fe was 24.48, 24.66 and 24.24mgkg-1 in soils limed with lime, oyster, and snail shells, respectively. These values are many times lower than those found in the mollusc shells and commercial lime. The drastic reduction of Fe contents in the soil probably resulted from the alkaline nature of the soil following liming. This observation calls for proper calculation of the rate of liming to avoid over liming, which is probably responsible for the reduction in Fe content in the soil. Mn content was moderate at 1.98, 2.16 and 1.72mgkg-1 in the soil limed with CaC03, oyster and snail shells, respectively, which are slightly higher than the critical limit of 1.0mgkg-1 [8]; and also higher by 74, 91 and 87% than the values found in mollusc shells and CaC03. Soil Zn content was enhanced by liming though Cu, B and MO values were almost the same following liming with CaC03, oyster and snail.

Table 3: Selected chemical properties of the soil studied before and after liming.


Table 4: Values of micronutrient levels of the soil after liming with commercial and unconventional lime.



This study has revealed that mollusc shells (oyster and snail) have high neutralizing values, high contents of Ca and Mg, organic C and ash and Fe while micronutrients (Cu, B and MO) were low. Oyster and snail shells used as liming materials have drastically reduced exchange acidity and appreciably increased the soil pH, basic nutrients, ECEC and percent base saturation of the soil. Mollusc shells compared favorably with lime and so can be used in replacement for neutralizing acidity in soils developed on acid sands in Akwa Ibom State. Lime is unavailable and unaffordable at critical periods, whereas the mollusc shells are common place as wastes around homes and in market places.

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Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Lupine Publishers| The Failure Bauhinias Damper as a Possible Cause of Chronic Autointoxication and the Development of Psoriasis

 Lupine Publishers| Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology


The goal is to assess the impact of biogenetic on the condition of patients with psoriasis

Materials and Methods: The study group included 415 patients aged 19 to 65 years (34% of men and 66% of women), in whom irrigoscopy revealed the injection of contrast into the ileum, i.e., the insolvency of the baugine flap (NBZ) was diagnosed, 74 of them suffered from psoriasis. For the detection of chronic intoxication were evaluated the data of clinical manifestations, indican urine, level of middle molecules, blood serum, lipid metabolism, microbial resistance, the hydrogen breath test.

Results: NBZ is a chronic endointoxication, which regresses in collaboration with the clinical manifestations of psoriasis after biogenetic.

Conclusion: Hypothesized that NBZ is one of the causes of psoriasis, and biogenetica – link in etiopathogenetic method of treatment.

Keywords: Insolvency bauhinias dampers; Chronic endo intoxication; Psoriasis; surgery


Recognizing the harmfulness of dysfunction of such barrier structures as cardia, pylorus, sphincter of Oddi, heart valves, venous valves of the lower extremities, etc., modern medicine ignores the failure of the ileocecal locking system (Bauhinia valve) as a possible cause of the pathology of the digestive system and associated various extraintestinal diseases [1].
But it is worth paying attention to the opinion of I.I. Grekova [2] “Despite a number of works devoted to the proximal colon, the pathology of this department is still not sufficiently explained because in these works the role of the bauhinia valve was completely ignored.” Bauhinia valve (BZ) distinguishes between the functions of the small and large intestines, isolates the small intestine from the reflux of the colonic contents, which differs sharply in chemical composition, physical condition and bacterial spectrum [3-5]. According to LG Peretz [6], in 1 ml of intestinal contents there are up to 5000 microbes, and in 1 g of the contents of the large intestine there are about 30-40 billion [6]. With the failure of the Bauhinia Damper (NBZ), billions of colon microbes are thrown into the small one [4,6], colonization of the small intestine with allochthonous (alien) microorganisms occurs, excessive bacterial growth syndrome (SIBO) or enteric dysbacteriosis develops [7,8].
Absorbing the blood products of microorganisms (indole, phenol, cresol, skatole, pyrocatechin, carbolic acid, hydrogen sulfide, mercaptan, ethane, methane, etc.) causes autointoxication phenomena that cannot be sufficiently arrested, especially for liver diseases [7,9-11].
The development of putrefactive and fermentation processes in the small intestine - The consequence of the SIBO. The lymphoid tissue in the course of the gastrointestinal tract suffers because of a violation of the barrier function of the intestinal wall [4,12], resulting in a deficiency of immunoglobulins A and M. In 70% of patients with chronic enterocolitis there is a marked decrease in the body’s immunological reactivity the body becomes less protected before microbial aggression - in patients with chronic colitis [5].
Recognizing NBZ as one of the anatomical causes of SIBR, nevertheless, the authors do not have a therapeutic effect on it [13,14], although they assign SIBOs key pathogenetic mechanisms in many diseases of the digestive tract and associated extradigestive conditions [7,10].

The interrelation between the pathology of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the development of dermatosis is a well-known fact. The small intestine is the organ of the digestive canal, the most responsible for the development of dermatosis. The relationship between the intensity of skin manifestations and the activity of ileocolitis Roberts et al. [15] with psoriasis was detected in 2/3 of patients with enterocolitis [15]. Sensitization to intestinal autoflora was revealed. So sharply positive were skin tests, primarily to Escherichia coli-up to 97% [16]. Allergic dermatosis, rosacea, seborrhea, food allergy, urticaria, neurodermatitis were found in 176 (22%) of 800 patients with diseases of the alimentary canal [17]. In the etipathogenesis of dermatosis, the following enterocolitic links are distinguished [18].
a. The most responsible for the development of dermatosis is the small intestine. The immune complexes formed in the intestine penetrate the blood and settle in various tissues, including the skin with the development of immediate and delayed hypersensitivity types.
b. There is a shortage of many substances as a result of malabsorption in the small intestine, in particular vitamins, whose participation in the pathogenesis of dermatosis is large.
c. The use of sorbents, hemosorption, plasmapheresis significantly improves the effect of therapy, which confirms the role of endogenous intoxication in the development of dermatoses.
The goal is to assess the effect of Bauhinoplasty on the condition of patients suffering from psoriasis.

Materials and Methods

The study group included 415 patients aged from 19 to 65 years old (34% of men and 66% of women), in whom a reflux of contrast into the ileum, i.e. diagnosed NBZ (Figure 1). In 111 patients, reflux of the radiopaque substance to the ileum was regarded by doctors as the norm. But all surveyed to the question: “Do you consider yourself ill?” answered in the affirmative. From the onset of the first signs of the disease, 15% of those examined passed from 1 year to 5 years, 32% have from 5 to 10 years, and 53% have more than 10 years. Of the 415 patients with NBZ, 74 suffered from psoriasis. Previously, they identified: chronic gastritis - in 62.5%, chronic cholecystitis - in 37%, chronic gastroduodenitis - in 12.5%, chronic colitis - in 12.5%, chronic pancreatitis - in 6%, duodenal ulcer - 6%. In 6% of patients with a history of appendectomy.

Research methods

Irrigoscopy: It is important to note that the refusal to hold a tight filling of the cecum at NBZ can lead to a false-negative conclusion. A repeated X-ray examination immediately after a bowel movement is of fundamental importance, since during a bowel movement a maximum pressure is created in the bowel, which at the NBZ will be accompanied by a pronounced reflux of the radiopaque substance into the ileum (Figures 1-3).

Figure 1: Before surgery on irrigography all patients is determined by the reflux of contrast material into the ileum.


Figure 2: Patient S, Irrigography with tight filling of the cecum was performed prior to defecation, regurgitation of contrast and the cecum into the ileum is not detected.


Figure 3: The same patient S. Irrigography performed after defecation, define a significant reflux of barium into the small intestine.


Chronic autointoxication was detected by such studies as urine indican (Obermeyer was tested for this purpose.), The level of the average serum molecules was measured according to N.I. Gabrielyana, lipid metabolism.
Microbial resistance was determined by the content of antibodies to peptidoglycan Staphylococcus aureus (method of Professor A.N. Mayansky). Peptidoglycan is the most common element of the cell wall of all bacteria, which makes it possible to indirectly judge the content of anti-peptidoglycan antibodies in general. The content of antibodies to peptidoglycan Staphylococcus aureus (strain 885, solubilized by ultrasound) was determined. Each sample was placed in 3 repetitions, calculating the average result. Negative controls were the wells in which the stage of treatment with the antigen (peptidoglycan) was omitted. Indicators of negative control from the results of the experiments were subtracted. A pool of 25 sera from healthy donors was used as a positive control. The results are statistically processed on the IBM / AT-286 computer using the following criteria: determination of averages, Fisher criterion, Wilcoxon-Whitney-Mann criterion.

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Monday, 26 September 2022

Lupine Publishers| Automated Chamber for Prickle Pear Cauterization

 Lupine Publishers| Journal of  Robotics & Mechanical Engineering


Mexico is the world largest producer of cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) and is searching for new processes that allow to export them. The fruit is rich in nutrients but is highly perishable having ambient shelf life of 9 days. Cauterization and cryo-cauterization techniques have increased shelf life to 2 and 3 months without refrigeration. An automatic system was developed to flip the fruit towards the dry-ice wall inside a chamber. A horizontal actuator pushed the container to cauterize the fruit. The entire cauterizing process for each fruit lasted 23 seconds. By exchanging the dry-ice wall every 500 fruits, a 100% cauterizer efficiency was achieved.

Keywords: Automatic Chamber; Cauterization; Prickle Pear; embedded system


Cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) is a fruit produced in arid and semi-arid regions around the world [1]. Mexico is the world’s largest producer of cactus pear (Opuntia spp.) with 79.4% of world production, and with 49,165 ha under cultivation [2]. Italy is now the world’s largest exporter of cactus pear to the European Union (EU), producing about 87 thousand tons annually in Sicily, which corresponds to 96% of the total Italian harvest [3]. Cactus pear is generally consumed fresh, but is highly perishable, showing high incidence of spots and rotting after 9 days. After 20 days at ambient conditions, almost 70% of the fruit was visibly damaged [4]. By cooling prickle pears to 10 °C, shelf life increased to 6 weeks [5]. Fresh cactus pear shelf life can be increased to 32 days in modified atmosphere packaging with less than 20 kPa CO2 [6]. A cauterizer cut and seal 120 pieces of fruit per hour [7]; cuts were made close to the cactus cladode at 150 °C during harvest, destroying thorns. After 2 months of storage, 78% of the pears were unspoiled. The application of uniform heat treatments has been effective in controlling postharvest diseases, but can damage the treated fruit tissue if not applied carefully. Excessive heating period may damage the fruit, while insufficient heating may leave non-sterilized surface segments [8]. Further developments of cauterizer machines by Hahn [9-12] applied heat to sliced pears. After applying a constant pressure of 100 kPa at 200 °C during 30 s to harvested cactus pears increased shelf life to 2 months, controlling effectively postharvest diseases [9]. However, heat application is expensive when many fruits are cauterized. A cryo-cauterization process used a pneumatic robotic gripper to press a cactus pear against a dry-ice wall within a thermally isolated chamber. Fruit cryocauterizing at 150kPa for 15s increased shelf life to 90 days, keeping 86% of marketable fruit [11].
Automation of agriculture tasks have improved pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest stages. Machine vision sorting of fruits presents advantages of high accuracy, precision and processing speed [13]. Non-contact detection makes grading and sorting free of mankind diseases. Fruits and vegetables produced in farms are sorted according to quality and maturity levels and decisions taken of the market it can be sent on the basis of transportation delay [14]. Post-harvesting operations require quality detection [15] and skin defects [16]. A pepper robotic harvester system [17] avoiding stem and fruit damage would be highly successful. Although food processing methods extend the shelf life of fruit and vegetable products, fresh-cut produce may lead to flavor loss, discoloration, rapid softening, and increased rate of vitamin loss [18]. Emerging smart packaging reduce losses, maintain quality, add value and extend shelf-life of agricultural produce [19]. It alerts the consumer from contamination of pathogens, pesticide residues or food degradation in food packaging products [20]. Intelligent packaging with nano sensors senses and informs the condition of the product to provide information about quality during transport, distribution, and storage [21]. This technology may also be used to detect adverse reactions in consumers after taking food such as gluten, peanuts and tree nuts [22]. Automation for the application of these sensors is considered a future close innovation. In this paper, an automatic system used for prickle pear cryo cauterization within a very small chamber was developed. The chamber size obeys to the rapid melting of dry-ice caused by environmental conditions. A minimum number of operations is required and the system efficiency evaluated to cauterize 120 pears per hour.

Mechanism for Pear Cauterization

The top-surface sliced prickly pear is moved within a container into the cryo-cauterized chamber (Figure 1) by means of a conveyor belt. This band transports the fruits in a direction parallel to the dry-ice wall where cauterization takes place. A trapezoidal metal container resembles a porcelain coffee mug and holds the prickly pear (Figure 2) whose flat base stops at the bottom. The container base is 3mm thick (Figure 2) and has force sensor in between the base and the prickle pear. The system mechanism has to perform the following functions:

Figure 1: Prickle pear conveyor belt and cauterizer chamber.


Figure 2: Bottom actuator and initial rotation operation.


1. Detect when the prickle pear is present within the metal container.
2. Rotate it 9° counterclockwise.
3. Displace it against the dry ice wall.
4. Return it and deposit it to the original band.
During the first stage, a conveyor belt transports the prickle pear to the cauterizer chamber rising the door in the left side. At the same time, it opens another door to exit the previous cauterized pear. For the second function, the mechanism used an actuator (A1) to flip the metal container (Figure 2). The linear piston or actuator (mod. LA 14, LINAK, Denmark) is characterized by its compact size being ideal for this chamber having a limited amount of space available. The aluminum actuator is used in harsh and cold environments up to -40 °C. A metal ring with a sectional groove is located at the container base (Figure 2). The lower piston plunger enters the groove and as it moves upwards, it turns the container base (Figure 3); a tip rod flips the container as the piston rises. After 45 or 50 degrees of rotation, the actuator rod gets out of the groove and the container falls by gravity. A small compression spring stops the container reaching its end point over a pair of rails (Figure 3). The third operation requires of a second electric actuator (A2) that pushes the container together with the fruit until it reaches the dry-ice wall, where it will stay pressurizing the pear for 15 seconds. Fruit moves at most 5cm over two rails before it reaches the dry-ice wall. The electric actuator (mod. LA 25, LINAK, Denmark) presents a speed of 20mms-1, withstanding cold temperatures of -25 °C.

Figure 3: Ending prickle pear rotation.


The fourth operation returns the container with a 12 VDC round electromagnet mounted at the end of the piston rod. After activating the 30mm diameter electromagnet, the container remained fixed and forced to return. A micro switch (MS1) was activated at the runend, and the voltage supplied to the electromagnet was interrupted releasing the container that felt to initial band position. The voltage supplied to the horizontal actuator was also cut.

Electrical Automation

Once implemented the chamber with its mechanisms, the sensors for automation were obtained. The process begins when the conveyor belt is turned on, which will enter the cauterization chamber and an inductive presence sensor (SI1) will detect when it is in the desired position. This sensor will serve to turn off the band and at the same time it will feed the actuator (A1) so that its rod moves upward, initiating the rotation of the container. The rod or plunger will come out from the container base and an inductive sensor (SI2) provides a signal to limit its travel. The container flips unto a pair of rails and a capacitive sensor (SC3) detects its presence, and its signal activates the horizontal actuator (A2). Its plunger with the electromagnet at its end pushes the fruit container towards the dry-ice wall. The force sensor (SF) starts measuring when the prickle pear touches the wall. The contact is maintained for 15 seconds and at the same time a negative voltage is applied for 5 seconds to the vertical actuator so that it returns to its initial position. Force sensor resistors (FSR) provide a resistance that is inversely proportional to the applied force and can measure grabbing and pressing. Flex Force sensors enable non-intrusive static and dynamic force measurements presenting better force linearity, hysteresis and temperature sensitivity than other thinfilm force sensors [23-25]. Voltage processing was done through a Wheatstone bridge having the variable flex force sensor in one arm as in the data glove [25]. The output voltage is compared and the output provided to the embedded system. At the end of the cauterizer time, the electromagnet (EM) is activated and the polarity of the horizontal actuator is reversed until it touches a micro switch (MS1). When MS1 is actuated, the electromagnet and the horizontal piston are turned-off allowing the container to fall by gravity onto the conveyor belt. The band turns on and a new cycle starts taking out of the chamber the cauterized fruit and putting in the prickly pear to be treated. Figure 4 shows the cauterizer system timing chart for automation.

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Lupine Publishers | Sewerage and Climate

 Lupine Publishers | Journal of Oceanography and Petrochemical Sciences


The earth and atmosphere for millions of years created the animal and plant worlds. Together with them, water quality also developed. In constant motion, water formed a continuous chain of transformation in the bodies of living things and leaves of plants. The harmonious interaction of water, atmosphere and biota has led to the existing balance - the circulation of water through the atmosphere, where the properties of water acquire their initial starting quality for new transformations. Man, in the process of industrialization, turned water into a working tool. He made the water perform unnatural functions for her. Pressure, transportation, spraying, storage, boiling, burning, poisoning of ever increasing volumes of water have led to a change in the quality of water in the atmosphere. Changes in the quality, volume and rate of evaporation across the planet lead to climate change. More details at: https://www.actascientific.com/ASMI/pdf/ASMI-SI-01-0009.pdf

The Main Sources of Artificial Fumes are

a) Reservoirs of artificial structures

b) Floods rivers overflow banks and create immense areas of evaporation.

c) Existing crop production with deep plowing.

d) Garbage and ore landfills. It is known that the area of the world landfill is equal to the area of Mexico.

e) Aviation, and all transport destroys significant amounts of moisture in the air with the destruction of structures.

f) All asphalt and concrete surfaces.

g) All types of water flow for cooling, washing and everything else.

h) Of particular note is water consumption in the utilities sector.

Each of the listed positions can be changed without any loss of comfort and convenience, if humanity understands the emergency of the current moment. Considering the last position, it can be noted that toilet matters alone can significantly affect the climate. Man went against nature by mixing pure drinking water with his feces in order to transport them to one place and then clean them. Everything that is flushed from the toilet falls into the sump. The middle and above it in the sediment represents a clear liquid. It can be used for repeated flushing from the toilet. To do this, it is necessary to disconnect the flow of water to it from the main water supply and bring the supply from the pump. Odor can be eliminated by taking the simplest technical measures for weathering. Many different odor elimination methods are known. But the simplest and most affordable is the automatic ventilation device of the toilet itself with the release of air into the ventilation pipes. The water purified in this way is fed back to the toilet with a special pump and flushes its contents. Thus, the small water circuit closes: toilet bowl - pipes - sludge - pipe cleaning - toilet bowl. Specialists calculated the water consumption in the household with these indicators:

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(Figure 1) The water in the sump is replenished with other wastewater from related consumers. If you carefully look at the costs, you can see that it can be used for other purposes, for example, for external washing of a car, sidewalks, roads. Everything else can be spent on watering green spaces near the house. You can accumulate water in special tanks, from several houses, gradually treat it by smell and use it for washing roads, for a fire reserve. In addition, knowing how water is used in spaceships, it is not difficult to pick up a purification complex and use this water to wash everything else, except dishes and drink. In any case, one must be prepared for the fact that the flow of clean water will disappear. This is already happening in some places, for example, in South Africa, Australia. It will be necessary to create devices a little more complicated for the treatment of water near each house or area. The separated solid waste is periodically taken to enterprises for incineration and / or preparation of fertilizers. Thus, everything that comes into the house through the water supply system must be used 100% in place. Nothing should go into the sewers. The sewage centralization industry is disappearing. The vast territories occupied by devices and sewage enterprises with all states are being freed. But most importantly, settling tanks and reservoirs disappear - powerful sources of artificial evaporation that affect the water cycle between the atmosphere and the earth, create natural disasters and change the climate.

Figure 1: Wastewater from Related Consumers.


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