Topic Review
Liquid–Liquid Phase Separation
Liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) is a thermodynamically-driven, reversible phenomenon consisting in de-mixing into two distinct liquid phases, with different solute concentrations.
  • 11175
  • 29 Aug 2022
Topic Review
Palm Wine
The reference to palm wine as a drink with many functionalities has increased over the years. However, few empirical tests have been carried out on humans to substantiate the claims. This perspective looks at the biochemical and microbiological reports on palm wine to highlight the constituents that are associated with functional beverages. Based on the constituents of the drink, it may qualify as a multifunctional beverage because several investigators have demonstrated disease risk reduction, improved nutrition and health outcomes in many studies, albeit in rats rather than humans. The constituents found in functional beverages are present in the drink. However, when assessed under European Union regulations, fermented palm wine (from 3% alcohol) cannot be regarded as a functional beverage because beverages that contain over 1.2% alcohol cannot be approved for any claim on health or nutritional benefit. The fresh sap with much lower alcohol may be suitable after it is refined and subjected to scientific examination to determine quantities of the drink that can confer health benefits on humans.
  • 8260
  • 10 Aug 2021
Topic Review
Microalgae Cell Disruption Methods
Microalgae are unicellular or simple multicellular photosynthetic microorganisms, which can normally be found in aquatic environments such as freshwater, seawater, or hypersaline lakes. These organisms can be eukaryotic or prokaryotic, the latter being the cyanobacteria, which are commonly referred to as microalgae.  The nature of the cell wall of a given microalgae species can vary, making it easier or harder to access its valuable contents. The rigidity of the cell wall can be provided, for example, by high levels of polysaccharides in the cell wall structure, such as glucose and mannose, present in Chlorella zofingiensis, or by complex sugars composition such as arabinose, galactose, rhamnose, mannose and xylose, as found in Tetraselmis suecia and T. striata. Algaenan or sporopollein is another extremely resistant biopolymer, a non-hydrolyzable biopolymer, composed of long ω-hydroxy fatty acids chains linked by several types of chemical bond, which confer its rigid properties, and that can be found in some species such as Chlorella spp., Nannochloropsis galditana and Scenedesmus spp. Arthorspira spp. cell wals contain peptidoglycan, being less rigid and, consequently, more susceptible to degradation. Thus, several methods can be applied to breakdown such molecules that, being part of the cell wall, present different level of rigidity and confer them protection against environment factors. The cell wall disruption methods include physical, chemical, enzymatic approaches. In this entry, it will be presented a brief description of these methods.
  • 2749
  • 29 Jan 2021
Topic Review
Microbial Hydrolysis in Anaerobic Digestion
Hydrolysis generally refers to the breakdown of polymeric substance into their monomeric building blocks. In the case of microbial hydrolysis, the breakdown is catalyzed by extracellular enzymes produced by hydrolytic microorganisms. This article focusses on microbial hydrolysis within the process of anerobic digestion including the relevant metabolites, microbial consortia and the role of hydrolysis in anerobic digestion systems. 
  • 2498
  • 17 Nov 2020
Topic Review
Applications of Green Algae
       Green algae has been always renowned for its potent pharmacological and nutraceutical applications. Besides, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties, Recently published reports mentioning the potent anti-viral effects of green algae against the deadly virus SARS-CoV-2(COVID-19) has attracted the attention of researchers towards green algae.
  • 2337
  • 09 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Short-Chain Fatty Acids
The relationship between diet and the diversity and function of the intestinal microbiome and its importance for human health is currently the subject of many studies. The type and proportion of microorganisms found in the intestines can determine the energy balance of the host. Intestinal microorganisms perform many important functions, one of which is participation in metabolic processes, e.g., in the production of short-chain fatty acids—SCFAs (also called volatile fatty acids). These acids represent the main carbon flow from the diet to the host microbiome. Maintaining intestinal balance is necessary to maintain the host’s normal health and prevent many diseases. The results of many studies confirm the beneficial effect of probiotic microorganisms on the balance of the intestinal microbiome and produced metabolites, including SCFAs. The aim of this review is to summarize what is known on the effects of probiotics on the production of short-chain fatty acids by gut microbes. In addition, the mechanism of formation and properties of these metabolites is discussed and verified test results confirming the effectiveness of probiotics in human nutrition by modulating SCFAs production by intestinal microbiome is presented.
  • 2329
  • 30 Oct 2020
Topic Review
The term “tumoroid” means “tumor-like organoid”: tumoroids typically derive from primary tumors harvested from oncological patients and they can mimic human tumor microenvironment (TME); nowadays, they are considered a promising tool for cost-effective studies on novel anticancer drugs to be used in precision medicine in the field of oncology.
  • 2124
  • 01 Sep 2020
Topic Review
Microalgae/Cyanobacteria in Biodegradation of Plastics
Cyanobacteria (e.g., Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, and Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942), which are photosynthetic prokaryotes and were previously identified as blue-green algae, are currently under close attention for their abilities to capture solar energy and the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide for the production of high-value products. In the last few decades, these microorganisms have been exploited for different purposes (e.g., biofuels, antioxidants, fertilizers, and ‘superfood’ production). Microalgae (e.g., Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and Phaeodactylum tricornutum) are also suitable for environmental and biotechnological applications based on the exploitation of solar light. In recent years, several studies have been targeting the utilization of microorganisms for plastic bioremediation. Among the different phyla, the employment of wild-type or engineered cyanobacteria may represent an interesting, environmentally friendly, and sustainable option (e.g., mismanaged plastics as source of carbons for their cultivation: the connection between their simultaneous utilization for biofuels or chemicals production and microplastics consumption on the surface of basins).
  • 2086
  • 05 Jan 2021
Topic Review
Virus Elimination in Plants
Virus elimination from plants is mostly based on the in vitro culture of isolated meristem, and in addition thermotherapy, chemotherapy, electrotherapy, and cryotherapy can also be applied. Treatments can result in low rate of survival, inhibited growth, incomplete development, or abnormal morphology.  The rate of destruction depends on the genotypes and physiological condition of plants. There are several ways to decrease the harmful effect of treatments. 
  • 2071
  • 31 May 2021
Topic Review
Applications of Nanocellulose/Nanocarbon Composites: Focus on Biotechnology and Medicine
Nanocellulose/nanocarbon composites are newly-emerging smart hybrid materials containing cellulose nanoparticles, such as nanofibrils and nanocrystals, and carbon nanoparticles, such as “classical” carbon allotropes (fullerenes, graphene, nanotubes and nanodiamonds), or other carbon nanostructures (carbon nanofibers, carbon quantum dots, activated carbon and carbon black). The nanocellulose component acts as a dispersing agent and homogeneously distribute the carbon nanoparticles in aqueous environment. Nanocellulose/nanocarbon composites can be prepared with many advantageous properties, such as high mechanical strength, flexibility, stretchability, tunable thermal and electrical conductivity, tunable optical transparency, photodynamic and photothermal activity, nanoporous character and high adsorption capacity. They are therefore promising for a wide range of industrial applications, such as energy generation, storage and conversion, water purification, food packaging, construction of fire retardants and shape memory devices. They also hold great promise for biomedical applications, such as radical scavenging, photodynamic and photothermal therapy of tumors and microbial infections, drug delivery, biosensorics, isolation of various biomolecules, electrical stimulation of damaged tissues (e.g. cardiac, neural), neural and bone tissue engineering, engineering of blood vessels and advanced wound dressing, e.g. with antimicrobial and antitumor activity. However, the potential cytotoxicity and immunogenicity of the composites and their components must also be taken into account.
  • 2032
  • 01 Nov 2020
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