University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Recent publications
The modern lifestyle and dietary habits increased the progression of non-communicable diseases both in developed and developing countries. Lifestyle changes associated with the consumption of healthy foods and nutraceuticals should play a significant role in preventing and managing chronic diseases. Hence, there has been a growing interest in natural resources that can be used in functional food, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceutical products. Marine algae have a long history of use in functional foods and nutraceuticals due to the presence of valuable sources of bioactive compounds and they are considered “superfoods” in the food industry. Globally, the demand for edible seaweeds has increased due to high nutritional value and is increasingly being consumed by Asians due to the functional benefits beyond the traditional considerations of nutrition and health. Edible macroalgae are rich in carbohydrates, protein, soluble dietary fiber, and a range of vitamins and minerals. Also, they are rich in bioactive metabolites of polyphenols, alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, sterols, enzymes, essential fatty acids, peptides, pigments, and are reported to exhibit human beneficial effects. Therefore, this chapter represents the algal functional compounds and their health benefits that can be used as candidates in the food and nutraceuticals industry to improve human health.
In spite of recent moves to wean the world of fossil fuels, coal remains the main source of power in many countries. Coal yards are prone to spontaneous ignition, a problem faced in every country that stores or transports coal. Depending on the environment-temperature, ventilation, and the rank of the coal-heating and self-ignition can be a longer or shorter process, but the possibility can never be entirely dismissed. A plethora of studies have modelled this oxidation behavior and proposed countermeasures. Most often, human intervention is necessary, which is both slow and dangerous for the firefighters involved. In this study, we propose to build a complete firefighting solution which is mounted on a number of towers sufficient to cover the area of an open coal yard, complete with redundancy. Each tower includes an inexpensive infrared detector, a water dispenser and a controller programmed to identify areas of elevated temperature, and actuate the dispenser. The heat direction algorithm calculates the parameters to position the water dispenser so that it covers the area. A prototype has been built from inexpensive components to demonstrate the effectiveness at detecting and extinguishing arising fires, and a solution has been costed for the coal yard in the case study. This work has been conducted in collaboration with the managers of the coal yard of a power plant.
Background Many countries in Asia and Latin America are currently facing a double burden of outbreaks due to dengue and COVID-19. Here we discuss the similarities and differences between the two infections so that lessons learnt so far from studying both infections will be helpful in further understanding their immunopathogenesis and to develop therapeutic interventions. Main body Although the entry routes of the SARS-CoV-2 and the dengue virus (DENV) are different, both infections result in a systemic infection, with some similar clinical presentations such as fever, headache, myalgia and gastrointestinal symptoms. However, while dengue is usually associated with a tendency to bleed, development of micro and macrothrombi is a hallmark of severe COVID-19. Apart from the initial similarities in the clinical presentation, there are further similarities between such as risk factors for development of severe illness, cytokine storms, endothelial dysfunction and multi-organ failure. Both infections are characterised by a delayed and impaired type I IFN response and a proinflammatory immune response. Furthermore, while high levels of potent neutralising antibodies are associated with protection, poorly neutralising and cross-reactive antibodies have been proposed to lead to immunopathology by different mechanisms, associated with an exaggerated plasmablast response. The virus specific T cell responses are also shown to be delayed in those who develop severe illness, while varying degrees of endothelial dysfunction leads to increased vascular permeability and coagulation abnormalities. Conclusion While there are many similarities between dengue and SARS-CoV-2 infection, there are also key differences especially in long-term disease sequelae. Therefore, it would be important to study the parallels between the immunopathogenesis of both infections for development of more effective vaccines and therapeutic interventions.
Arsenic (As) is recognized as a persistent and toxic contaminant in the environment that is harmful to humans. Biochar, a porous carbonaceous material with tunable functionality, has been used widely as an adsorbent for remediating As-contaminated water and soils. Several types of pristine and modified biochar are available, and significant efforts have been made toward modifying the surface of biochars to increase their adsorption capacity for As. Adsorption capacity is influenced by multiple factors, including biomass pyrolysis temperature, pH, the presence of dissolved organic carbon, surface charge, and the presence of phosphate, silicate, sulfate, and microbial activity. Improved As adsorption in modified biochars is attributed to several mechanisms including surface complexation/precipitation, ion exchange, oxidation, reduction, electrostatic interactions, and surface functional groups that have a relatively higher affinity for As. Modified biochars show promise for As adsorption; however, further research is required to improve the performance of these materials. For example, modified biochars must be eco-friendly, cost-effective, reliable, efficient, and sustainable to ensure their widespread application for immobilizing As in contaminated water and soils. Conducting relevant research to address these issues relies on a thorough understanding of biochar modifications to date. This study presents an in-depth review of pristine and modified biochars, including their production, physicochemical properties, and As adsorption mechanisms. Furthermore, a comprehensive evaluation of biochar applications is provided in As-contaminated environments as a guide for selecting suitable biochars for As removal in the field. Graphical Abstract
Fluoride () is one of the essential elements found in soil and water released from geogenic sources and several anthropogenic activities. Fluoride causes fluorosis, dental and skeletal growth problems, teeth mottling, and neurological damage due to prolonged consumption, affecting millions worldwide. Adsorption is an extensively implemented technique in water and wastewater treatment for fluoride, with significant potential due to efficiency, cost-effectiveness, ease of operation, and reusability. This review highlights the current state of knowledge for fluoride adsorption using biochar-based materials and the limitations of biochar for fluoride-contaminated groundwater and industrial wastewater treatment. Biochar materials have shown significant adsorption capacities for fluoride under the influence of low pH, biochar dose, initial concentration, temperature, and co-existing ions. Modified biochar possesses various functional groups (–OH, –Cdouble bondC, –C–O, –CONH, –C–OH, X–OH), in which enhanced hydroxyl (–OH) groups onto the surface plays a significant role in fluoride adsorption via electrostatic attraction and ion exchange. Regeneration and reusability of biochar sorbents need to be performed to a greater extent to improve removal efficiency and reusability in field conditions. Furthermore, the present investigation identifies the limitations of biochar materials in treating fluoride-contaminated drinking groundwater and industrial effluents. Since fluoride removal using biochar-based materials at an industrial scale for understanding the practical feasibility is yet to be documented, thus the review work recommended the potential feasibility of biochar-based materials in column studies that can be worth research on fluoride remediation in the future.
Abundance of buried microplastics in sand profiles and pellet pollution index at Sarakkuwa beach, at west-coast of Sri Lanka was studied as a case study due to the receival of plastic nurdles and debris from the MV X-Press Pearl ship disaster in May 2021. Sand collected at 7 locations to a depth of 2 m in different depths for a beach segment of 200 × 25 m² during October 2021 and sand samples obtained from beach surface during March 2020 from the same location were analyzed for microplastics. Beach was contaminated with 2–5 mm sized partially pyrolyzed LDPE fragments and nurdles demonstrating a peak abundance of 13.3702 g/kg and1 mm-500 μm sized LDPE fragments up to 2.0 m depth. High concentrations of Mo and Cr were observed in the sand collected in 2021. Sarakkuwa beach is critically polluted by nurdles, partially pyrolyzed microplastics, and toxic elements from ship disaster.
The aim of this study was to examine the production of biodiesel from waste cooking oil with an acid value of 1.82 mg KOH/g in the presence of methanol and KOH, utilizing cosolvent technology in order to increase biodiesel output by overcoming mass transfer resistance. This study examined the effect of four cosolvents (hexane, diethyl ether, toluene and acetone) on biodiesel yield under optimized reaction conditions, including cosolvent-to-oil weight ratio, reaction time and temperature. The polarity index of cosolvent was determined primarily on its biodiesel yield performance. Highest yield (98.46%) of biodiesel was obtained at 20 wt.% of acetone; 1:6 molar ratio (oil-to-methanol), 1 wt.% KOH at 40 ± 1 ºC for 10 min of reaction time at 600 rpm. The physico-chemical properties of biodiesel such as acid value, density, kinematic viscosity and flash point were evaluated and found to be within ASTM standards.
The accumulation of non-biodegradable food packaging waste which causes huge pollution to the environment, has become a major issue. Currently, the use of edible and biodegradable packaging for food applications to avoid the generation of waste is a fast-emerging eco-friendly technology with increased attention. The edible packaging; films and coatings synthesized from biodegradable sources like polysaccharides, lipids, proteins and composites can be consumed without disposing them to the environment. These can be used on different foods by functioning as barriers to moisture, vapours and other solutes, also by reducing lipid oxidation and discolouration. They perform multiple functions as carriers for active compounds and have the ability to release them at a controlled rate to the packed food, which significantly extends the shelf-life and hence, improves the quality of food. This review focuses on the recent researches on the innovative biopolymer-based edible packaging, an alternative to synthetic nonedible packaging.
Recreational disturbance of birds in coastal environments is a serious conservation issue, as coastal habitats are critical for resident waterbird populations and are important stopovers for migratory birds. Understanding the responses of birds to different types and levels of human recreational disturbance is essential for the sustainable use and management of coastal ecosystems. This study evaluated the impact of two types of recreational disturbance (e.g. recreational vehicle traffic and human foot traffic) on the behavior and habitat use of selected waterbird species at two coastal tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. According to study results, the magnitude of the disturbance caused by safari vehicles at the study location increased with the vehicle’s speed and with a decrease in distance from the disturbance agent to the waterbirds. When disturbed, the time allocated for foraging activities decreases while time allocated for locomotive activities and vigilance increases compared to non-disturbance conditions. The foraging or resting waterbirds tend to be more agitated when the vehicles are slowed or stopped closer to them than moving past at a steady speed. Moreover, the sensitivity of birds to recreational disturbance varies depending on the species, body size, and previous exposure to recreational vehicles.
Olive flounder is a common surimi industry related fish species in South Korea that generates a considerable amount of solid waste. To maximize the utilization of olive flounder gut (OFG) byproducts, OFG was subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis. Antioxidant activity of the obtained hydrolysates was evaluated to investigate radical scavenging activity (RSA), and in vitro experiments were conducted on 2,2’-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride-stimulated Vero cells. Protamex hydrolysates showed a strong RSA (IC50 value of 94.96 ± 1.60 µg/mL) with a significant reduction in oxidative stress in in vitro and in vivo zebrafish models. OFG byproducts have potential for industrial application as antioxidative agents.
The research aimed to scientifically prove that parboiled Sri Lankan traditional rice elicits lower glycaemic responses comparative to raw unpolished or polished rice. Thus the proxi-mate composition and glycaemic indices (GI) of raw, raw polished, and parboiled traditional Sri Lankan rice (Oryza sativa L.) varieties Godaheenati, Batapola el, Dik wee, Dahanala, Unakola samba, and Hangimuththan were studied as comparative data are not available. Cooked parboiled rice contained significantly high moisture (P<0.05) than raw or raw polished. Mineral content was low (<1.5%) regardless of processing. Crude protein was comparatively high (5.8-11.0% DM) with 2.
Methanolic extracts of whole grains of five millet types and two sorghum varieties were evaluated for anti-lipidemic, anti-inflammatory, and a range of anti-oxidant properties in vitro (n = 3 each). Furthermore, proximate composition (n = 3 each) was also studied. Results showed significant differences (P < 0.05) among the selected samples for studied parameters. Pancreatic lipase and cholesterol esterase inhibitory activities of selected samples (2 mg/ml) ranged from 21.16 ± 1.58 to 66.65 ± 3.30 and 17.43 ± 0.60 to 52.09 ± 1.61%, respectively. Nitric oxide inhibitory activity of selected samples (2 mg/ml) ranged from −1.17 ± 0.32 to 13.56 ± 0.93%. Total polyphenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), and total proanthocyanidin content (TPAC) were in the range of 0.19 ± 0.01–12.50 ± 0.87 mg gallic acid equivalents/g, 0.05 ± 0.00–1.57 ± 0.01 mg quercetin equivalents/g, and 0.35 ± 0.01–12.87 ± 0.25 mg cyaniding equivalents/g of samples, respectively. Ferric reducing anti-oxidant power, oxygen radical absorbance capacity, ferrous ion chelating activity, and ABTS and DPPH anti-oxidant properties ranged from 0.15 ± 0.00 to 4.56 ± 0.03 mg of Trolox equivalents (TEs)/g, 0.19 ± 0.01 to 8.50 ± 0.72 mg of TEs/g, 0.13 ± 0.00 to 0.79 ± 0.03 mg EDTA equivalents/g, 0.22 ± 0.00 to 25.57 ± 0.35 mg of TEs/g, and 0.07 ± 0.00 to 22.97 ± 0.83 mg of TEs/g of samples, respectively. Among the studied samples, pigmented sweet sorghum exhibited the highest activities for all the tested parameters. The observed activities were moderate compared to the reference standards used. The highest values for proximate composition parameters tested varied with the different samples studied. In conclusion, the consumption of especially pigmented millet and sorghum in Sri Lanka may play an important role in the prevention and management of oxidative stress–associated chronic diseases. This is the first study to report pancreatic lipase and cholesterol esterase inhibitory activities of any millet types and sorghum varieties in Sri Lanka and the first report of cholesterol esterase inhibitory activity of millet and sorghum the world over.
Background and purpose The management of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) during pregnancy is challenging and there is no clear consensus on whether it increases the risk of complications in pregnancy. We conducted this study to review the maternal and fetal outcomes of pregnant women treated for PHPT in a single centre. Methods Data on relevant clinical parameters, demographics, management strategies, maternal and fetal outcomes were collected from the medical records of pregnant patients with PHPT diagnosed between 2012 and 2019. Results Of 15 pregnant women with PHPT, 6 were managed medically and 9 underwent surgery. The median age at their index pregnancy was 28 years [range 19–42]. The median highest adjusted calcium level in the medical group was 2.90 [range 2.61–3.25] mmol/L vs. 3.11 [2.78–4.95] mmol/L in the surgical group. There was one miscarriage and the stillbirth of twins in the medical group, but no such outcomes in the surgical group. The median gestational ages were 39 + 3 weeks [range 24 + 2–41 + 2 weeks] and 39 + 4 weeks [range 37 + 1–39 + 5 weeks] in the medical and surgical groups, respectively. No birth was complicated by neonatal tetany or convulsions. Conclusion More complications developed in the pregnant PHPT patients who were managed medically than in those who underwent surgery. Surgery performed during the second trimester resulted in good outcomes. Multi-centre prospective studies are required to ascertain the risk of various complications in women with PHPT during pregnancy.
Platinum-based compounds are actively used in clinical trials as anticancer agents. In this study, two novel platinum complexes, (C1 = [PtCl2(N(SO2quin)dpa)], C2 = [PtCl2(N(SO2azobenz)dpa)]) containing quinoline and azobenzene appended dipicolylamine sulfonamide ligands were synthesized in good yield. The singlet attributable to methylene CH2 protons of the ligands of C1 and C2 appears as two doublets in 1H NMR spectra, which confirms the presence of magnetically nonequivalent protons upon coordination to platinum. Structural data of N(SO2quin)dpa (L1), N(SO2azobenz)dpa (L2) and PtCl2(N(SO2quin)dpa) confirmed the formation of the desired compounds. Time-dependent density functional theory calculations suggested that the excitation of L1 show quin-unit-based π⟶π ∗ excitations (i.e., ligand-centered charge transfer, LC), while C1 shows the metal-ligand-to-ligand charge-transfer (MLLCT) character. L1 displays intense fluorescence from the 1LC excited state, while C1 gives phosphorescence from the 3LC state. Mammalian cell toxicity of ligands and complexes was assessed with NCI–H292 nonsmall-cell lung cancer cells. Further, C1 and C2 showed significantly low IC50 values compared with N(SO2azobenz)dpa and PtCl2(N(SO2quin)dpa). Fluorescence imaging data of both ligands and complexes revealed the potential fluorescence activity of these compounds for biological imaging. All four compounds are promising novel candidates that can be further investigated on their usage as potential anticancer agents and cancer cell imaging agents.
Manufactured sand (MS) has been started utilizing as an alternative in constructions due to the escalated demand for river sand (RS). The microfine aggregate (MFA) is a salient constituent in manufactured sand, which is a crushed reactive form of parent rocks having particles less than 0.075 mm. This paper presents the effects of varying microfine aggregate levels on bleeding , plastic shrinkage cracking (PSC) and compressive strength of MS made concrete. Two types of MS were utilized: MS from Hornblende-Gneiss rock (MH) and MS from Charnockite rock (MC) and the MFA level was ranged from 0% to 12% at 3% increments and the reference concrete was prepared with RS alone. With the MFA levels, the bleeding of MS concretes was reduced where, at 0% MFA level the maximum bleeding rates were observed for MC (1.63 kg/m 2) and MH (0.84 kg/m 2) concretes. PSC results were analyzed from an image processing technique, which revealed an increasing trend of mean and maximum crack widths, crack length and crack area with the MFA levels. At 0% MFA, the mean crack width of MC (0.19 mm) and MH (0.17 mm) con-cretes manifested marginally similar to RS concrete (0.17 mm). The decreasing bleeding with the MFA levels can be attributed to the increasing severity to PSC. Moreover, the optimum 28 days compressive strength of MC (57.5 MPa) and MH (56.1 MPa) concretes was achieved at 3% MFA level which are higher than RS concrete (51.5 MPa). Consequently, the MFA level should be limited to 3% for better plastic and hardened performance of MS made concrete.
Abstract The pharmacist is an important link between doctor and patient. To optimise patient care, it is essential that expectations of doctors and patients regarding pharmacy services are met. Hence the objective of this study was to assess the satisfaction levels of doctors and patients on pharmacy services currently provided, and their expectations from pharmacy services. This cross sectional study was conducted in selected clinics of a university based teaching hospital. Questionnaires developed in-house by referring previously published resources, content validated by a group of experts, and face validated through a pilot study were used. Doctors and patients of chronic disease clinics were selected for the study. All doctors involved in prescribing for more than six months, and patients or their regular care givers attending clinics for more than one year were included. Mentally incapacitated patients were excluded. An interviewee administered questionnaire was distributed to doctors and an interviewer administered questionnaire was used for patients. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) (principal component analysis with Varimax rotation) was conducted to divide variables of the questionnaires into reliable components. Response rate of doctors was 82.3%. Among them 59.6% (50/84) doctors said that they have a good relationship with pharmacists, and 89.3% (75/84) expected communication with pharmacists more often. EFA for doctors’ perceptions resulted in four components. A statistically significant difference was observed between doctors’ expectation (95.9% - 81/84) and current practice (22.6% - 19/84) on communicating medication issues (p
Background Dementia has become a public health priority along with population aging worldwide. Owing to its chronic progressive nature in the absence of a cure, maintaining the best possible quality of life (QOL) has become the desired outcome for people with dementia (PWD). Aim The current study aimed to determine the factors associated with ‘good QOL’ in people with dementia in the Sri Lankan setting. Methods An unmatched case–control study was conducted to identify the factors associated with ‘good QoL. Cases in the study included dementia patients having ‘good’ QOL, whereas controls were those having ‘poor’ or ‘average’ QOL. Both cases and controls were selected from the same patient base at a premier tertiary care state hospital in Colombo District, Sri Lanka. They were identified using the validated DEMQOL (Dementia Specific Quality of Life) tool, adhering to strict eligibility criteria. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to assess the associated factors. Bivariate analysis followed by logistic regression modelling determined the associated factors for ‘good QOL’ adjusted for confounders using odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Results The study sample consisted of 64 cases and 208 controls. After adjusting for confounders, education up to GCE O/Level and above (OR = 4.02; 95% CI = 2.97, 12.0), ever employed (OR = 3.21; 95% CI = 1.59, 11.06), good social functioning (OR = 4.14; 95% CI = 3.39, 16.46), mild functional impairment (OR = 1.77; 95% CI = 1.13, 9.67), little or no caregiver burden (OR = 2.96; 95% CI = 1.86, 10.94), absence of apathy (OR = 2.22; 95% CI = 1.27, 12.48) and absence of irritability (OR = 2.17; 95% CI = 1.72, 10.34) were found to be significantly associated with ‘good QOL’. 60% of the variance of ‘good’ QOL among PWD was explained by the factors in the final model. Conclusions and recommendations The identified determinants of ‘good QOL’ clearly show how the QOL improvement interventions need to be planned. Accordingly, such programmes should be primarily focused on strategies to improve PWDs' ADL (Activities of Daily living), reduce and manage neuropsychiatric symptoms effectively and to promote activities enhancing social functioning, and plan programmes to address caregiver burden.
Background: Sparganosis is a zoonotic disease caused by Plerocercoid larvae (spargana) of the genus Spirometra. We aimed to provide molecular evidence for the infection of amphibians with Spirometra sp. in the inside and outside of Horton Plains National Park (HPNP), Sri Lanka. Methods: The prevalence of sparganum infection in wild frogs (Truga eques and Minverya agricola) was investigated in the inside and outside of HPNP from June 2019 to April 2021.A total of 1,434 Amphibians samples were surveyed to examine the spargana infection from the study site. To identify the species identity of the collected spargana, a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene and nuclear 18S rRNA gene were amplified, sequenced, and analyzed. Results: A total of 539 infected amphibians (T. eques and M. agricola) samples were examined to survey from the study area. Spargana were detected in all dissected specimens belonging to the species Spirometra erinaceieuropaei that were genetically confirmed using the evolutionary conserved nuclear 18S rRNA gene and then compared to the GenBank deposit, indicating that S. erinaceieuropaei is the primary causal agent of sparganosis both inside and outside the HPNP. Conclusion: Our finding is the first genetically confirmed record of S. erinaceieuro�paei in amphibians in South Asia. However, further studies are needed to investigate the prevalence of sparagna infection in amphibians all over the island
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3,359 members
Isuru Wijesekara
  • Department of Food Science and Technology
Savithri Wimalasekera
  • Department of Physiology
Dhanushka Udayanga
  • Department of BioSystems Tecnhology
Prasanthi Ilankoon
  • Department of Nursing and Midwifery
Dimuthu S Manamgoda
  • Department of Botany
Gangodawila, Nugegoda, 10250, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Head of institution
Vice Chancellor
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