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  • Publication
    In vivo investigations into the carbene gold anticancer drug candidates NHC*-Au-SCN and NHC*-Au-Scyclo
    The anticancer drug candidate 1,3-dibenzyl-4,5-diphenyl-imidazol-2-ylidene gold(I) thiocyanate (NHC*-Au-SCN) and its cyclohexane thiolate derivative (NHC*-Au-Scyclo) exhibited very good activity against human colon cancer with GI50 values against human HCT116 colon cancer cells of 0.40 and 1.65 μM, respectively. In addition, inhibition of the mammalian thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) was observed with IC50 values of 0.77 ± 0.34 µM for NHC*-Au-SCN and 13 ± 4 µM for NHC*-Au-Scyclo?). This encouraged maximum tolerable dose (MTD) experiments in mice, where MTD values of 10 mg/kg for NHC*-Au-SCN and 30 mg/kg for NHC*-Au-Scyclo were determined with single injections to groups of 2 mice. In the subsequent tumor xenograft experiment NHC*-Au-SCN and NHC*-Au-Scyclo were applied three times at two doses in groups of 6 HCT116 tumor-bearing NMRI:nu/nu mice. The control group comprising 6 mice was treated with the solvent only. NHC*-Au-SCN at the dose of 5 and 10 mg/kg and NHC*-Au-Scyclo at the higher dose of 15 and 30 mg/kg showed tolerability towards the drugs, while no significant body weight loss was seen in both groups. NHC*-Au-SCN exerted only weak antitumoral activity reflected by T/C values of 0.81 and 0.65. The tumor volume growth reduction induced by NHC*-Au-Scyclo was better, with optimal T/C values of 0.58 and 0.31 being observed at doses of 15 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg, respectively. Alterations in dosing and/ or application schedules might further improve the antitumoral activity, particularly for NHC*-Au-Scyclo.
  • Publication
    The Potential for Hydrolysed Sheep Wool as a Sustainable Source of Fertiliser for Irish Agriculture
    Suppressed wool prices in Ireland over the last number of years has led to situations where the cost of shearing animals is greater than the wools’ value, leading to net losses per animal for farmers. Populations of sheep in Ireland and nutrient values of wool from literature sources were used to determine the quantity of nutrients that could be produced on an annual basis using hydrolysis techniques. Results of this study suggest that up to 15.8% of the nitrogen required to produce Ireland’s cereal crops can be met annually using hydrolysed sheep wool in an economically feasible manner along with considerable amounts of sulphur, zinc, and copper. Most of the cost associated with the process is the purchasing of wool from farmers at an economically favourable level for farmers. Based on the spatial distribution of these animals, the town of Athlone is the most suitable location for a processing facility.
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