Kuala Selangor, Malaysia

University Technology of MARA

Kuala Selangor, Malaysia

Universiti Teknologi MARA is a public university with its main campus located in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.The Shah Alam campus is the flagship institution of the Universiti Teknologi MARA System, the largest university in Malaysia in terms of size and student enrollment and the only public university carrying out intakes twice a year.The university faculties comprise 4,000 academics, scholars and researchers. The university has expanded nationwide with four satellite campuses, 12 branch campuses, nine city campuses and 21 affiliated colleges. With this network and over 17,000 staff, the university offers more than 300 academic programmes. It is home to some 172,000 students: bumiputeras and international students. The teaching is fully conducted in English. Wikipedia.

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Md Jani A.M.,University Technology of MARA | Losic D.,University of Adelaide | Voelcker N.H.,University of South Australia
Progress in Materials Science | Year: 2013

Anodic aluminium oxide (AAO) has been investigated and utilized in numerous products for almost a century. But the rapidly increasing interest in nanoscale materials and their outstanding properties has propelled nanoporous AAO to the fore as one of the most popular nanomaterial with applications across a gamut of areas including molecular separation, catalysis, energy generation and storage, electronics and photonics, sensors and biosensors, drug delivery and template synthesis. Material fabrication of AAO is based on facile and inexpensive electrochemical anodization with the self-ordering process of nanopores not requiring any lithography or templating, and the outcome of the process are perfectly ordered and size controlled nanopores with distinctive pore geometries. Recent research on AAO is characterized by a remarkable trajectory of innovation, in particular with regards to control of surface functionality and, concomitantly, to the design of intricate structural features such as modulated, branched, and multilayered pore architectures. This review illuminates research on recent development of AAO focussing on surface and structural engineering, and on emerging applications. Key examples and critical preparative issues and resulting improvements sparking opportunities for further applications in AAO properties are discussed. We conclude this review with an outlook providing a critical perspective on future trends on surface and structural engineering of AAO. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.5-02 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2012

Food security is a major concern for all countries in the face of population increase and diminishing energy and water supplies. Over one billion people in low and middle income countries suffer from malnutrition. To meet the UN Millennium Development Goals to eradicate hunger and poverty, it is essential to reduce post harvest losses, including in the fisheries sector. The overall objectives of SECUREFISH are to strengthen capacity in low cost technology; to improve the preservation of existing fish supplies; to utilise waste and bycatch to produce value-added products; to develop an integrated quality management tool and finally to test the developed technology and quality management tool in different real third country conditions. There are six work packages (WP). WP1 will ensure the efficient management of the project. WP2 will develop low cost innovative processing tools based on traditional technology for preserving fish including a solar tunnel drier, a modified solar assisted extruder and fast freezing/ continuous atmosphere freeze-drier (CAFD). In WP3, underutilised bycatch and waste by-products of fish processing will be recovered and converted to high value products. WP4 will develop an effective total quality management tool (safety and risk assessment; HACCP quality cost and traceability, nutritional and eating quality and carbon footprint) of three fish product chains (solar dried, extruded and frozen/CAFD) which will be tailored to suit local needs. The technological advances (WP2) and quality management tool (WP4) will be evaluated in the three fish product chain case studies in Africa (Kenya, Namibia, Ghana), Asia (India and Malaysia) and Latin America (Argentina) to include different economic, cultural and social conditions. The case studies involve stakeholders including SMEs to ensure sustained implementation of project results. WP6 details a strategy for education, training and dissemination to widely promote the results and guidelines.

Wong T.W.,University Technology of MARA
Journal of Drug Targeting | Year: 2010

The possibility of administering insulin orally in replacement of painful subcutaneous route has been investigated over years but with varying degree of success. Nanoparticles, microparticles, hydrogel, capsule, tablet, and film patch are designed to deliver insulin orally. They are largely formulated with polymeric adhesive, protease inhibitor, insulin aggregation inhibitor, and functional excipients to induce transcellular, paracellular, Peyer's patches, or receptor-mediated transport of insulin in gastrointestinal tract. Superporous matrix, intestinal patches, and charged-coupled micromagnet microparticles are recent formulation strategies to promote oral insulin absorption. The formulation emphasizes on assembly of insulin and excipients into a physical structure which provides an element of drug targeting to maintain stability and increase bioavailability of insulin. The overview of various strategies applied in oral insulin delivery system design denotes the significance of mucoadhesiveness whereby a prolonged retention of dosage form in intestinal tract translates to cumulative insulin release and absorption, overcoming the intestinal transport capacity limit. Synthesis and use of mucoadhesive excipients, chemical modification of insulin to promote its physicochemical and biological stability for encapsulation in dosage form with prolonged retention characteristics and identification of potential insulin adjuncts are efforts needed to accelerate the speed of obtaining a functional oral insulin delivery system. © 2010 Informa UK Ltd.

Farooqui M.,University Technology of MARA
BMC public health | Year: 2013

Despite the existence of different screening methods, the response to cancer screening is poor among Malaysians. The current study aims to examine cancer patients' perceptions of cancer screening and early diagnosis. A qualitative methodology was used to collect in-depth information from cancer patients. After obtaining institutional ethical approval, patients with different types and stages of cancer from the three major ethnic groups (Malay, Chinese and Indian) were approached. Twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted. All interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and translated into English for thematic content analysis. Thematic content analysis yielded four major themes: awareness of cancer screening, perceived benefits of cancer screening, perceived barriers to cancer screening, and cues to action. The majority of respondents had never heard of cancer screening before their diagnosis. Some participants reported hearing about mammogram and Pap smear tests but did not undergo screening due to a lack of belief in personal susceptibility. Those who had negative results from screening prior to diagnosis perceived such tests as untrustworthy. Lack of knowledge and financial constraints were reported as barriers to cancer screening. Finally, numerous suggestions were given to improve screening behaviour among healthy individuals, including the role of mass media in disseminating the message 'prevention is better than cure'. Patients' narratives revealed some significant issues that were in line with the Health Belief Model which could explain negative health behaviour. The description of the personal experiences of people with cancer could provide many cues to action for those who have never encountered this potentially deadly disease, if incorporated into health promotion activities.

Wong T.W.,University Technology of MARA
Pharmaceutical research | Year: 2013

To investigate mechanism of microwave enhancing drug permeation transdermally through its action on skin. Hydrophilic pectin-sulphanilamide films, with or without oleic acid (OA), were subjected to drug release and skin permeation studies. The skins were untreated or microwave-treated, and characterized by infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, thermal, electron microscopy and histology techniques. Skin treatment by microwave at 2450 MHz for 5 min promoted drug permeation from OA-free film without incurring skin damage. Skin treatment by microwave followed by film loaded with drug and OA resulted in permeation of all drug molecules that were released from film. Microwave exerted spacing of lipid architecture of stratum corneum into structureless domains which was unattainable by OA. It allowed OA to permeate stratum corneum and accumulate in dermis at a greater ease, and synergistically inducing lipid/keratin fluidization at hydrophobic C-H and hydrophilic O-H, N-H, C-O, C=O, C-N regimes of skin, and promoting drug permeation. The microwave technology is evidently feasible for use in promotion of drug permeation across the skin barrier. It represents a new approach in transdermal drug delivery.

Wong T.W.,University Technology of MARA
Journal of Controlled Release | Year: 2014

Transdermal drug delivery is hindered by the barrier property of the stratum corneum. It limits the route to transport of drugs with a log octanol-water partition coefficient of 1 to 3, molecular weight of less than 500 Da and melting point of less than 200 °C. Active methods such as iontophoresis, electroporation, sonophoresis, magnetophoresis and laser techniques have been investigated for the past decades on their ability, mechanisms and limitations in modifying the skin microenvironment to promote drug diffusion and partition. Microwave, an electromagnetic wave characterized by frequencies range between 300 MHz and 300 GHz, has recently been reported as the potential skin permeation enhancer. Microwave has received a widespread application in food, engineering and medical sectors. Its potential use to facilitate transdermal drug transport is still in its infancy stage of evaluation. This review provides an overview and update on active methods utilizing electrical, magnetic, photomechanical and cavitational waves to overcome the skin barrier for transdermal drug administration with insights into mechanisms and future perspectives of the latest microwave technique described. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Asadullah M.,University Technology of MARA
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2014

Gasification is one of the promising technologies to convert biomass to gaseous fuels for distributed power generation. However, the commercial exploitation of biomass energy suffers from a number of logistics and technological challenges. In this review, the barriers in each of the steps from the collection of biomass to electricity generation are highlighted. The effects of parameters in supply chain management, pretreatment and conversion of biomass to gas, and cleaning and utilization of gas for power generation are discussed. Based on the studies, until recently, the gasification of biomass and gas cleaning are the most challenging part. For electricity generation, either using engine or gas turbine requires a stringent specification of gas composition and tar concentration in the product gas. Different types of updraft and downdraft gasifiers have been developed for gasification and a number of physical and catalytic tar separation methods have been investigated. However, the most efficient and popular one is yet to be developed for commercial purpose. In fact, the efficient gasification and gas cleaning methods can produce highly burnable gas with less tar content, so as to reduce the total consumption of biomass for a desired quantity of electricity generation. According to the recent report, an advanced gasification method with efficient tar cleaning can significantly reduce the biomass consumption, and thus the logistics and biomass pretreatment problems can be ultimately reduced. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Chang S.H.,University Technology of MARA
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2014

Empty fruit bunch (EFB) from oil palm is one of the potential biomass to produce biofuels like bio-oil due to its abundant supply and favorable physicochemical characteristics. Confirming the assertion, this paper presents an overview of EFB as a feedstock for bio-oil production. The fundamental characteristics of EFB in terms of proximate analysis, ultimate analysis and chemical composition, as well as the recent advances in EFB conversion processes for bio-oil production like pyrolysis and solvolysis are outlined and discussed. A comparison of properties in terms of proximate analysis, ultimate analysis and fuel properties between the bio-oil from EFB and petroleum fuel oil is included. The major challenges and future prospects towards the utilization of EFB as a useful resource for bio-oil production are also addressed. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Asadullah M.,University Technology of MARA
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2014

Biomass is the only source on earth that can store solar energy in the chemical bond during its growth. This stored energy can be utilized by means of thermochemical conversion of biomass. Gasification is one of the promising thermochemical conversion technologies, which converts biomass to burnable gases, often termed as producer gas. Major components of this gas are hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane. Depending on the purity, this gas can be used in the furnace for heat generation and in the internal combustion engine and fuel cell for power generation or it can be converted to liquid hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals via the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis method. Despite numerous applications of the biomass gasification gas, it is still under developing stage due to some severe technological challenges. Impurities such as tar, particulate matters and poisonous gases including ammonia, hydrochloric acid and sulfur gases, which are unavoidably produced during gasification, create severe problems in downstream applications. Therefore, the cleaning of producer gas is essential before being utilized. However, the conventional physical filtration is not a technically and environmentally viable process for gasification gas cleaning. The utilization of catalyst for hot gas cleaning is one of the most popular technologies for gas cleaning. The catalyst bed can reform tar molecules to gas on the one hand and destroy or adsorb poisonous gases and particulates on the other hand, so as to produce clean gas. However, numerous criteria need to be considered to select the suitable catalyst for commercial use. In this review, the advantages and disadvantages of different gas cleaning methods are critically discussed and concluded that the catalytic hot gas cleaning with highly efficient catalyst is the most viable options for large-scale production of clean producer gas. © 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Yin C.-Y.,University Technology of MARA
Process Biochemistry | Year: 2010

A review of plant-based coagulant sources, processes, effectiveness and relevant coagulating mechanisms for treatment of water and wastewater is presented. These coagulants are, in general, used as point-of-use technology in less-developed communities since they are relatively cost-effective compared to chemical coagulants, can be easily processed in usable form and biodegradable. These natural coagulants, when used for treatment of waters with low-to-medium turbidity range (50-500 NTU), are comparable to their chemical counterparts in terms of treatment efficiency. Their application for industrial wastewater treatment is still at their infancy, though they are technically promising as coagulant for dyeing effluent as afforded by Yoshida intermolecular interactions. These natural coagulants function by means of adsorption mechanism followed by charge neutralization or polymeric bridging effect. Frequently studied plant-based coagulants include nirmali seeds (Strychnos potatorum), Moringa oleifera, tannin and cactus. Utilization of these coagulants represents important progress in sustainable environmental technology as they are renewable resources and their application is directly related to the improvement of quality of life for underdeveloped communities. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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