Three polyvinyl chloride membrane sensors were developed for the electrochemical evaluation of ferrous, manganese and zinc ions. The sensors were used for assaying metal ions in cervical mucus (CM) of Egyptian river buffalo-cows (Bubalus bubalis) as their levels vary dependent on cyclical hormone variation during different phases of estrus cycle. The presented sensors are based on using ionophores, β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), hydroxypropyl β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) and sulfocalix-4-arene (SCAL) for sensors 1, 2 and 3 for Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+, respectively. Dioctyl phthalate (DOP) was used as the plasticizer in a polymeric matrix of polyvinylchloride (PVC). For increasing the selectivity and sensitivity of the sensors, each sensor was enriched with a suitable complexing agent, which enhanced the sensor’s response. For sensor 1, β-CD was mixed with bathophenanthroline; for sensor 2, porphyrin was incorporated with HP-β-CD; while for sensor 3, oxine was the used complexing agent with SCAL. Linear responses of 10-7-10-2 M with cationic slopes of 53.46, 45.01 and 50.96 over pH range 4-8 were obtained using coated graphite sensors for ferrous, manganese and zinc ionic solutions, respectively. The three sensors were validated, according to the IUPAC guidelines. The obtained results by the presented potentiometric procedures were statistically analyzed and compared with those obtained by atomic absorption spectrophotometric method (AAS). No significant differences for either accuracy or precision were observed between the two techniques. Successful application for the determination of the three studied cations in CM, for the purpose to determine the proper time for artificial insemination (AI) was achieved. The results were compared with those obtained upon analyzing the samples by AAS. Proper detection of estrus and correct time of AI was necessary to maximize the production of buffaloes. In this experiment, 30 multi-parous buffalo-cows were in second to third lactation and weighting 415-530 kg, and were synchronized with OVSynch protocol. Samples were taken in three times around ovulation, on day 8 of OVSynch protocol, on day 9 (20 h before AI) and on day 10 (1 h before AI). Beside analysis of trace elements (Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+) in CM using the three sensors, the samples were analyzed for the three cations and also Cu2+ by AAS in the CM samples and blood samples. The results obtained were correlated with hormonal analysis of serum samples and ultrasonography for the purpose of determining of the optimum time of AI. The results showed significant differences and powerful correlation with Zn2+ composition of CM during heat phase and the ovulation time, indicating that the parameter could be used as a tool to decide optimal time of AI in buffalo-cows.
Finishing is an important part of fabric processing with which a wide range of features are imparted to greige or colored fabrics for various end-uses. Especially, by the addition or impartation of nano-scaled particles to the fabric structure composite fabrics, a kind of composite materials can be acquired. Composite materials, generally shortened as composites or in other words composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more component materials with significantly different physical, mechanical or chemical characteristics remaining separate and distinctive at the macroscopic or microscopic scale within the end product structure. Therefore, the technique finishing which is one of the fundamental methods to be applied on fabrics for obtainment of composite fabrics with many functionalities was used in the current study with the same purpose. However, regardless of the finishing materials applied, the efficient life of finished product on offering desired feature is low, since the durability of finishes on the material is limited. Any increase in durability of these finishes on textiles would enhance the life of use for textiles, which will result in happier users. Therefore, in this study, since higher durability was desired for the finishing materials fixed on the fabrics, nano-scaled hollow structured cyclodextrins were chemically imparted by grafting to the structure of conventional cotton fabrics by the help of finishing technique in order to be fixed permanently. By this way, a processed and functionalized base fabric having potential to be treated in the subsequent processes with many different finishing agents and nanomaterials could be obtained. Henceforth, this fabric can be used as a multi-functional fabric due to the encapturing ability of cyclodextrins to molecules/particles via physical/chemical means. In this study, scoured and rinsed woven bleached plain weave 100% cotton fabrics were utilized because textiles made of cotton are the most demanded textile products in the textile market by the textile consumers in daily life. Cotton fabric samples were immersed in treating baths containing β-cyclodextrin and 1,2,3,4-butanetetracarboxylic acid and to reduce the curing temperature the catalyst sodium hypophosphite monohydrate was used. All impregnated fabric samples were pre-dried. The reaction of grafting was performed in dry state. The treated and cured fabric samples were rinsed with warm distilled water and dried. The samples were dried for 4 h and weighed before and after finishing and rinsing. Stability and durability of β-cyclodextrins on fabric surface against external factors such as washing as well as strength of functionalized fabric in terms of tensile and tear strength were tested. Presence and homogeneity of distribution of β-cyclodextrins on fabric surface were characterized.