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  • v.8(4); Oct-Dec 2016

Averrhoa bilimbi Linn.: A review of its ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology

Alhassan muhammad alhassan.

Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University Malaysia, 25200 Kuantan, Pahang DM, Malaysia

Qamar Uddin Ahmed

Averrhoa bilimbi Linn. is principally cultivated for medicinal purposes in many tropical and subtropical countries of the world. Literature survey about this plant shows that A. bilimbi is mainly used as a folk medicine in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and as an antimicrobial agent. The prime objective of this review is to accumulate and organize literature based on traditional claims and correlate those with current findings on the use of A. bilimbi in the management of different ailments. Through interpreting already published scientific manuscripts (1995 through 2015) retrieved from the different scientific search engines, namely Medline, PubMed, EMBASE, and Science Direct databases, published articles and reports covering traditional and scientific literature related to A. bilimbi 's potential role against various ailments have been thoroughly evaluated, interpreted, and discussed. Several pharmacological studies have demonstrated the ability of this plant to act as antidiabetic, antihypertensive, thrombolytic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, and hypolipidemic agent. A. bilimbi holds great value in the complementary and alternative medicine as evidenced by the substantial amount of research on it. Therefore, we aimed to compile an up-to-date and comprehensive review of A. bilimbi that covers its traditional and folk medicine uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology. Hence, this paper presents an up-to-date and comprehensive review of the ethnomedicinal uses, different chemical constituents, and pharmacological activities of A. bilimbi . So far, the biologically active agents have not been isolated from this plant and this can be a good scientific study for the future antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and antimicrobial implications. Hence, this review targets at emphasizing the diverse traditional claims and pharmacological activities of A. bilimbi with respect to carrying out more scientific studies to isolate active principles through advanced technology.

The plant has been an important source of medicine since antiquity. The oldest known record of the plant being used for a therapeutic purpose is found in Egyptian medical papyrus written in the fourteen century.[ 1 ] Since then, preparations of plant materials in the form of decoction, infusion, powder, or paste have been used in traditional medicine for prevention and treatment of different diseases and for improving the general well-being. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80% of people living in Africa and Asia use the traditional medicine to help meet some of their primary health-care needs.[ 2 ] People in Europe, Australia, and North America increasingly embrace the use of herbal medications to complement orthodox medicine.[ 3 ] In this regard, Averrrhoa bilimbi Linn. is one of the important medicinal plants of many tropical and subtropical countries of the world which has been widely used in the traditional system of medicines for the treatment of a variety of ailments, particularly as an antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and antimicrobial agent. The key emphasis of this review article is to establish the utilitarian side and medicinal characteristic of A. blimibi and turn that into a drug for future diabetic and hypertensive patient's management. The methodology followed was to methodically collect, organize, and chart the recent advances in the use of A. bilimbi in different chronic disorders. Data were retrieved from Medline, PubMed, EMBASE, and Science Direct databases covering traditional and scientific literature related to A. bilimbi 's potential role for the treatment of various diseases that have been thoroughly evaluated and discussed. Moreover, this review aims at highlighting the diverse traditional claims and pharmacological activities of A. bilimbi .

Averrrhoa bilimbi Linn.

A. bilimbi (common name: Bilimbi) is a medicinal plant belonging to the family Oxalidaceae . The genus Averrhoa was named after an Arab Philosopher, physician and Islamic Jurist Ibn Rushd often known as Averroes (1126-98).[ 4 ] A. bilimbi is closely related to Averrhoa carambola (carambola, starfruit). It originated in the Southeast Asia and is claimed as a native of the West Malaysia and the Indonesian Moluccas.[ 5 ] It is cultivated throughout Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and India. It also extends to other countries like the US, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Tanzania, and Trinidad and Tobago. The other common names of A. bilimbi are bilimbi, cucumber tree, tree sorrel, pickle tree (English); kamias, camias, and pias (Philippines); ta ling pling (Thai); huang gua shu (Chinese); bilimbim, biri-biri, limao de caiena, and azedinha (Brazil); vilimbipuli, irumpanpuli, and bilimbi (India); khe tay (Vietnamese); taling pling (Thailand); and belimbing buluh and blimbing asam (Malaysia).[ 6 ]

A. bilimbi is a small tree which grows up to 15 m high with sparsely arranged branches. It has compound leaves with twenty–forty leaflets each and 5–10 cm long.[ 7 ] The leaves are hairy with pinnate shapes and form clusters at the end of branches.[ 6 , 8 ] The tree is cauliflorous with 18–68 flowers in panicles that form on the trunk and other branches. The flowers are heterotristylous with petal 10–30 m long, yellowish green to reddish purple.[ 6 , 9 ] The fruits are produced on the bare stem and trunk. The fruits are greenish in color with a firm and juicy flesh which becomes soft on ripening.[ 7 ] The fruit juice is sour and extremely acidic. A. bilimbi holds great value in complementary medicine as evidenced by the substantial amount of research on it. Therefore, we aimed to compile an up-to-date and comprehensive review of A. bilimbi that covers its traditional and folk medicine uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology.

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
  • Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
  • Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
  • Subclass: Rosidae
  • Order: Geraniales
  • Family: Oxalidaceae – Wood-Sorrel family
  • Genus: Averrhoa Adans – averrhoa
  • Species: A. bilimbi L. – bilimbi.

Ethnomedicinal Uses

A. bilimbi has been used in the traditional medicine for the treatment of a variety of ailments. Infusions and decoctions of the leaves are used as an antibacterial, antiscorbutic, astringent, postpartum protective medicine, in the treatment of fever, inflammation of the rectum, and diabetes.[ 9 ] The paste of leaves is used in the treatment of itches, boils, skin eruptions, bites of poisonous creatures, rheumatism, cough, cold, mumps, and syphilis.[ 10 , 11 ] Grated fruits, with a little salt added, are applied on the face to treat pimples.[ 12 ] Fruit juice is employed in the treatment of scurvy, bilious colic, whooping cough, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.[ 10 , 12 , 13 ]

Phytochemical Constituents

In an analysis conducted on Malaysia's A. bilimbi fruits, 53 different components were identified as the volatile constituents. Aliphatic acids constitute 47.8% of the total volatiles. The main constituents were hexadecanoic acid [palmitic acid] (20.4%), 2-furaldehyde (19.1%), and (Z)-9-octadecenoic acid (10.2%). Twelve of the compounds identified were esters among which butyl nicotinate (1.6%) and hexyl nicotinate (1.7%) were present in higher quantities.[ 14 ]

In another study, Pino et al . investigated the volatile constituents of A. bilimbi that is grown in Cuba. The fruit pulp had approximately 6 mg/kg of total volatile components from which 62 compounds were identified. The major compounds were nonanal (2.7 mg/kg), (Z)-3-hexenol (0.48 mg/kg), hexadecanoic acid (0.31 mg/kg), octane (0.29), tricosane (0.27 mg/kg), (E)-2-decenal (0.26 mg/kg), nonanoic acid (0.25 mg/kg), (Z)-9-pentacosene (0.24 mg/kg), 2-furfural (0.18 mg/kg), and (Z)-9-tricosene (0.11 mg/kg). The remaining compounds were present in infinitesimal quantities (<0.1 mg/kg). The series of C-9 compounds: Nonanal, nonanoic acid, and (E)-2-nonenal provide the A. bilimbi fruit with its characteristic fatty and green notes. The second most dominant compound, namely (Z)-3-hexenol is also believed to contribute to the green notes of the fruit.[ 15 ] Preliminary phytochemical studies of the fruit extracts using chemical methods and thin layer chromatography revealed the presence of carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, flavonoids, tannins, bitter principles, essential oil, valepotriates, coumarin, and terpenes. The fruits are also rich in Vitamin C and oxalic acid.[ 16 , 17 ] The isolation of 2,4-dihydroxy-6-((4-methylpentyloxy) methyl) benzaldehyde from the fruit extract has also been reported.[ 18 ]

The preliminary phytochemical screening of the leaves extracts revealed the presence of alkaloid, tannins, saponins, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides, glycosides, triterpenes, phenols, and carbohydrates.[ 19 , 20 ] Gunawan et al . reported the isolation of seven compounds from the leaves methanol extract of A. bilimbi . These include squalene, 3-(6,10,14-trimethylpentadecan-2-yl) furan-2 (5H)-one, 2,3-bis (2,6,10-trimethylundeca-1,5,9-trienyl) oxirane, phytol, 3,4-Dihydroxyhexanedioic acid, malonic acid, and 4,5-Dihydroxy-2-methylenehydroxybenzaldehyde.[ 18 ]

Pharmacology

The traditional claims, as well as roles for the efficacy of A. bilimbi in the treatment of various infectious and noninfectious diseases, have been confirmed by several relevant scientific studies. Numerous pharmacological investigations including in vitro and in vivo (animal) studies have been carried out on the leaves and fruits of A. bilimbi . A wide range of pharmacological activities such as antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antithrombotic, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective, cytotoxic, antimicrobial, wound healing, anthelminthic, and antioxidant have been reported by different researchers so far.

Role of Averrhoa bilimbi as an Antimicrobial Agent

Antimicrobial agents are among the most frequently used drugs in human medicine and veterinary practices. The widespread development of antimicrobial resistance in recent years had led to a renewed search for newer antimicrobial agents for the treatment of infectious diseases. The leaves ethanol extract of A. bilimbi was reported to exhibit appreciable antimicrobial activity against six pathogenic microorganisms, namely two Gram-positive bacteria ( Bacillus cereus and Bacillus megaterium ), two Gram-negative bacteria ( Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ), and two fungi ( Aspergillus ochraceous and Cryptococcus neoformans ).[ 21 ] The aqueous and chloroform extracts of A. bilimbi 's leaves and fruits (100 mg/ml) showed a positive antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus , Staphylococcus epidermis , Bacillus cereus , Salmonella typhi , Citrobacter freundii , Aeromonas hydrophila , Proteus vulgaris , and Kocuria rhizophila .[ 22 ] Whole bilimbi fruit and blended bilimbi juice (not filtered) at a concentration of 1:2 and 1:4 w/v, respectively, displayed a significant activity against Listeria monocytogenes Scott A and Salmonella typhimurium in an in vitro antibacterial assay. The fruit preparations were also found to reduce the microbial load of L. monocytogenes Scott A and S. typhimurium on raw shrimps after washing and during storage (4°C). This demonstrated the potential of A. bilimbi fruits to be adopted as a natural method of decontaminating shrimps just before preparation and consumption.[ 23 ] In another study, fruits and roots extracts of A. bilimbi were also found to exhibit the positive activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis with MIC of 1600 μg/ml.[ 24 ] The leaves extracts have also been reported to display moderate antifungal activity against Blastomyces dermatitidis , Candida albicans , Cryptococcus neoformans , Pityrosporum ovale , and Trichophyton spp. with MIC values ranging from 15.65 to 62.50 µg/ml.[ 25 ]

Role of Averrhoa bilimbi as an Antioxidant Agent

Antioxidants are compounds that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing them from causing cellular damage. The therapeutic potential of antioxidants in diseases associated with oxidative stress (e.g. cancer, diabetes mellitus [DM], and neurodegenerative disorders) has gained much attention in recent years. Abas et al . studied the antioxidant properties and the effect on nitric oxide production in lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages of A. bilimbi and 11 other Malaysian traditional vegetables.[ 26 ] The result obtained revealed that A. bilimbi leaves extracts (0.02% w/v) displayed moderate antioxidant activity in ferric thiocyanate and thiobarbituric acid methods while it was found to be inactive in 2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl) hydrazyl (DPPH) assay. Unlike the leaves, the fruits extracts showed a strong DPPH radical scavenging activity with IC 50 value of 20.35 μg/ml. It also displayed remarkable total antioxidant capacity (417.093 ± 6.577 mg/g in an ascorbic acid equivalent).[ 26 ] This finding was further confirmed by other researchers who conducted similar studies.[ 27 , 28 ] Precious et al . studied the photoprotective effect of leaves ethanol extract of A. bilimbi against the ultraviolet (UV) light (200–400 nm)-induced oxidative damage in albino mice. The study revealed that topical application of extract (4%) decreased the effect of UV light-induced photo-aging in mice skin by decreasing malondialdehyde level by up to 50% compared to an irradiated control group. The extract treated animals also showed minimal signs of histological changes and dermatitis compared with the untreated group. This finding suggests that the leaves may possess some anti-aging agents.[ 29 ]

Role of Averrhoa bilimbi as a Hepatoprotective Agent

The liver is a vital organ in the body which performs a major role in the metabolism, secretion, storage, and detoxification of chemical substances. Hepatoprotective activity is the ability of a compound or extract to prevent liver damage. The methanol extract of A. bilimbi leaves exhibited appreciable hepatoprotective activity against carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4 )-induced liver toxicity in Wistar rats. Thamizh et al . reported that methanol extract of A. bilimbi (250 and 500 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly ( P < 0.01) prevented CCl 4 -induced elevation of levels of some biomarkers for liver damage which include serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase and alkaline phosphatase, total protein, and bilirubin in rat.[ 30 ] Moreover, the fruits extracts at a dose of 250 mg/kg body weight and 500 mg/kg body weight have also been reported to demonstrate significant hepatoprotective activity against acetaminophen-induced liver damage in Wister rat.[ 31 ]

Role of Averrhoa bilimbi as an Anticancer Agent

Cytotoxicity assays are used to determine whether a compound or extract is toxic to cells. Cytotoxicity testing methods are routinely used in the screening of antitumor drugs. Ethanol extract of A. bilimbi leaves has been shown to possess moderate cytotoxic activity (LC 50 , 5.81 µg/l) in brine shrimp lethality assay.[ 20 ] In another study, the methanol extract of fruits and its CCl 4 and petroleum ether fractions demonstrated a significant cytotoxic potential (LC 50 of 0.005 μg/ml, 1.198 μg/ml and 0.781 μg/ml, respectively,) compared to vincristine sulfate (with LC 50 of 0.839 μg/ml). In another similar study, the LC 50 values of chloroform and aqueous soluble fractions were found to be 5.691 and 6.123 μg/ml, respectively.[ 32 ]

Role of Averrhoa bilimbi as a Wound Healing Agent

Several medicinal plants have been shown to possess a significant healing effect. In this regard, the use of A. bilimbi in treating oral injuries has been scientifically investigated as well. Igaa conducted a study to evaluate the effect of A. bilimbi leaves extract on the healing of the gingival wound. The result obtained showed that application of ethanol extract of A. bilimbi leaves (10% concentration)-enhanced gingival wound healing which was indicated by significant increase in the number of fibroblast in the rat gingival wound compared to untreated group.[ 33 ]

Role of Averrhoa bilimbi as an Antidiabetic Agent

DM affects hundreds of millions of people across the world. DM is a complex metabolic disorder resulting from either insulin insufficiency or insulin dysfunction. It is a major public health problem that affects over 400 million people worldwide.[ 34 ] Scientific investigations revealed that A. bilimbi possesses antidiabetic properties. Pushparaj et al . evaluated the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of A. bilimbi leaves extract in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. In this study, it was observed that the leaves ethanol extract (125 mg/kg twice daily p.o.) significantly lowered blood glucose and triglyceride levels when compared with the vehicle.[ 35 ] In another study, Pushparaj et al . examined the possible mechanism of the hypoglycemic action of hexane, ethyl acetate, butanol, and aqueous fractions of A. bilimbi 's leaves ethanol extract in STZ-diabetic male Sprague-Dawley rats. The hypoglycemic property of different fractions was assessed at a dose of 125-mg/kg body weight in STZ-diabetic rats. Results obtained showed that an oral administration of the aqueous fraction to STZ-induced diabetic rats significantly enhanced insulin secretion and improved glucose tolerance, while hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase activity was lowered. The resultant increase in serum insulin level was presumed to be the possible mechanism of action of the plant.[ 36 ] In a similar study conducted by Tan et al . in a high fat diet (HFD) fed STZ-induced diabetic rats, aqueous fraction and butanol fractions of leaves ethanol extract resulted in significant hypoglycemic and hypotriglyceridemic effects.[ 37 ] In another in vitro study against digestive enzymes, leaves ethanol extract was reported to show α-glucosidase inhibitory activity and the same extract was found to be inactive against α-amylase enzyme.[ 38 , 39 ] Moreover, Pan investigated the effect of A. bilimbi on insulin signaling pathway. It was observed that different leaves extracts exhibit strong inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) in an in vitro enzyme assay at 10 μg/ml. The diethyl ether extract demonstrated the strongest inhibition with 0.7% residual PTP1B activity followed by petroleum ether extract with 5.7%, while butanol and water extracts displayed relatively less potency with residual PTP1B activity of 34.9% and 35.0%, respectively.[ 40 ]

Role of Averrhoa bilimbi as an Antihyperlipidemic Agent

The lipids in the body are mainly represented by cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids. Elevated blood lipid levels are the major risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral vascular disease. These conditions often lead heart attacks and strokes. Several medicinal plants have been scientifically evaluated for their lipids-lowering property with respect to control aforementioned disorders. Pharmacological investigations have revealed that A. bilimbi possesses lipid-lowering property. Pushparaj investigated the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activities of an ethanol extract of leaves. It was observed that repeated administration of the ethanol extract of leaves (250 mg/kg/day) significantly lowered blood triglyceride by 130% when compared with the vehicle in STZ-induced diabetic rats. The treatment significantly increased the antiatherogenic index and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol to total cholesterol ratio.[ 35 ] The leaves extract has also been shown to cholesterol-uptake inhibition in an in vitro assay using the Caco-2 cells model of intestinal absorption. The fruit (125 mg/kg) as well as its aqueous extract (50 mg/kg) was also found to be effective in lowering lipids in the HFD fed rats.[ 41 ]

Role of Averrhoa bilimbi as an Antihypertensive Agent

Hypertension is considered a major risk factor for several cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart failure, stroke, coronary artery disease, and renal insufficiency. According to WHO, about one-third of the world's population suffers from hypertension, and the incidences have been increasing at an alarming rate owing to the unique lifestyle modification. Recently, attention has been greatly concentrated on the use of herbal preparations as alternative agents to cure and prevent cardiovascular complications. Ethnobotanical surveys of various medicinal plants indicate their vast use in the treatments of cardiovascular disorders. Traditionally, the fruits and leaves of A. bilimbi have also been efficaciously used for blood pressure symptom. In this regard, Bipat et al . scientifically investigated the antihypertensive potential of aqueous extract of A. bilimbi 's leavestogether with other plants using an in vitro isolated organ model. It was observed that the leaves aqueous extract significantly decreased the contractility of the norepinephrine-stimulated guinea pig atria without affecting their beating frequency.[ 42 ] The leaves extract also demonstrated a significant antihypertensive effect in an in vivo experiment using cats revealing the ability of leaves extract to become a potential antihypertensive drug.[ 43 ]

Role of Averrhoa bilimbi as an Antithrombotic Agent

Anticoagulant herbs are used as an antithrombotic agent. Anticoagulant herbs are efficaciously used in angina, hepatitis, coronary artery disease, dysmenorrhea, rheumatoid arthritis, traumatic injury, tumors, depression, renal failure, stroke prevention, and poststroke syndrome. The anticoagulant activity of A. bilimbi was reported by Daud et al . in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats.[ 44 ] In their experiments, they found that oral administration of ethanol extracts of leaves and fruits (250 mg/kg) for 14 days were able to cause significant anticoagulant effect as observed by increased prothrombin time. In another similar study, crude methanol extract and partitioned fractions of leaves demonstrated significant thrombolytic activity (17.06–27.72%) in an in vitro assay.[ 45 ]

A. bilimbi 's fruit contains a large amount of oxalic acid. Excessive consumption of the fruit juice can lead to increased serum oxalate level and accumulation of calcium oxalate crystals in renal tubules which can cause acute kidney failure. Bakul et al . reported a series of cases from five hospitals in the State of Kerala (India) who developed an acute renal failure after drinking the fruit juice (100–400 ml/day). All the patients had severe renal failure with serum creatinine ranging from 5.5 to 12.3 mg/dl, and kidney biopsy showed an acute tubular necrosis with calcium oxalate crystals. Seven out of the ten patients required hemodialysis, but fortunately all of them recovered to normal conditions after 2–6 weeks of treatment.[ 46 ] Nair et al . further reported two additional cases of acute nephropathy with tubular oxalate deposition following ingestion of fruit juice.[ 47 ]

Bioprocessing of Averrhoa bilimbi

Since time immemorial, medicinal plants have been the reliable source for the herbal and traditional medicine practitioners to treat various disorders without even knowing about the presence of active principles responsible for the assuagement of symptoms of the disease in the plants. However, recent significant advancements in technology have played crucial roles in health care setting in which medicinal plants have been set forth to different scientific evaluations to find out a variety of more efficacious and safe biologically active agents responsible for the various pharmacological activities of the medicinal plants. Hence, many phytoconstituents exhibiting encouraging and potent biological effects have been patented for the commercial pharmaceutical purposes to cure many disorders. Moreover, a particular plant of medicinal quality needs to be processed very carefully to preserve the pharmacological activity and threshold amount of the bioactive compounds from pre- and post-harvesting stress such as ultraviolet light, heat, chemical exposure, microorganisms attack, and moisture.[ 48 ] A. bilimbi is traditionally used as a fresh juice, decoction, infusions, or dried powder as wound healing, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antihyperlipidemic agent, etc.[ 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 ] It is commercially found in many herbal products in different countries. Different types of organic solvents (dichloromethane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, acetone, ethanol, methanol, etc.,) are extensively used to extract pharmacological active compounds from the plants of medicinal significance. However, these organic solvents have also been feasibly associated to generate cancer or other deleterious toxicities in the human body. Therefore, this reason alone rescinds the potential of herbal preparations that are prepared using toxic organic solvents.[ 48 ] Hence, it is necessary to extract the medicinal plants using a green technology (toxic organic solvents-free extraction methods) to control the process and produce nonhazardous herbal preparations so that the pharmacological effect of medicinal plant remains intact. With the enormous advancement of latest technology to be utilized and the effect of various extraction techniques yet to be properly studied on the medicinal plants, hence, there is still a large unexplored area to be explored meticulously. For instance, the supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) technique might be used to make toxic solvent free A. bilimbi 's antidiabetic or antihypertensive fractions that could have good commercialization prospect after appropriate scientific studies.[ 48 , 49 ] Currently, SFE technique has become refined and sophisticated enough to yield controlled particles, particle generation from supercritical solution or suspensions, microencapsulation using antisolvent techniques.[ 50 ] Such advanced and sophisticated analytical techniques can be successfully used to develop the bioactive fractions into pharmaceutical grade products in order to cure various disorders efficaciously.[ 51 ] As SFE is an organic solvent-free technique and is able to produce stable extracts that could be effectively employed as a good prospect to change a common medicinal plant into an efficacious drug at a cost-effective and a healthy way. Likewise, other extraction alternatives such as microwave assisted extraction (MAE) and ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) might also be used to recognize the better extraction method for this plant.[ 52 ]

It is apparent from the extensive literature review that A. bilimbi possesses antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antithrombotic, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective, anticancer, and wound healing effects due to its strong antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. It was found to show significant hypoglycemic as well as its antioxidative property which can be used against the oxidative stress and consecutive heart disease, stroke, cancer, and liver damage. The antihyperlipidemic property can be used against hyperlipidemia. It possesses different pharmacological assets which can be efficaciously exploited for the management of many current global threats such as DM, cardiovascular disorders, and cancer. Moreover, it is a promising alternative to treat DM and its related complications all together in one shot and since this plant is abundant in nature, therefore, bioprocessing can be effectively and easily done using current green extractive methods such as SFE, MAE, or UAE to get high quality, organic trace free fractions, and bioactive compounds that can be promising and potent new antidiabetic, antihypertensive, or anticancer agents in the therapeutic managements of DM, hypertension, or cancer as well as other chronic syndromes.

A. bilimbi is an important medicinal plant used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments and in maintaining good health and well-being. Extensive pharmacological research conducted over the years have proven the scientific bases for the therapeutic uses of A. bilimbi 's leaves and fruits in the treatment of several diseases including DM, hypertension, and microbial infections. In contrast to several pharmacological investigations, few preliminary phytochemical studies have been reported on this plant and the compounds identified so far are mainly volatile oils, fatty acids, and long-chain hydrocarbons with weak medicinal value. Despite the beneficial use of A. bilimbi in complimentary medicine and its scientifically proven pharmacological activities, there is a paucity of information on the bioactive compounds present in this plant. Given it interesting pharmacological profile, there is an urgent need to identify and isolate the bioactive constituents of this plant responsible for various biological activities. Isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds of different parts of A. bilimbi will provide an insight into the biochemical mechanism action of this plant. Knowledge of bioactive constituents will provide the bases for developing a new drug from the plant either as a pure compound or standardized extracts using advanced and sophisticated technology. The pure compounds exhibiting different pharmacological effects may also serve as lead for future drug development.

Financial support and sponsorship

Corresponding author is grateful to Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS13-089-0330) approved by the Department of Higher Education, Malaysia.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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Ripening Efficacy of Kamias Fruit ( Averroah Billimbi ) for Cavendish Banana ( Musa acuminata )

research paper about kamias

How to cite: Pregoner, J. D.; Condez, J.; Duhig, M.; Gallera, J.; Cofreros, F.; Ohina, J.; Sandoy, B. L.; Bantayan, H. Ripening Efficacy of Kamias Fruit ( Averroah Billimbi ) for Cavendish Banana ( Musa acuminata ). Preprints 2020 , 2020050030. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202005.0030.v1 Pregoner, J. D.; Condez, J.; Duhig, M.; Gallera, J.; Cofreros, F.; Ohina, J.; Sandoy, B. L.; Bantayan, H. Ripening Efficacy of Kamias Fruit (Averroah Billimbi) for Cavendish Banana (Musa acuminata). Preprints 2020, 2020050030. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202005.0030.v1 Copy

Pregoner, J. D.; Condez, J.; Duhig, M.; Gallera, J.; Cofreros, F.; Ohina, J.; Sandoy, B. L.; Bantayan, H. Ripening Efficacy of Kamias Fruit ( Averroah Billimbi ) for Cavendish Banana ( Musa acuminata ). Preprints 2020 , 2020050030. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202005.0030.v1

Pregoner, J. D., Condez, J., Duhig, M., Gallera, J., Cofreros, F., Ohina, J., Sandoy, B. L., & Bantayan, H. (2020). Ripening Efficacy of Kamias Fruit (<em>Averroah Billimbi</em>) for Cavendish Banana (<em>Musa acuminata</em>). Preprints. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202005.0030.v1

Pregoner, J. D., Borgy Llerone Sandoy and Hillary Bantayan. 2020 "Ripening Efficacy of Kamias Fruit (<em>Averroah Billimbi</em>) for Cavendish Banana (<em>Musa acuminata</em>)" Preprints. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202005.0030.v1

Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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research paper about kamias

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research paper about kamias

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research paper about kamias

Development of Kamias ( Averrhoa bilimbi L. ) Jam with Coconut Water

Charena Jumamil Castro

College of Technology, Cebu Technological University-Main Campus, Cebu City, Philippines

Contributor Roles: Charena Jumamil Castro is the sole author. The author read and approved the final manuscript.

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research paper about kamias

Processing of fruits to become a staple commodity is one way of addressing the cost and challenge of getting good nutrition at a lower price, especially if it maximizes the use of readily available and underutilized fruit as a source of food and nutrition. The high nutritional value of fruits that can help promote good health and well-being offers many opportunities for consumers. This paper aimed to describe the development of Kamias ( Averrhoa bilimbi L. ) in coconut water jam as a practical gourmet alternative that can be economically competitive in the market and can be made affordable to many. Its unique underrated nutritional value makes it even more, a revelation among the big names in the gourmet world. In order to maximize the nutritional benefits of this fruit at the same time to make known its potential operational utility, this paper describes the development of the kamias jam, its nutritional value, and its health benefits as stated in various studies that validate its nutritional and medicinal advantages and beneficial side effects. The use of coconut water enhances the sensory attributes in terms of the flavor and texture of the kamias jam. The development of value-added products from the kamias jam can generate good nutrition in the community and livelihood in the locality.

Kamias Jam, Coconut Water, Nutritional Value, Health Benefits

Charena Jumamil Castro. (2021). Development of Kamias (Averrhoa bilimbi L.) Jam with Coconut Water. International Journal of Vocational Education and Training Research , 7 (1), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijvetr.20210701.11

research paper about kamias

Charena Jumamil Castro. Development of Kamias (Averrhoa bilimbi L.) Jam with Coconut Water. Int. J. Vocat. Educ. Train. Res. 2021 , 7 (1), 1-5. doi: 10.11648/j.ijvetr.20210701.11

Charena Jumamil Castro. Development of Kamias (Averrhoa bilimbi L.) Jam with Coconut Water. Int J Vocat Educ Train Res . 2021;7(1):1-5. doi: 10.11648/j.ijvetr.20210701.11

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The Effectiveness and Benefits of The Kamias Soap In Partial Fulfilment of Requirement in Research and Statistics Group

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Although the pathogenesis of acne has been elucidated, many patients do not notice improvement with standard treatments alone. Acne is a multifactorial disease, and although there are different aggravating factors such as diet, external stimuli, and stress that varies among individuals, the correct approach to tackling these factors has likely not been considered. Hence, we recommend using Kampo, a traditional Japanese medicine. Kampo examines a patient physically and mentally through unique concepts such as qi, blood, and fluid, and treats using Kampo medicines. With Kampo, both the illness and other aspects such as the general health and well being of the patient are examined and treated. We believe that if Kampo is employed in identifying and treating the aggravating factors of acne of each patient, both the overall therapeutic effect and patients' motivation for treatment will be improved. This paper classifies the aggravating factors of acne into five categories, decreased barrier function of the skin, excessive secretion of sebum, exacerbation before menstruation, gastrointestinal symptoms, and stress, and introduces effective Kampo medicines in each case.

research paper about kamias

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Acne is a common disorder of pilosebaceous gland. It is a great challenge for the dermatologist for its complexity, prevalence and also huge range of clinical expression. Due to hormonal changes 99.5% of teenage boys and 83% of teenage girls are affected by acne which may continue throughout adolescence. Now-a-days different modern allopathic medicines viz., anti-inflammatory agents, antibiotics and comedolytic agents are developed for treatment purpose topically and systematically. But these have many side effects. Prolonged and excessive use of antibiotics may develop resistance in acne causing bacteria viz. Propionibacterium acne and Staphylococcus epidermidis. So to give relief from acne problems and also to minimize the side effects it is better to use herbal drugs than allopathic drugs. This article describes about different plants used starting from their name, their family, part used and active constituents.

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The management of skin wound healing problems is a public health issue in which traditional herbal medicines could play a determining role. Kampo medicine, with three traditionally used ointments, provides interesting solutions for these dermatological issues. These ointments named Shiunkō, Chuōkō, and Shinsen taitsukō all have in common a lipophilic base of sesame oil and beeswax from which herbal crude drugs are extracted according to several possible manufacturing protocols. This review article brings together existing data on metabolites involved in the complex wound healing process. Among them are representatives of the botanical genera Angelica, Lithospermum, Curcuma, Phellodendron, Paeonia, Rheum, Rehmannia, Scrophularia, or Cinnamomum. Kampo provides numerous metabolites of interest, whose content in crude drugs is very sensitive to different biotic and abiotic factors and to the different extraction protocols used for these ointments. If Kampo medicine is known for its sing...

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Kamias Brownies: Its Acceptability

  • Anndrea Gambot
  • Antonette Dizon
  • Reymark Este
  • Anjanneth Miralles
  • Sophia Villagomez
  • Alice Tolato

Brownies come in a variety of forms and can be either fudgy or cakey. Chocolate is the typical flavor of brownies. The researchers came up with an idea to use citrus fruit as the main ingredient of brownies. The researchers chose Averrhoa bilimbi (kamias) for its unappreciated attributes. Kamias contains a significant number of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, vitamin C, protein, fiber, and iron. The researchers also used white chocolate instead of dark chocolate to the mixture of kamias brownies to extract the strong taste and achieve a balanced flavor. This study aimed to determine the acceptability of kamias brownies among Grade 12 students and teachers from the Home EconomicsStrand by using an experimental research design. The data were collected through a survey questionnaire. A simple random sampling technique was used to select the respondents. The findings of the study revealed the acceptability of kamias brownies. The assessment of the student respondents had a composite weighted mean of 4.10, while teacher respondents had a weighted mean of 4.17, both of which had the verbal interpretation of strongly acceptable. The results assessed the acceptability of kamias brownies, which depends on variables such as taste, aroma, nutritional value, competitiveness, and presentation. The researchers concluded that the kamias brownies are acceptable. The respondents recommended that the product should be continuously improved to maintain its quality and become fully developed to compete with other existing products and have high marketability.

research paper about kamias

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Understanding Naturalistic Observation in Research

This essay is about naturalistic observation, a research method used to observe subjects in their natural environment without interference. It discusses the advantages of this method, such as providing rich, qualitative insights into behavior, and the challenges, including observer bias and lack of control over variables. The essay also touches on ethical considerations and the impact of technological advancements on the effectiveness of naturalistic observation. Examples from various fields like anthropology, ecology, and psychology illustrate the method’s versatility and significance in understanding authentic behaviors in real-world settings.

How it works

Naturalistic observation emerges as a method frequently employed in psychology and the social sciences. This methodology entails the observation of subjects in their native habitat devoid of any manipulation or intrusion by the investigator. The primary objective is to amass data on the behavioral patterns of subjects within authentic settings, proffering insights that may elude capture within a more regimented laboratory milieu. By affording behaviors the latitude to manifest organically, researchers can glean genuine reactions and interchanges, rendering this method invaluable for certain types of inquiries.

An eminent advantage of naturalistic observation lies in its capacity to furnish a nuanced, qualitative comprehension of behavior. For instance, through the observation of juveniles at a recreational area, an investigator can discern not only their play dynamics but also their social dynamics, conflict resolution strategies, and the evolution of their play over time. These observations can subsequently underpin deductions regarding social maturation, aggression, collaboration, and other facets of behavior. Such profundity of insight often eludes attainment through alternative methodologies such as surveys or experiments, wherein the contrived nature of the milieu may exert a sway over the behavior under observation.

Nevertheless, naturalistic observation is not devoid of impediments. One of the principal challenges pertains to the specter of observer partiality. Since the investigator is actively monitoring and documenting behaviors, their own presumptions or convictions may inadvertently color their perceptions and interpretations. To counteract this tendency, researchers frequently deploy strategies such as inter-observer concordance, whereby multiple observers independently record the same occurrence and subsequently compare findings to ascertain congruity. Furthermore, meticulous protocols and training can aid observers in preserving objectivity to the fullest extent feasible.

Another hurdle is the paucity of dominion over extraneous variables. Within a natural setting, myriad factors may influence behavior, ranging from meteorological conditions to the presence of bystanders. This renders the establishment of causal relationships a daunting task. For instance, if an investigator is scrutinizing responses to public art installations, discerning whether reactions stem from the art per se or from ancillary factors such as temporal considerations or pedestrian traffic patterns may prove challenging. Despite these constraints, the concession is often warranted for the genuine, ecological validity that naturalistic observation affords.

Ethical considerations likewise loom large in naturalistic observation. Researchers must strike a delicate equilibrium between the exigencies of unobtrusive observation and the entitlements of the subjects under observation. Frequently, this entails safeguarding the anonymity of subjects and refraining from documenting their conduct without their explicit consent, particularly within private domains. Public settings, wherein individuals lack a reasonable expectation of privacy, typically afford greater latitude for naturalistic observation. Nevertheless, ethical precepts must be rigorously adhered to in order to uphold the dignity and rights of all implicated subjects.

Naturalistic observation has made substantial inroads across various domains of inquiry. In anthropology, it has served as a lens through which to explore cultural customs and social configurations across disparate communities. In ecology, scientists engage in the observation of fauna within their native habitats to fathom behaviors germane to survival, procreation, and social dynamics. In psychology, it has proven instrumental in elucidating human behaviors spanning from the genesis of adolescence to social dynamics and psychological well-being. The method’s malleability renders it adaptable to a panoply of research queries and contexts, endowing it with a versatile utility in the researcher’s repertoire.

Technological strides have further augmented the efficacy of naturalistic observation. Contemporary tools such as video recording apparatuses, mobile devices, and even unmanned aerial vehicles can expedite data collection while minimizing interference. These innovations facilitate more granular and precise observations, which can be reviewed iteratively for analysis. Moreover, analytic software can aid in discerning patterns and drawing inferences from voluminous troves of observational data, thereby engendering a more rigorous and methodical analytical process.

In summation, naturalistic observation emerges as a potent means of dissecting behavior within its native milieu. Despite its impediments, including observer partiality, variable control constraints, and ethical quandaries, it furnishes unparalleled insights into the interplay between subjects and their surroundings. By abstaining from intervention, researchers can procure data that is both authentic and germane to real-world contexts. As technological progress marches onward, the potential for naturalistic observation to enrich our comprehension of intricate behaviors is poised to burgeon, cementing its status as a cornerstone of research methodologies. Recall, this exposition serves as a springboard for contemplation and further exploration. For bespoke guidance and to ensure adherence to scholarly standards, contemplate engaging the services of professionals at EduBirdie.

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Biostatistics Graduate Program

Julia thome is first author of public health reports paper.

Posted by duthip1 on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 in News .

Congratulations to PhD candidate Julia Thome on the publication of Reporting of Child Maltreatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Southern State in the United States in  Public Health Reports last week, online ahead of print. The paper was co-authored by associate professor Rameela Raman and colleagues at the Vanderbilt Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody, which is within the Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. Thome, Raman, and the other members of this team studied how COVID-19 stay-at-home orders may have affected trends in child maltreatment allegations across different socioeconomic groups.

Figure 2 from Thome's paper is a nine-segment graph, described in the caption.

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Modular, scalable hardware architecture for a quantum computer

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Quantum computers hold the promise of being able to quickly solve extremely complex problems that might take the world’s most powerful supercomputer decades to crack.

But achieving that performance involves building a system with millions of interconnected building blocks called qubits. Making and controlling so many qubits in a hardware architecture is an enormous challenge that scientists around the world are striving to meet.

Toward this goal, researchers at MIT and MITRE have demonstrated a scalable, modular hardware platform that integrates thousands of interconnected qubits onto a customized integrated circuit. This “quantum-system-on-chip” (QSoC) architecture enables the researchers to precisely tune and control a dense array of qubits. Multiple chips could be connected using optical networking to create a large-scale quantum communication network.

By tuning qubits across 11 frequency channels, this QSoC architecture allows for a new proposed protocol of “entanglement multiplexing” for large-scale quantum computing.

The team spent years perfecting an intricate process for manufacturing two-dimensional arrays of atom-sized qubit microchiplets and transferring thousands of them onto a carefully prepared complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chip. This transfer can be performed in a single step.

“We will need a large number of qubits, and great control over them, to really leverage the power of a quantum system and make it useful. We are proposing a brand new architecture and a fabrication technology that can support the scalability requirements of a hardware system for a quantum computer,” says Linsen Li, an electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) graduate student and lead author of a paper on this architecture.

Li’s co-authors include Ruonan Han, an associate professor in EECS, leader of the Terahertz Integrated Electronics Group, and member of the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE); senior author Dirk Englund, professor of EECS, principal investigator of the Quantum Photonics and Artificial Intelligence Group and of RLE; as well as others at MIT, Cornell University, the Delft Institute of Technology, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and the MITRE Corporation. The paper appears today in Nature .

Diamond microchiplets

While there are many types of qubits, the researchers chose to use diamond color centers because of their scalability advantages. They previously used such qubits to produce integrated quantum chips with photonic circuitry.

Qubits made from diamond color centers are “artificial atoms” that carry quantum information. Because diamond color centers are solid-state systems, the qubit manufacturing is compatible with modern semiconductor fabrication processes. They are also compact and have relatively long coherence times, which refers to the amount of time a qubit’s state remains stable, due to the clean environment provided by the diamond material.

In addition, diamond color centers have photonic interfaces which allows them to be remotely entangled, or connected, with other qubits that aren’t adjacent to them.

“The conventional assumption in the field is that the inhomogeneity of the diamond color center is a drawback compared to identical quantum memory like ions and neutral atoms. However, we turn this challenge into an advantage by embracing the diversity of the artificial atoms: Each atom has its own spectral frequency. This allows us to communicate with individual atoms by voltage tuning them into resonance with a laser, much like tuning the dial on a tiny radio,” says Englund.

This is especially difficult because the researchers must achieve this at a large scale to compensate for the qubit inhomogeneity in a large system.

To communicate across qubits, they need to have multiple such “quantum radios” dialed into the same channel. Achieving this condition becomes near-certain when scaling to thousands of qubits. To this end, the researchers surmounted that challenge by integrating a large array of diamond color center qubits onto a CMOS chip which provides the control dials. The chip can be incorporated with built-in digital logic that rapidly and automatically reconfigures the voltages, enabling the qubits to reach full connectivity.

“This compensates for the in-homogenous nature of the system. With the CMOS platform, we can quickly and dynamically tune all the qubit frequencies,” Li explains.

Lock-and-release fabrication

To build this QSoC, the researchers developed a fabrication process to transfer diamond color center “microchiplets” onto a CMOS backplane at a large scale.

They started by fabricating an array of diamond color center microchiplets from a solid block of diamond. They also designed and fabricated nanoscale optical antennas that enable more efficient collection of the photons emitted by these color center qubits in free space.

Then, they designed and mapped out the chip from the semiconductor foundry. Working in the MIT.nano cleanroom, they post-processed a CMOS chip to add microscale sockets that match up with the diamond microchiplet array.

They built an in-house transfer setup in the lab and applied a lock-and-release process to integrate the two layers by locking the diamond microchiplets into the sockets on the CMOS chip. Since the diamond microchiplets are weakly bonded to the diamond surface, when they release the bulk diamond horizontally, the microchiplets stay in the sockets.

“Because we can control the fabrication of both the diamond and the CMOS chip, we can make a complementary pattern. In this way, we can transfer thousands of diamond chiplets into their corresponding sockets all at the same time,” Li says.

The researchers demonstrated a 500-micron by 500-micron area transfer for an array with 1,024 diamond nanoantennas, but they could use larger diamond arrays and a larger CMOS chip to further scale up the system. In fact, they found that with more qubits, tuning the frequencies actually requires less voltage for this architecture.

“In this case, if you have more qubits, our architecture will work even better,” Li says.

The team tested many nanostructures before they determined the ideal microchiplet array for the lock-and-release process. However, making quantum microchiplets is no easy task, and the process took years to perfect.

“We have iterated and developed the recipe to fabricate these diamond nanostructures in MIT cleanroom, but it is a very complicated process. It took 19 steps of nanofabrication to get the diamond quantum microchiplets, and the steps were not straightforward,” he adds.

Alongside their QSoC, the researchers developed an approach to characterize the system and measure its performance on a large scale. To do this, they built a custom cryo-optical metrology setup.

Using this technique, they demonstrated an entire chip with over 4,000 qubits that could be tuned to the same frequency while maintaining their spin and optical properties. They also built a digital twin simulation that connects the experiment with digitized modeling, which helps them understand the root causes of the observed phenomenon and determine how to efficiently implement the architecture.

In the future, the researchers could boost the performance of their system by refining the materials they used to make qubits or developing more precise control processes. They could also apply this architecture to other solid-state quantum systems.

This work was supported by the MITRE Corporation Quantum Moonshot Program, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army Research Office, the Center for Quantum Networks, and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program.

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This graphic depicts a stylized rendering of the quantum photonic chip and its assembly process. The bottom half of the image shows a functioning quantum micro-chiplet (QMC), which emits single-photon pulses that are routed and manipulated on a photonic integrated circuit (PIC). The top half of the image shows how this chip is made: Diamond QMCs are fabricated separately and then transferred into ...

Scaling up the quantum chip

MIT researchers have fabricated a diamond-based quantum sensor on a silicon chip using traditional fabrication techniques (pictured), which could enable low-cost quantum hardware.

Quantum sensing on a chip

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Toward mass-producible quantum computers

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Journal Highlights Math Research by Professor and Student

Evelyn Wallace and Chris Chong, headshots

The paper , "Modulation instability and wavenumber bandgap breathers in a time layered phononic lattice," is the result of a yearslong collaboration of Chong, Wallace, and two researchers at CalTech. 

Their project focused on how pressure waves can be manipulated by materials. It began in 2021 with a theoretical component—which Wallace worked on for her honors theses, " Instability in a Time-Modulated Lattice .” She is now wrapping up a master's degree in applied mathematics at Columbia University.

Wallace said she reached out to Chong in 2021 to inquire whether she could assist him with a research project. She had excelled in his ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations classes, Chong said, and he was just launching a new research program. So he invited her to work as his research assistant in the summer, a partnership that extended through her senior year.

The work Wallace completed in the first stage of the research program was followed by numerical and experimental simulations, conducted by Chong and his Caltech teammates, which was then backed up with rigorous mathematical proofs in a follow-up paper. “It is a nice spectrum that goes from Evy's analytical computations to computer simulations, the laboratory, and to mathematical proof,” Chong said.

New Insights

Their April 11 paper is garnering attention because it opens new ground in the field of physical energy. Their project specifically focused on understanding how pressure waves are affected by media that varies over time. (Pressure waves, of which the most commonly known is a sound wave, are set off when a mass or object is compressed or decompressed by an external force, such as an explosion.)

Traditionally, researchers have experimented with pressure waves using media that vary in space while they remain constant in time.

For those who are not familiar with his field, Chong came up with a helpful analogy to explain his research, comparing the time-varying media he and Wallace studied to a floor, and the waves passing over the media to a person walking across that floor. “A traditional floor might have a pattern of alternating spots of rough and smooth areas,” he began. “As you’re walking across the floor, how your feet touch the ground will affect how you walk along it.” 

In contrast, a medium that changes over time resembles a wacky floor in an amusement park fun house. Rather than having both smooth and rough patches, it is entirely smooth one moment before shifting to a rough surface, switching back and forth between these two patterns. “How you walk through that medium will be different than walking across a traditional floor,” Chong said. 

Wallace's original calculations showed exactly where this system would be unstable, which is desirable. When a system is stable, “it means the amplitude of the wave doesn't grow,” Chong said, whereas an unstable system results in a wave that amplifies quite a bit.

“What Evy did was to tell us exactly what material parameters would be needed for that to happen, an exact formula for when and under what circumstances you get interesting instability,” he said. “Having a formula that exact is quite rare. Usually you have to approximate it or do some numerical simulations.”

By the way, the materials they studied aren't linoleum or wood panels or anything most of us would recognize as typical flooring materials.  “Our experiment consists of magnets,” Chong said. They looked at variables such as the distance and strength of magnets, as well as the effect of dampening from air friction. “Each of those properties has a parameter that you can tune, so having a formula saying this combination of parameters leads to amplification is very helpful.”

What is of particular interest to researchers working in this area is how to maintain the force of a wave or signal, because over time, all waves degrade. Each electrical circuit, for example, needs an amplifier to work, Chong said. 

“So when talking about the applications of our work, our system would act as an amplifier,” he added. “Based on what Evy did, you would know exactly how to make the material so that the wave would amplify.”

Possible applications

Though Chong and his team are working on a basic research level, in the long term, understanding the systems they are studying could lead to innovations in “acoustic logic,” Chong explained, which is like the logic underlying electrical circuits, but which don't use electricity but rather pressure waves. They could even help create a situation where “acoustic circuits” could operate with the use of ambient vibrations only, and thus avoid detection from sensors.

“We’re still doing work that is more fundamental,” Chong said. “But understanding how these systems behave could contribute to that the much-longer project of having a goal like that.”

Wallace's undergraduate work with Chong led to a research collaboration with a Columbia faculty member. With him, Wallace expanded Chong's one-dimensional study to two dimensions.

Starting this type of high-level research at Bowdoin, Wallace said, “synthesized everything I had learned at Bowdoin and learned about math in general.” She continued, “Doing research allowed me to take what I learned out of the classroom and apply it to something I could see in the the real world, and see how it would be very important and relevant.”

The journal, which is open access, and Bowdoin College provided support to cover the publication fees via the Fletcher Family Research Grant. Wallace's research was supported by a National Science Foundation grant and the Bowdoin Kaufman Family Fellowship .

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