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Open AccessArticle
FGFs Treatment on Amputated Lizard Limbs Stimulate the Regeneration of Long Bones, Opening New Avenues for Limb Regeneration in Amniotes: A Morphological Study
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2017, 2(3), 25; doi:10.3390/jfmk2030025 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Previous studies indicated that Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGFs) are present during tail and early limb regeneration in lizards, but FGFs disappear in the limb that turns into a scar and does not regenerate at 25–40 days post-amputation. Based on these indications, the aim
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Previous studies indicated that Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGFs) are present during tail and early limb regeneration in lizards, but FGFs disappear in the limb that turns into a scar and does not regenerate at 25–40 days post-amputation. Based on these indications, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of administered FGFs on limb regeneration in lizards by injections of FGF1–2 into amputated hind-limbs that were studied between 40 and 70 days post-amputation. Outgrowths of 2.0 to 3.5 mm were produced but they did not develop an autopodium during this period. The skin remained most un-scaled, resembling that of a tail blastema. Four hours before sacrifice, the animals were injected with 5BrdU to study cell proliferation using microscopic and immunofluorescent methods. Histological examination of the outgrowths at 40–70 days of regeneration showed the presence a rod of cartilage (femur), or partially or completely sub-divided into two parts likely corresponding to a tibia and fibula. The regenerated cartilage was in continuity with the transected long bones and was surrounded by a perichondrium and a dense connective tissue, sparse nerves while muscles were reduced or absent. Qualitative observations on 5BrdU-immunolabeling indicated that most proliferating cells were present in the apical wound epidermis, the apical-most perichondrium and in the regenerating scales at 40–60 days post-amputation, but decreased at 70 days. Few 5BrdU-labeled cells were seen in other tissues, including in the regenerated cartilages. The present study indicates that FGF1-2 treatment in lizards mainly stimulate cartilage regeneration and the formation of a thick epidermis with an Apical Epidermal Peg, the epidermal micro-region that favors regeneration. In summary, these results suggest that FGFs treatments on amputated limbs could also be attempted in others amniotes, including mammals. However FGFs are not capable to induce an autopodium, which requires further signaling factors for its formation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Altitude on the Audible Noise Level of AC Power lines
Energies 2017, 10(7), 1055; doi:10.3390/en10071055 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The audible noise (AN) induced by corona discharge of AC transmission lines is more severe at high altitudes than at low altitudes; this has become a crucial limiting factor for the structural design of power lines and their environmental impact assessment. To determine
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The audible noise (AN) induced by corona discharge of AC transmission lines is more severe at high altitudes than at low altitudes; this has become a crucial limiting factor for the structural design of power lines and their environmental impact assessment. To determine the altitude effect and correction of AN level for AC power lines, a corona cage test system was used to measure the acoustic power level of four bundled conductors at five elevations, namely Wuhan (23 m), Tianshui (1100 m), Xining (2261 m), Gonghe (2943 m), and Yangbajain (4300 m). We obtained the AN characteristics for different altitudes, bundle numbers, and subconductor diameters through a statistical analysis of measured data. The analysis and comparison results indicate that the actual AN correction values are slightly less than the Bonneville Power Administration term of 1 dB/300 m at altitudes below 3200 m. Above 3200 m, the difference increases gradually. A correction term 2.85 dB/1000 m is recommended for more accurate evaluation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multiple Functions of D-α-Tocopherol Polyethylene Glycol 1000 Succinate (TPGS) as Curcumin Nanoparticle Stabilizer: In Vivo Kinetic Profile and Anti-Ulcerative Colitis Analysis in Animal Model
Pharmaceutics 2017, 9(3), 24; doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics9030024 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study was conducted to evaluate the potential benefit of particle reduction down to nanoscale on curcumin, a unique natural active compound facing therapeutic problems due to low solubility and permeability. In addition, the presence of TPGS as a surfactant for multiple functions
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This study was conducted to evaluate the potential benefit of particle reduction down to nanoscale on curcumin, a unique natural active compound facing therapeutic problems due to low solubility and permeability. In addition, the presence of TPGS as a surfactant for multiple functions on curcumin nanoparticle was addressed. Observation was focused on bioavailability enhancement after oral administration and local anti-inflammatory improvement after rectal dosing. Nanonization of curcumin was performed using an up-scalable top down method. Specific animal models were used to study the in vivo kinetic profile and the biological activity of curcumin nanoparticle, compared with curcumin powder. d-α-tocopherol polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS)-stabilized curcumin nanoparticle was prepared through homogenization with high pressure of the 1500 bar. An in vivo study was performed after oral administration of the preparations to male healthy Wistar rats, to monitor the plasma kinetic profile of curcumin. The biological activity study was conducted after rectal administration of the preparations in Wistar rats induced by 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid to develop ulcerative colitis. The curcumin nanoparticle with a size of approximately 200 nm was successfully produced and revealed a better in vivo kinetic profile over the larger size of curcumin mixed with TPGS, with bioavailability (AUC0-∞) that was accounted for seven-fold. In addition, the TPGS-stabilized curcumin nanoparticle demonstrated a superior local anti-inflammatory effect in ulcerative colitis, indicated by the shifting of observed parameters close to the healthy status. The tremendously improved anti-inflammatory effect of the TPGS-stabilized curcumin nanoparticle was found with a very low dose. Reducing the particle size of curcumin down to ~200 nm with the presence of TPGS seems to be a promising approach to improving the therapeutic value of curcumin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Particle Characterisation and Depletion of Li2CO3 Inhibitor in a Polyurethane Coating
Coatings 2017, 7(7), 106; doi:10.3390/coatings7070106 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The distribution and chemical composition of inorganic components of a corrosion-inhibiting primer based on polyurethane is determined using a range of characterisation techniques. The primer consists of a Li2CO3 inhibitor phase, along with other inorganic phases including TiO2,
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The distribution and chemical composition of inorganic components of a corrosion-inhibiting primer based on polyurethane is determined using a range of characterisation techniques. The primer consists of a Li2CO3 inhibitor phase, along with other inorganic phases including TiO2, BaSO4 and Mg-(hydr)oxide. The characterisation techniques included particle induced X-ray and γ-ray emission spectroscopies (PIXE and PIGE, respectively) on a nuclear microprobe, as well as SEM/EDS hyperspectral mapping. Of the techniques used, only PIGE was able to directly map the Li distribution, although the distribution of Li2CO3 particles could be inferred from SEM through using backscatter contrast and EDS. Characterisation was also performed on a primer coating that had undergone leaching in a neutral salt spray test for 500 h. Overall, it was found that Li2CO3 leaching resulted in a uniform depletion zone near the surface, but also much deeper local depletion, which is thought to be due to the dissolution of clusters of Li2CO3 particles that were connected to the external surface/electrolyte interface. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Dispersion Tolerance of Micro/Nano Particle in Polydimethylsiloxane and Its Influence on the Properties of Fouling Release Coatings Based on Polydimethylsiloxane
Coatings 2017, 7(7), 107; doi:10.3390/coatings7070107 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Particles can be used to improve the mechanical properties of fouling release coatings based on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). In this study, coatings were prepared by high speed stirring using seven types of particles, with different particle size from nanometer to micrometer. The influence of
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Particles can be used to improve the mechanical properties of fouling release coatings based on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). In this study, coatings were prepared by high speed stirring using seven types of particles, with different particle size from nanometer to micrometer. The influence of specific surface area of the particles on the dispersion tolerance was investigated. The results showed that the dispersion tolerance of particles in PDMS decreased with the increase in specific surface area of the particle, and for nano particles, the factor most affecting the dispersion tolerance was the specific surface area of agglomerate particle. Subsequently, the surface properties, mechanical properties, and biofilm adhesion assay of coatings were investigated. Results indicated that surface roughness increased with the increase of dispersion tolerance. Surface roughness of samples improved the hydrophobicity of samples, yet the polar chemical group of nano silica and fumed silica reduced the hydrophobicity of samples. Further, particles could enhance the mechanical properties of coating, especially nano particles. Compared to the coating without particle, biofilm adhesion performance of coating with particles decreased, which was determined by the increase of the elastic modulus and surface roughness of coatings. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Market Feasibility of Faecal Sludge and Municipal Solid Waste-Based Compost as Measured by Farmers’ Willingness-to-Pay for Product Attributes: Evidence from Kampala, Uganda
Resources 2017, 6(3), 31; doi:10.3390/resources6030031 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
There is a great potential to close the nutrient recycling loop, support a ‘circular economy’ and improve cost recovery within the waste sector and to create viable businesses via the conversion of waste to organic fertilizers. Successful commercialization of waste-based organic fertilizer businesses
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There is a great potential to close the nutrient recycling loop, support a ‘circular economy’ and improve cost recovery within the waste sector and to create viable businesses via the conversion of waste to organic fertilizers. Successful commercialization of waste-based organic fertilizer businesses however largely depends on a sound market. We used a choice experiment to estimate farmers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for faecal sludge and municipal solid waste-based (FSM) compost in Kampala, Uganda and considered three attributes—fortification, pelletization and certification. Our results reveal that farmers are willing to pay for FSM compost and place a higher value on a ‘certified’ compost product. They are willing to pay US $0.4 per kg above the current market price for a similar certified product, which is 67 times higher than the cost of providing the attribute. Farmers are willing to pay US $0.127 per kg for ‘pelletized’ FSM compost, which is lower (0.57 times) than the cost of providing the attribute. On the other hand, farmers require US $0.089 per kg as a compensation to use ‘fortified’ FSM compost. We suggest that future FSM compost businesses focus on a ‘certified and pelletized’ FSM product as this product type has the highest production cost–WTP differential and for which future businesses can capture the highest percentage of the consumer surplus. The demand for FSM compost indicates the benefits that can accrue to farmers, businesses and the environment from the recycling of organic waste for agriculture. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Comparison of the Performance of Artificial Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic for Recognizing Different Partial Discharge Sources
Energies 2017, 10(7), 1060; doi:10.3390/en10071060 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper compared the capabilities of the artificial neural network (ANN) and the fuzzy logic (FL) approaches for recognizing and discriminating partial discharge (PD) fault classes. The training and testing parameters for the ANN and FL comprise statistical fingerprints from different phase-amplitude-number (
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This paper compared the capabilities of the artificial neural network (ANN) and the fuzzy logic (FL) approaches for recognizing and discriminating partial discharge (PD) fault classes. The training and testing parameters for the ANN and FL comprise statistical fingerprints from different phase-amplitude-number (φ-q-n) measurements. Two PD fault classes considered are internal discharges in voids and surface discharges. In the void class, there are single voids, serial voids and parallel voids in polyethylene terephthalate (PET), while the surface discharge class comprises four different surface discharge arrangements on pressboard in oil at different voltages and angular positioning of the ground electrode on the respective pressboards. Previously, the ANN and FL have been investigated for PD classification, but there is no work reported in the literature that compares their performance, specifically when applied for real time PD detection problem. As expected, both the ANN and FL can recognize PD defect classes, but the results show that the ANN appears to be more robust as compared to the FL, but these conclusions required to be further investigated with complex PD examples. Finally, both the ANN and FL were assessed as practical PD classification. Despite of the limitations of the ANN, it is concluded that the ANN is better suited for practical PD recognition because of its ability to provide accurate recognition values and the severity level of PD defects. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Mapping of Aedes albopictus Abundance at a Local Scale in Italy
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(7), 749; doi:10.3390/rs9070749 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Given the growing risk of arbovirus outbreaks in Europe, there is a clear need to better describe the distribution of invasive mosquito species such as Aedesalbopictus. Current challenges consist in simulating Ae. albopictus abundance, rather than its presence, and mapping its
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Given the growing risk of arbovirus outbreaks in Europe, there is a clear need to better describe the distribution of invasive mosquito species such as Aedesalbopictus. Current challenges consist in simulating Ae. albopictus abundance, rather than its presence, and mapping its simulated abundance at a local scale to better assess the transmission risk of mosquito-borne pathogens and optimize mosquito control strategy. During 2014–2015, we sampled adult mosquitoes using 72 BG-Sentinel traps per year in the provinces of Belluno and Trento, Italy. We found that the sum of Ae. albopictus females collected during eight trap nights from June to September was positively related to the mean temperature of the warmest quarter and the percentage of artificial areas in a 250 m buffer around the sampling locations. Maps of Ae. albopictus abundance simulated from the most parsimonious model in the study area showed the largest populations in highly artificial areas with the highest summer temperatures, but with a high uncertainty due to the variability of the trapping collections. Vector abundance maps at a local scale should be promoted to support stakeholders and policy-makers in optimizing vector surveillance and control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Illuminating the Psychological Experience of Elderly Loneliness from a Societal Perspective: A Qualitative Study of Alienation between Older People and Society
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 824; doi:10.3390/ijerph14070824 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Loneliness is a common experience among older people that is associated with health risks and negative well-being. As a psychological phenomenon, it has typically been defined in Western research literature as the discrepancy between desired and actual interpersonal relations. In our qualitative study
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Loneliness is a common experience among older people that is associated with health risks and negative well-being. As a psychological phenomenon, it has typically been defined in Western research literature as the discrepancy between desired and actual interpersonal relations. In our qualitative study in Hong Kong, we offer insight into ageing and loneliness in an urban environment of the non-Western world and propose to reconceptualise loneliness by exploring older people’s experience of alienation at the societal level as an important but often neglected dimension of their loneliness. Thirty-seven community-dwelling, Chinese adults aged 65 and above were interviewed in focus groups and their accounts analysed and interpreted using a phenomenological approach. Findings revealed that focus group participants perceived insufficient care for older people, a growing distance between themselves and society, and their disintegrating identity in society to be primary sources of societal alienation. In response, older people adopted a more passive lifestyle, attributed marginalisation and inequality to old age, and developed negative feelings including unease towards ageing, vulnerability and helplessness, and anger. The emergence of these key components and underlying themes of societal alienation illuminated neglected facets of the psychological phenomenon of loneliness and highlighted new implications for policy, practice, and research from a societal perspective to address older people’s loneliness in urban settings. Full article

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