Latest Articles

Open AccessArticle
New Instrument for Oral Hygiene of Children with Cleft Lip and Palate
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(4), 576; doi:10.3390/app8040576 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Patients with cleft lip and palate (CLP) have several oral alterations that make the removal of bacterial plaque in the cleft area difficult, which is the main cause of the high incidence of oral health problems. The aim of this study is to
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Patients with cleft lip and palate (CLP) have several oral alterations that make the removal of bacterial plaque in the cleft area difficult, which is the main cause of the high incidence of oral health problems. The aim of this study is to develop a toothbrush especially designed to perform the hygiene of the cleft area. This device, called Cleft Toothbrush, is an add-on to a conventional toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach areas that are not accessible by using conventional brush shapes. The design was made in SOLIDWORKS® (Waltham, MA, USA) 3D and a sample of this device was produced by CURAPROX (Kriens, Switzerland). The efficacy of the Cleft Toothbrush was tested in a preliminary study performed in a four years old child with CLP, compared to that of a conventional toothbrush. A significantly higher reduction of the bacterial plaque was achieved with the Cleft Toothbrush. The child’s parents also felt more confident with this device, as it deals better with sensitive areas, as it did not hurt the child. This innovative toothbrush adapter appears to greatly improve the cleaning areas of high bacterial plaque retention in patients with CLP, together with excellent acceptance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Water Suspensions of Nanocalcite for Cultural Heritage Applications
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(4), 254; doi:10.3390/nano8040254 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The consolidation of degraded carbonate stone used in ancient monuments is an important topic for European cultural heritage conservation. The products most frequently used as consolidants are based on tetraalkoxy- or alkylalkoxy-silanes (in particular tetraethyl-orthosilicate, TEOS), resulting in the formation of relatively stable
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The consolidation of degraded carbonate stone used in ancient monuments is an important topic for European cultural heritage conservation. The products most frequently used as consolidants are based on tetraalkoxy- or alkylalkoxy-silanes (in particular tetraethyl-orthosilicate, TEOS), resulting in the formation of relatively stable amorphous silica or alkylated (hydrophobic) silica inside the stone pores. However, silica is not chemically compatible with carbonate stones; in this respect, nanocalcite may be a suitable alternative. The present work concerns the preparation of water suspensions of calcite nanoparticles (CCNPs) by controlled carbonation of slaked lime using a pilot-scale reactor. A simplified design of experiment was adopted for product optimization. Calcite nanoparticles of narrow size distribution averaging about 30 nm were successfully obtained, the concentration of the interfacial agent and the size of CaO being the most critical parameters. Primary nanoparticle aggregation causing flocculation could be substantially prevented by the addition of polymeric dispersants. Copolymer-based dispersants were produced in situ by controlled heterophase polymerisation mediated by an amphiphilic macro-RAFT (reversible addition-fragmentation transfer) agent. The stabilized CCNP aqueous dispersions were then applied on carbonate and silicate substrates; Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)analysis of cross-sections allowed the evaluation of pore penetration, interfacial binding, and bridging (gap-filling) properties of these novel consolidants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Woody Cover Estimates in Oklahoma and Texas Using a Multi-Sensor Calibration and Validation Approach
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 632; doi:10.3390/rs10040632 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Woody cover encroachment/expansion/conversion is a complex phenomenon that has environmental and economic impacts around the world. This research demonstrates the development of highly accurate models for estimating percent woody cover using high spatial resolution image data in combination with multi-seasonal Landsat reflectance products.
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Woody cover encroachment/expansion/conversion is a complex phenomenon that has environmental and economic impacts around the world. This research demonstrates the development of highly accurate models for estimating percent woody cover using high spatial resolution image data in combination with multi-seasonal Landsat reflectance products. We use a classification and regression tree (CART) approach to classify woody cover using fine resolution multispectral National Agricultural Imaging Program (NAIP) data. A continuous classification and regression tree (Cubist) ingests the aggregated woody cover classification along with the seasonal Landsat data to create a continuous woody cover model. We applied the models, derived by Cubist, across several Landsat scenes to estimate the percentage of woody plant cover, within each Landsat pixel, over a larger regional extent. We measured an average absolute error of 12.1 percent and a correlation coefficient of 0.78 for the models performed. The method of modelling percent woody cover established in this manuscript outperforms currently available woody cover estimates including Landsat Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF), on average by 26 percent, and Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) products, on average by 16 percent, for the region of interest. Current woody cover products are also limited to certain years and not available pre-2000. This manuscript describes a novel Cubist-based technique to model woody cover for any area of the world, as long as fine (~1–2 m) spatial resolution and Landsat data are available. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Water Reclamation Using a Ceramic Nanofiltration Membrane and Surface Flushing with Ozonated Water
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 799; doi:10.3390/ijerph15040799 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A new membrane fouling control technique using ozonated water flushing was evaluated for direct nanofiltration (NF) of secondary wastewater effluent using a ceramic NF membrane. Experiments were conducted at a permeate flux of 44 L/m2h to evaluate the ozonated water flushing
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A new membrane fouling control technique using ozonated water flushing was evaluated for direct nanofiltration (NF) of secondary wastewater effluent using a ceramic NF membrane. Experiments were conducted at a permeate flux of 44 L/m2h to evaluate the ozonated water flushing technique for fouling mitigation. Surface flushing with clean water did not effectively remove foulants from the NF membrane. In contrast, surface flushing with ozonated water (4 mg/L dissolved ozone) could effectively remove most foulants to restore the membrane permeability. This surface flushing technique using ozonated water was able to limit the progression of fouling to 35% in transmembrane pressure increase over five filtration cycles. Results from this study also heighten the need for further development of ceramic NF membrane to ensure adequate removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) for water recycling applications. The ceramic NF membrane used in this study showed approximately 40% TOC rejection, and the rejection of PPCPs was generally low and highly variable. It is expected that the fouling mitigation technique developed here is even more important for ceramic NF membranes with smaller pore size and thus better PPCP rejection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Regression Analysis to Identify Factors Associated with Household Salt Iodine Content at the Sub-National Level in Bangladesh, India, Ghana and Senegal
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 508; doi:10.3390/nu10040508 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Regression analyses of data from stratified, cluster sample, household iodine surveys in Bangladesh, India, Ghana and Senegal were conducted to identify factors associated with household access to adequately iodised salt. For all countries, in single variable analyses, household salt iodine was significantly different
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Regression analyses of data from stratified, cluster sample, household iodine surveys in Bangladesh, India, Ghana and Senegal were conducted to identify factors associated with household access to adequately iodised salt. For all countries, in single variable analyses, household salt iodine was significantly different (p < 0.05) between strata (geographic areas with representative data, defined by survey design), and significantly higher (p < 0.05) among households: with better living standard scores, where the respondent knew about iodised salt and/or looked for iodised salt at purchase, using salt bought in a sealed package, or using refined grain salt. Other country-level associations were also found. Multiple variable analyses showed a significant association between salt iodine and strata (p < 0.001) in India, Ghana and Senegal and that salt grain type was significantly associated with estimated iodine content in all countries (p < 0.001). Salt iodine relative to the reference (coarse salt) ranged from 1.3 (95% CI 1.2, 1.5) times higher for fine salt in Senegal to 3.6 (95% CI 2.6, 4.9) times higher for washed and 6.5 (95% CI 4.9, 8.8) times higher for refined salt in India. Sub-national data are required to monitor equity of access to adequately iodised salt. Improving household access to refined iodised salt in sealed packaging, would improve iodine intake from household salt in all four countries in this analysis, particularly in areas where there is significant small-scale salt production. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperErratum
Open AccessArticle
X-Pinch Plasma Generation Testing for Neutron Source Development and Nuclear Fusion
Energies 2018, 11(4), 988; doi:10.3390/en11040988 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Nuclear fusion is a sought-out technology in which two light elements are fused together to create a heavier element and releases energy. Two primary nuclear fusion technologies are being researched today: magnetic and inertial confinement. However, a new type of nuclear fusion technology
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Nuclear fusion is a sought-out technology in which two light elements are fused together to create a heavier element and releases energy. Two primary nuclear fusion technologies are being researched today: magnetic and inertial confinement. However, a new type of nuclear fusion technology is currently being research: multi-pinch plasma beams. At the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, there is research on multi-pinch plasma beam technology as an alternative to nuclear fusion. The objective is to intersect two plasma arcs at the center of the chamber. This is a precursor of nuclear fusion using multi-pinch. The innovation portion of the students’ work is the miniaturization of this concept using high energy electrical DC pulses. The experiment achieved the temperature of 2300 K at the intersection. In comparison to the simulation data, the temperature from the simulation is 7000 K at the intersection. Additionally, energy harvesting devices, both photovoltaics and a thermoelectric generator, were placed in the chamber to observe the viable energy extraction. Full article
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