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14 pages, 1994 KiB  
Systematic Review
Public Transport Decarbonization: An Exploratory Approach to Bus Electrification
World Electr. Veh. J. 2024, 15(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/wevj15030081 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
In 2020, only 0.9% of buses running in European Union countries were electric, with 93.5% still being diesel-powered. The Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy set out by the European Commission targets a reduction of at least 55% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2023 [...] Read more.
In 2020, only 0.9% of buses running in European Union countries were electric, with 93.5% still being diesel-powered. The Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy set out by the European Commission targets a reduction of at least 55% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2023 and the achievement of climate neutrality by 2050. These targets will only be met by a shift to sustainable mobility, which comprises the introduction of electric vehicles in cities and the adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEV) for urban public transport. Thus, a literature review on “electrification of bus fleets” was conducted, focusing on the practices adopted for the replacement of polluting buses with electric-powered ones. A total of 62 documents were included in the final investigation, and their results were used to conduct a SWOT analysis. It is possible to conclude that BEBs are an important asset for cities to decarbonize the transport sector and that they are more cost-effective than diesel buses. On the other hand, some attention needs to be given to the generation of energy that will feed the charging of batteries because the use of fossil fuel energy sources can jeopardize the environmental benefits of BEBs. Full article
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19 pages, 2500 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Electric Vehicle Routes Considering Multi-Temperature Co-Distribution in Cold Chain Logistics with Soft Time Windows
World Electr. Veh. J. 2024, 15(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/wevj15030080 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Inspired by the practice of urban distribution of fresh products, we introduce a new electric vehicle routing problem with soft time windows. In this problem, goods with different temperature layers can be distributed in ordinary electric vehicles simultaneously based on the cold storage [...] Read more.
Inspired by the practice of urban distribution of fresh products, we introduce a new electric vehicle routing problem with soft time windows. In this problem, goods with different temperature layers can be distributed in ordinary electric vehicles simultaneously based on the cold storage insulation box. The primary objective is to devise optimized distribution routes for logistics companies to minimize distribution costs, including transportation, refrigeration, and charging costs. To address this, we present a mathematical model for the problem and propose an improved ant colony optimization algorithm combined with a 2-opt algorithm. Based on Solomon dataset, we conduct numerical experiments to verify the effectiveness of the proposed model and algorithm. The numerical results demonstrate that multi-temperature co-distribution can lead to a reduction in distribution cost and an improvement in distribution efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Vehicle System Dynamics and Control)
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19 pages, 3107 KiB  
Review
Perspectives on Psoriasiform Adverse Events from Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Lessons Learned from Our Practice
Medicina 2024, 60(3), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60030373 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Background: New oncologic therapies, including immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), have revolutionized the survival and prognosis of cancer patients. However, these therapies are often complicated by immune-related adverse effects (irAEs) that may impact quality of life and potentially limit their use. Among these [...] Read more.
Background: New oncologic therapies, including immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), have revolutionized the survival and prognosis of cancer patients. However, these therapies are often complicated by immune-related adverse effects (irAEs) that may impact quality of life and potentially limit their use. Among these adverse events are psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis that may develop de novo or flare under treatment with ICIs. Given the exceptional immune status of patients receiving ICIs, managing these conditions without interfering with the effect of the oncologic treatment may prove very challenging. Aim: To review the literature data on ICI-induced psoriasis exacerbation or development, to present our own experience, and to discuss the pathogenic mechanisms underlying this association and the optimal therapeutic approach for these patients. Case Reports: We report three cases of ICI-induced de novo psoriasis and two cases of ICI-induced psoriasis exacerbation that required systemic treatment. Oral acitretin treatment successfully controlled psoriasis lesions in three cases and allowed for the continuation of immunotherapy. Literature Review: We performed a medical literature search across several databases (PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar) using the search terms “immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced psoriasis/psoriasiform dermatitis/psoriasis arthritis”. We identified and revised 80 relevant publications that reported 1102 patients with psoriasis and/or psoriasis arthritis induced or exacerbated by ICIs. We assessed the type of cancer, the therapeutic agent involved, the clinical form of psoriasis, the presence or absence of psoriatic arthritis, the personal and family history of psoriasis, the age, the gender, the time until onset or exacerbation of skin lesions, the specific treatment recommended, the need for ICI discontinuation, and the patient’s outcome. Conclusions: As ICIs represent a fairly novel therapy, the association with several adverse effects is only now unraveling. Psoriasis exacerbation or onset following the initiation of immunotherapy is one such example, as more and more reports and case series are being published. Awareness of the relationship between psoriasis and treatment with ICIs, prompt recognition, and initiation of adequate skin-directed therapies are essential for the avoidance of skin lesions worsening, the need for systemic treatments that may interfere with ICIs’ effects, or the discontinuation of the latter. In the absence of generally accepted guidelines, it is advisable to treat patients with severe, widespread psoriasis with drugs that do not impair the effects of immunotherapy and thus do not alter the patient’s prognosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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15 pages, 6503 KiB  
Technical Note
AgriFireInfo v1.0: An Open-Source Platform for the Monitoring and Management of Open-Field Crop Residue Burning
Fire 2024, 7(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030063 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Open-field crop residue burning (OCRB) is a widespread agricultural practice with significant impacts on regional environments and public health. The effective management of OCRB remains a challenging task that requires timely access to various forms of monitored and forecasted information. Addressing this worldwide [...] Read more.
Open-field crop residue burning (OCRB) is a widespread agricultural practice with significant impacts on regional environments and public health. The effective management of OCRB remains a challenging task that requires timely access to various forms of monitored and forecasted information. Addressing this worldwide need, an open-source platform named AgriFireInfo v1.0, which is specifically tailored to monitoring and regulating regional OCRB activities, was developed. This technical note thoroughly illustrates the platform’s architecture, major modules, and visualization processes. Through AgriFireInfo v1.0, government agencies can access timely information about the spatial distribution of fire spots and emissions as well as meteorological conditions and air quality status. AgriFireInfo v1.0 also introduces an innovative Prevention Alarming Index, designed to identify regions prone to OCRB and promote comprehensive crop residue utilization. Furthermore, it offers the burning window and crop residue yields for controlled OCRB activities and can be used to analyze shifts in farmers’ burning behaviors and intensities. Future enhancements will focus on supplying holistic information on the burning windows and burning amounts of crop residues to further facilitate refined controlled burning activities and optimize decision-making processes. The flexibility and scalability of this platform can potentially allow users to easily customize and apply it to other regions or countries. Full article
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20 pages, 1369 KiB  
Article
Non-Overlapping Domain Decomposition for 1D Optimal Control Problems Governed by Time-Fractional Diffusion Equations on Coupled Domains: Optimality System and Virtual Controls
Fractal Fract. 2024, 8(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/fractalfract8030129 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
We consider a non-overlapping domain decomposition method for optimal control problems of the tracking type governed by time-fractional diffusion equations in one space dimension, where the fractional time derivative is considered in the Caputo sense. We concentrate on a transmission problem defined on [...] Read more.
We consider a non-overlapping domain decomposition method for optimal control problems of the tracking type governed by time-fractional diffusion equations in one space dimension, where the fractional time derivative is considered in the Caputo sense. We concentrate on a transmission problem defined on two adjacent intervals, where at the interface we introduce an iterative non-overlapping domain decomposition in the spirit of P.L. Lions for the corresponding first-order optimality system, such that the optimality system corresponding to the optimal control problem on the entire domain is iteratively decomposed into two systems on the respective sub-domains; this approach can be framed as first optimize, then decompose. We show that the iteration involving the states and adjoint states converges in the appropriate spaces. Moreover, we show that the decomposed systems on the sub-domain can in turn be interpreted as optimality systems of so-called virtual control problems on the sub-domains. Using this property, we are able to solve the original optimal control problem by an iterative solution of optimal control problems on the sub-domains. This approach can be framed as first decompose, then optimize. We provide a mathematical analysis of the problems as well as a numerical finite difference discretization using the L1-method with respect to the Caputo derivative, along with two examples in order to verify the method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimal Control Problems for Fractional Differential Equations)
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18 pages, 17666 KiB  
Article
Canopy Structural Changes in Black Pine Trees Affected by Pine Processionary Moth Using Drone-Derived Data
Drones 2024, 8(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones8030075 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Pine species are a key social and economic component in Mediterranean ecosystems, where insect defoliations can have far-reaching consequences. This study aims to quantify the impact of pine processionary moth (PPM) on canopy structures, examining its evolution over time at the individual tree [...] Read more.
Pine species are a key social and economic component in Mediterranean ecosystems, where insect defoliations can have far-reaching consequences. This study aims to quantify the impact of pine processionary moth (PPM) on canopy structures, examining its evolution over time at the individual tree level using high-density drone LiDAR-derived point clouds. Focusing on 33 individuals of black pine (Pinus nigra)—a species highly susceptible to PPM defoliation in the Mediterranean environment—bitemporal LiDAR scans were conducted to capture the onset and end of the major PPM feeding period in winter. Canopy crown delineation performed manually was compared with LiDAR-based methods. Canopy metrics from point clouds were computed for trees exhibiting contrasting levels of defoliation. The structural differences between non-defoliated and defoliated trees were assessed by employing parametric statistical comparisons, including analysis of variance along with post hoc tests. Our analysis aimed to distinguish structural changes resulting from PPM defoliation during the winter feeding period. Outcomes revealed substantive alterations in canopy cover, with an average reduction of 22.92% in the leaf area index for defoliated trees, accompanied by a significant increase in the number of returns in lower tree crown branches. Evident variations in canopy density were observed throughout the feeding period, enabling the identification of two to three change classes using LiDAR-derived canopy density metrics. Manual and LiDAR-based crown delineations exhibited minimal differences in computed canopy LiDAR metrics, showcasing the potential of LiDAR delineations for broader applications. PPM infestations induced noteworthy modifications in canopy morphology, affecting key structural parameters. Drone LiDAR data emerged as a comprehensive tool for quantifying these transformations. This study underscores the significance of remote sensing approaches in monitoring insect disturbances and their impacts on forest ecosystems. Full article
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9 pages, 2178 KiB  
Article
A New Method for Calculating the Hamaker Constant Based on the Hansen Solubility Parameters for Non-Polar Liquids
Colloids Interfaces 2024, 8(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids8020014 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
A simple relationship between the Hamaker constant and the Hansen solubility parameters for non-polar liquids is derived by combining a Hamaker constant/surface tension relationship derived by Israelachvili and a Hansen solubility parameters/surface tension relationship derived by Abbott. With this relationship, one can easily [...] Read more.
A simple relationship between the Hamaker constant and the Hansen solubility parameters for non-polar liquids is derived by combining a Hamaker constant/surface tension relationship derived by Israelachvili and a Hansen solubility parameters/surface tension relationship derived by Abbott. With this relationship, one can easily estimate the Hamaker constant of non-polar liquids on the basis of the database of the Hansen solubility parameters. This is an entirely new method for calculating the Hamaker constant without recourse to data on the frequency-dependent dielectric permittivity of those substances (which are required for the rigorous Lifshitz theory) and laborious numerical calculations. Full article
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15 pages, 2801 KiB  
Article
Anomaly Detection of IoT Cyberattacks in Smart Cities Using Federated Learning and Split Learning
Big Data Cogn. Comput. 2024, 8(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/bdcc8030021 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
The swift proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices in smart city infrastructures has created an urgent demand for robust cybersecurity measures. These devices are susceptible to various cyberattacks that can jeopardize the security and functionality of urban systems. This research presents [...] Read more.
The swift proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices in smart city infrastructures has created an urgent demand for robust cybersecurity measures. These devices are susceptible to various cyberattacks that can jeopardize the security and functionality of urban systems. This research presents an innovative approach to identifying anomalies caused by IoT cyberattacks in smart cities. The proposed method harnesses federated and split learning and addresses the dual challenge of enhancing IoT network security while preserving data privacy. This study conducts extensive experiments using authentic datasets from smart cities. To compare the performance of classical machine learning algorithms and deep learning models for detecting anomalies, model effectiveness is assessed using precision, recall, F-1 score, accuracy, and training/deployment time. The findings demonstrate that federated learning and split learning have the potential to balance data privacy concerns with competitive performance, providing robust solutions for detecting IoT cyberattacks. This study contributes to the ongoing discussion about securing IoT deployments in urban settings. It lays the groundwork for scalable and privacy-conscious cybersecurity strategies. The results underscore the vital role of these techniques in fortifying smart cities and promoting the development of adaptable and resilient cybersecurity measures in the IoT era. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Network Learning and Its Applications)
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16 pages, 6433 KiB  
Article
A First-Time Addition of Selenium to a Mg-Based Metal Matrix Composite for Biomedical Purposes
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8030081 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
A magnesium-based metal matrix composite, Mg-5Se-2Zn-2SiO2, was synthesized using the Disintegrated Melt Deposition (DMD) method followed by hot extrusion. Elemental analysis revealed that the material experienced selenium loss which was attributed to the evaporation of selenium at high temperatures. Superior damping [...] Read more.
A magnesium-based metal matrix composite, Mg-5Se-2Zn-2SiO2, was synthesized using the Disintegrated Melt Deposition (DMD) method followed by hot extrusion. Elemental analysis revealed that the material experienced selenium loss which was attributed to the evaporation of selenium at high temperatures. Superior damping characteristics were exhibited while retaining similar Young’s modulus, and significant grain refinement also resulted in decisively superior mechanical properties such as hardness (32% increase), fracture strain (39% increase), as well as yield and ultimate compressive strength (157% and 54% increase, respectively). These were a consequence of SiO2 addition as well as presence of Mg2Si (and MgSe) intermetallic phases which were detected by X-ray characterization. Furthermore, while the material had lower corrosion resistance than pure magnesium, it retained acceptable corrosion resistance as well as structural integrity after the full immersion duration of 28 days. Overall, the material exhibits promising potential for applications in the biomedical field, especially in development of smaller and lighter implants where mechanical properties are paramount, with key lessons learned for the synthesis of Mg-materials containing selenium for the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2023)
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14 pages, 4854 KiB  
Article
Miniature Ultrasound Transducer Incorporating Sm-PMN-PT 1-3 Composite
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8030080 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Piezoelectric 1-3 composite materials have become extensively utilized in diagnostic ultrasound transducers owing to their high electromechanical coupling coefficient, low acoustic impedance, and low dielectric loss. In this study, Sm-doped PMN-PT ceramic/epoxy 1-3 composite with a ceramic volume fraction of 60% is fabricated [...] Read more.
Piezoelectric 1-3 composite materials have become extensively utilized in diagnostic ultrasound transducers owing to their high electromechanical coupling coefficient, low acoustic impedance, and low dielectric loss. In this study, Sm-doped PMN-PT ceramic/epoxy 1-3 composite with a ceramic volume fraction of 60% is fabricated by the dice-and-fill method, resulting in a high piezoelectric constant (650 pC/N) and clamped dielectric constant (2350). Utilizing the exceptionally high clamped dielectric constant, a low-frequency (12.4 MHz) ultrasound transducer is developed with a miniature aperture size (0.84 mm × 0.84 mm), exhibiting a −6 dB bandwidth of 70% and an insertion loss of −20.5 dB. The imaging capability of the miniature composite transducer is validated through both phantom and ex vivo imaging. The satisfactory results indicate that Sm-doped ceramic/epoxy composites possess significant potential for miniature devices in biomedical imaging applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2024)
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14 pages, 9254 KiB  
Article
Influence of SiC Doping on the Mechanical, Electrical, and Optical Properties of 3D-Printed PLA
J. Compos. Sci. 2024, 8(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs8030079 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing or digital fabrication technology, is emerging as a fast-expanding technology for the fabrication of prototypes and products in a variety of applications. This is mainly due to the advantages of 3D printing including the ease of [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing or digital fabrication technology, is emerging as a fast-expanding technology for the fabrication of prototypes and products in a variety of applications. This is mainly due to the advantages of 3D printing including the ease of manufacturing, the use of reduced material quantities minimizing material waste, low-cost mass production as well as energy efficiency. Polylactic acid (PLA) is a natural thermoplastic polyester that is produced from renewable resources and is routinely used to produce 3D-printed structures. One important feature that makes PLA appealing is that its properties can be modulated by the inclusion of nano or microfillers. This is of special importance for 3D-printed triboelectric nanogenerators since it can enhance the performance of the devices. In this work we investigate the influence of SiC micron-sized particles on the mechanical, electrical, and optical properties of a PLA-SiC composite for potential application in triboelectric energy harvesting. Our result show that the ultimate tensile strength of the pure PLA and 1%-doped PLA decreases with the number of fatigue cycles but increases by about 10% when SiC doping increases to 2% and 3%, while the strain at max load was about 3% independent of doping and the effective hardness was increased reaching a plateau at about 2 wt% SiC, about 40% above the value for pure PLA. Our results show that the mechanical properties of PLA can be enhanced by the inclusion of SiC, depending on the concentration of SiC. In addition, the same behavior is observed for the dielectric constant of the composite material increases as the SiC concentration increases, while the optical properties of the resulting composite are strongly dependent on the concentration of SiC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing Composites)
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14 pages, 2085 KiB  
Article
A Novel Loss Model to Include the Disruption Phase in the Quantification of Resilience to Natural Hazards
Infrastructures 2024, 9(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures9030038 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
 Resilience of systems to natural hazards has become an interesting concept in civil engineering and it is based on the determination of the losses due to the impacts of natural hazards. In the last decades, many contributions have focused on the assessment of [...] Read more.
 Resilience of systems to natural hazards has become an interesting concept in civil engineering and it is based on the determination of the losses due to the impacts of natural hazards. In the last decades, many contributions have focused on the assessment of losses that may occur at the time of the event, as generally assumed for earthquakes. However, this assumption may be incorrect when the interval between the time of occurrence and the time when the system functionality reaches the minimum value needs to be considered. This paper aims to propose a novel method to quantify this interval, which is called disruption time, by proposing a novel formulation of the loss model based on infrastructure redundancy. The proposed method was herein applied to a case study that considers landslides in Sri Lanka. The main goal of the paper is to propose a formulation that can be implemented in a more comprehensive framework to calculate more realistically the resilience of systems to natural hazards.  Full article
10 pages, 397 KiB  
Article
Intensification of Amazon River Prawn Hatchery
Fishes 2024, 9(3), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/fishes9030082 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
The effects of the intensification on the performance of the Amazon River prawn hatchery carried out in a simple recirculation system were investigated. Newly hatched larvae were stocked in 120 L tanks at 80, 100, 120 and 140 larvae L−1 in a [...] Read more.
The effects of the intensification on the performance of the Amazon River prawn hatchery carried out in a simple recirculation system were investigated. Newly hatched larvae were stocked in 120 L tanks at 80, 100, 120 and 140 larvae L−1 in a closed recirculating system. The experiment used a randomized block design with five replicates. An exponential equation was adjusted to express the relationship between the stocking density and productivity (postlarvae L−1). The development, larval quality, survival and postlarval (PL) dry weight did not significantly differ among the treatments (p > 0.05). When 80 larvae were stocked, the productivity (54 ± 11 PL L−1) was lower than those at higher densities (p < 0.05). Stocking 120 and 140 larvae L−1 resulted in higher productivities (75 ± 18 and 80 ± 17 PL L−1, respectively) with a lower use of Artemia nauplii to produce each postlarvae (~1200 Artemia nauplii PL−1). The maximum mean M. amazonicum postlarval production estimated by the exponential model was 93 PL L−1. This means that despite the increase in stocking density, productivity tends to stabilize. The results showed that M. amazonicum tolerates high intensification in recirculating hatchery systems based on a crushed shell bed biofilter, and the intensification optimizes Artemia use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Aquaculture and Monoculture of Low-Trophic Species)
21 pages, 3603 KiB  
Article
Ameliorated Snake Optimizer-Based Approximate Merging of Disk Wang–Ball Curves
Biomimetics 2024, 9(3), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics9030134 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
A method for the approximate merging of disk Wang–Ball (DWB) curves based on the modified snake optimizer (BEESO) is proposed in this paper to address the problem of difficulties in the merging of DWB curves. By extending the approximate merging problem for traditional [...] Read more.
A method for the approximate merging of disk Wang–Ball (DWB) curves based on the modified snake optimizer (BEESO) is proposed in this paper to address the problem of difficulties in the merging of DWB curves. By extending the approximate merging problem for traditional curves to disk curves and viewing it as an optimization problem, an approximate merging model is established to minimize the merging error through an error formulation. Considering the complexity of the model built, a BEESO with better convergence accuracy and convergence speed is introduced, which combines the snake optimizer (SO) and three strategies including bi-directional search, evolutionary population dynamics, and elite opposition-based learning. The merging results and merging errors of numerical examples demonstrate that BEESO is effective in solving approximate merging models, and it provides a new method for the compression and transfer of product shape data in Computer-Aided Geometric Design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Inspired Computer Algorithms: 2nd Edition)
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13 pages, 3038 KiB  
Article
Novel Computational Design of Polymer Micromachined Insect-Mimetic Wings for Flapping-Wing Nano Air Vehicles
Biomimetics 2024, 9(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics9030133 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
The flapping wings of insects undergo large deformations caused by aerodynamic forces, resulting in cambering. Insect-mimetic micro wings for flapping-wing nano air vehicles mimic these characteristic deformations. In this study, a 2.5-dimensional insect-mimetic micro wing model for flapping-wing nano air vehicles is proposed [...] Read more.
The flapping wings of insects undergo large deformations caused by aerodynamic forces, resulting in cambering. Insect-mimetic micro wings for flapping-wing nano air vehicles mimic these characteristic deformations. In this study, a 2.5-dimensional insect-mimetic micro wing model for flapping-wing nano air vehicles is proposed to realize this type of wing. The proposed model includes a wing membrane, a leading edge, a center vein, and a root vein, all of which are modeled as shell elements. The proposed wing is a 2.5-dimensional structure and can thus be fabricated using polymer micromachining. We conducted a design window search to demonstrate the capabilities of the wing. The design windows, which are areas of desirable design solutions in the design parameter space, are iteratively searched using nonlinear finite-element analysis under quasi-steady aerodynamic modeling. Here, thickness is selected as a design parameter. The properties of real insects, polymer materials, and fabrication conditions are used to determine the other parameters. A fabricable design solution that generates sufficient camber is found from the design windows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Biomechanics and Biomimetics in Flying and Swimming)
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15 pages, 4115 KiB  
Article
One-Time Prediction of Battery Capacity Fade Curve under Multiple Fast Charging Strategies
Batteries 2024, 10(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries10030074 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Using different fast charging strategies for lithium-ion batteries can affect the degradation rate of the batteries. In this case, predicting the capacity fade curve can facilitate the application of new batteries. Considering the impact of fast charging strategies on battery aging, a battery [...] Read more.
Using different fast charging strategies for lithium-ion batteries can affect the degradation rate of the batteries. In this case, predicting the capacity fade curve can facilitate the application of new batteries. Considering the impact of fast charging strategies on battery aging, a battery capacity degradation trajectory prediction method based on the TM-Seq2Seq (Trend Matching—Sequence-to-Sequence) model is proposed. This method uses data from the first 100 cycles to predict the future capacity fade curve and EOL (end of life) in one-time. First, features are extracted from the discharge voltage-capacity curve. Secondly, a sequence-to-sequence model based on CNN, SE-net, and GRU is designed. Finally, a trend matching loss function is designed based on the common characteristics of capacity fade curves to constrain the encoding features of the sequence-to-sequence model, facilitating the learning of the underlying relationship between inputs and outputs. TM-Seq2Seq model is verified on a public dataset with 132 battery cells and multiple fast charging strategies. The experimental results indicate that, compared to other popular models, the TM-Seq2Seq model has lower prediction errors. Full article
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23 pages, 4361 KiB  
Article
Molecular Mechanisms of the Effects of Sodium Selenite on the Growth, Nutritional Quality, and Species of Organic Selenium in Dandelions
Horticulturae 2024, 10(3), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae10030209 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
 Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element for the human body, and its dietary deficiency has been a widespread issue globally. Vegetables serve as a significant source of dietary Se intake, with organic Se derived from plants being safer than inorganic Se. In [...] Read more.
 Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element for the human body, and its dietary deficiency has been a widespread issue globally. Vegetables serve as a significant source of dietary Se intake, with organic Se derived from plants being safer than inorganic Se. In the present study, Taraxacum mongolicum plants were treated with various concentrations of Na2SeO3. The results showed that as the concentration of Na2SeO3 increased, the chlorophyll content of dandelion seedlings decreased at high concentrations, and the content of soluble sugars, soluble proteins, flavonoids, total phenols, and Vc all increased. The application of Na2SeO3 at concentrations ranging from 0 to 4 mg/L resulted in a reduction in plant malondialdehyde content and an enhancement in the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Following the Na2SeO3 treatment, five Se species were identified in the seedlings, Se4+, Se6+, selenocysteine, selenomethionine, and methylselenocysteine. Notably, selenomethionine emerged as the primary organic Se species in the shoots of dandelion. Transcriptome analysis revealed that ABC11b, PTR4, MOCOS, BAK1, and CNGC1 were involved in the absorption, transport, and storage of Se in dandelion, and C7317 was involved in the scavenging of reactive oxygen species. This study complements the understanding of the possible molecular mechanisms involved in the absorption and transformation of organic Se by plants, thereby providing a theoretical foundation for the biofortification of dandelion with Se in crops. Full article
18 pages, 746 KiB  
Review
Research Progress on Bioaugmentation Technology for Improving Traditional Chinese Fermented Seasonings
Fermentation 2024, 10(3), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation10030123 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Chinese traditional fermented seasonings, essential to the culinary heritage of China, are produced through fermentation, resulting in a diverse range of unique flavors and aromas. The microorganisms involved in fermentation play significant roles in shaping the quality of these traditional fermented seasonings. The [...] Read more.
Chinese traditional fermented seasonings, essential to the culinary heritage of China, are produced through fermentation, resulting in a diverse range of unique flavors and aromas. The microorganisms involved in fermentation play significant roles in shaping the quality of these traditional fermented seasonings. The production of traditional fermented seasonings is affected by various biological and abiotic factors, presenting challenges concerning product quality and safety. This review investigates the impact of bioaugmentation technology on key Chinese traditional fermented seasonings, such as vinegar, soy sauce, sufu, doubanjiang, dajiang, and douchi. Additionally, the challenges and constraints linked to the implementation of bioaugmentation technology are discussed. The potential of bioaugmentation is highlighted by its ability to shorten the fermentation time, optimize raw material utilization, improve nutritional value, and enhance the quality parameters of these seasonings. This paper demonstrates an interesting convergence of traditional culinary heritage and contemporary technological advancements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Review Papers in Fermentation for Food and Beverages 2023)
15 pages, 2632 KiB  
Article
Effect of New Methods for Inhibiting Malolactic Fermentation on the Analytical and Sensory Parameters of Wines
Fermentation 2024, 10(3), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation10030122 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
This study focuses on the impact of new methods for inhibiting malolactic fermentation in white wines on their analytical and sensory properties. Enological preparations with different mechanisms of effect were tested: fumaric acid, chitosan, Estaan (a preparation based on tannin inhibition), medium-chain fatty [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the impact of new methods for inhibiting malolactic fermentation in white wines on their analytical and sensory properties. Enological preparations with different mechanisms of effect were tested: fumaric acid, chitosan, Estaan (a preparation based on tannin inhibition), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), sulphur dioxide and a control variant. Malolactic fermentation (MLF) was also performed. The samples underwent analysis through HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) to determine the concentrations of malic and lactic acid, as well as biogenic amines. GC (gas chromatography) analysis was used to monitor volatile substances, alongside sensory evaluation. This study demonstrated a significant influence of individual enological preparations on the aromatic profile of the examined wines. The SO2 and MCFA variants exhibited the highest concentrations of volatile substances within the esters group, specifically isoamyl acetate, 1-hexyl acetate and phenylethyl acetate. Conversely, the fumaric acid and Estaan variants displayed the lowest concentrations of these esters. The most notable disparities were observed in acetoin concentration, with the MCFA variant exhibiting the lowest values. Additionally, the chitosan variant showed higher concentrations of putrescine and spermidine compared to the MCFA and fumaric acid variants, which presented the lowest levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for the Management of Wine Fermentations)
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33 pages, 16136 KiB  
Review
Innovations in Antifungal Drug Discovery among Cell Envelope Synthesis Enzymes through Structural Insights
J. Fungi 2024, 10(3), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof10030171 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Life-threatening systemic fungal infections occur in immunocompromised patients at an alarming rate. Current antifungal therapies face challenges like drug resistance and patient toxicity, emphasizing the need for new treatments. Membrane-bound enzymes account for a large proportion of current and potential antifungal targets, especially [...] Read more.
Life-threatening systemic fungal infections occur in immunocompromised patients at an alarming rate. Current antifungal therapies face challenges like drug resistance and patient toxicity, emphasizing the need for new treatments. Membrane-bound enzymes account for a large proportion of current and potential antifungal targets, especially ones that contribute to cell wall and cell membrane biosynthesis. Moreover, structural biology has led to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which these enzymes synthesize their products, as well as the mechanism of action for some antifungals. This review summarizes the structures of several current and potential membrane-bound antifungal targets involved in cell wall and cell membrane biosynthesis and their interactions with known inhibitors or drugs. The proposed mechanisms of action for some molecules, gleaned from detailed inhibitor–protein studeis, are also described, which aids in further rational drug design. Furthermore, some potential membrane-bound antifungal targets with known inhibitors that lack solved structures are discussed, as these might be good enzymes for future structure interrogation. Full article
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19 pages, 320 KiB  
Review
Sonothrombolysis for Ischemic Stroke
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2024, 11(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd11030075 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Stroke is a major cause of death and disability globally, with ischemic stroke being the predominant mechanism. While spontaneous recanalization may occur, significant neuronal injury would have occurred in the interim. Intravenous thrombolysis administered within the first 4.5 h after stroke onset and [...] Read more.
Stroke is a major cause of death and disability globally, with ischemic stroke being the predominant mechanism. While spontaneous recanalization may occur, significant neuronal injury would have occurred in the interim. Intravenous thrombolysis administered within the first 4.5 h after stroke onset and endovascular thrombectomy within 24 h in patients with a salvageable penumbra improves functional independence. Ultrasound has been shown in both in vivo and in vitro models to enhance clot lysis, even more-so in the presence of thrombolytic agents. The use of transcranial Doppler and transcranial color-coded Doppler ultrasound in acute IS has been reported in case series, case-controlled studies, and clinical trials. While ultrasound at a frequency of 300 kHz increases the risk of intracranial hemorrhage, the 2 MHz range ultrasound aids thrombolysis and improves recanalization without significantly increasing the risk of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage. Despite this, functional independence was not increased in clinical trials, nor was a benefit shown with the adjunctive use of microbubbles or microspheres. Nonetheless, newer technologies such as endovascular ultrasound, endovascular delivery of microbubbles, and thrombolytic-filled microbubbles await clinical trials. More evidence is needed before sonothrombolysis can be routinely used in the hyperacute management of ischemic stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease)
14 pages, 1789 KiB  
Article
Standardization of a CT Protocol for Imaging Patients with Suspected COVID-19—A RACOON Project
Bioengineering 2024, 11(3), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering11030207 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
CT protocols that diagnose COVID-19 vary in regard to the associated radiation exposure and the desired image quality (IQ). This study aims to evaluate CT protocols of hospitals participating in the RACOON (Radiological Cooperative Network) project, consolidating CT protocols to provide recommendations and [...] Read more.
CT protocols that diagnose COVID-19 vary in regard to the associated radiation exposure and the desired image quality (IQ). This study aims to evaluate CT protocols of hospitals participating in the RACOON (Radiological Cooperative Network) project, consolidating CT protocols to provide recommendations and strategies for future pandemics. In this retrospective study, CT acquisitions of COVID-19 patients scanned between March 2020 and October 2020 (RACOON phase 1) were included, and all non-contrast protocols were evaluated. For this purpose, CT protocol parameters, IQ ratings, radiation exposure (CTDIvol), and central patient diameters were sampled. Eventually, the data from 14 sites and 534 CT acquisitions were analyzed. IQ was rated good for 81% of the evaluated examinations. Motion, beam-hardening artefacts, or image noise were reasons for a suboptimal IQ. The tube potential ranged between 80 and 140 kVp, with the majority between 100 and 120 kVp. CTDIvol was 3.7 ± 3.4 mGy. Most healthcare facilities included did not have a specific non-contrast CT protocol. Furthermore, CT protocols for chest imaging varied in their settings and radiation exposure. In future, it will be necessary to make recommendations regarding the required IQ and protocol parameters for the majority of CT scanners to enable comparable IQ as well as radiation exposure for different sites but identical diagnostic questions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computed Tomography Techniques and Applications)
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15 pages, 5127 KiB  
Article
Temporal Profile of the Microbial Community and Volatile Compounds in the Third-Round Fermentation of Sauce-Flavor baijiu in the Beijing Region
Foods 2024, 13(5), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13050670 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Sauce-flavor baijiu produced in the Beijing and Guizhou regions has regional characteristic flavors, but the differences in flavor compounds and reasons for their formation remain unclear. The sauce-flavor baijiu brewing process involves several rounds of fermentation. In this study, we investigated the temporal [...] Read more.
Sauce-flavor baijiu produced in the Beijing and Guizhou regions has regional characteristic flavors, but the differences in flavor compounds and reasons for their formation remain unclear. The sauce-flavor baijiu brewing process involves several rounds of fermentation. In this study, we investigated the temporal distribution of microbial communities and flavor substances during the third round of sauce-flavor baijiu fermentation in the Beijing region, and we then compared and analyzed the differences of flavor substances and microorganisms in the fermented grains of sauce-flavor baijiu in the Beijing and Guizhou regions. It was found that 10 bacterial genera and 10 fungal genera were dominant in the fermented grains. The acidity of the fermented grains had a significant driving effect on the microbial community succession. A total of 81 volatile compounds were identified and quantified in the fermented grains, of which esters and alcohols were relatively abundant. The differences in 30 microbial community compositions and their resulting differences in terms of the fermentation parameters of fermented grains are responsible for the differences in the profiles of flavor compounds between sauce-flavor baijiu produced in the Beijing and Guizhou regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiological Studies on Wine/Baijiu Fermentation)
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18 pages, 462 KiB  
Article
Occurrence and Exposure Assessment of Nickel in Zhejiang Province, China
Toxics 2024, 12(3), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12030169 - 22 Feb 2024
Abstract
Nickel (Ni) is a silver-white metal with high antioxidative properties, often existing in a bivalent form in the environment. Despite being the fifth most abundant metal on Earth, anthropogenic activities, including industrial processes, have elevated Ni levels in environmental media. This study investigated [...] Read more.
Nickel (Ni) is a silver-white metal with high antioxidative properties, often existing in a bivalent form in the environment. Despite being the fifth most abundant metal on Earth, anthropogenic activities, including industrial processes, have elevated Ni levels in environmental media. This study investigated Ni contamination in various food groups in Zhejiang Province, China, mainly focusing on Ni levels in beans, vegetables, aquatic foods, meat products, cereal products, and fruits. A total of 2628 samples were collected and analyzed. Beans exhibited the highest Ni content in all samples. The overall detection rate of Ni was 86.5%, with variation among food categories. For plant-origin foods, legumes had the highest Ni concentration while for animal-origin foods, shellfish showed the highest median Ni concentration. The results indicate generally acceptable Ni exposure levels among Zhejiang residents, except for children aged 0–6. Beans were identified as the primary contributor to high Ni exposure risk. The paper suggests monitoring Ni contamination in food, especially for vulnerable populations, and provides insights into exposure risks in different age groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Exposure to Heavy Metals and Health Risks)

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