Advancing Open Science
for more than 25 years
MDPI is a pioneer in scholarly open access publishing
and has supported academic communities since 1996. arrow_forward Go to anniversary page
Review
Polydimethylsiloxane Composites Characterization and Its Applications: A Review
by , , , and
Polymers 2021, 13(23), 4258; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13234258 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is one of the most promising elastomers due its remarkable proprieties such as good thermal stability, biocompatibility, corrosion resistance, flexibility, low cost, ease of use, chemically inertia, hyperplastic characteristics, and gas permeability. Thus, it can be used in areas such as [...] Read more.
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is one of the most promising elastomers due its remarkable proprieties such as good thermal stability, biocompatibility, corrosion resistance, flexibility, low cost, ease of use, chemically inertia, hyperplastic characteristics, and gas permeability. Thus, it can be used in areas such as microfluidic systems, biomedical devices, electronic components, membranes for filtering and pervaporation, sensors, and coatings. Although pure PDMS has low mechanical properties, such as low modulus of elasticity and strength, it can be improved by mixing the PDMS with other polymers and by adding particles or reinforcements. Fiber-reinforced PDMS has proved to be a good alternative to manufacturing flexible displays, batteries, wearable devices, tactile sensors, and energy harvesting systems. PDMS and particulates are often used in the separation of liquids from wastewater by means of porosity followed by hydrophobicity. Waxes such as beeswax and paraffin have proved to be materials capable of improving properties such as the hydrophobic, corrosion-resistant, thermal, and optical properties of PDMS. Finally, when blended with polymers such as poly (vinyl chloride-co-vinyl acetate), PDMS becomes a highly efficient alternative for membrane separation applications. However, to the best of our knowledge there are few works dedicated to the review and comparison of different PDMS composites. Hence, this review will be focused on PDMS composites, their respective applications, and properties. Generally, the combination of elastomer with fibers, particles, waxes, polymers, and others it will be discussed, with the aim of producing a review that demonstrates the wide applications of this material and how tailored characteristics can be reached for custom applications. Full article
Article
Position Soft-Sensing of Direct-Driven Hydraulic System Based on Back Propagation Neural Network
by , , , , , and
Actuators 2021, 10(12), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10120322 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
Automated operations are widely used in harsh environments, in which position information is essential. Although sensors can be equipped to obtain high-accuracy position information, they are quite expensive and unsuitable for harsh environment applications. Therefore, a position soft-sensing model based on a back [...] Read more.
Automated operations are widely used in harsh environments, in which position information is essential. Although sensors can be equipped to obtain high-accuracy position information, they are quite expensive and unsuitable for harsh environment applications. Therefore, a position soft-sensing model based on a back propagation (BP) neural network is proposed for direct-driven hydraulics (DDH) to protect against harsh environmental conditions. The proposed model obtains a position by integrating velocity computed from the BP neural network, which trains the nonlinear relationship between multi-input (speed of the electric motor and pressures in two chambers of the cylinder) and single-output (the cylinder’s velocity). First, the model of a standalone crane with DDH was established and verified by experiment. Second, the data from batch simulation with the verified model was used for training and testing the BP neural network in the soft-sensing model. Finally, position estimation with a typical cycle was performed using the created position soft-sensing model. Compared with the experimental data, the maximum soft-sensing position error was about 7 mm, and the error rate was within ±2.5%. Furthermore, position estimations were carried out with the proposed soft-sensing model under differing working conditions and the errors were within 4 mm, but the periodically cumulative error was observed. Hence, a reference point is proposed to minimize the accumulative error, for example, a point at the middle of the cylinder. Therefore, the work can be applied to acquire position information to facilitate automated operation of machines equipped with DDH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Precision Actuators)
Article
Techno-Economic Analysis of Utility-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Plus Battery Power Plant
by and
Energies 2021, 14(23), 8145; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14238145 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
Decarbonizing the global power sector is a key requirement to fight climate change. Consequently, the deployment of renewable energy (RE) technologies, notably solar photovoltaic (PV), is proceeding rapidly in many regions. However, in many of these regions, the evening peak is predominantly being [...] Read more.
Decarbonizing the global power sector is a key requirement to fight climate change. Consequently, the deployment of renewable energy (RE) technologies, notably solar photovoltaic (PV), is proceeding rapidly in many regions. However, in many of these regions, the evening peak is predominantly being served by fossil-fired generators. Furthermore, as the evening peak is projected to increase in the coming years, there are plans to install more fossil-fired peaking generators. A cleaner alternative is to enable solar PV plants to provide clean power after sunset by pairing them with large-scale lithium-ion batteries to provide evening peak generation. In this work, we performed a techno-economic analysis of a solar PV plus battery (PVB) power plant using the island of Mauritius as a case study. We assessed the impacts of the battery size, inverter loading ratio (ILR), tracking type, and curtailment on the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). The main results show that the LCOE of utility-scale PVB systems are comparable to that of fossil-fired peaking generators for this case study. Tracking was shown to exacerbate the clipping loss problem and its benefits on LCOE reduction decrease as the ILR increases. The availability of the PVB system to serve the evening peak was found to be high. The curtailment analysis also showed that planners must not rely solely on storage, but rather should also improve grid flexibility to keep PVB integration affordable. Overall, the practical insights generated will be useful to utility planners in charting their generation expansion strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Photovoltaics and Solar Power Plants)
Article
Revise-Net: Exploiting Reverse Attention Mechanism for Salient Object Detection
by , , , , and
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(23), 4941; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13234941 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
Recently, deep learning-based methods, especially utilizing fully convolutional neural networks, have shown extraordinary performance in salient object detection. Despite its success, the clean boundary detection of the saliency objects is still a challenging task. Most of the contemporary methods focus on exclusive edge [...] Read more.
Recently, deep learning-based methods, especially utilizing fully convolutional neural networks, have shown extraordinary performance in salient object detection. Despite its success, the clean boundary detection of the saliency objects is still a challenging task. Most of the contemporary methods focus on exclusive edge detection modules in order to avoid noisy boundaries. In this work, we propose leveraging on the extraction of finer semantic features from multiple encoding layers and attentively re-utilize it in the generation of the final segmentation result. The proposed Revise-Net model is divided into three parts: (a) the prediction module, (b) a residual enhancement module, and (c) reverse attention modules. Firstly, we generate the coarse saliency map through the prediction modules, which are fine-tuned in the enhancement module. Finally, multiple reverse attention modules at varying scales are cascaded between the two networks to guide the prediction module by employing the intermediate segmentation maps generated at each downsampling level of the REM. Our method efficiently classifies the boundary pixels using a combination of binary cross-entropy, similarity index, and intersection over union losses at the pixel, patch, and map levels, thereby effectively segmenting the saliency objects in an image. In comparison with several state-of-the-art frameworks, our proposed Revise-Net model outperforms them with a significant margin on three publicly available datasets, DUTS-TE, ECSSD, and HKU-IS, both on regional and boundary estimation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Convolutional Neural Networks for Object Detection)
Article
A Generalized Bochner Technique and Its Application to the Study of Conformal Mappings
by , and
Axioms 2021, 10(4), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/axioms10040333 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
This article is devoted to geometrical aspects of conformal mappings of complete Riemannian and Kählerian manifolds and uses the Bochner technique, one of the oldest and most important techniques in modern differential geometry. A feature of this article is that the results presented [...] Read more.
This article is devoted to geometrical aspects of conformal mappings of complete Riemannian and Kählerian manifolds and uses the Bochner technique, one of the oldest and most important techniques in modern differential geometry. A feature of this article is that the results presented here are easily obtained using a generalized version of the Bochner technique due to theorems on the connection between the geometry of a complete Riemannian manifold and the global behavior of its subharmonic, superharmonic, and convex functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Differential Geometry and Its Application)
Article
Determination of Bounds for the Jensen Gap and Its Applications
by , and
Mathematics 2021, 9(23), 3132; https://doi.org/10.3390/math9233132 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
The Jensen inequality has been reported as one of the most consequential inequalities that has a lot of applications in diverse fields of science. For this reason, the Jensen inequality has become one of the most discussed developmental inequalities in the current literature [...] Read more.
The Jensen inequality has been reported as one of the most consequential inequalities that has a lot of applications in diverse fields of science. For this reason, the Jensen inequality has become one of the most discussed developmental inequalities in the current literature on mathematical inequalities. The main intention of this article is to find some novel bounds for the Jensen difference while using some classes of twice differentiable convex functions. We obtain the proposed bounds by utilizing the power mean and Höilder inequalities, the notion of convexity and the prominent Jensen inequality for concave function. We deduce several inequalities for power and quasi-arithmetic means as a consequence of main results. Furthermore, we also establish different improvements for Hölder inequality with the help of obtained results. Moreover, we present some applications of the main results in information theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematical Inequalities & Applications)
Article
Field Demonstration of Heat Technology to Mitigate Heat Sinks for Drywood Termite (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae) Management
by and
Insects 2021, 12(12), 1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121090 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
With heat treatments to control drywood termites (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae), the presence of heat sinks causes heat to be distributed unevenly throughout the treatment areas. Drywood termites may move to galleries in heat sink areas to avoid exposure to lethal temperatures. Our studies were [...] Read more.
With heat treatments to control drywood termites (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae), the presence of heat sinks causes heat to be distributed unevenly throughout the treatment areas. Drywood termites may move to galleries in heat sink areas to avoid exposure to lethal temperatures. Our studies were conducted in Crytotermes brevis-infested condominiums in Honolulu, Hawaii to reflect real-world condominium scenarios; either a standard heat treatment performed by a heat remediation company, or an improved heat treatment was used. For improved treatments, heated air was directed into the toe-kick voids of C. brevis infested cabinets to reduce heat sink effects and increase heat penetration into these difficult-to-heat areas. Eight thermistor sensors placed inside the toe-kick voids, treatment zone, embedded inside cabinets’ sidewalls, and in a wooden cube recorded target temperatures of above 46 °C or 50 °C for 120 min. Pre-treatment and follow-up inspections were performed at 6 months posttreatment to monitor termite inactivity using visual observations and by recording the numbers of spiked peaks on a microwave technology termite detection device (Termatrac). In improved treatment condominiums, significantly higher numbers of spiked peaks were recorded at pre-treatment as compared to 6 months posttreatment. Efficacious heat treatment protocols using the improved methods are proposed. Full article
Communication
Stack LSTM-Based User Identification Using Smart Shoes with Accelerometer Data
by , and
Sensors 2021, 21(23), 8129; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21238129 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
In this study, we propose a long short-term memory (LSTM)-based user identification method using accelerometer data from smart shoes. In general, for the user identification with human walking data, we require a pre-processing stage in order to divide human walking data into individual [...] Read more.
In this study, we propose a long short-term memory (LSTM)-based user identification method using accelerometer data from smart shoes. In general, for the user identification with human walking data, we require a pre-processing stage in order to divide human walking data into individual steps. Next, user identification can be made with divided step data. In these approaches, when there exist partial data that cannot complete a single step, it is difficult to apply those data to the classification. Considering these facts, in this study, we present a stack LSTM-based user identification method for smart-shoes data. Rather than using a complicated analysis method, we designed an LSTM network for user identification with accelerometer data of smart shoes. In order to learn partial data, the LSTM network was trained using walking data with random sizes and random locations. Then, the identification can be made without any additional analysis such as step division. In the experiments, user walking data with 10 m were used. The experimental results show that the average recognition rate was about 93.41%, 97.19%, and 98.26% by using walking data of 2.6, 3.9, and 5.2 s, respectively. With the experimental results, we show that the proposed method can classify users effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Sensors: Applications and Advances in Human Motion Analysis)
Review
A Review on Electrochemical Sensors and Biosensors Used in Chlorogenic Acid Electroanalysis
by and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(23), 13138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222313138 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
Chlorogenic acid (5-O-caffeoylquinic acid) is a phenolic compound from the hydroxycinnamic acid family. Epidemiological, biological, and biochemical studies concur to support the beneficial role of chlorogenic acid in human health, along with other dietary phenolic compounds. Thus, chlorogenic acid has been reported to [...] Read more.
Chlorogenic acid (5-O-caffeoylquinic acid) is a phenolic compound from the hydroxycinnamic acid family. Epidemiological, biological, and biochemical studies concur to support the beneficial role of chlorogenic acid in human health, along with other dietary phenolic compounds. Thus, chlorogenic acid has been reported to exert inhibitory effects on carcinogenesis in the large intestine, liver, and tongue, and a protective action on oxidative stress in vivo, together with anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and antihypertensive activities. It is also claimed to have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral effects with relatively low toxicity and side effects, alongside properties that do not lead to antimicrobial resistance. Due to its importance, numerous methods for determining chlorogenic acid (CGA), as well as for its derivatives from coffee beans and other plants, were elaborated. The most frequently used methods are infrared spectroscopy, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), capillary electrophoresis, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and chemiluminescence. Although these methods proved to be efficient for quantifying CGA and its derived products, a number of deficiencies were identified: they are time consuming, laborious, and require expensive instruments. Therefore, electrochemical methods have been developed and used in the determination of CGA in different nutraceuticals or food products. The present review aims to present the main progresses and performance characteristics of electrochemical sensors and biosensors used to detect CGA, as it is reported in a high number of relevant scientific papers published mainly in the last decade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Chemical Reactions in Metal Oxide Nanocomposites)
Article
Mueller Matrix-Based Approach for the Ex Vivo Detection of Riboflavin-Treated Transparent Biotissue
by , , , , and
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(23), 11515; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112311515 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
Corneal collagen cross-linking is an established procedure for the treatment of certain eye diseases which is applied to enhance the mechanical stability of such biotissue without deteriorating its functionality. However, being transparent, the optical analysis of the outcome of such treatments is cumbersome [...] Read more.
Corneal collagen cross-linking is an established procedure for the treatment of certain eye diseases which is applied to enhance the mechanical stability of such biotissue without deteriorating its functionality. However, being transparent, the optical analysis of the outcome of such treatments is cumbersome and relies on relatively expensive experimental equipment. We aim to apply the Mueller matrix polarimetry for the detection of photo-induced collagen cross-linking in transparent biotissue after treatment with riboflavin and UV irradiation. A simple Mueller matrix polarimetry setup could provide a fast and non-invasive analysis of transparent media to sensitively detect small photo-induced cross-linking effects in biotissue. We demonstrated the current capabilities of the approach on non-planar porcine cornea samples ex vivo. We reported the distinction between untreated and riboflavin-treated samples. The differences observed were correlated with the variation of certain Mueller matrix elements and parameters derived from the decomposition. The measurement data show variation in the cross-linked and non-cross-linked samples, although the effect of the UV treatment on the riboflavin-treated samples was not at the same level of significance yet and needs further investigation. The Mueller matrix measurement represents a promising approach for the detection of the effects of corneal collagen cross-linking. Further studies with a larger sample number are required to validate this approach. In the future, this could enable the reliable and non-invasive detection of photo-induced effects in biotissue and open the possibility for in vivo application, e.g., in eye disease treatment or the detection of scar collagen development. Full article
Article
Quantum Coherence of Atoms with Dipole–Dipole Interaction and Collective Damping in the Presence of an Optical Field
by , , and
Symmetry 2021, 13(12), 2327; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13122327 (registering DOI) - 05 Dec 2021
Abstract
We investigate the effect of the interatomic distances and thermal reservoir on the coherence dynamics of the atoms considering the dipole–dipole interaction (DDI) and collective damping effect (CDE). We show that the control and protection of the coherence are very sensitive to the [...] Read more.
We investigate the effect of the interatomic distances and thermal reservoir on the coherence dynamics of the atoms considering the dipole–dipole interaction (DDI) and collective damping effect (CDE). We show that the control and protection of the coherence are very sensitive to the interatomic distances and reservoir temperature. Furthermore, we explore the distance effect between atoms and reservoir temperature on the time evolution of the total quantum correlation between the two atoms. The obtained results could be useful to execute these quantum phenomena and also considered as a good indication to implement realistic experiments with optimal conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Information and Symmetry 2021)
Article
Modeling of the Effective Permittivity of Open-Cell Ceramic Foams Inspired by Platonic Solids
by , , and
Materials 2021, 14(23), 7446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14237446 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
Open-cell solid foams are rigid skeletons that are permeable to fluids, and they are used as direct heaters or thermal dissipaters in many industrial applications. Using susceptors, such as dielectric materials, for the skeleton and exposing them to microwaves is an efficient way [...] Read more.
Open-cell solid foams are rigid skeletons that are permeable to fluids, and they are used as direct heaters or thermal dissipaters in many industrial applications. Using susceptors, such as dielectric materials, for the skeleton and exposing them to microwaves is an efficient way of heating them. The heating performance depends on the permittivity of the skeleton. However, generating a rigorous description of the effective permittivity is challenging and requires an appropriate consideration of the complex skeletal foam morphology. In this study, we propose that Platonic solids act as building elements of the open-cell skeletal structures, which explains their effective permittivity. The new, simplistic geometrical relation thus derived is used along with electromagnetic wave propagation calculations of models that represent real foams to obtain a geometrical, parameter-free relation, which is based only on foam porosity and the material´s permittivity. The derived relation facilitates an efficient and reliable estimation of the effective permittivity of open-cell foams over a large range of porosity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Microwave Processing of Materials)
Article
Taxonomy and Phylogeny Reveal Two New Potential Edible Ectomycorrhizal Mushrooms of Thelephora from East Asia
by , , , , and
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13120646 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
The ectomycorrhizal basidiomycetes genus Thelephora has been understudied in subtropical ecosystems. Many species of Thelephora are important edible and medicinal fungi, with substantial economic value. Two new Thelephora species, T. grandinioides and T. wuliangshanensis spp. nov. are proposed here based on [...] Read more.
The ectomycorrhizal basidiomycetes genus Thelephora has been understudied in subtropical ecosystems. Many species of Thelephora are important edible and medicinal fungi, with substantial economic value. Two new Thelephora species, T. grandinioides and T. wuliangshanensis spp. nov. are proposed here based on a combination of morphological features and molecular evidence. Thelephora grandinioides is characterized by laterally stipitate basidiocarps with a grandinoid hymenial surface, a monomitic hyphal system with clamped generative hyphae, and the presence of tubular and septated cystidia and subglobose to globose basidiospores measuring as 5.3–7.4 × 4–6.5 µm. Thelephora wuliangshanensis is characterized by infundibuliform basidiocarps, radially black striate on the pileus, a smooth, umber to coffee hymenial surface, a monomitic hyphal system with thick-walled generative hyphae, and basidiospores that turn greenish grey to buff in 5% KOH. Phylogenetic analyses of rDNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) and nuclear large subunit region (nrLSU) showed that the two new Thelephora are phylogenetically distinct: T. grandinioides is sister to T. aurantiotincta and T. sikkimensis, while T. wuliangshanensis is sister to a clade comprising T. austrosinensis and T. aurantiotincta with high support as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Hidden Fungal Diversity in Asia)
Article
Betalains in Edible Fruits of Three Cactaceae Taxa—Epiphyllum, Hylocereus, and Opuntia—Their LC-MS/MS and FTIR Identification and Biological Activities Evaluation
by , , , , , , and
Plants 2021, 10(12), 2669; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10122669 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
Epiphyllum, Hylocereus, and Opuntia plants belong to the Cactaceae family. They are mostly known as ornamental plants but also for their edible fruits, which can potentially be sources of betalains, such as betanin, a natural pigment used in the food industry, e.g., [...] Read more.
Epiphyllum, Hylocereus, and Opuntia plants belong to the Cactaceae family. They are mostly known as ornamental plants but also for their edible fruits, which can potentially be sources of betalains, such as betanin, a natural pigment used in the food industry, e.g., under the European label code E 162. The aim of this work was the identification of betalains (using LC-MS/MS), evaluation of total betalain content (spectrophotometrically), analysis of functional groups (using FT-IR), evaluation of antioxidant activity (using DPPH, ABTS, FRAP, DCFH-DA, and reducing power methods) and evaluation of antimicrobial activity (S. aureus, E. coli, and C. albicans) in fruits of Epiphyllum, Hylocereus, and Opuntia taxa. A total of 20 betalains were identified in the studied Cactaceae fruits. The Epiphyllum pink hybrid had the highest values of total betalains amongst all samples. The highest antioxidant activity was observed in the Epiphyllum pink hybrid, in Opuntia zacuapanensis and O. humifusa fruits. The antimicrobial activity assay showed that cacti fruits were not able to effectively inhibit the growth of E. coli, S. aureus, or C. albicans. Our results prove that these fruits are good sources of natural pigments—betalains. They do not contain toxic compounds in significant amounts and they exhibit antioxidant activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Profiling and Biological Activity of Plant Natural Compounds)
Article
Forecasting Commodity Prices Using the Term Structure
by and
J. Risk Financial Manag. 2021, 14(12), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/jrfm14120585 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
The aim of this study is to test the ability of the yield curve on US government bonds to forecast the future evolution in the prices of commodities often used in as raw materials. We consider the monthly prices of nine commodities for [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to test the ability of the yield curve on US government bonds to forecast the future evolution in the prices of commodities often used in as raw materials. We consider the monthly prices of nine commodities for more than 30 years. Our findings, confirmed by several parametric and non-parametric tests, are robust and indicate that the ability to forecast future performance changes over time. Specifically, between 1986 and the early 2000s the yield curve was quite successful in forecasting monthly changes in commodity prices, but that success diminished in the period following. One possible explanation for this outcome is the increased flow of capital into the commodity market resulting in stronger correlations with the equity markets and a breakdown of the obvious relationship between commodities and business cycle. Our findings are important for asset pricing, commodity traders and policy makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers of Asset Pricing)
Article
Two Needle Passes Achieve Similar Diagnostic Yield Compared to Three Passes Regarding Diagnosis of Solid Pancreatic Lesions in Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration
by , , , , , , , , , , , , , and
Diagnostics 2021, 11(12), 2272; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11122272 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
Current guidelines advocate 3–4 passes with a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) to achieve high rates of diagnostic samples for malignancy when performing endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided sampling of solid pancreatic lesions, in the absence of on-site cytologic evaluation. The aim of this study is to [...] Read more.
Current guidelines advocate 3–4 passes with a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) to achieve high rates of diagnostic samples for malignancy when performing endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided sampling of solid pancreatic lesions, in the absence of on-site cytologic evaluation. The aim of this study is to compare 2 vs. 3 needle passes in EUS-FNA for solid pancreatic lesions in terms of incremental diagnostic yield and to identify factors associated with the procedure’s outcome. In this retrospective study, 2 passes of EUS-FNA were found to have similar diagnostic yield compared to 3 passes for the diagnosis of solid pancreatic masses, suggesting that there might be no significant incremental tissue yield when 3 passes are performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endoscopic Ultrasound Guided Tissue Sampling of Tumors)
Article
Oxygen-Dependent Changes in the N-Glycome of Murine Pulmonary Endothelial Cells
by , , , , , , , , , , and
Antioxidants 2021, 10(12), 1947; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10121947 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
Supplemental oxygen is frequently used together with mechanical ventilation to achieve sufficient blood oxygenation. Despite the undoubted benefits, it is vigorously debated whether too much oxygen can also have unpredicted side-effects. Uncertainty is also due to the fact that the molecular mechanisms are [...] Read more.
Supplemental oxygen is frequently used together with mechanical ventilation to achieve sufficient blood oxygenation. Despite the undoubted benefits, it is vigorously debated whether too much oxygen can also have unpredicted side-effects. Uncertainty is also due to the fact that the molecular mechanisms are still insufficiently understood. The lung endothelium is covered with an exceptionally broad glycocalyx, carrying N- and O-glycans, proteoglycans, glycolipids and glycosaminoglycans. Glycan structures are not genetically determined but depend on the metabolic state and the expression level and activity of biosynthetic and glycan remodeling enzymes, which can be influenced by oxygen and the redox status of the cell. Altered glycan structures can affect cell interactions and signaling. In this study, we investigated the effect of different oxygen conditions on aspects of the glycobiology of the pulmonary endothelium with an emphasis on N-glycans and terminal sialylation using an in vitro cell culture system. We combined a proteomic approach with N-glycan structure analysis by LC-MS, qRT-PCR, sialic acid analysis and lectin binding to show that constant and intermittent hyperoxia induced time dependent changes in global and surface glycosylation. An siRNA approach identified St6gal1 as being primarily responsible for the early transient increase of α2-6 sialylated structures in response to hyperoxia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular Oxidative Stress)
Article
Characteristics of Spatiotemporal Changes in the Occurrence of Forest Fires
by , and
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(23), 4940; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13234940 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to understand the characteristics of the spatial distribution of forest fire occurrences with the local indicators of temporal burstiness in Korea. Forest fire damage data were produced in the form of areas by combining the forest fire [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to understand the characteristics of the spatial distribution of forest fire occurrences with the local indicators of temporal burstiness in Korea. Forest fire damage data were produced in the form of areas by combining the forest fire damage ledger information with VIIRS-based forest fire occurrence data. Then, detrended fluctuation analysis and the local indicator of temporal burstiness were applied. In the results, the forest fire occurrence follows a self-organized criticality mechanism, and the temporal irregularities of fire occurrences exist. When the forest fire occurrence time series in Gyeonggi-do Province, which had the highest value of the local indicator of temporal burstiness, was checked, it was found that the frequency of forest fires was increasing at intervals of about 10 years. In addition, when the frequencies of forest fires and the spatial distribution of the local indicators of forest fire occurrences were compared, it was found that there were spatial differences in the occurrence of forest fires. This study is meaningful in that it analyzed the time series characteristics of the distribution of forest fires in Korea to understand that forest fire occurrences have long-term temporal correlations and identified areas where the temporal irregularities of forest fire occurrences are remarkable with the local indicators of temporal burstiness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disaster Monitoring Using Remote Sensing)
Article
Invasion at the Edge: The Case of Rosa rugosa (Rosaceae) in Italy
by , , , , , and
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13120645 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
The Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa) is a perennial shrub belonging to the family Rosaceae. It was introduced in Europe from East Asia as an ornamental plant in the XIX century and is now considered an invasive species, especially in northern Europe, [...] Read more.
The Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa) is a perennial shrub belonging to the family Rosaceae. It was introduced in Europe from East Asia as an ornamental plant in the XIX century and is now considered an invasive species, especially in northern Europe, colonising the Atlantic and Baltic coastal dune habitats and threatening local biodiversity. However, little is known about its presence and invasion patterns in the Mediterranean area. In Italy, R. rugosa has been classified as naturalised and just a few observations have been recorded in dune habitats in the North Adriatic coast. Here, we review the published data on R. rugosa in Europe and present preliminary data on the invasive pattern of R. rugosa on the Italian North Adriatic coast. We surveyed the coastline in two locations (i.e., Brussa and Bibione, Italy) where we characterised the dimension and structure (i.e., number of ramets and stem height) of the R. rugosa populations and listed the associated floristic composition. No occurrence of R. rugosa was recorded in Bibione, probably due to the success of the restoration project carried out on that site. In contrast, several stands of R. rugosa were found in Brussa, where many other alien species were also found (accounting for 15.28% of the sampled species). Given the strong invasiveness of R. rugosa, it is important to keep data on its distribution up-to-date and investigate its ecology and physiology to promote appropriate management strategies to control its spread and anticipate its future potential distribution. Full article
Article
Comparisons of Zooplankton Community Structure between with- and without- Pesticide Applications on Rice Fields
by and
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13120644 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
Herbicide usage in rice fields over time may have a direct and indirect influence on the biodiversity of the fields. The impacts of herbicide usage on non-target organisms were assessed by examining the species richness and zooplankton density of two rice fields. One [...] Read more.
Herbicide usage in rice fields over time may have a direct and indirect influence on the biodiversity of the fields. The impacts of herbicide usage on non-target organisms were assessed by examining the species richness and zooplankton density of two rice fields. One was 2.08 hectares in size and had been treated with pesticides during the sampling year (RF-PA). The second field, measuring 1.76 hectares, had received no pesticide treatment (RF-NPA). Every two weeks, zooplankton was quantitatively collected from ten sampling sites in each field. At each station, 20 L of measured water was filtered through a plankton net with a mesh size of 20 µm and preserved in 1% Lugol’s solution. The results revealed that RF-NPA and RF-PA had 112 and 88 species of zooplankton, respectively, with an abundance-based Jaccard index (Jabd) of 0.438. The total zooplankton density in RF-NPA was 24.4 ind./L, significantly higher than the 16.6 ind./L in RF-PA (p < 0.001). The Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H’) and evenness (J) were highest in RF-NPA at the second sampling (3.45 and 0.75, respectively). These results indicate that glyphosate application affects the diversity of species and density of zooplankton in rice fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invertebrate Diversity in Extreme Environments of Inland Waters)
Article
Composition of Brazil Nut (Bertholletia excels HBK), Its Beverage and By-Products: A Healthy Food and Potential Source of Ingredients
by , , , , and
Foods 2021, 10(12), 3007; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123007 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
The consumption of plant-based beverages is a growing trend and, consequently, the search for alternative plant sources, the improvement of beverage quality and the use of their by-products, acquire great interest. Thus, the purpose of this work was to characterize the composition (nutrients, [...] Read more.
The consumption of plant-based beverages is a growing trend and, consequently, the search for alternative plant sources, the improvement of beverage quality and the use of their by-products, acquire great interest. Thus, the purpose of this work was to characterize the composition (nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidant activity) of the Brazil nut (BN), its whole beverage (WBM), water-soluble beverage (BM-S), and its by-products of the beverage production: cake, sediment fraction (BM-D), and fat fraction (BM-F). In this study, advanced methodologies for the analysis of the components were employed to assess HPLC-ESI-QTOF (phenolic compounds), GC (fatty acids), and MALDI-TOF/TOF (proteins and peptides). The production of WBM was based on a hot water extraction process, and the production of BM-S includes an additional centrifugation step. The BN showed an interesting nutritional quality and outstanding content of unsaturated fatty acids. The investigation found the following in the composition of the BN: phenolic compounds (mainly flavan-3-ols as Catechin (and glycosides or derivatives), Epicatechin (and glycosides or derivatives), Quercetin and Myricetin-3-O-rhamnoside, hydroxybenzoic acids as Gallic acid (and derivatives), 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, ellagic acid, Vanillic acid, p-Coumaric acid and Ferulic acid, bioactive minor lipid components (β-Sitosterol, γ-Tocopherol, α-Tocopherol and squalene), and a high level of selenium. In beverages, WBM had a higher lipid content than BM-S, a factor that influenced the energy characteristics and the content of bioactive minor lipid components. The level of phenolic compounds and selenium were outstanding in both beverages. Hydrothermal processing can promote some lipolysis, with an increase in free fatty acids and monoglycerides content. In by-products, the BM-F stood out due to its bioactive minor lipid components, the BM-D showed a highlight in protein and mineral contents, and the cake retained important nutrients and phytochemicals from the BN. In general, the BN and its beverages are healthy foods, and its by-products could be used to obtain healthy ingredients with appreciable biological activities (such as antioxidant activity). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant-Rich Foods in Human and Animal Health)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Adherence to National Antimicrobial Guidelines in Hospitalized Geriatric Patients with Community-Acquired Pneumonia: A Prospective Observational study in a Malaysian Hospital
by , , , , , and
Antibiotics 2021, 10(12), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10121490 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
The evaluation of disease progression and onsite therapeutic care choices for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) patients is vital for their well-being and the optimum utilization of healthcare resources. The current study was conducted to assess physicians’ adherence to clinical practice standards and antibiotic prescribing [...] Read more.
The evaluation of disease progression and onsite therapeutic care choices for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) patients is vital for their well-being and the optimum utilization of healthcare resources. The current study was conducted to assess physicians’ adherence to clinical practice standards and antibiotic prescribing behavior for the treatment of CAP in older people. A prospective study that included 121 consecutive patients admitted for CAP was conducted at Kulim Hospital, Kedah, from March 2020 to August 2020. Medical records including demographic data, comorbidity, physical examination, laboratory or radiologic findings, and drugs used for the treatment of CAP were accessed from bed head tickets (BHT). The mean age for patients was 73.5 ± 6.2 years, 73 (60.3%) and 48 (39.6%) were males and females, respectively. Amoxicillin/clavulanate (19.8%) was the most prescribed antibiotic for non-severe pneumonia followed by ampicillin sodium/sulbactam sodium (6.6%), while in patients with severe CAP beta-lactam + beta lactamase inhibitors (BLIs) with a combination of macrolide were the most common antibiotics prescribed either in patients with (21.4%) or without co-morbidities (8.2%). The average length of stay in the hospital with severe pneumonia was 6–7 days for 23.9% of patients and < 5 days for 21.4% of patients. The duration of intravenous antibiotics in patients with severe pneumonia was 6–7 days for 32.2% of patients. The present findings revealed the adherence of antibiotic prescribing practices to the Malaysian National Antimicrobial Guideline 2019 for CAP therapy among geriatric patients and adherence to the CAP criteria for hospital admissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Access, Consumption and Use of Antimicrobials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Time-Aware and Feature Similarity Self-Attention in Vessel Fuel Consumption Prediction
by , , and
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(23), 11514; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112311514 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
An accurate vessel fuel consumption prediction is essential for constructing a ship route network and vessel management, leading to efficient sailings. Besides, ship data from monitoring and sensing systems accelerate fuel consumption prediction research. However, the ship data consist of three properties: sequential, [...] Read more.
An accurate vessel fuel consumption prediction is essential for constructing a ship route network and vessel management, leading to efficient sailings. Besides, ship data from monitoring and sensing systems accelerate fuel consumption prediction research. However, the ship data consist of three properties: sequential, irregular time interval, and feature importance, making the predicting problem challenging. In this paper, we propose Time-aware Attention (TA) and Feature-similarity Attention (FA) applied to bi-directional Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM). TA acquires time importance by nonlinear function from irregular time intervals in each sequence and emphasizes data depending on the importance. FA emphasizes data based on similarities of features in the sequence by estimating feature importance with learnable parameters. Finally, we propose the ensemble model of TA and FA-based BiLSTM. The ensemble model, which consists of fully connected layers, is capable of simultaneously capturing different properties of ship data. The experimental results on ship data showed that the proposed model improves the performance in predicting fuel consumption. In addition to model performance, visualization results of attention maps and feature importance help to understand data properties and model characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Machine and Deep Learning)
Article
A Study on the Clustering of Extra Virgin Olive Oils Extracted from Cultivars Growing in Four Ionian Islands (Greece) by Multivariate Analysis of Their Phenolic Profile, Antioxidant Activity and Genetic Markers
by , , , , , , and
Foods 2021, 10(12), 3009; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123009 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Abstract
Background: The phenolic fraction of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has disease preventive and health-promoting properties which are supported by numerous studies. As such, EVOO is defined as a functional food. The aim of the present study was to characterize the phenolic profile [...] Read more.
Background: The phenolic fraction of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has disease preventive and health-promoting properties which are supported by numerous studies. As such, EVOO is defined as a functional food. The aim of the present study was to characterize the phenolic profile of olive oil from cultivars farmed in the Ionian Islands (Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Lefkada, and Kerkyra) and to investigate the association of phenols to antioxidant activity, which is central to its functionality. Furthermore, the study investigates whether multivariate analyses on the concentration of individual biophenolic compounds and genetic population diversity could classify the olive oil samples based on their geographic origin. Methods: Phenols were determined in 103 samples from different Ionian Island tree populations by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and sample antioxidant activity was measured by their capacity to reduce the free radical 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) (DPPH). Genetic diversity was measured by estimating Nei’s population genetic distance using 15 reproducible bands from random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) genotyping. Results: Principal component analysis (PCA) of the secoiridoid concentrations clustered samples according to cultivar. Clustering based on genetic distances is not concordant with phenolic clustering. A cultivar effect was also demonstrated in the association between the concentration of individual phenols with DPPH reducing activity. Conclusions: Taken together, the study shows that the olive oil phenolic content defines “cultivar-specific phenolic profiles” and that environmental factors other than agronomic conditions contribute more to phenotype variance than genetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Future Food Analysis and Detection)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open Access Journals

Browse by Indexing Browse by Subject Selected Journals
Back to TopTop