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Open AccessReview
Reformulating Pro-Oxidant Microglia in Neurodegeneration
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(10), 1719; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8101719 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
In neurodegenerative diseases, microglia-mediated neuroinflammation and oxidative stress are central events. Recent genome-wide transcriptomic analyses of microglial cells under different disease conditions have uncovered a new subpopulation named disease-associated microglia (DAM). These studies have challenged the classical view of the microglia polarization state’s [...] Read more.
In neurodegenerative diseases, microglia-mediated neuroinflammation and oxidative stress are central events. Recent genome-wide transcriptomic analyses of microglial cells under different disease conditions have uncovered a new subpopulation named disease-associated microglia (DAM). These studies have challenged the classical view of the microglia polarization state’s proinflammatory M1 (classical activation) and immunosuppressive M2 (alternative activation). Molecular signatures of DAM and proinflammatory microglia (highly pro-oxidant) have shown clear differences, yet a partial overlapping gene profile is evident between both phenotypes. The switch activation of homeostatic microglia into reactive microglia relies on the selective activation of key surface receptors involved in the maintenance of brain homeostasis (a.k.a. pattern recognition receptors, PRRs). Two relevant PRRs are toll-like receptors (TLRs) and triggering receptors expressed on myeloid cells-2 (TREM2), whose selective activation is believed to generate either a proinflammatory or a DAM phenotype, respectively. However, the recent identification of endogenous disease-related ligands, which bind to and activate both TLRs and TREM2, anticipates the existence of rather complex microglia responses. Examples of potential endogenous dual ligands include amyloid β, galectin-3, and apolipoprotein E. These pleiotropic ligands induce a microglia polarization that is more complicated than initially expected, suggesting the possibility that different microglia subtypes may coexist. This review highlights the main microglia polarization states under disease conditions and their leading role orchestrating oxidative stress. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Genomic Diversity of the Major Histocompatibility Complex in Health and Disease
Cells 2019, 8(10), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8101270 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
The human Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) genes are part of the supra‐locus on
chromosome 6p21 known as the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) in Health and Disease)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Incidence of Heterotopic Ossification in Anterior Based Muscle Sparing Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Retrospective Radiographic Review
Prosthesis 2019, 1(1), 11-15; https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis1010003 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
Heterotopic ossification (HO) is a known complication following total hip arthroplasty (THA). The anterior based muscle sparing (ABMS) approach is a variation of a direct anterior approach through the Watson–Jones interval. To date, few studies have evaluated HO formation following this surgery. We [...] Read more.
Heterotopic ossification (HO) is a known complication following total hip arthroplasty (THA). The anterior based muscle sparing (ABMS) approach is a variation of a direct anterior approach through the Watson–Jones interval. To date, few studies have evaluated HO formation following this surgery. We examine the incidence of HO in a consecutive series of THAs using this approach by three different surgeons at a single center. Standard preoperative radiographs were examined to determine the type of degenerative arthritis, and follow-up radiographs a minimum of 9 months after surgery were evaluated for the presence and classification of HO. The overall incidence of HO after ABMS THA in this study was 86/233, or 36.9%, which is comparable to recent studies of direct anterior and traditional approaches. Class III and IV HO is uncommon in ABMS surgery (3.9% and 1.3%, respectively) and appears to decrease with increased surgical experience with this technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Orthopedics and Rehabilitation)
Open AccessHypothesis
Cows Get Crohn’s Disease and They’re Giving Us Diabetes
Microorganisms 2019, 7(10), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7100466 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
Increasingly, Johne’s disease of ruminants and human Crohn’s disease are regarded as the same infectious disease: paratuberculosis. Mycobacterium avium ss. paratuberculosis (MAP) is the cause of Johne’s and is the most commonly linked infectious cause of Crohn’s disease. Humans are broadly exposed to [...] Read more.
Increasingly, Johne’s disease of ruminants and human Crohn’s disease are regarded as the same infectious disease: paratuberculosis. Mycobacterium avium ss. paratuberculosis (MAP) is the cause of Johne’s and is the most commonly linked infectious cause of Crohn’s disease. Humans are broadly exposed to MAP in dairy products and in the environment. MAP has been found within granulomas such as Crohn’s disease and can stimulate autoantibodies in diseases such as type 1 diabetes (T1D) and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Moreover, beyond Crohn’s and T1D, MAP is increasingly associated with a host of autoimmune diseases. This article suggests near equivalency between paucibacillary Johne’s disease of ruminant animals and human Crohn’s disease and implicates MAP zoonosis beyond Crohn’s disease to include T1D. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycobacteria Infections and Autoimmune Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect οf Genotype and Growing Year on the Nutritional, Phytochemical, and Antioxidant Properties of Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seeds
Antioxidants 2019, 8(10), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8100491 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
Cannabis sativa L. seeds have been an important source of protein, oil, and dietary fiber for human and animals. Currently, there is a growing interest in the commercial products of these seeds, which are recognized as a legitimate source of medicaments, cosmeceuticals, and [...] Read more.
Cannabis sativa L. seeds have been an important source of protein, oil, and dietary fiber for human and animals. Currently, there is a growing interest in the commercial products of these seeds, which are recognized as a legitimate source of medicaments, cosmeceuticals, and nutraceuticals. The objective of this study was to investigate the nutritional, phytochemical composition, and antioxidant properties of seeds from seven hemp cultivars grown in Greece for three consecutive years. All the measured parameters strongly varied under the influence of growing year and genotype. In particular, protein, oil, and carbohydrates’ content of hemp seeds as well as fatty acids’ composition were mainly affected by genotype, whereas the growing year had a major effect on phytochemical components and antioxidant activity, which was determined by the 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzthiazoline sulfonate) (ABTS) and ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Moreover, a predominant effect of the year was observed for phenolic profiles as determined by high-performance liquid chromatography and total carotenoids’ content. This study suggests that hemp seeds could be a promising food crop as a result of their high nutritive traits and antioxidant potential. A comparison of the studied cultivars, showed that Finola seeds had the highest oil and protein contents and, thus, appeared to be the most promising cultivar for cultivation in Greece. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrasonographic Evaluation of Fatty Pancreas in Serbian Patients with Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease—A Cross Sectional Study
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100697 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the association between presences of fatty pancreas (FP) with the features of metabolic syndrome (MeS) in patients with non–alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and to establish a new noninvasive scoring system [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the association between presences of fatty pancreas (FP) with the features of metabolic syndrome (MeS) in patients with non–alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and to establish a new noninvasive scoring system for the prediction of FP in patients with NAFLD. Material and Methods: 143 patients with NAFLD were classified according to FP severity grade into the two groups and evaluated for diagnostic criteria of MeS. All patients underwent sonographic examination with adiposity measurements and the liver biopsy. Liver fibrosis was evaluated semi-quantitatively according to the METAVIR scoring system and using non-invasive markers of hepatic fibrosis. Results: Waist circumference (WC) was predictive for increased risk of FP in NAFLD patients. Elevated fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, serum amylase and lipase levels were associated with presence of severe FP (p value = 0.052, p value = 0.007, p value = 0.014; p value = 0.024, respectively). Presence of increased amounts of mesenteric fat was associated with severe FP (p value = 0.013). The results of this study demonstrated highly significant association between NAFLD and presence of FP. The model for predicting the presence of FP was designed with probability value above 6.5. Conclusion: Pancreatic fat accumulation leads to worsening of pancreatic function which in turns exacerbates severity of metabolic syndrome associated with both, NAFLD and NAFPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hepatology)
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Open AccessArticle
An Efficient Agrobacterium Mediated Transformation of Pineapple with GFP-Tagged Protein Allows Easy, Non-Destructive Screening of Transgenic Pineapple Plants
Biomolecules 2019, 9(10), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9100617 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
Quite a few studies have been conducted to improve the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of pineapple, which is the second most important commercial tropical fruit crop worldwide. However, pineapple transformation remains challenging, due to technical difficulties, the lengthy regeneration process, and a high labor [...] Read more.
Quite a few studies have been conducted to improve the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of pineapple, which is the second most important commercial tropical fruit crop worldwide. However, pineapple transformation remains challenging, due to technical difficulties, the lengthy regeneration process, and a high labor requirement. There have not been any studies specifically addressing the introduction of GFP-tagged genes into pineapples through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, which would enable easy, non-destructive expression detection. It would also allow expression localization at the organelle level, which is not possible with GUS a reporter gene that encodes β-glucuronidase or a herbicide resistance reporter gene. Here, we report a method for the introduction of GFP-tagged genes into pineapples through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. We used embryonic calli for transformation, and plants were regenerated through somatic embryogenesis. In this study, we optimized the incubation time for Agrobacterium infection, the co-cultivation time, the hygromycin concentration for selection, and the callus growth conditions after selection. Our strategy reduced the time required to obtain transgenic plants from 7.6 months to 6.1 months. The expression of GFP-tagged AcWRKY28 was observed in the nuclei of transgenic pineapple root cells. This method allows easy, non-destructive expression detection of transgenic constructs at the organelle level. These findings on pineapple transformation will help accelerate pineapple molecular breeding efforts to introduce new desirable traits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Isolation of Phytochemicals from Bauhinia variegata L. Bark and Their In Vitro Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Potential
Antioxidants 2019, 8(10), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8100492 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
Plants have been the basis of traditional medicine since the dawn of civilizations. Different plant parts possess various phytochemicals, playing important roles in preventing and curing diseases. Scientists, through extensive experimental studies, are playing an important part in establishing the use of phytochemicals [...] Read more.
Plants have been the basis of traditional medicine since the dawn of civilizations. Different plant parts possess various phytochemicals, playing important roles in preventing and curing diseases. Scientists, through extensive experimental studies, are playing an important part in establishing the use of phytochemicals in medicine. However, there are still a large number of medicinal plants which need to be studied for their phytochemical profile. In this study, the objective was to isolate phytochemicals from bark of Bauhinia variegata L. and to study them for their antioxidant and cytotoxic activities. The bark was extracted with methanol, followed by column chromatography and thus isolating kaempferol, stigmasterol, protocatechuic acid-methyl ester (PCA-ME) and protocatechuic acid (PCA). 2,2-azinobis-3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) and 2, 2’-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) radical scavenging assays were utilized for assessment of antioxidant activity, and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) dye reduction assay was used to determine cytotoxic activity against C-6 glioma rat brain, MCF-7 breast cancer, and HCT-15 colon cancer cell lines. The compounds were found to have significant antioxidant and cytotoxic activity. Since there is a considerable increase in characterizing novel chemical compounds from plant parts, the present study might be helpful for chemotaxonomic determinations, for understanding of medicinal properties as well as for the quality assessment of herbal supplements containing B. variegata bark, thus establishing its use in traditional medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phenolic Profiling and Antioxidant Capacity in Plants)
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Open AccessReview
Therapeutic Challenges for Cisplatin-Resistant Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1584; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101584 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
The majority of patients with advanced ovarian germ cell cancer are treated by cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Despite adequate first-line treatment, nearly one third of patients relapse and almost half develop cisplatin-resistant disease, which is often fatal. The treatment of cisplatin-resistant disease is challenging and [...] Read more.
The majority of patients with advanced ovarian germ cell cancer are treated by cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Despite adequate first-line treatment, nearly one third of patients relapse and almost half develop cisplatin-resistant disease, which is often fatal. The treatment of cisplatin-resistant disease is challenging and prognosis remains poor. There are limited data on the efficacy of specific chemotherapeutic regimens, high-dose chemotherapy with autologous progenitor cell support and targeted therapies. The inclusion of patients in clinical trials is strongly recommended, especially in clinical trials on the most frequent male germ cell tumors, to offer wider therapeutic opportunities. Here, we provide an overview of current and potential new treatment options including combination chemotherapy, high-dose chemotherapy and molecular targeted therapies, for patients with cisplatin-resistant ovarian germ cell tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Drug Resistance and Novel Therapies in Cancers)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Wearable Augmented Reality Application for Shoulder Rehabilitation
Electronics 2019, 8(10), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8101178 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
Augmented reality (AR) technology is gaining popularity and scholarly interest in the rehabilitation sector because of the possibility to generate controlled, user-specific environmental and perceptual stimuli which motivate the patient, while still preserving the possibility to interact with the real environment and other [...] Read more.
Augmented reality (AR) technology is gaining popularity and scholarly interest in the rehabilitation sector because of the possibility to generate controlled, user-specific environmental and perceptual stimuli which motivate the patient, while still preserving the possibility to interact with the real environment and other subjects, including the rehabilitation specialist. The paper presents the first wearable AR application for shoulder rehabilitation, based on Microsoft HoloLens, with real-time markerless tracking of the user’s hand. Potentialities and current limits of commercial head-mounted displays (HMDs) are described for the target medical field, and details of the proposed application are reported. A serious game was designed starting from the analysis of a traditional rehabilitation exercise, taking into account HoloLens specifications to maximize user comfort during the AR rehabilitation session. The AR application implemented consistently meets the recommended target frame rate for immersive applications with HoloLens device: 60 fps. Moreover, the ergonomics and the motivational value of the proposed application were positively evaluated by a group of five rehabilitation specialists and 20 healthy subjects. Even if a larger study, including real patients, is necessary for a clinical validation of the proposed application, the results obtained encourage further investigations and the integration of additional technical features for the proposed AR application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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Open AccessReview
Raman Scattering in Non-Stoichiometric Lithium Niobate Crystals with a Low Photorefractive Effect
Crystals 2019, 9(10), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9100535 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
Raman spectra of lithium niobate single crystals strongly doped by zinc and magnesium, it has been established, contain low-intense bands with frequencies 209, 230, 298, 694, and 880 cm−1. Ab ignition calculations fail to attribute these bands to fundamental vibrations of [...] Read more.
Raman spectra of lithium niobate single crystals strongly doped by zinc and magnesium, it has been established, contain low-intense bands with frequencies 209, 230, 298, 694, and 880 cm−1. Ab ignition calculations fail to attribute these bands to fundamental vibrations of A2 symmetry type unambiguously. Such vibrations are prohibited by the selection rules in the space group С3V6 (R3c). Ab initio calculations also proved that low-intense “extra” bands with frequencies 104 and 119 cm−1 definitely do not correspond to vibrations of A2 symmetry type. We have paid special attention to these extra bands that appear in LiNbO3 single crystals Raman spectra despite the fact that they are prohibited by the selection rules. In order to do so, we have studied a number of lithium niobate single crystals, both nominally pure and doped, by Raman spectroscopy. We have assumed that some “extra” bands correspond to two-particle states of acoustic phonons with a total wave vector equal to zero. We have also detected a Zn concentration area (0.05 – 0.94 mol.% ZnO in a crystal) where doped crystal structure is more ordered: The order of alternation of the main, doping cations, and vacancies along the polar axis is increased, and oxygen octahedra are less distorted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Raman Spectroscopy of Crystals)
Open AccessArticle
Real Time Energy Performance Control for Industrial Compressed Air Systems: Methodology and Applications
Energies 2019, 12(20), 3935; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12203935 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
Most manufacturing and process industries require compressed air to such an extent that in Europe, for instance, about 10% of the total electrical energy consumption of industries is due to compressed air systems (CAS). However, energy efficiency in compressed air production and handling [...] Read more.
Most manufacturing and process industries require compressed air to such an extent that in Europe, for instance, about 10% of the total electrical energy consumption of industries is due to compressed air systems (CAS). However, energy efficiency in compressed air production and handling is often ignored or underestimated, mainly because of the lack of awareness about its energy consumption, caused by the absence of proper measurements on CAS in most industrial plants. Therefore, any effective energy saving intervention on generation, distribution and transformation of compressed air requires proper energy information management. In this paper we demonstrate the importance of monitoring and controlling energy performance in compressed air generation and use, to enable energy saving practices, to enhance the outcomes of energy management projects, and to obtain additional benefits for non-energy-related activities, such as operations, maintenance management and energy accounting. In particular, we propose a novel methodology based on measured data, and baseline definition through statistical modelling and control charts. The proposed methodology is tested on a real compressed air system of a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in order to verify its effectiveness and applicability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency of Manufacturing Processes and Systems )
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Biodiesel Production from Castor Oil by Two-Step Catalytic Transesterification: Optimization of the Process and Economic Assessment
Catalysts 2019, 9(10), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9100864 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
The use of biodiesel and the requirement of improving its production in a more efficient and sustainable way are becoming more and more important. In this research work, castor oil was demonstrated to be an alternative feedstock for obtaining biodiesel. The production of [...] Read more.
The use of biodiesel and the requirement of improving its production in a more efficient and sustainable way are becoming more and more important. In this research work, castor oil was demonstrated to be an alternative feedstock for obtaining biodiesel. The production of biodiesel was optimized by the use of a two-step process. In this process, methanol and KOH (as a catalyst) were added in each step, and the glycerol produced during the first stage was removed before the second reaction. The reaction conditions were optimized, considering catalyst concentration and methanol/oil molar ratio for both steps. A mathematical model was obtained to predict the final ester content of the biodiesel. Optimal conditions (0.08 mol·L−1 and 0.01 mol·L−1 as catalyst concentration, 5.25:1 and 3:1 as methanol/oil molar ratio for first and second step, respectively) were established, taking into account the biodiesel quality and an economic analysis. This type of process allowed cost saving, since the amounts of methanol and catalyst were significantly reduced. An estimation of the final manufacturing cost of biodiesel production was carried out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Derived Heterogeneous and Homogeneous Catalysts)
Open AccessArticle
High Temperature Mechanical Properties and Wear Performance of B4C/Al7075 Metal Matrix Composites
Metals 2019, 9(10), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9101108 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
In this study, high volume fraction B4C reinforced Al matrix composites were fabricated with a liquid pressing process. Microstructural analysis by scanning electron microscope and a transmission electron microscopy shows a uniform distribution of the B4C reinforcement in the [...] Read more.
In this study, high volume fraction B4C reinforced Al matrix composites were fabricated with a liquid pressing process. Microstructural analysis by scanning electron microscope and a transmission electron microscopy shows a uniform distribution of the B4C reinforcement in the matrix, without any defects such as pore and unwanted reaction products. The compressive strength and wear properties of the Al7075 matrix and the composite were compared at room temperature, 100, 200, and 300 °C, respectively. The B4C reinforced composite showed a very high ultimate compression strength (UCS) over 1.4 GPa at room temperature. The UCS gradually decreased as the temperature was increased, and the UCS of the composite at 300 °C was about one third of the UCS of the composite at room temperature. The fractography of the compressive test specimen revealed that the fracture mechanism of the composites was the brittle fracture mode at room temperature during the compression test. However, at the elevated temperature, AMCs had a mixed mode of a brittle and ductile fracture mechanism under the compressive load. The composite produced by a liquid pressing process also showed superior wear resistance compared with the Al matrix. The result of the wear test indicates that the wear loss of the Al matrix at 300 °C was two times higher than that of the AMCs, which is attributed to the formation of a mechanically mixed layer (MML) in the composites at the high temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clad Metals: Fabrication, Properties and Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Optimal Feedback Control Strategy for Nonlinear, Distributed-Parameter Processes
Processes 2019, 7(10), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7100758 (registering DOI) - 17 Oct 2019
Abstract
In this work, an optimal state feedback control strategy is proposed for non-linear, distributed-parameter processes. For different values of a given parameter susceptible to upsets, the strategy involves off-line computation of a repository of optimal open-loop states and gains needed for the feedback [...] Read more.
In this work, an optimal state feedback control strategy is proposed for non-linear, distributed-parameter processes. For different values of a given parameter susceptible to upsets, the strategy involves off-line computation of a repository of optimal open-loop states and gains needed for the feedback adjustment of control. A gain is determined by minimizing the perturbation of the objective functional about the new optimal state and control corresponding to a process upset. When an upset is encountered in a running process, the repository is utilized to obtain the control adjustment required to steer the process to the new optimal state. The strategy is successfully applied to a highly non-linear, gas-based heavy oil recovery process controlled by the gas temperature with the state depending non-linearly on time and two spatial directions inside a moving boundary, and subject to pressure upsets. The results demonstrate that when the process has a pressure upset, the proposed strategy is able to determine control adjustments with negligible time delays and to navigate the process to the new optimal state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process Systems Engineering à la Canada)

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