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Open AccessArticle
Highly Sensitive Signal Processing Devices for Capacitive Transducers of Micromechanical Accelerometers
Electronics 2019, 8(9), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8090932 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, the principles of the open-loop frequency-based signal processing devices for capacitive MEMS accelerometers are used to develop three CMOS IP-core (Intellectual Property core) projects of highly sensitive signal processing devices with frequency output. Signal processing devices designed in accordance with [...] Read more.
In this paper, the principles of the open-loop frequency-based signal processing devices for capacitive MEMS accelerometers are used to develop three CMOS IP-core (Intellectual Property core) projects of highly sensitive signal processing devices with frequency output. Signal processing devices designed in accordance with the considered method form an output of rectangular pulses whose frequencies equal a difference of signal frequencies from two identical generators with micromechanical accelerometer capacitive transducers in their frequency control circuits. First, the analog project scheme uses two harmonic LC oscillators and an analog mixer to form an output rectangular-shape differential-frequency signal, the frequency of which is dependent on the measured acceleration. Second, the digital project is fully scalable for various CMOS-technologies due to oscillators of rectangular pulses and a digital mixer. Third, the mixed-signal project combines the advantages of the analog and digital projects. The signal processing device projects were developed, modeled and compared to comprehensively solve the problems of increasing sensitivity, dynamic range, noise immunity and resistance to destabilizing factors (e.g., to temperature changes). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Water Pathways for the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya and an Analysis of Three Flood Events
Atmosphere 2019, 10(9), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10090489 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The climatology of major sources and pathways of moisture for three locales along the Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region are examined, by use of Lagrangian methods applied to the ERA-Interim dataset, over the period from 1980 to 2016 for both summer (JJA) and winter (NDJ) periods. [...] Read more.
The climatology of major sources and pathways of moisture for three locales along the Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region are examined, by use of Lagrangian methods applied to the ERA-Interim dataset, over the period from 1980 to 2016 for both summer (JJA) and winter (NDJ) periods. We also investigate the major flooding events of 2010, 2013, and 2017 in Pakistan, Uttarakhand, and Kathmandu, respectively, and analyse a subset of the climatology associated with the 20 most significant rainfall events over each region of interest. A comparison is made between the climatology and extreme events, in the three regions of interest, during the summer monsoon period. For Northern Pakistan and Uttarakhand, the Indus basin plays the largest role in moisture uptake. Moisture is also gathered from Eastern Europe and Russia. Extreme events display an increased influence of sub-tropical weather systems, which manifest themselves through low-level moisture transport; predominantly from the Arabian sea and along the Gangetic plain. In the Kathmandu region, it is found that the major moisture sources come from the Gangetic plain, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Bay of Bengal, and the Indus basin. In this case, extreme event pathways largely match those of the climatology, although an increased number of parcels originate from the western end of the Gangetic plain. These results provide insights into the rather significant influence of mid-latitudinal weather systems, even during the monsoon season, in defining the climatology of the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya region, as well as how extreme precipitation events in this region represent atypical moisture pathways. We propose a detailed investigation of how such water pathways are represented in climate models for the present climate conditions and in future climate scenarios, as this may be extremely relevant for understanding the impacts of climate change on the cryosphere and hydrosphere of the region. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Canonical Divergence for Flat α-Connections: Classical and Quantum
Entropy 2019, 21(9), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21090831 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A recent canonical divergence, which is introduced on a smooth manifold M endowed with a general dualistic structure (g,,*), is considered for flat α-connections. In the classical setting, we compute such a canonical divergence [...] Read more.
A recent canonical divergence, which is introduced on a smooth manifold M endowed with a general dualistic structure (g,,*), is considered for flat α-connections. In the classical setting, we compute such a canonical divergence on the manifold of positive measures and prove that it coincides with the classical α-divergence. In the quantum framework, the recent canonical divergence is evaluated for the quantum α-connections on the manifold of all positive definite Hermitian operators. In this case as well, we obtain that the recent canonical divergence is the quantum α-divergence. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Coseismic Ground Deformation Reproduced through Numerical Modeling: A Parameter Sensitivity Analysis
Geosciences 2019, 9(9), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090370 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Coseismic ground displacements detected through remote sensing surveys are often used to invert the coseismic slip distribution on geologically reliable fault planes. We analyze a well-known case study (2009 L’Aquila earthquake) to investigate how three-dimensional (3D) slip configuration affects coseismic ground surface deformation. [...] Read more.
Coseismic ground displacements detected through remote sensing surveys are often used to invert the coseismic slip distribution on geologically reliable fault planes. We analyze a well-known case study (2009 L’Aquila earthquake) to investigate how three-dimensional (3D) slip configuration affects coseismic ground surface deformation. Different coseismic slip surface configurations reconstructed using aftershocks distribution and coseismic cracks, were tested using 3D boundary element method numerical models. The models include two with slip patches that reach the surface and three models of blind normal-slip surfaces with different configurations of slip along shallowly-dipping secondary faults. We test the sensitivity of surface deformation to variations in stress drop and rock stiffness. We compare numerical models’ results with line of sight (LOS) surface deformation detected from differential SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) interferometry (DInSAR). The variations in fault configuration, rock stiffness and stress drop associated with the earthquake considerably impact the pattern of surface subsidence. In particular, the models with a coseismic slip patch that does not reach the surface have a better match to the line of sight coseismic surface deformation, as well as better match to the aftershock pattern, than models with rupture that reaches the surface. The coseismic slip along shallowly dipping secondary faults seems to provide a minor contribution toward surface deformation. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Multiscale Computational Fluid Dynamics
Energies 2019, 12(17), 3272; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12173272 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has numerous applications in the field of energy research, in modelling the basic physics of combustion, multiphase flow and heat transfer; and in the simulation of mechanical devices such as turbines, wind wave and tidal devices, and other devices [...] Read more.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has numerous applications in the field of energy research, in modelling the basic physics of combustion, multiphase flow and heat transfer; and in the simulation of mechanical devices such as turbines, wind wave and tidal devices, and other devices for energy generation. With the constant increase in available computing power, the fidelity and accuracy of CFD simulations have constantly improved, and the technique is now an integral part of research and development. In the past few years, the development of multiscale methods has emerged as a topic of intensive research. The variable scales may be associated with scales of turbulence, or other physical processes which operate across a range of different scales, and often lead to spatial and temporal scales crossing the boundaries of continuum and molecular mechanics. In this paper, we present a short review of multiscale CFD frameworks with potential applications to energy problems. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Romanian Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.): Physicochemical and Nutraceutical Screening
Molecules 2019, 24(17), 3087; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24173087 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Artemisia species are used worldwide for their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This research was designed to investigate the phytochemical profile of two ethanolic extracts obtained from leaves and stems of A. absinthium L. as well as the biological potential (antioxidant activity, cytotoxic, [...] Read more.
Artemisia species are used worldwide for their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This research was designed to investigate the phytochemical profile of two ethanolic extracts obtained from leaves and stems of A. absinthium L. as well as the biological potential (antioxidant activity, cytotoxic, anti-migratory and anti-inflammatory properties). Both plant materials showed quite similar thermogravimetric, FT-IR phenolic profile (high chlorogenic acid) with mild antioxidant capacity [ascorbic acid (0.02–0.1) > leaves (0.1–2.0) > stem (0.1–2.0)]. Alcoholic extracts from these plant materials showed a cytotoxic effect against A375 (melanoma) and MCF7 (breast adenocarcinoma) and affected less the non-malignant HaCaT cells (human keratinocytes) at 72 h post-stimulation and this same trend was observed in the anti-migratory (A375, MCF7 > HaCat) assay. Lastly, extracts ameliorated the pro-inflammatory effect of TPA (12-o-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate) in mice ears, characterized by a diffuse neutrophil distribution with no exocytosis or micro-abscesses. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of FITC Labelled Ruthenium Dendrimer as a Prospective Anticancer Drug
Biomolecules 2019, 9(9), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9090411 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Metallodendrimers—dendrimers with included metals—are widely investigated as biocompatible equivalents to metal nanoparticles. Applications can be expected in the fields of catalysis, as chemical sensors in molecular recognition and as anticancer drugs. Metallodendrimers can also mimic certain biomolecules, for example, haemoprotein in the case [...] Read more.
Metallodendrimers—dendrimers with included metals—are widely investigated as biocompatible equivalents to metal nanoparticles. Applications can be expected in the fields of catalysis, as chemical sensors in molecular recognition and as anticancer drugs. Metallodendrimers can also mimic certain biomolecules, for example, haemoprotein in the case of using a dendrimer with a porphyrin core. In previous papers, we showed the promising anticancer effects of carbosilane ruthenium dendrimers. The present paper is devoted to studying biocompatibility and the cytotoxic effect on normal and cancer cells of carbosilane ruthenium dendrimers labelled with fluorescent probe fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC). The addition of fluorescent probe allowed tracking the metallodendrimer in both normal and cancer cells. It was found that carbosilane ruthenium dendrimer labelled with FITC in concentration up to 10 µmol/L was more cytotoxic for cancer cells than for normal cells. Thus, FITC labelled carbosilane ruthenium dendrimer is a good candidate for diagnostic imaging and studying anticancer effects of metallodendrimers in cancer therapy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Extending the View on Project Performance
Adm. Sci. 2019, 9(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci9030065 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The main aim of this study is to gain insights into project management professionals’ perception of how project success can be achieved. The Q-methodology was followed in this research. Based on an extensive literature review and validation through expert judgment, a framework consisting [...] Read more.
The main aim of this study is to gain insights into project management professionals’ perception of how project success can be achieved. The Q-methodology was followed in this research. Based on an extensive literature review and validation through expert judgment, a framework consisting of 33 factors increasing the likelihood of success was developed. A total of 34 practitioners in three different sectors (real estate, urban development, and infrastructure) in the Netherlands were asked to rank the statements contributing to the success of their projects. Four different perspectives of how project success can be achieved were distinguished in this study: “seeking the best match”, “being adaptive and open”, “keeping the team focused”, and “preparing for opportunities”. The perception of different practitioners of how success can be obtained may stem from factors of project context rather than sector and complexity. This highlights further research opportunities in taking a contingent approach when investigating project performance. The study helps to grasp the subjectivity of practitioners’ viewpoints regarding the potential ways to enhance project performance by understanding the similarity and differences of these viewpoints. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mobility-Enabled Edge Server Selection for Multi-User Composite Services
Future Internet 2019, 11(9), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi11090184 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In mobile edge computing, a set of edge servers is geographically deployed near the mobile users such that accessible computing capacities and services can be provided to users with low latency. Due to user’s mobility, one fundamental and critical problem in mobile edge [...] Read more.
In mobile edge computing, a set of edge servers is geographically deployed near the mobile users such that accessible computing capacities and services can be provided to users with low latency. Due to user’s mobility, one fundamental and critical problem in mobile edge computing is how to select edge servers for many mobile users so that the total waiting time is minimized. In this paper, we propose a multi-user waiting time computation model about composite services and show the resource contention of the edge server among mobile users. Then, we introduce a novel and optimal Multi-user Edge server Selection method based on Particle swarm optimization (MESP) in mobile edge computing, which selects edge servers for mobile uses in advance within polynomial time. Extensive simulations on a real-world data-trace show that the MESP algorithm can effectively reduce the total waiting time compared with traditional approaches. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Washing Durability and Photo-Stability of NanoTiO2-SiO2 Coatings Exhausted onto Cotton and Cotton/Polyester Fabrics
Coatings 2019, 9(9), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9090545 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the durability of TiO2-SiO2 coatings applied in three concentrations onto two lightweight cellulose-based fabrics diverse in the composition against two external factors, repeated washings and prolonged intensive UV irradiation, by [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to assess and compare the durability of TiO2-SiO2 coatings applied in three concentrations onto two lightweight cellulose-based fabrics diverse in the composition against two external factors, repeated washings and prolonged intensive UV irradiation, by observing the changes in surface morphology, investigation of optical properties, and identification of specific molecular vibrations. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs, diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) profiles and fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectra implied equal distribution of TiO2-SiO2 nanoparticles over the surfaces of both fabrics after exhaustion procedures, regarding the concentration of colloidal paste and the type of material used, followed by a slight reduction of nanoparticles after twenty washing cycles. Moreover, the newly gained, good to very good UV protective functionality proved the suitability of the employed procedure and the sufficient durability of the selected coatings. Additionally, UV irradiation mainly caused damages to the cotton. Cotton/polyester became yellower under UV, although the application of TiO2-SiO2 protected the material against yellowness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Melatonin Inhibits Apoptosis and Oxidative Stress of Mouse Leydig Cells via a SIRT1-Dependent Mechanism
Molecules 2019, 24(17), 3084; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24173084 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The purpose of the present study is to examine the effects of melatonin on apoptosis and oxidative stress in mouse Leydig cells and to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for these effects. Our results indicated that 10 ng/mL of melatonin significantly promoted cell viability, [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study is to examine the effects of melatonin on apoptosis and oxidative stress in mouse Leydig cells and to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for these effects. Our results indicated that 10 ng/mL of melatonin significantly promoted cell viability, the ratio of EdU-positive (5-Ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine) cells, and increased the mRNA expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), cyclin D1(CCND1), and cell division control protein 42 (CDC42) (p < 0.05). We also observed that melatonin inhibited apoptosis of mouse Leydig cells, accompanied with increased B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) and decreased BCL2 associated X (BAX) mRNA and protein expression. Moreover, addition of melatonin significantly decreased the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels, while it increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) levels (p < 0.05). In addition, we also found that melatonin increased the expression of SIRT1 (Silent information regulator 1) (p < 0.05). To explore the role of SIRT1 signaling in melatonin-induced cells, mouse Leydig cells were pretreated with EX527, an inhibitor of SIRT1. The protective effects of melatonin on mouse Leydig cells were reversed by EX527, as shown by decreased cell proliferation and increased cell apoptosis and oxidative stress. In summary, our results demonstrated that melatonin inhibited apoptosis and oxidative stress of mouse Leydig cells through a SIRT1-dependent mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Comparative Study on the Phenolic Composition and Biological Activities of Morus alba L. Commercial Samples
Molecules 2019, 24(17), 3082; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24173082 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Morus alba L. (white mulberry) has been commonly used as a functional food and for medicinal purposes. Hence, the aim of the study was to compare the phenolic profile of white mulberry commercial samples in relation to their antioxidant potential and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) [...] Read more.
Morus alba L. (white mulberry) has been commonly used as a functional food and for medicinal purposes. Hence, the aim of the study was to compare the phenolic profile of white mulberry commercial samples in relation to their antioxidant potential and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity. It is of interest to determine whether herbal products originating from different commercial sources differ in their phenolic profiles. For this purpose, a simple and rapid high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method was used for the separation and determination of ten major phenolic compounds. Total phenolic (TPC), total flavonoid (TFC), and total phenolic acid contents (TPAC), as well as l(+)-ascorbic acid (ASA) contents, were determined. The antioxidant potential was assessed by DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical) scavenging activity and ferric-reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP) assay, while the AChE inhibitory activity was determined by the Ellman assay for water extracts. The study revealed that excluding two herbal products containing fruits and a sample containing leaves of white mulberry, yerba mate and lemon, the remaining samples were generally consistent in terms of phenolic composition as well as antioxidant potential and AChE inhibitory activity. This reflects the health-promoting properties of the samples under study. Moreover, the results showed that the water extracts of white mulberry were richer in phenolic compounds and presented higher antioxidant activity than the hydromethanolic extracts. However, the water extracts showed low inhibitory activity against AChE. Moreover, the correlation analysis indicated a high positive relationship between phenolic composition and antioxidant activity in extracts of white mulberry. Overall, the obtained results may be useful in the evaluation of new dietary supplements and food products. The water extracts of white mulberry could be used for antioxidant purposes, while the hydromethanolic extracts could be incorporated in antioxidant formulations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Arthritic and Anti-Nociceptive Activities of Nigella sativa Oil in a Rat Model of Arthritis
Antioxidants 2019, 8(9), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8090342 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study investigated the preventive efficacy of the crude oil extracted from Nigella sativa seeds in a rat model of arthritis induced by using complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA). Nigella sativa oil at 1.82 mL/kg or 0.91 mL/kg (corresponding to 1596 and 798 mg/kg, [...] Read more.
This study investigated the preventive efficacy of the crude oil extracted from Nigella sativa seeds in a rat model of arthritis induced by using complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA). Nigella sativa oil at 1.82 mL/kg or 0.91 mL/kg (corresponding to 1596 and 798 mg/kg, respectively) was orally administered for 25 days from the day of immunization. One immunized group was treated orally with indomethacin (3 mg/kg) as a reference drug. Body weight growth rate, paw swelling, arthritis score, mechanical allodynia, locomotor activity and anxiety-like behavior were observed, and the levels of Interleukin 6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein, albumin and total cholesterol in plasma were measured on days 15 and 25. Nigella sativa oil showed anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and anti-nociceptive activities that were significant as compared to untreated arthritic rats but less than indomethacin. These results indicated that Nigella sativa oil significantly attenuated adjuvant-arthritis in rats and the higher dose (1.82 mL/kg) prevented the development of arthritis with an inhibition of 56%. Full article
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