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Open AccessArticle
Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Their Polyphenol Content Are Inversely Associated with Sleep Duration: Prospective Associations from the UK Women’s Cohort Study
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1803; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111803 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the prospective associations between fruit and vegetable (FV) intakes and their polyphenol content with subsequent sleep duration in UK women. In this study, 13,958 women with ~4 years of follow-up in the UK Women’s Cohort Study were included
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This study aims to investigate the prospective associations between fruit and vegetable (FV) intakes and their polyphenol content with subsequent sleep duration in UK women. In this study, 13,958 women with ~4 years of follow-up in the UK Women’s Cohort Study were included in the analyses. FV intakes were assessed at baseline using a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and average hours of sleep per day were self-reported in follow-up. Polyphenol intake was calculated by matching FV items from the FFQ with the Phenol-Explorer database. Linear regression models, adjusting for confounders, were used for the analyses. Consuming an additional portion of apples, kiwi, oranges, pineapple, and 100% pure juice were associated with shorter sleep. Similarly, an additional portion of cabbage, celery, aubergine, olives, and peppers were inversely associated with sleep duration. An additional gram of total polyphenols was associated with shorter sleep by 18 min (99% CI −31 to −4, p < 0.001). FV consumption and total polyphenol content were inversely associated with sleep duration; however, effect sizes were small, and polyphenol classes from FV intakes were not associated with sleep duration. Future intervention studies considering the time of FV consumption in relation to sleep are needed to clarify the underlying mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Electrocatalytic Activity and Stability toward the Oxygen Reduction Reaction with Unprotected Pt Nanoclusters
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(11), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8110955 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The Pt particles within diameters of 1–3 nm known as Pt nanoclusters (NCs) are widely considered to be satisfactory oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts due to higher electrocatalytic performance and cost effectiveness. However, the utilization of such smaller Pt NCs is always limited
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The Pt particles within diameters of 1–3 nm known as Pt nanoclusters (NCs) are widely considered to be satisfactory oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts due to higher electrocatalytic performance and cost effectiveness. However, the utilization of such smaller Pt NCs is always limited by the synthesis strategies, stability and methanol tolerance of Pt. Herein, unprotected Pt NCs (~2.2 nm) dispersed on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were prepared via a modified top-down approach using liquid Li as a solvent to break down the bulk Pt. Compared with the commercial Pt/C, the resultant Pt NCs/CNTs catalyst (Pt loading: 10 wt.%) exhibited more desirable ORR catalytic performance in 0.1 M HClO4. The specific activity (SA) and mass activity (MA) at 0.9 V for ORR over Pt NCs/CNTs were 2.5 and 3.2 times higher than those over the commercial Pt/C (Pt loading: 20 wt.%). Meanwhile, the Pt NCs/CNTs catalyst demonstrated more satisfactory stability and methanol tolerance. Compared with the obvious loss (~69%) of commercial Pt/C, only a slight current decrease (~10%) was observed for Pt NCs/CNTs after the chronoamperometric measurement for 2 × 104 s. Hence, the as-prepared Pt NCs/CNTs material displays great potential as a practical ORR catalyst. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Gelation of Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride) Solutions in Native and Organically Modified Silica Nanopores
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 3025; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23113025 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to highlight the surface and size effects of the nanopores on the thermodynamics and kinetics of gelation. The effects have been probed by applying differential scanning calorimetry to poly(vinylidene fluoride) solutions in tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether (tetraglyme)
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The purpose of this study is to highlight the surface and size effects of the nanopores on the thermodynamics and kinetics of gelation. The effects have been probed by applying differential scanning calorimetry to poly(vinylidene fluoride) solutions in tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether (tetraglyme) and γ-butyrolactone. Nanoconfinement has been accomplished by introducing gels into native and organically modified silica nanopores (4–30 nm). Nanoconfinement has produced two major effects. First, the heat of gelation has decreased three to four times compared to that for the bulk systems. Second, the temperature of gelation has increased by ~40 °C (tetraglyme based systems) and ~70 °C (γ-butyrolactone based systems), the increase being stronger in native nanopores. The effects are discussed in terms of acceleration of gelation due to heterogeneous nucleation at the confining surface, and retardation of gelation due to constricted polymer chain mobility in the middle of the pore volume. Calorimetric data have been subjected to isoconversional kinetics analysis. The obtained temperature dependencies of the activation energies of gelation have been interpreted in the frameworks of the nucleation model of Turnbull and Fisher. The results suggest that nanoconfinement leads to a lowering of both the free energy of nucleation and activation energy of diffusion. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Diatoms Green Nanotechnology for Biosilica-Based Drug Delivery Systems
Pharmaceutics 2018, 10(4), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics10040242 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Diatom microalgae are the most outstanding natural source of porous silica. The diatom cell is enclosed in a three-dimensional (3-D) ordered nanopatterned silica cell wall, called frustule. The unique properties of the diatom frustule, including high specific surface area, thermal stability, biocompatibility, and
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Diatom microalgae are the most outstanding natural source of porous silica. The diatom cell is enclosed in a three-dimensional (3-D) ordered nanopatterned silica cell wall, called frustule. The unique properties of the diatom frustule, including high specific surface area, thermal stability, biocompatibility, and tailorable surface chemistry, make diatoms really promising for biomedical applications. Moreover, they are easy to cultivate in an artificial environment and there is a large availability of diatom frustules as fossil material (diatomite) in several areas of the world. For all these reasons, diatoms are an intriguing alternative to synthetic materials for the development of low-cost drug delivery systems. This review article focuses on the possible use of diatom-derived silica as drug carrier systems. The functionalization strategies of diatom micro/nanoparticles for improving their biophysical properties, such as cellular internalization and drug loading/release kinetics, are described. In addition, the realization of hybrid diatom-based devices with advanced properties for theranostics and targeted or augmented drug delivery applications is also discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Raman Imaging Approach Using CD47 Antibody-Labeled SERS Nanoparticles for Identifying Breast Cancer and Its Potential to Guide Surgical Resection
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(11), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8110953 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Raman spectroscopic imaging has shown great promise for improved cancer detection and localization with the use of tumor targeting surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles. With the ultrasensitive detection and multiplexing capabilities that SERS imaging has to offer, scientists have been investigating several
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Raman spectroscopic imaging has shown great promise for improved cancer detection and localization with the use of tumor targeting surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles. With the ultrasensitive detection and multiplexing capabilities that SERS imaging has to offer, scientists have been investigating several clinical applications that could benefit from this unique imaging strategy. Recently, there has been a push to develop new image-guidance tools for surgical resection to help surgeons sensitively and specifically identify tumor margins in real time. We hypothesized that SERS nanoparticles (NPs) topically applied to breast cancer resection margins have the potential to provide real-time feedback on the presence of residual cancer in the resection margins during lumpectomy. Here, we explore the ability of SERS nanoparticles conjugated with a cluster of differentiation-47 (CD47) antibody to target breast cancer. CD47 is a cell surface receptor that has recently been shown to be overexpressed on several solid tumor types. The binding potential of our CD47-labeled SERS nanoparticles was assessed using fluorescence assisted cell sorting (FACS) on seven different human breast cancer cell lines, some of which were triple negative (negative expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2)). Xenograft mouse models were also used to assess the ability of our Raman imaging system to identify tumor from normal tissue. A ratiometric imaging strategy was used to quantify specific vs. nonspecific probe binding, resulting in improved tumor-to-background ratios. FACS analysis showed that CD47-labeled SERS nanoparticles bound to seven different breast cancer cell lines at levels 12-fold to 70-fold higher than isotype control-labeled nanoparticles (p < 0.01), suggesting that our CD47-targeted nanoparticles actively bind to CD47 on breast cancer cells. In a mouse xenograft model of human breast cancer, topical application of CD47-targeted nanoparticles to excised normal and cancer tissue revealed increased binding of CD47-targeted nanoparticles on tumor relative to normal adjacent tissue. The findings of this study support further investigation and suggest that SERS nanoparticles topically applied to breast cancer could guide more complete surgical resection during lumpectomy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Taste Perception and Water Swallow Screen Results in Old-Old Women
Geriatrics 2018, 3(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3040083 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Changes in both swallowing and taste commonly occur in advanced age, though the relationship between the two is unknown. This study examined the association between a water swallow screen test and taste identification and intensity rating. Participants included 47 community-dwelling women aged 85–94
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Changes in both swallowing and taste commonly occur in advanced age, though the relationship between the two is unknown. This study examined the association between a water swallow screen test and taste identification and intensity rating. Participants included 47 community-dwelling women aged 85–94 years. Participants completed three trials of a water swallow screen and were observed for signs of aspiration, which, if present, indicated failure. Four pure taste stimuli at low and high concentrations and water were presented, and participants selected one of five taste labels and rated their intensity on the generalized Labeled Magnitude Scale. Ratios of intensity ratings were computed for each taste stimulus to compare the perception of low and high concentrations. The association between water swallow screen failure, correct taste identification, and taste intensity ratio was evaluated with logistic regression modeling, with mediating factors of frailty and number of comorbidities. Failure of three water swallow screen trials was associated with a higher taste intensity ratio for caffeine (bitter) and a lower taste intensity ratio for sucrose (sweet). Correct identification of taste, frailty, and number of comorbidities were not associated with failure of any number of water swallow screen trials. Intensity ratings of certain tastes may be associated with swallowing in old-old women. Heightened vigilance in this population may be necessary to prevent complications related to dietary intake. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Editorial for Glacial and Geomorphological Cartography Special Issue
Geosciences 2018, 8(11), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8110424 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Landforms are the most superficial part of the earth’s crust. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Six New Phragmalin Limonoids from the Stems of Chukrasia tabularis A. Juss
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 3024; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23113024 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Six new phragmalin limonoids, named moluccensin Z1 (1), moluccensin Z2 (2), carapanolide Y (3), tabulalin N (4), chukvelutilide A1 (5), and velutinasin J (6), as well as two known compounds, chukvelutilide
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Six new phragmalin limonoids, named moluccensin Z1 (1), moluccensin Z2 (2), carapanolide Y (3), tabulalin N (4), chukvelutilide A1 (5), and velutinasin J (6), as well as two known compounds, chukvelutilide A (7) and velutinasin D (8) were isolated from the stems of Chukrasia tabularis A. Juss. The structures of the new compounds 16 were confirmed by spectroscopic methods, including IR and HRESIMS, as well as 1D and 2D NMR, and by comparisons with the data of known analogues. All compounds were tested for α-glucosidase and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities. However, none of the compounds was active against α-glucosidase and acetylcholinesterase in vitro. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Liquid Phase Separation in High-Entropy Alloys—A Review
Entropy 2018, 20(11), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/e20110890 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
It has been 14 years since the discovery of the high-entropy alloys (HEAs), an idea of alloying which has reinvigorated materials scientists to explore unconventional alloy compositions and multicomponent alloy systems. Many authors have referred to these alloys as multi-principal element alloys (MPEAs)
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It has been 14 years since the discovery of the high-entropy alloys (HEAs), an idea of alloying which has reinvigorated materials scientists to explore unconventional alloy compositions and multicomponent alloy systems. Many authors have referred to these alloys as multi-principal element alloys (MPEAs) or complex concentrated alloys (CCAs) in order to place less restrictions on what constitutes an HEA. Regardless of classification, the research is rooted in the exploration of structure-properties and processing relations in these multicomponent alloys with the aim to surpass the physical properties of conventional materials. More recent studies show that some of these alloys undergo liquid phase separation, a phenomenon largely dictated by low entropy of mixing and positive mixing enthalpy. Studies posit that positive mixing enthalpy of the binary and ternary components contribute substantially to the formation of liquid miscibility gaps. The objective of this review is to bring forth and summarize the findings of the experiments which detail liquid phase separation (LPS) in HEAs, MPEAs, and CCAs and to draw parallels between HEAs and the conventional alloy systems which undergo liquid-liquid separation. Positive mixing enthalpy if not compensated by the entropy of mixing will lead to liquid phase separation. It appears that Co, Ni, and Ti promote miscibility in HEAs/CCAs/MPEAs while Cr, V, and Nb will raise the miscibility gap temperature and increase LPS. Moreover, addition of appropriate amounts of Ni to CoCrCu eliminates immiscibility, such as in cases of dendritically solidifying CoCrCuNi, CoCrCuFeNi, and CoCrCuMnNi. Full article
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