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Open AccessArticle
An Experimental Study of the Sweep Frequency Impedance Method on the Winding Deformation of an Onsite Power Transformer
Energies 2020, 13(14), 3511; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143511 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Power transformers are one of the most important devices in electrical networks. The safety operation of the transformers directly affects the reliability of the power system. To diagnose the internal deformation of the transformer as soon as possible is of great significance. As [...] Read more.
Power transformers are one of the most important devices in electrical networks. The safety operation of the transformers directly affects the reliability of the power system. To diagnose the internal deformation of the transformer as soon as possible is of great significance. As a new technique, sweep frequency impedance (SFI) method has been used to detect the short-circuit fault of the transformer winding. However, the SFI method is still in the early stage and more experimental tests are needed to further demonstrate its accuracy in the detection of other types of winding faults. Therefore, in this paper, the SFI method is investigated to diagnose an open-circuit fault of an onsite transformer. By deeply analyzing the SFI curves and SFI values at power frequency obtained by the SFI test, the open-circuit fault of this transformer winding is determined. Meanwhile, the accuracy of the diagnostic results based on the SFI method is validated by introducing the results of the short-circuit impedance (SCI) and winding resistance measurements. The application of the SFI method on the detection of the open-circuit fault within the transformer winding not only enrich the SFI method research but also provide valuable practical guidance significance for the fault detection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Studies on a New Controller Design and Implementation in Direct Methanol Fuel Cell
Processes 2020, 8(7), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8070796 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
A dynamic model of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell is developed in the MATLAB platform. A newly proposed Coefficient Diagram based Proportional Integral Controller (CD-PIC) is designed and its parameters are calculated. The newly designed CD-PIC is implemented in a real time Direct [...] Read more.
A dynamic model of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell is developed in the MATLAB platform. A newly proposed Coefficient Diagram based Proportional Integral Controller (CD-PIC) is designed and its parameters are calculated. The newly designed CD-PIC is implemented in a real time Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) experimental setup. Performances in real time operation of the Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) are evaluated. The performance of CD-PIC is obtained under tracking of set point changes. In order to evaluate the CD-PIC performances, most popular tuning rules based Conventional PI Controllers (C-PIC) are also designed and analyzed. Set point tracking is carried out for the step changes of ±10% and ±15% at two different operational points. The controller performances are analyzed in terms of Controller Performance Measuring (CPM) indices. The said performance measures indicate that the proposed CD-PIC gives the superior performances for set point changes and found very much robust in controlling DMFC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Process Control in Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Fatty Acid, Lipid and Polyphenol Compounds from Prunus armeniaca L. Kernel Extracts
Foods 2020, 9(7), 896; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070896 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Apart from its essential oil, Prunus armeniaca L. kernel extract has received only scarce attention. The present study aimed to describe the lipid and polyphenolic composition of the dichloromethane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and ethanol extracts on the basis of hot extraction, performing analysis [...] Read more.
Apart from its essential oil, Prunus armeniaca L. kernel extract has received only scarce attention. The present study aimed to describe the lipid and polyphenolic composition of the dichloromethane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and ethanol extracts on the basis of hot extraction, performing analysis by gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. A total of 6 diacylglycerols (DAGs) and 18 triacylglycerols (TAGs) were detected as being present in all extracts, with the predominance of OLL (dilinoleyl-olein), OOL (dioleoyl-linolein), and OOO (triolein), with percentages ranging from 19.0–32.8%, 20.3–23.6%, and 12.1–20.1%, respectively. In further detail, the extraction with ethyl acetate (medium polarity solvent) gave the highest signal for all peaks, followed by chloroform and dichloromethane (more apolar solvent), while the extraction with ethanol (polar solvent) was the least efficient. Ethanol showed very poor signal for the most saturated TAGs, while dichloromethane showed the lowest percentages of DAGs. Accordingly, the screening of the total fatty acid composition revealed the lowest percentage of linoleic acid (C18:2n6) in the dichloromethane extract, which instead contained the highest amount (greater than 60%) of oleic acid (C18:1n9). Polyphenolic compounds with pharmacological effects (anti-tumor, anti-coagulant, and inflammatory), such as coumarin derivative and amygdalin, occurred at a higher amount in ethyl acetate and ethanol extracts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Detection of Lipid Substances in Food)
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of the Speciation and Mobility of Pb, Zn and Cd in Relation to Transport Processes in a Mining Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 4912; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144912 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Elements in mining extracts can be potentially toxic if they are incorporated into soils, sediments or biota. Numerous approaches have been used to assess this problem, and these include sequential extractions and selective extractions. These two methods have limitations and advantages, and their [...] Read more.
Elements in mining extracts can be potentially toxic if they are incorporated into soils, sediments or biota. Numerous approaches have been used to assess this problem, and these include sequential extractions and selective extractions. These two methods have limitations and advantages, and their combined use usually provides a rough estimate of the availability or (bio)availability of potentially toxic elements and, therefore, of their real potential as toxicants in food chains. These indirect speciation data are interesting in absolute terms, but in the work described here, this aspect was developed further by assessing the evolution of availability-related speciation in relation to the transport processes from the emission source, which are mainly fluvial- and wind-driven. This objective was achieved by characterizing tailings samples as the source of elements in soils and sediments at increasing distances to investigate the evolution of certain elements. The standard procedures employed included a sequential five-step extraction and a selective extraction with ammonium acetate. The results show that the highest percentages of Zn and Pb in tailings, soils and sediment samples are associated with oxyhydroxides, along with a significant presence of resistant mineralogical forms. In the case of Cd, its association with organic matter is the second-most important trapping mechanism in the area. The physicochemical mechanisms of transport did not transform the main mineralogical associations (oxyhydroxides and resistant mineralogical forms) along the transects, but they produced a chaotic evolution pattern for the other minor matrix associations for Zn and a decrease in exchangeable and carbonate-bound forms for Pb in soils. Interestingly, in sediments, these mobile forms showed a decrease in Zn and a chaotic evolution for Pb. The most probable reason for these observations is that Zn2+ can form smithsonite (ZnCO3) or hydrozincite (Zn5(CO3)2(OH)6), which explains the retention of a carbonate-bound form for Zn in the soil transect. In contrast, Pb and Cd can appear as different mineral phases. The order of (bio)availability was Pb > Zn > Cd in tailings but Cd > Pb > Zn in soils. The physicochemical processes involved in transport from tailings to soils produce an increase in Cd (bio)availability. The trend is a decrease in bioavailability on moving away from the source (tailings), with maximum values obtained for Cd near to the source area (200–400 m). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mining and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities)
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Open AccessArticle
Revealing Further Insights on Chilling Injury of Postharvest Bananas by Untargeted Lipidomics
Foods 2020, 9(7), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070894 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Chilling injury is especially prominent in postharvest bananas stored at low temperature below 13 °C. To elucidate better the relationship between cell membrane lipids and chilling injury, an untargeted lipidomics approach using ultra-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry was conducted. Banana fruit were stored at [...] Read more.
Chilling injury is especially prominent in postharvest bananas stored at low temperature below 13 °C. To elucidate better the relationship between cell membrane lipids and chilling injury, an untargeted lipidomics approach using ultra-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry was conducted. Banana fruit were stored at 6 °C for 0 (control) and 4 days and then sampled for lipid analysis. After 4 days of storage, banana peel exhibited a marked chilling injury symptom. Furthermore, 45 lipid compounds, including glycerophospholipids, saccharolipids, and glycerolipids, were identified with significant changes in peel tissues of bananas stored for 4 days compared with the control fruit. In addition, higher ratio of digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) to monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and higher levels of phosphatidic acid (PA) and saturated fatty acids but lower levels of phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), and unsaturated fatty acids were observed in banana fruit with chilling injury in contrast to the control fruit. Meanwhile, higher activities of phospholipase D (PLD) and lipoxygenase (LOX) were associated with significantly upregulated gene expressions of MaPLD1 and MaLOX2 and higher malondialdehyde (MDA) content in chilling injury-related bananas. In conclusion, our study indicated that membrane lipid degradation resulted from reduced PC and PE, but accumulated PA, while membrane lipid peroxidation resulted from the elevated saturation of fatty acids, resulting in membrane damage which subsequently accelerated the chilling injury occurrence of banana fruit during storage at low temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Processing and Shelf Life Extension)
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Open AccessArticle
Agave Syrup as an Alternative to Sucrose in Muffins: Impacts on Rheological, Microstructural, Physical, and Sensorial Properties
Foods 2020, 9(7), 895; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070895 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Natural sweeteners, such as agave syrup, might be a healthy alternative to sucrose used in sweet bakery products linked to obesity. We evaluated the effect of sucrose replacement by agave syrup on rheological and microstructural properties of muffin batter and on physical and [...] Read more.
Natural sweeteners, such as agave syrup, might be a healthy alternative to sucrose used in sweet bakery products linked to obesity. We evaluated the effect of sucrose replacement by agave syrup on rheological and microstructural properties of muffin batter and on physical and sensorial properties of the baked product. Muffins were formulated by replacing 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of sucrose by agave syrup (AS) and partially hydrolyzed agave syrup (PHAS), and by adding xanthan gum and doubled quantities of leavening agents. Rheological and microstructural properties of batter during baking were analyzed over the range of 25–100 °C. In the muffins, the structure, texture, color, and sensory acceptance were studied. The combination of agave syrup with xanthan gum and doubled quantities of leavening agents affected (p < 0.05) rheological and microstructural properties of the batters and textural properties of the low-sucrose muffins compared to the controls. The increase in agave syrup levels resulted in a darker crumb and crust. Sensory evaluation showed that AS-75 and PHAS-75 were the best alternatives to the control samples. Our results suggest a plausible substitution of up to 75% of sucrose by agave syrup in preparation of muffins, with physical and sensorial characteristics similar to those of their sucrose-containing counterparts. Full article
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Open AccessAbstract
Teicoplanin Derivatives Impact on West Nile Virus Pathogenesis
Proceedings 2020, 50(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2020050126 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging arbovirus that causes infections worldwide. Clinical manifestations of the infection vary from asymptomatic to fatal illness when it reaches the central nervous system. To date, vaccine and specific antiviral treatments are not available. Teicoplanin is already [...] Read more.
West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging arbovirus that causes infections worldwide. Clinical manifestations of the infection vary from asymptomatic to fatal illness when it reaches the central nervous system. To date, vaccine and specific antiviral treatments are not available. Teicoplanin is already used to treat Gram-positive bacterial infections. Furthermore, it has been reported to block the entry of pseudotyped Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Moreover, teicoplanin derivatives showed anti-influenza virus, anti-human immunodeficiency virus, anti-hepatitis C virus, and anti-dengue virus activity. In total, 12 teicoplanin derivatives have been tested against our West Nile virus isolate. Vero E6 cells were simultaneously treated with 50 µM of teicoplanin derivatives and infected with WNV at the same time. Virus-induced cytopathic effect and cytotoxicity were examined 4 days post-infection. One compound completely blocked virus pathogenesis, while five compounds reduced the viral titer. Further studies will be conducted to unravel the mode of action of these promising derivatives. Full article
Open AccessAbstract
The Long Road to a Universal Influenza Virus Vaccine
Proceedings 2020, 50(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2020050125 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Seasonal and pandemic influenza virus infections can cause significant disease worldwide. Current vaccines only provide limited, short-lived protection, and antigenic drift/shift in the hemagglutinin (HA) surface glycoprotein necessitates their annual reformulation and re-administration. To overcome these limitations, universal influenza virus vaccine strategies aim [...] Read more.
Seasonal and pandemic influenza virus infections can cause significant disease worldwide. Current vaccines only provide limited, short-lived protection, and antigenic drift/shift in the hemagglutinin (HA) surface glycoprotein necessitates their annual reformulation and re-administration. To overcome these limitations, universal influenza virus vaccine strategies aim at eliciting broadly protective antibodies to conserved epitopes of the HA. We have developed two approaches. (1) The first is based on “chimeric” HA constructs that retain the conserved stalk domain of the HA and have exotic HA heads. Vaccination and boosting with such constructs successfully redirects the immune system in animals and in humans towards the conserved immune sub-dominant domains of the HA stalks; this results in an antigenic silencing of the HA heads and a protective immune response facilitated by the conserved HA stalks. In mice and ferrets, such a strategy protects the animals against homo-subtypic and hetero-subtypic challenge with influenza A strains as well as against influenza B variants. It is hoped that vaccine constructs expressing three components (i.e., conserved group 1 HA stalks, conserved group 2 HA stalks, and conserved influenza B HA stalks) will be protective against all future seasonal and pandemic strains. (2) The “mosaic” HA approach is based on antigenic silencing of the major immunodominant antigenic sites of the HA heads by only replacing those epitopes with corresponding sequences of exotic avian HAs, yielding “mosaic” HAs. In mice, a prime-boost vaccination regime with inactivated viruses expressing “mosaic” HAs elicited highly cross-reactive antibodies against the stalk domain of the HAs that were capable of eliciting Fc-mediated effector functions in vitro. Extensive trials will be necessary in the future in order to identify the optimal vaccination regime (“chimeric” HA-based versus “mosaic” HA-based) in humans. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Localized Laser Dispersing of Titanium-Based Particles for Improving the Tribological Performance of Hot Stamping Tools
J. Manuf. Mater. Process. 2020, 4(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmmp4030068 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Within the scope of this work, a new surface engineering technology named laser implantation has been investigated, in order to improve the tribological performance of hot stamping tools. This technique is based on manufacturing highly wear-resistant, separated, and elevated microfeatures by embedding hard [...] Read more.
Within the scope of this work, a new surface engineering technology named laser implantation has been investigated, in order to improve the tribological performance of hot stamping tools. This technique is based on manufacturing highly wear-resistant, separated, and elevated microfeatures by embedding hard ceramic particles into the tool surface via pulsed laser radiation. Hence, the topography and material properties of the tool are modified, which influences the thermal and tribological interactions at the blank-die interface. To verify these assumptions and to clarify the cause–effect relations, different titanium-based particles (TiB2, TiC, TiN) were laser-implanted and subsequently analyzed regarding to their geometrical shape and mechanical properties. Afterwards, quenching tests as well as tribological experiments were carried out by using titanium-diboride as the most promising implantation material for reducing the tribological load due to high hardness value of the generated implants. Compared to conventional tooling systems, the modified tool surfaces revealed a significantly higher wear resistance as well as reduced friction forces while offering the possibility to adjust the thermal interactions at the blank-die interface. Based on these results, a tailored tool surface modification can be pursued in future research work, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the hot stamping technology. Full article
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Open AccessArticlePost Publication Peer ReviewVersion 3, Revised
Process Controls of the Live Root Zone and Carbon Sequestration Capacity of the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, Bangladesh
Sci 2020, 2(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/sci2030054 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
The conservation of coastal wetland ecosystems, like mangrove forests and salt marshes, represents a critical strategy for mitigating atmospheric emissions and climate change in the 21st century. Yet the existence of these environments is threatened by human-induced disturbances, namely deforestation and accelerated [...] Read more.
The conservation of coastal wetland ecosystems, like mangrove forests and salt marshes, represents a critical strategy for mitigating atmospheric emissions and climate change in the 21st century. Yet the existence of these environments is threatened by human-induced disturbances, namely deforestation and accelerated sea-level rise. Coastal systems maintain surface elevation in response to sea-level rise through a combination of physical and biological processes both above and below the ground surface. The quantification and relative contribution of belowground process controls (e.g., seasonal water content, organic matter decomposition) on surface elevation change is largely unexplored but crucial for informing coastal ecosystem sustainability. To address this knowledge deficit, we integrated measurements of surface elevation change of the live root zone (0.5 to 1 m depth) with geotechnical data from co-located sediment cores in the Sundarbans mangrove forest (SMF) of southwest Bangladesh. Core data reveal that the primary belowground controls on surface elevation change include seasonal fluctuations in pore-water content and the relative abundance of fine-grained sediments capable of volumetric expansion and contraction, supporting an elevation gain of ~2.42 ± 0.26 cm yr−1. In contrast to many mangrove environments, the soils of the SMF contain little organic matter and are dominantly composed (>90%) of inorganic clastic sediments. The mineral-rich soil texture likely leads to less compaction-induced subsidence as compared to organic-rich substrates and facilitates surface equilibrium in response to sea level rise. Despite a relatively high soil bulk density, soil carbon (C) density of the SMF is very low owing to the dearth of preserved organic content. However, rates of C accumulation are balanced out by locally high accretion rates, rendering the SMF a greater sink of terrestrial C than the worldwide mangrove average. The findings of this study demonstrate that C accumulation in the SMF, and possibly other alluvial mangrove forests, is highly dependent on the continued delivery of sediment to the mangrove platform and associated settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on Mangrove Ecosystems)
Open AccessArticle
Associations among Sleep Quality, Changes in Eating Habits, and Overweight or Obesity after Studying Abroad among International Students in South Korea
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2020; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072020 (registering DOI) - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
International students are experiencing health problems due to many lifestyle changes, such as those in dietary and sleep patterns. We conducted this study to identify the associations among sleep patterns, changes in eating habits after studying abroad, and overweight or obesity in international [...] Read more.
International students are experiencing health problems due to many lifestyle changes, such as those in dietary and sleep patterns. We conducted this study to identify the associations among sleep patterns, changes in eating habits after studying abroad, and overweight or obesity in international students. In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed data on health-related variables, changes in eating habits after studying abroad, and sleep patterns that were collected from 225 international students in South Korea. Approximately half of the participants experienced poor sleep (47.6%). After adjusting for covariates such as age, gender, nationality, and acculturative stress, the subjects who had poor sleep quality were 2.020-fold (adjusted odds ratio, 95% confidence interval = 1.045–3.906) more likely to be overweight and obese than those who had good sleep quality. There were significant differences in changes of eating habits after studying abroad according to sleep quality (p < 0.001). When subjects were stratified into groups according to changes in eating habits after studying abroad, the risk of overweight and obesity increased in those with poor sleep quality but not in those with good sleep quality among subjects who had changes in bad eating habits. However, the risk of overweight and obesity did not differ among subjects with changes in good eating habits regardless of their sleep quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
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Open AccessReview
Exosomal MicroRNAs and Organotropism in Breast Cancer Metastasis
Cancers 2020, 12(7), 1827; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12071827 (registering DOI) - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
Breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy for women in which one in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. Despite advances made in treating primary breast cancer, there is still no effective treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Consequently, [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy for women in which one in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. Despite advances made in treating primary breast cancer, there is still no effective treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Consequently, metastatic breast cancer is responsible for 90% of breast cancer-related deaths while only accounting for approximately one third of all breast cancer cases. To help develop effective treatments for metastatic breast cancer, it is important to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms by which breast cancer metastasizes, particularly, those underlying organotropism towards brain, bone, and lungs. In this review, we will primarily focus on the roles that circulating exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) play in organotropism of breast cancer metastasis. Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that play critical roles in intercellular communication. MicroRNAs can be encapsulated in exosomes; cargo-loaded exosomes can be secreted by tumor cells into the tumor microenvironment to facilitate tumor–stroma interactions or released to circulation to prime distant organs for subsequent metastasis. Here, we will summarize our current knowledge on the biogenesis of exosomes and miRNAs, mechanisms of cargo sorting into exosomes, the exosomal miRNAs implicated in breast cancer metastasis, and therapeutic exosomal miRNAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles and the Tumour Microenvironment)
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Open AccessArticle
Prospective Assessment of Systemic MicroRNAs as Markers of Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(7), 1820; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12071820 (registering DOI) - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) is used in locally advanced breast cancer to reduce tumour burden prior to surgical resection. However, only a subset of NACT treated patients will respond to treatment or achieve a pathologic complete response (pCR). This multicenter, prospective study (CTRIAL-IE (ICORG) [...] Read more.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) is used in locally advanced breast cancer to reduce tumour burden prior to surgical resection. However, only a subset of NACT treated patients will respond to treatment or achieve a pathologic complete response (pCR). This multicenter, prospective study (CTRIAL-IE (ICORG) 10-11 study) evaluated circulating microRNA as novel non-invasive prognostic biomarkers of NACT response in breast cancer. Selected circulating microRNAs (Let-7a, miR-21, miR-145, miR-155, miR-195) were quantified from patients undergoing standard of care NACT treatment (n = 114) from whole blood at collected at diagnosis, and the association with NACT response and clinicopathological features evaluated. NACT responders had significantly lower levels of miR-21 (p = 0.036) and miR-195 (p = 0.017), compared to non-responders. Evaluating all breast cancer cases miR-21 was found to be an independent predictor of response (OR 0.538, 95% CI 0.308–0.943, p < 0.05). Luminal cancer NACT responders were found to have significantly decreased levels of miR-145 (p = 0.033) and miR-21 (p = 0.048), compared to non-responders. This study demonstrates the prognostic ability of miR-21, miR-195 and miR-145 as circulating biomarkers stratifying breast cancer patients by NACT response, identifying patients that will derive the maximum benefit from chemotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Cancer Biomarkers)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Parallel Matrix-Free Higher-Order Finite Element Solvers for Phase-Field Fracture Problems
Math. Comput. Appl. 2020, 25(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/mca25030040 (registering DOI) - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
Phase-field fracture models lead to variational problems that can be written as a coupled variational equality and inequality system. Numerically, such problems can be treated with Galerkin finite elements and primal-dual active set methods. Specifically, low-order and high-order finite elements may be employed, [...] Read more.
Phase-field fracture models lead to variational problems that can be written as a coupled variational equality and inequality system. Numerically, such problems can be treated with Galerkin finite elements and primal-dual active set methods. Specifically, low-order and high-order finite elements may be employed, where, for the latter, only few studies exist to date. The most time-consuming part in the discrete version of the primal-dual active set (semi-smooth Newton) algorithm consists in the solutions of changing linear systems arising at each semi-smooth Newton step. We propose a new parallel matrix-free monolithic multigrid preconditioner for these systems. We provide two numerical tests, and discuss the performance of the parallel solver proposed in the paper. Furthermore, we compare our new preconditioner with a block-AMG preconditioner available in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance Computing 2020)
Open AccessArticle
Characteristic Factors of Aspiration Pneumonia to Distinguish from Community-Acquired Pneumonia among Oldest-Old Patients in Primary-Care Settings of Japan
Geriatrics 2020, 5(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics5030042 (registering DOI) - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
Background: Aspiration pneumonia (AsP), a phenotype of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), is a common and problematic disease with symptomless recurrence and fatality in old adults. Characteristic factors for distinguishing AsP from CAP need to be determined to manage AsP. No such factorial markers in [...] Read more.
Background: Aspiration pneumonia (AsP), a phenotype of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), is a common and problematic disease with symptomless recurrence and fatality in old adults. Characteristic factors for distinguishing AsP from CAP need to be determined to manage AsP. No such factorial markers in oldest-old adults, who are often seen in the primary-care settings, have yet been established. Methods: From the database of our Primary Care and General Practice Study, including the general backgrounds, clinical conditions and laboratory findings collected by primary care physicians and general practitioners, the records of 130 patients diagnosed with either AsP (n = 72) or CAP (n = 58) were extracted. Characteristic factors associated with the diagnosis of AsP were statistically compared between AsP and CAP. Results: The patients were older in the AsP group (median 90 years old) than in the CAP group (86 years old). The body temperature, heart rate, and diastolic blood pressure were lower in the patients with AsP than in those with CAP. Witnessed meal dysphagia by families and caregivers was reported only in AsP. Living in a nursing home, comorbidities of cerebral infarction and dementia (as positive factors) and hypertension (as a negative factor) were considered predictive to diagnose AsP in a stepwise logistic regression analysis. Conclusions: Among oldest-old adults in primary-care settings, living in a nursing home and the dysphagia risks are suggested to be characteristic factors for diagnosing AsP. Age and some relevant clinical information may help manage AsP and also be useful for families and caregivers. Full article
Open AccessReview
Polyphenols in Dental Applications
Bioengineering 2020, 7(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering7030072 (registering DOI) - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
(1) Background: polyphenols are a broad class of molecules extracted from plants and have a large repertoire of biological activities. Biomimetic inspiration from the effects of tea or red wine on the surface of cups or glass lead to the emergence of versatile [...] Read more.
(1) Background: polyphenols are a broad class of molecules extracted from plants and have a large repertoire of biological activities. Biomimetic inspiration from the effects of tea or red wine on the surface of cups or glass lead to the emergence of versatile surface chemistry with polyphenols. Owing to their hydrogen bonding abilities, coordination chemistry with metallic cations and redox properties, polyphenols are able to interact, covalently or not, with a large repertoire of chemical moieties, and can hence be used to modify the surface chemistry of almost all classes of materials. (2) Methods: the use of polyphenols to modify the surface properties of dental materials, mostly enamel and dentin, to afford them with better adhesion to resins and improved biological properties, such as antimicrobial activity, started more than 20 years ago, but no general overview has been written to our knowledge. (3) Results: the present review is aimed to show that molecules from all the major classes of polyphenolics allow for low coast improvements of dental materials and engineering of dental tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Use of Technology and Materials for Dental Restoration)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
High-Throughput Detection and Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistant Enterococcus sp. Isolates from GI Tracts of European Starlings Visiting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
Foods 2020, 9(7), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070890 (registering DOI) - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
Antimicrobial resistant enteric bacteria can easily contaminate the environment and other vehicles through the deposition of human and animal feces. In turn, humans can be exposed to these antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria through contaminated food products and/or contaminated drinking water. As wildlife are [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial resistant enteric bacteria can easily contaminate the environment and other vehicles through the deposition of human and animal feces. In turn, humans can be exposed to these antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria through contaminated food products and/or contaminated drinking water. As wildlife are firmly established as reservoirs of AMR bacteria and serve as potential vectors in the constant spread of AMR, limiting contact between wildlife and livestock and effective tracking of AMR bacteria can help minimize AMR dissemination to humans through contaminated food and water. Enterococcus spp., which are known opportunistic pathogens, constantly found in gastrointestinal tracts of mammalian and avian species, swiftly evolve and cultivate AMR genotypes and phenotypes, which they easily distribute to other bacteria, including several major bacterial pathogens. In this study, we evaluated the use of high throughput detection and characterization of enterococci from wildlife [European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)] by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) following culture-based isolation. MALDI-TOF MS successfully identified 658 Enterococcus spp. isolates out of 718 presumptive isolates collected from gastrointestinal tracts of European starlings, which were captured near livestock operations in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas; antimicrobial susceptibility testing was then performed using 13 clinically significant antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Foodborne Pathogen Analysis)
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