2021 Impact Factors
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Article
Research on the Development and Influence on the Real Economy of Digital Finance: The Case of China
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8227; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148227 (registering DOI) - 06 Jul 2022
Abstract
Based on the panel data of 31 provinces in China from 2011 to 2020, this paper analyzes the development status and distribution characteristics of digital finance, and studies the impact of digital finance on the growth of the real economy. First, whether China’s [...] Read more.
Based on the panel data of 31 provinces in China from 2011 to 2020, this paper analyzes the development status and distribution characteristics of digital finance, and studies the impact of digital finance on the growth of the real economy. First, whether China’s digital finance development can be classified by region through quartile images is investigated, and whether there are differences in the development of digital finance between regions and within regions is explored. Then, the dynamic characteristics of regional digital finance development distribution are analyzed by kernel density estimation, and the regression model is constructed to analyze the effect of digital finance development on promoting the growth of the real economy. The numerical result shows that the development characteristics of digital finance are different between regions and within regions, and the development of digital finance can significantly promote the growth of the real economy. Full article
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Article
Multifunctional Carbon-Based Hybrid Foams for Shape-Stabilization of Phase Change Materials, Thermal Energy Storage, and Electromagnetic Interference Shielding Functions
Micro 2022, 2(3), 390-409; https://doi.org/10.3390/micro2030026 (registering DOI) - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Carbon-red mud foam/paraffin hybrid materials were prepared and studied for their thermal energy storage and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding properties. The host matrices were prepared utilizing the polymeric foam replication method, with a polyurethane sponge as a template, resin as a carbon source, [...] Read more.
Carbon-red mud foam/paraffin hybrid materials were prepared and studied for their thermal energy storage and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding properties. The host matrices were prepared utilizing the polymeric foam replication method, with a polyurethane sponge as a template, resin as a carbon source, and red mud as a filler. The paraffins, n-octadecane (OD) and the commercial RT18HC, were used as organic encapsulant phase change materials (PCMs) into the open pore structure of the foams. The foams’ morphological and structural study revealed a highly porous structure (bulk density, apparent porosity P > 65%), which exhibits elliptical and spherical pores, sized from 50 up to 500 μm, and cell walls composed of partially graphitized carbon and various oxide phases. The hybrid foams showed a remarkable encapsulation efficiency as shape stabilizers for paraffins: 48.8% (OD), 37.8% (RT18HC), while their melting enthalpies (ΔHm) were found to be 126.9 J/g and 115.5 J/g, respectively. The investigated hybrids showed efficient electromagnetic shielding performance in frequency range of 3.5–9.0 GHz reaching the entry-level value of ~20 dB required for commercial applications, when filled with PCMs. Their excellent thermal and EMI shielding performance places the as-prepared samples as promising candidates for use in thermal management and EMI shielding of electronic devices as well. Full article
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Article
A Log-Det Heuristics for Covariance Matrix Estimation: The Analytic Setup
Stats 2022, 5(3), 606-616; https://doi.org/10.3390/stats5030037 (registering DOI) - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
This paper studies a new nonconvex optimization problem aimed at recovering high-dimensional covariance matrices with a low rank plus sparse structure. The objective is composed of a smooth nonconvex loss and a nonsmooth composite penalty. A number of structural analytic properties of the [...] Read more.
This paper studies a new nonconvex optimization problem aimed at recovering high-dimensional covariance matrices with a low rank plus sparse structure. The objective is composed of a smooth nonconvex loss and a nonsmooth composite penalty. A number of structural analytic properties of the new heuristics are presented and proven, thus providing the necessary framework for further investigating the statistical applications. In particular, the first and the second derivative of the smooth loss are obtained, its local convexity range is derived, and the Lipschitzianity of its gradient is shown. This opens the path to solve the described problem via a proximal gradient algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multivariate Statistics and Applications)
Article
Effective Majorana Neutrino Mass for ΔL = 2 Neutrino Oscillations
Symmetry 2022, 14(7), 1383; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym14071383 (registering DOI) - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
It is well known that the observations of neutrinoless double-beta decay prove the Majorana nature of the neutrino. However, with specific values of Majorana phases, the effective Majorana neutrino mass to be estimated from the observation of neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments is strongly [...] Read more.
It is well known that the observations of neutrinoless double-beta decay prove the Majorana nature of the neutrino. However, with specific values of Majorana phases, the effective Majorana neutrino mass to be estimated from the observation of neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments is strongly suppressed if the neutrino mass pattern adheres to a normal ordering. In this case, double-beta decay might not be observed even though the neutrino is Majorana in nature. We show if neutrinos oscillate to antineutrinos in their propagation; then, the observation of this oscillation proves that neutrinos are Majorana and will provide a measurement of neutrino masses and Majorana phases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Neutrino Physics)
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Review
LncRNA-Mediated Adipogenesis in Different Adipocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(13), 7488; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23137488 (registering DOI) - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Long-chain noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are RNAs that do not code for proteins, widely present in eukaryotes. They regulate gene expression at multiple levels through different mechanisms at epigenetic, transcription, translation, and the maturation of mRNA transcripts or regulation of the chromatin structure, and [...] Read more.
Long-chain noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are RNAs that do not code for proteins, widely present in eukaryotes. They regulate gene expression at multiple levels through different mechanisms at epigenetic, transcription, translation, and the maturation of mRNA transcripts or regulation of the chromatin structure, and compete with microRNAs for binding to endogenous RNA. Adipose tissue is a large and endocrine-rich functional tissue in mammals. Excessive accumulation of white adipose tissue in mammals can cause metabolic diseases. However, unlike white fat, brown and beige fats release energy as heat. In recent years, many lncRNAs associated with adipogenesis have been reported. The molecular mechanisms of how lncRNAs regulate adipogenesis are continually investigated. In this review, we discuss the classification of lncRNAs according to their transcriptional location. lncRNAs that participate in the adipogenesis of white or brown fats are also discussed. The function of lncRNAs as decoy molecules and RNA double-stranded complexes, among other functions, is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Regulation by Non-Coding RNAs)
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Review
Bioactive Compounds and Adipocyte Browning Phenomenon
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2022, 44(7), 3039-3052; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb44070210 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Overweight and obesity have become worldwide health issues in most countries. Current strategies aimed to prevent or reduce overweight and obesity have mainly focused on the genes and molecular mechanisms that give the functional characteristics to different types of adipose tissue. The Browning [...] Read more.
Overweight and obesity have become worldwide health issues in most countries. Current strategies aimed to prevent or reduce overweight and obesity have mainly focused on the genes and molecular mechanisms that give the functional characteristics to different types of adipose tissue. The Browning phenomenon in adipocytes consists of phenotypic and metabolic changes within white adipose tissue (WAT) activated by thermogenic mechanisms similar to that occurring in brown adipose tissue (BAT); this phenomenon has assumed great relevance due to its therapeutic potential against overweight and obesity. In addition, the study of inflammation in the development of overweight and obesity has also been included as a relevant factor, such as the pro-inflammatory mechanisms promoted by M1-type macrophages in adipose tissue. Studies carried out in this area are mainly performed by using the 3T3-L1 pre-adipocyte cell line, testing different bioactive compound sources such as plants and foods; nevertheless, it is necessary to standardize protocols used in vitro as well to properly scale them to animal models and clinical tests in order to have a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in overweight and obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Current Issues in Molecular Biology)
Article
A Comprehensive HBIM to XR Framework for Museum Management and User Experience in Ducal Palace at Urbino
Heritage 2022, 5(3), 1551-1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5030081 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Digitization of Cultural and Museum Heritage represents one of the most engaging challenges that would ensure a sustainable and ethical approach for next generations; digital technology’s pervasiveness imposes a comprehensive management of architectural heritage by producing facsimiles of buildings and artworks and by [...] Read more.
Digitization of Cultural and Museum Heritage represents one of the most engaging challenges that would ensure a sustainable and ethical approach for next generations; digital technology’s pervasiveness imposes a comprehensive management of architectural heritage by producing facsimiles of buildings and artworks and by testing robust methodologies, with the final result of providing effective multipurpose models. In this context, the main goal of the present paper is to develop a semantically aware HBIM model that includes an intelligent objects parametrization, leveraging Extended Reality (XR) technologies and digital curation of contents to pursue the preservation of Cultural Heritage (CH) as a whole. This research is implemented in the case study of the Ducal Palace of Urbino that houses the National Gallery of Marche. It was chosen as a remarkable example of a museum located in an architectural complex with a relevant historical background and fine detail of shapes and mouldings. In Italy, as in other European scenarios, museums and their collections need suitable dissemination and management systems that take advantage of the recent digital paradigms. The challenging approach is to exploit existing platforms and software and to adopt a cognitive modelling process, able to develop tools supporting managers and museum curators while enabling user experiences using immersive and interactive features. In order to stress the workflow, this work proposes the use of families with high Level of Detail (LOD) and high Level of Information (LOI). The present article provides, as well, an accurate data enrichment process specifically designed for a gallery’s artworks such as paintings and sculptures, in line with the national and international policies. The study presents a robust and reproducible methodology for digital musealization and management, focusing, as future overall objectives, towards a greater merging between the HBIM approach and XR technologies, also facilitated by training new professional figures with more in-depth digital skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mixed Reality in Culture and Heritage)
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Review
A Review of Robots, Perception, and Tasks in Precision Agriculture
Appl. Mech. 2022, 3(3), 830-854; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmech3030049 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
This review reports the recent state of the art in the field of mobile robots applied to precision agriculture. After a brief introduction to precision agriculture, the review focuses on two main topics. First, it provides a broad overview of the most widely [...] Read more.
This review reports the recent state of the art in the field of mobile robots applied to precision agriculture. After a brief introduction to precision agriculture, the review focuses on two main topics. First, it provides a broad overview of the most widely used technologies in agriculture related to crop, field, and soil monitoring. Second, the main robotic solutions, with a focus on land-based robots, and their salient features are described. Finally, a short case study about a robot developed by the authors is introduced. This work aims to collect and highlight the most significant trends in research on robotics applied to agriculture. This review shows that the most studied perception solutions are those based on vision and cloud point detection and, following the same trend, most robotic solutions are small robots dedicated exclusively to monitoring tasks. However, the robotisation of other agricultural tasks is growing. Full article
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Article
Relationship between Nomophobia, Various Emotional Difficulties, and Distress Factors among Students
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(7), 716-730; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12070053 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
The concept of nomophobia is a relatively new and is defined as the fear of not being able to use all the features and benefits provided by smartphones. The main goal of this research was to examine the relationship between nomophobia and various [...] Read more.
The concept of nomophobia is a relatively new and is defined as the fear of not being able to use all the features and benefits provided by smartphones. The main goal of this research was to examine the relationship between nomophobia and various emotional difficulties and distress factors. The following measuring instruments were used on a sample of 257 Croatian students whose average age was 22 years: Nomophobia Questionnaire (NMP-Q); Scales of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress (DASS); Social and Emotional Loneliness Scale (SELSA); and Emotional Skills and Competences Questionnaire (ESCQ-15). Significant correlations between nomophobia and all examined variables were determined. It was found that nomophobia and emotional skills and competence act as significant predictors in expression of distress factors: 30% of the variance in the severity of depression symptoms, 24% of the variance in the severity of anxiety symptoms, and 26% of the variance in the severity of stress symptoms were explained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotional Problems and Mindful/Acceptance Frameworks)
Article
Unilateral Retinitis Pigmentosa Associated with Possible Ciliopathy and a Novel Mutation
Clin. Pract. 2022, 12(4), 491-500; https://doi.org/10.3390/clinpract12040053 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Unilateral retinitis pigmentosa (URP) is a rare retinal dystrophy. We describe the clinical course of two patients with (URP) unilateral retinitis pigmentosa confirmed by genetic testing, indicating ciliary dysfunction. Methods: The methods used in this study included a detailed ophthalmic examination, multimodal retinal [...] Read more.
Unilateral retinitis pigmentosa (URP) is a rare retinal dystrophy. We describe the clinical course of two patients with (URP) unilateral retinitis pigmentosa confirmed by genetic testing, indicating ciliary dysfunction. Methods: The methods used in this study included a detailed ophthalmic examination, multimodal retinal imaging, Goldmann visual fields, full-field electroretinography (ffERG) and targeted next-generation sequencing. Results: A 32-year-old female (patient 1) and 65-year-old male (patient 2) were found to have URP. ffERG showed a non-recordable response in the affected eye and a response within normal limits in the fellow eye of patient 1, while patient 2 showed non-recordable responses in the apparently unaffected eye and a profound reduction in the photopic and scotopic responses in the affected eye. Next-generation sequencing revealed novel compound heterozygous c.373 C>T (p.Arg125Trp) and c.730-22_730-19dup variants in AGBL5 in patient 1, and a novel hemizygous c.1286 C>T (p.Pro429Leu) in patient 2; both gene mutations were 0%. Segregation analysis was not possible for either of the mutations. Conclusion: This report expands the clinical and molecular genetic spectrum of URP. Full article
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Article
Decomposition of Individual SNP Patterns from Mixed DNA Samples
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(3), 455-472; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2030034 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers have great potential to identify individuals, family relations, biogeographical ancestry, and phenotypic traits. In many forensic situations, DNA mixtures of a victim and an unknown suspect exist. Extracting SNP profiles from suspect’s samples can be used to assist investigation [...] Read more.
Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers have great potential to identify individuals, family relations, biogeographical ancestry, and phenotypic traits. In many forensic situations, DNA mixtures of a victim and an unknown suspect exist. Extracting SNP profiles from suspect’s samples can be used to assist investigation or gather intelligence. Computational tools to determine inclusion/exclusion of a known individual from a mixture exist, but no algorithm for extraction of an unknown SNP profile without a list of suspects is available. Here, we present an advanced haplotype-based HMM algorithm (AH-HA), a novel computational approach for extracting an unknown SNP profile from whole genome sequencing (WGS) of a two-person mixture. AH-HA utilizes techniques similar to the ones used in haplotype phasing. It constructs the inferred genotype as an imperfect mosaic of haplotypes from a reference panel of the target population. It outperforms more simplistic approaches, maintaining high performance through a wide range of sequencing depths (500×–5×). AH-HA can be applied in cases of victim–suspect mixtures and improves the capabilities of the investigating forces. This approach can be extended to more complex mixtures with more donors and less prior information, further motivating the development of SNP-based forensics technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Forensic Sciences in 2022)
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Article
Fish Diversity in Relation to Salinity Gradient in the Meghna River Estuary, Bangladesh
Conservation 2022, 2(3), 414-434; https://doi.org/10.3390/conservation2030028 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Variation in salinity is one of the major environmental factors influencing the species diversity of fish in an estuary. Therefore, evaluating the relationship between salinity and species diversity is important. In this study, fish diversity was assessed by fish sampling and visiting local [...] Read more.
Variation in salinity is one of the major environmental factors influencing the species diversity of fish in an estuary. Therefore, evaluating the relationship between salinity and species diversity is important. In this study, fish diversity was assessed by fish sampling and visiting local fish markets from February to November 2021. Mean salinity was 10.59 psu (Practical Salinity Unit) and 0.46 psu during the dry and wet seasons, respectively. Harpadon nehereus, Odontamblyopus rubicundus and Pseudapocryptes elongatus species were found as polyhaline (0.06~18.1 psu) species. Anguilla japonica and Arius gagora were abundant in brackish water conditions (0.35~14.2 psu). However, Acanthopagrus latus and Setipinna phasa were found in freshwater conditions (0.06~0.11 psu). The suitability index indicates that commercially important fish species such as Liza parsia, Macrobrachium rosenbergii, Mugil cephalus, Penaeus monodon and Scylla serrata can be used for mariculture during the dry season, and Acanthopagrus latus, Pethia canius and Setipinna phasa during the wet season. Overall, these findings suggest that salinity, water temperature, and chlorophyll-a had a significant (p < 0.05) effect on the fish distribution and assemblage composition in the study area. This finding will be helpful in developing policies for the conservation and management of the aquatic resources in the coastal zone to enrich the blue economy. Full article
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Review
X-Linked Hypophosphatemia Transition and Team Management
Endocrines 2022, 3(3), 411-418; https://doi.org/10.3390/endocrines3030032 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) is the most common form of inherited disorders that are characterized by renal phosphate wasting, but it is a rare chronic disease. XLH presents in multisystemic organs, not only in childhood, but also in adulthood. Multidisciplinary team management is necessary [...] Read more.
X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) is the most common form of inherited disorders that are characterized by renal phosphate wasting, but it is a rare chronic disease. XLH presents in multisystemic organs, not only in childhood, but also in adulthood. Multidisciplinary team management is necessary for the care of patients with XLH. Although XLH has often been perceived as a childhood disease, recent studies have demonstrated that it is a long-term and progressive disease throughout adulthood. In the past 20 years, the importance of the transition from pediatric care to adult care for patient outcomes in adulthood in many pediatric onset diseases has been increasingly recognized. This review describes transitional care and team management for patients with XLH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Update on X-linked Hypophosphatemia)
Article
Spatiotemporal Patterns of Human–Carnivore Encounters in a Seasonally Changing Landscape: A Case Study of the Fishing Cat in Hakaluki Haor, Bangladesh
Conservation 2022, 2(3), 402-413; https://doi.org/10.3390/conservation2030027 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Identifying spatial and temporal patterns of human–carnivore encounters is crucial for predicting conflict hotspots. However, the degree of overlap between human and carnivore movements is likely to differ between stable environments and seasonally changing landscapes. We aimed to clarify key drivers of spatial [...] Read more.
Identifying spatial and temporal patterns of human–carnivore encounters is crucial for predicting conflict hotspots. However, the degree of overlap between human and carnivore movements is likely to differ between stable environments and seasonally changing landscapes. We aimed to clarify key drivers of spatial and temporal overlap of humans and carnivores in a seasonally changing landscape using the case of human–fishing cat encounters in an inland wetland in north-eastern Bangladesh. To obtain encounter information, interview surveys were conducted with 210 respondents in 21 villages in 2020. Monthly rainfall and waterbody size were negatively correlated with the numbers of encounters in the wetland area, while there was no apparent temporal pattern in encounters reported in adjacent villages. Temporal patterns of encounters may be partially explained by human presence (in turn associated with local livelihoods). Except for fishing, intense livelihood activities take place in wetland areas mainly during the dry season. On the other hand, areas peripheral to the wetlands are used for various livelihood activities throughout the year. In a seasonally changing landscape, understanding people’s movements could help elucidate spatiotemporal patterns of human–fishing cat encounters at a micro-scale. Full article
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Article
Modelling of Biotrickling Filters for Treatment of NOx Analytical Expressions for the NOx Concentration in Both Gas and Biofilm Phases
Electrochem 2022, 3(3), 361-378; https://doi.org/10.3390/electrochem3030025 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
A mathematical model of an ideal biotrickling filter (BF) system that inoculates a recently identified strain of Chelatococcus daeguensis TAD1 and brings about efficient nitrogen oxide treatment is discussed. The proposed model is based on nonlinear mass transport equations at the gas–biofilm interface. [...] Read more.
A mathematical model of an ideal biotrickling filter (BF) system that inoculates a recently identified strain of Chelatococcus daeguensis TAD1 and brings about efficient nitrogen oxide treatment is discussed. The proposed model is based on nonlinear mass transport equations at the gas–biofilm interface. Using Akbari–Ganji’s technique, approximate analytical expressions for the nitric oxide concentration in the gaseous and biofilm phases were developed for all feasible system parameters. In addition, to investigate the dynamic behaviour of the system, a numerical analysis of the problem is provided using MATLAB tools. To demonstrate this new approach, graphical data are provided and quantitatively discussed. This theoretical result has good agreement with the numerical simulation (MATLAB) results for the experimental values of parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Electrochemistry)
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Article
Reactivities of Hydroxycinnamic Acid Derivatives Involving Caffeic Acid toward Electrogenerated Superoxide in N,N-Dimethylformamide
Electrochem 2022, 3(3), 347-360; https://doi.org/10.3390/electrochem3030024 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Reactivity of (2E)-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)prop-2-enoic acid (caffeic acid), classified as a hydroxycinnamic acid (HCA) derivative, toward electrogenerated superoxide radical anion (O2•−) was investigated through cyclic voltammetry, in situ electrolytic electron spin resonance spectrometry, and in situ electrolytic ultraviolet–visible spectrometry in [...] Read more.
Reactivity of (2E)-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)prop-2-enoic acid (caffeic acid), classified as a hydroxycinnamic acid (HCA) derivative, toward electrogenerated superoxide radical anion (O2•−) was investigated through cyclic voltammetry, in situ electrolytic electron spin resonance spectrometry, and in situ electrolytic ultraviolet–visible spectrometry in N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), aided by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The quasi-reversible redox of dioxygen/O2•− is modified in the presence of caffeic acid, suggesting that O2•− is scavenged by caffeic acid through proton-coupled electron transfer. The reactivities of caffeic acid toward O2•− are mediated by the ortho-diphenol (catechol) moiety rather than by the acryloyl group, as experimentally confirmed in comparative analyses with other HCAs. The electrochemical and DFT results in DMF suggested that a concerted two-proton-coupled electron transfer mechanism proceeds via the catechol moiety. This mechanism embodies the superior kinetics of O2•− scavenging by caffeic acid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Electrochemistry)
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Review
Hydrogen Diffusion on, into and in Magnesium Probed by DFT: A Review
Hydrogen 2022, 3(3), 285-302; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrogen3030017 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be a sustainable solution for alternative energy with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen storage is a key point for hydrogen energy. Metals provide an access for safe, controlled and reversible hydrogen storage and release. Magnesium, due [...] Read more.
Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be a sustainable solution for alternative energy with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen storage is a key point for hydrogen energy. Metals provide an access for safe, controlled and reversible hydrogen storage and release. Magnesium, due to its outstanding hydrogen storage capacity, high natural abundance, low cost and non-toxicity is one of the most attractive materials for hydrogen storage. The economic efficiency of Mg as a hydrogen accumulator is limited by its sluggish hydrogen sorption kinetics and high stability of its hydride MgH2. Many attempts have been made to overcome these shortcomings. On a microscopic level, hydrogen absorption by metal is a complex multistep process that is impossible to survey experimentally. Theoretical studies help to elucidate this process and focus experimental efforts on the design of new effective Mg-based materials for hydrogen storage. This review reports on the results obtained within a density functional theory approach to studying hydrogen interactions with magnesium surfaces, diffusion on Mg surfaces, into and in bulk Mg, as well as hydrogen induced phase transformations in MgHx and hydrogen desorption from MgH2 surfaces. Full article
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Article
Chemoinformatics Analysis of the Colour Fastness Properties of Acid and Direct Dyes in Textile Coloration
Colorants 2022, 1(3), 280-297; https://doi.org/10.3390/colorants1030017 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
The efficiency of chemoinformatics methods based on a fragment approach for the analysis of relationships between the chemical structure of textile dyes and colour fastness of the dyeings have been shown by examining a large set of properties, including the light fastness of [...] Read more.
The efficiency of chemoinformatics methods based on a fragment approach for the analysis of relationships between the chemical structure of textile dyes and colour fastness of the dyeings have been shown by examining a large set of properties, including the light fastness of acid dyes on wool and polyamide fibres, the sensitivity of acid dyes on wool to oxygen bleaching, the wash fastness of acid dyes on wool, the adsorption of direct dyes on cotton, and the photodegradation of azo dyes in solution. An analysis of the developed regression models depicted the contribution of ten substructural molecular fragments for each indicator of the colour fastness properties of acid and direct azo dyes on textile materials. The similarity of several individual multi-atomic fragments for acid and direct azo dyes was found for wool, polyamide, and cotton fibres, which indicates the coinciding mechanisms of the physicochemical processes that accompany the destruction of dyes while testing the light fastness and sensitivity of the dyeings to oxygen bleaching, as well as their adsorption/desorption with the wash fastness and dyeability of wool and cotton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colorants: Ancient and Modern)
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Case Report
Pityriasis Lichenoides et Varioliformis Acuta as a Complication of COVID-19 Infection
Dermatopathology 2022, 9(3), 244-250; https://doi.org/10.3390/dermatopathology9030028 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Pityriasis lichenoides is an acute and/or chronic skin disease associated with recurrent erythematous papules that self-resolve. While its etiology is unknown, preceding viral infection may play a role. We present an atypical case of a 40-year-old woman with pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta [...] Read more.
Pityriasis lichenoides is an acute and/or chronic skin disease associated with recurrent erythematous papules that self-resolve. While its etiology is unknown, preceding viral infection may play a role. We present an atypical case of a 40-year-old woman with pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta as a complication of a COVID-19 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dermatopathology and COVID-19)
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Communication
Synthesis of Thiazolidinedione Compound Library
Compounds 2022, 2(3), 182-190; https://doi.org/10.3390/compounds2030013 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), also known as Glitazones, have anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. A simple, efficient and cost-effective synthesis of a thiazolidinedione compound library was developed. The synthesis is facilitated by microwave irradiation in three of the four steps followed by reduction under pressurized [...] Read more.
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), also known as Glitazones, have anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. A simple, efficient and cost-effective synthesis of a thiazolidinedione compound library was developed. The synthesis is facilitated by microwave irradiation in three of the four steps followed by reduction under pressurized hydrogen gas using palladium hydroxide. All reactions, except one, were completed within an hour and provided desired products in moderate to good yields after a simple work-up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Compounds)
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Article
An Independent Assessment of a Commercial Clinical Interpretation Software Indicates That Software Can Mitigate Variation in Human Assessment
J. Mol. Pathol. 2022, 3(3), 125-139; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmp3030012 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Comprehensive next-generation sequencing (NGS) panels for cancer diagnostics create a bottleneck for interpretation. QIAGEN Clinical Insights Interpret One (QCI) is a clinical decision support software that supports molecular pathologists in the classification of oncology-related variants. This study compares variant assessments by QCI to [...] Read more.
Comprehensive next-generation sequencing (NGS) panels for cancer diagnostics create a bottleneck for interpretation. QIAGEN Clinical Insights Interpret One (QCI) is a clinical decision support software that supports molecular pathologists in the classification of oncology-related variants. This study compares variant assessments by QCI to assessments utilizing current laboratory methods. Eight laboratories were recruited by the external quality assessment organization GenQA. The laboratories submitted VCFs from sequencing studies performed on both hematological disorders and solid tumors for analysis by QCI and an independent laboratory. Results were compared and conflicts were resolved using a panel of experts. In total, 14/149 variants (9%) reported as Tier 1 or Tier 2 by either QCI or the submitting laboratory were found to be discordant after expert panel review. In contrast, 41/149 variants (28%) reflected discrepancy among human reviewers. The expert panel was unable to reach resolution on eight variants. QCI demonstrates high concordance in the classification of actionable mutations with independent laboratory methods and expert assessment. The rate of disagreement among laboratories and the expert panel was greater than the disagreement between QCI and expert assessment. Disagreement among experts highlights the subjectivity of classifying variants. The study demonstrates that QCI interpretation supports streamlining and standardization of NGS variant interpretation. Full article
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Article
In Vivo Evaluation of a Novel Radiofrequency Ablation Electrode in Pig Livers
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(13), 6791; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12136791 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
(1) Background: Endoscopic ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation (EUS-RFA) is an alternative treatment for pancreatic tumors. Currently, EUS-RFA has been trialled to treat hepatic tumors. However, little has been reported about optimal settings for EUS-RFA in patients with hepatic tumors. We evaluated the ablation effect [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Endoscopic ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation (EUS-RFA) is an alternative treatment for pancreatic tumors. Currently, EUS-RFA has been trialled to treat hepatic tumors. However, little has been reported about optimal settings for EUS-RFA in patients with hepatic tumors. We evaluated the ablation effect after in vivo RFA using a new EUS-RFA electrode in a pig model. (2) Methods Four pigs were used for the in vivo test. The in vivo testing was divided into two tests based on the length of the RFA electrode (0.5, 0.7, 1 or 1.5 cm), the ablation power (30 W or 50 W), and the ablation time (10 or 15 s). In test one, ablation effect was evaluated based on the electrode length and power. In test two, ablation effect was assessed based on power and time. (3) Results: In test one, the ablation width and depth correlated with the length of the electrode and power (0.5 cm, 10 W, 10 s: width 0.46 cm, depth 0.65 cm vs. 1.5 cm, 75 W, 10 s: width 0.77 cm, depth 1.80 cm). In test two, ablation width and depth were similar when RFA was set at 1.5cm, 50 W, and 10 s or 1 cm, 30 W, and 15 s (0.65 cm, 1.14 cm vs. 0.65cm, 1.26 cm). (4) Conclusions: The relationship between electrode length, ablation power, and ablation time, and the resulting ablation effect in pig livers suggest that EUS-RFA produces effective ablation while minimizing thermal injury. Full article
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Article
Polarization-Flexible and Frequency-Scanning Leaky-Wave HMSIW Antenna for Vehicular Applications
Electronics 2022, 11(13), 2103; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11132103 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
To achieve multifunctional communication and safe driving of a vehicle, a half-mode substrate-integrated waveguide (HMSIW) leaky-wave frequency-scanning antenna with flexible polarization is proposed in this article. It includes two linearly polarized interdigital slot antennas, a compact directional coupler, and microstrip transition lines. It [...] Read more.
To achieve multifunctional communication and safe driving of a vehicle, a half-mode substrate-integrated waveguide (HMSIW) leaky-wave frequency-scanning antenna with flexible polarization is proposed in this article. It includes two linearly polarized interdigital slot antennas, a compact directional coupler, and microstrip transition lines. It can generate either linear polarization (LP) for base station communication or circular polarization (CP) for satellite navigation by configuring the means of excitation. Its radiation beam can be continuously steered with varying frequency in either the LP or the CP state, which is of benefit to safe vehicular driving. In addition, the use of the HMSIW structure reduces the size of the antenna by almost one-half in comparison with the full SIW structure. Measurements were performed on antenna scattering parameters, radiation patterns, gain, and axial ratio (for CP states); the results show good agreement with the simulated results. With its low profile, low weight, low cost, and capability for continuous frequency scanning and variable polarization states, the multifunctional antenna could be extensively used for adapting to changes in environmental conditions or system requirements. Full article
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Article
An Enhanced Transfer Learning Based Classification for Diagnosis of Skin Cancer
Diagnostics 2022, 12(7), 1628; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12071628 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed and reported malignancy worldwide. To reduce the death rate from cancer, it is essential to diagnose skin cancer at a benign stage as soon as possible. To save lives, an automated system that can detect skin [...] Read more.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed and reported malignancy worldwide. To reduce the death rate from cancer, it is essential to diagnose skin cancer at a benign stage as soon as possible. To save lives, an automated system that can detect skin cancer in its earliest stages is necessary. For the diagnosis of skin cancer, various researchers have performed tasks using deep learning and transfer learning models. However, the existing literature is limited in terms of its accuracy and its troublesome and time-consuming process. As a result, it is critical to design an automatic system that can deliver a fast judgment and considerably reduce mistakes in diagnosis. In this work, a deep learning-based model has been designed for the identification of skin cancer at benign and malignant stages using the concept of transfer learning approach. For this, a pre-trained VGG16 model is improved by adding one flatten layer, two dense layers with activation function (LeakyReLU) and another dense layer with activation function (sigmoid) to enhance the accuracy of this model. This proposed model is evaluated on a dataset obtained from Kaggle. The techniques of data augmentation are applied in order to enhance the random-ness among the input dataset for model stability. The proposed model has been validated by considering several useful hyper parameters such as different batch sizes of 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128; different epochs and optimizers. The proposed model is working best with an overall accuracy of 89.09% on 128 batch size with the Adam optimizer and 10 epochs and outperforms state-of-the-art techniques. This model will help dermatologists in the early diagnosis of skin cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence in Clinical Medical Imaging Analysis)
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Article
Decomposition of Naphthalene by Dielectric Barrier Discharge in Conjunction with a Catalyst at Atmospheric Pressure
Catalysts 2022, 12(7), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12070740 - 05 Jul 2022
Abstract
In this study, coaxial dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma, in conjunction with a metal oxide catalyst, was used to degrade naphthalene. The characteristics of plasma discharge were studied by measuring voltage and current waveforms and the Lissajous figure. The effects of different parameters [...] Read more.
In this study, coaxial dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma, in conjunction with a metal oxide catalyst, was used to degrade naphthalene. The characteristics of plasma discharge were studied by measuring voltage and current waveforms and the Lissajous figure. The effects of different parameters of the process on naphthalene decomposition in air were investigated. XRD, BET, and SEM data were used to investigate the nature, specific surface area, and surface morphology of the catalyst. The results show that the mineralization of naphthalene reached 82.2% when the initial naphthalene concentration was 21 ppm and the total gas flow rate was 1 L/min in the DBD reactor filled with Al2O3. The mineralization of naphthalene first increased and then became stable with the increase in treatment time and discharge power. The TiO2 catalyst has more apparent advantages than the two other studied catalysts in terms of the removal efficiency and mineralization of naphthalene due to this catalyst’s large specific surface area, porous structure, and photocatalytic properties. In addition, the introduction of a small amount of water vapor can promote the mineralization and CO2 selectivity of naphthalene. With further increases in the water vapor, Fe2O3 has a negative effect on the naphthalene oxidation due to its small pore size. The TiO2 catalyst can overcome the adverse effects of water molecule attachment due to its photocatalytic properties. Full article
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