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Open AccessArticle
Novel Thermosensitive Core–Shell Surface Molecularly Imprinted Polymers Based on SiO2 for the Selective Adsorption of Sulfamethazine
Materials 2018, 11(11), 2067; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11112067 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this research, a novel, sulfamethazine, thermosensitive, molecularly-imprinted polymer (MIP) with an obvious core–shell structure for the enrichment of sulfamethazine (SMZ), which involved temperature sensitive monomer N-Isopropylacrylamide, functional monomer methacrylic acid and cross-linking agents ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) and N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide, was successfully compounded using
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In this research, a novel, sulfamethazine, thermosensitive, molecularly-imprinted polymer (MIP) with an obvious core–shell structure for the enrichment of sulfamethazine (SMZ), which involved temperature sensitive monomer N-Isopropylacrylamide, functional monomer methacrylic acid and cross-linking agents ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) and N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide, was successfully compounded using the surface polymerization method. To ensure the best experimental group, we designed and compared three groups of controlled experiments of MIPs with different crosslinking agents. When the adsorption temperature was almost the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of Poly(N-Isopropylacrylamide), the preparative MIPs showed outstanding adsorption capacity and specific identification to sulfamethazine. Moreover, this allowed the MIPs to better facilitate by combining the template molecules, as well as optimizing the imprinting factor. In addition, after 80 min, the adsorption of the MIPs leveled off and remained constant, and the adsorption quantity reached (a maximum of) at 8.1 mg·g−1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Head-Raising of Snake Robots Based on a Predefined Spiral Curve Method
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(11), 2011; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8112011 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A snake robot has to raise its head to acquire a wide visual space for planning complex tasks such as inspecting unknown environments, tracking a flying object and acting as a manipulator with its raising part. However, only a few researchers currently focus
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A snake robot has to raise its head to acquire a wide visual space for planning complex tasks such as inspecting unknown environments, tracking a flying object and acting as a manipulator with its raising part. However, only a few researchers currently focus on analyzing the head-raising motion of snake robots. Thus, a predefined spiral curve method is proposed for the head-raising motion of such robots. First, the expression of the predefined spiral curve is designed. Second, with the curve and a line segments model of a snake robot, a shape-fitting algorithm is developed for constraining the robot’s macro shape. Third, the coordinate system of the line segments model of the robot is established. Then, phase-shifting and angle-solving algorithms are developed to obtain the angle sequences of roll, pitch, and yaw during the head-raising motion. Finally, the head-raising motion is simulated using the angle sequences to validate the feasibility of this method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Practical Multi-Sensor Cooling Demand Estimation Approach Based on Visual, Indoor and Outdoor Information Sensing
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3591; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113591 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The operating efficiency of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is critical for building energy performance. Demand-based control is an efficient HVAC operating strategy, which can provide an appropriate level of HVAC services based on the recognition of actual cooling “demand.” The
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The operating efficiency of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is critical for building energy performance. Demand-based control is an efficient HVAC operating strategy, which can provide an appropriate level of HVAC services based on the recognition of actual cooling “demand.” The cooling demand primarily relies on the accurate detection of occupancy. The current researches of demand-based HVAC control tend to detect the occupant count using cameras or other sensors, which often impose high computation and costs with limited real-life applications. Instead of detecting the occupant count, this paper proposes to detect the occupancy density. The occupancy density (estimated by image foreground moving pixels) together with the indoor and outdoor information (acquired from existing sensors) are used as inputs to an artificial neural network model for cooling demand estimation. Experiments have been implemented in a university design studio. Results show that, by adding the occupancy density, the cooling demand estimation error is greatly reduced by 67.4% and the R value is improved from 0.75 to 0.96. The proposed approach also features low-cost, computationally efficient, privacy-friendly and easily implementable. It shows good application potentials and can be readily incorporated into existing building management systems for improving energy efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Depression and Its Association with Health-Related Quality of Life in Postmenopausal Women in Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112327 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Menopause is associated with depressive symptoms that can significantly affect a woman’s quality of life. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between depression and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in postmenopausal women. In this cross-sectional descriptive study, participants (
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Menopause is associated with depressive symptoms that can significantly affect a woman’s quality of life. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between depression and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in postmenopausal women. In this cross-sectional descriptive study, participants (n = 3860) were selected from the 2013–2015 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). The sociodemographic characteristics, medical history of depression, and EQ-5D scores of the participants were obtained from the KNHANES dataset. Age, educational level, and income were associated with HRQoL in these participants. Moreover, depression exerted a considerable influence on HRQoL in postmenopausal women. The adjusted odds ratios in participants with depression for the EQ-5D dimensions were as follows: 5.52 (95% CI = 4.04–7.55, p < 0.001) for anxiety/depression, 3.86 (95% CI = 2.78–5.36, p < 0.001) for usual activities, and 2.52 (95% CI = 1.68–3.78, p < 0.001) for self-care. Our findings suggest a strong association between depression and HRQoL. Hence, preventing the onset or exacerbation of depression may significantly improve quality of life in postmenopausal women. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Fertigation: Nutrition, Stimulation and Bioprotection of the Root in High Performance
Plants 2018, 7(4), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7040088 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Temperature changes, drought, frost, and the presence of pest and diseases place enormous stress on crops, which implies that the potential performance of these crops may be affected. One of the main goals for agronomists, horticulturists, growers, physiologists, soil scientists, geneticists, plant breeders,
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Temperature changes, drought, frost, and the presence of pest and diseases place enormous stress on crops, which implies that the potential performance of these crops may be affected. One of the main goals for agronomists, horticulturists, growers, physiologists, soil scientists, geneticists, plant breeders, phytopathologists, and microbiologists is to increase the food production on the same cultivable area and to ensure that they are safe and of high quality. Understanding the biophysical changes in soil will help to manage the crop’s ability to cope with biotic and abiotic stress. Optimization is needed in the nutrition of crops, which involves the use of biostimulants to counter oxidative stress and the management of strain bioformulations (bacteria and fungi) that protect and stimulate roots for the acquisition of nutrients. The implementation of these strategies in fertigation programs improves crop yields. This article addresses the importance of the stimulation and the bioprotection of the root as a fundamental pillar in ensuring the high performance of a crop. Full article
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Open AccessProceedings
On The Case of Blockchain Adoption in the Internet of Things
Proceedings 2018, 2(19), 1231; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2191231 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Recently blockchain technology has been advocated as a solution fitting many different problems in several applicative fields; among these fields there is the Internet of Things (IoT) too. In this paper we show the most significant properties of a blockchain, how they suite
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Recently blockchain technology has been advocated as a solution fitting many different problems in several applicative fields; among these fields there is the Internet of Things (IoT) too. In this paper we show the most significant properties of a blockchain, how they suite the use case of a cryptocurrency and how they map onto the needs of IoT systems. We claim that a blockchain does not provide a significant advantage with respect to other database technologies in a field such as Internet of Things where computational power comes at a premium, energy is often scarce and storage scalability is a major challenge. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Impact of TiO2 Nanotubes’ Morphology on the Photocatalytic Degradation of Simazine Pollutant
Materials 2018, 11(11), 2066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11112066 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
There are various approaches to enhancing the catalytic properties of TiO2, including modifying its morphology by altering the surface reactivity and surface area of the catalyst. In this study, the primary aim is to enhance the photocatalytic activity by changing the
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There are various approaches to enhancing the catalytic properties of TiO2, including modifying its morphology by altering the surface reactivity and surface area of the catalyst. In this study, the primary aim is to enhance the photocatalytic activity by changing the TiO2 nanotubes’ architecture. The highly ordered infrastructure is favorable for a better charge carrier transfer. It is well known that anodization affects TiO2 nanotubes’ structure by increasing the anodization duration which in turn influence the photocatalytic activity. The characterizations were conducted by FE-SEM (fiend emission scanning electron microscopy), XRD (X-ray diffraction), RAMAN (Raman spectroscopy), EDX (Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy), UV-Vis (Ultraviolet visible spectroscopy) and LCMS/MS/MS (liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy). We found that the morphological structure is affected by the anodization duration according to FE-SEM. The photocatalytic degradation shows a photodegradation rate of k = 0.0104 min−1. It is also found that a mineralization of Simazine by our prepared TiO2 nanotubes leads to the formation of cyanuric acid. We propose three Simazine photodegradation pathways with several intermediates identified. Full article
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