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Open AccessArticle
The Improved Health Outcomes Program (iHOP): A Unique Model to Promote Provider-Driven Research in a Medicaid Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5079; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145079 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
We describe an effort to improve the care of Medicaid and uninsured individuals through a three-way partnership between a Medicaid managed care insurer, front-line providers, and an academic university. The project provided annual funding over eleven years, for research, pilot programs, and demonstration [...] Read more.
We describe an effort to improve the care of Medicaid and uninsured individuals through a three-way partnership between a Medicaid managed care insurer, front-line providers, and an academic university. The project provided annual funding over eleven years, for research, pilot programs, and demonstration projects. Projects were provider-driven in design and methods. The Medicaid-managed care insurer-funded proposals were vetted by a neutral university team experienced in grant writing and community-based research and scored by a community-based review panel. The grant program ran from 2007 to 2018, funding 41 projects, totaling USD 2,097,842. The partnership of an insurer, a university, and frontline providers was not only viable and sustainable for over a decade, but also flexible, free of project selection issues, and well-received by all stakeholders. Funded providers worked in both urban and rural settings and included hospitals, community non-profits, outpatient clinics, academic and community health partnerships, and public health agencies. The projects generally reflected common issues in the Medicaid and uninsured population needs, such as childhood obesity, and they were consistent with the targeted goals of the program. Broad health foci included child and/or maternal health, chronic conditions, mental health, preventive health, screening, system effectiveness, special populations including refugees, Latinos, and rural individuals, and substance use disorders. Details of the awarded grantee goals, the grants management process, and lessons learned from the partnership are presented. The partnership triad model was effective and stable, with each partner adding unique value. The use of the academic institution to administrate the program provided an arms-length relationship between the insurer and the providers in project selection and allowed assistance to less experienced researchers in community settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Modeling and Vibration Characteristics Analysis of Transmission Process for Dual-Motor Coupling Drive System
Symmetry 2020, 12(7), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12071171 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
The dual-motor coupling drive system (DCDS), which is widely used in electric vehicles, has attracted increasing attention due to its high transmission efficiency and economical fuel consumption. Current research has mainly focused on the control scheme of dual motors and has ignored the [...] Read more.
The dual-motor coupling drive system (DCDS), which is widely used in electric vehicles, has attracted increasing attention due to its high transmission efficiency and economical fuel consumption. Current research has mainly focused on the control scheme of dual motors and has ignored the dynamic characteristics of the asymmetrical transmission structure. This paper presents an investigation of a dynamic model and an analysis method of the transmission process for the DCDS. The entire dynamic model of the DCDS was established by considering the planetary gear, differential bevel gear, and drive shaft with the transfer matrix method (TMM). Then, a detailed theoretical analysis was developed to study the influence of meshing stiffness and excitation source on the dynamic characteristics. Finally, the DCDS experimental platform was utilized to validate the effectiveness of the proposed dynamic model. For susceptibility to low-frequency vibrations, the first four natural frequencies and vibration modes of the DCDS were analyzed through the processing and analysis of acceleration signals. The experimental dynamic responses were generally consistent with the numerically computed results, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed dynamic model with TMM. Furthermore, the proposed dynamic analysis method may be helpful for developing effective control algorithms to suppress vibrations and achieving highly smooth motions for electric vehicles. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Dried Urine Microsampling Coupled to Liquid Chromatography—Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) for the Analysis of Unconjugated Anabolic Androgenic Steroids
Molecules 2020, 25(14), 3210; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25143210 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Testing and monitoring anabolic androgenic steroids in biological fluids is a key activity in anti-doping practices. In this study, a novel approach is proposed, based on dried urine microsampling through two different workflows: dried urine spots (DUS) and volumetric absorptive microsampling (VAMS). Both [...] Read more.
Testing and monitoring anabolic androgenic steroids in biological fluids is a key activity in anti-doping practices. In this study, a novel approach is proposed, based on dried urine microsampling through two different workflows: dried urine spots (DUS) and volumetric absorptive microsampling (VAMS). Both techniques can overcome some common drawbacks of urine sampling, such as analyte instability and storage and transportation problems. Using an original, validated liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method, exogenous and endogenous unconjugated steroids were analysed. Despite the limitations of microsampling volume, good sensitivity was obtained (limit of quantitation ≤1.5 ng/mL for all analytes), with satisfactory precision (relative standard deviation <7.6%) and absolute recovery (>70.3%). Both microsampling platforms provide reliable results, in good agreement with those obtained from urine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioanalysis and Biological Matrix Sampling)
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Open AccessArticle
Biodiversity of Algae and Cyanobacteria in Biological Soil Crusts Collected Along a Climatic Gradient in Chile Using an Integrative Approach
Microorganisms 2020, 8(7), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8071047 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Biocrusts are associations of various prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms in the top millimeters of soil, which can be found in every climate zone on Earth. They stabilize soils and introduce carbon and nitrogen into this compartment. The worldwide occurrence of biocrusts was proven [...] Read more.
Biocrusts are associations of various prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms in the top millimeters of soil, which can be found in every climate zone on Earth. They stabilize soils and introduce carbon and nitrogen into this compartment. The worldwide occurrence of biocrusts was proven by numerous studies in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America, leaving South America understudied. Using an integrative approach, which combines morphological and molecular characters (small subunit rRNA and ITS region), we examined the diversity of key biocrust photosynthetic organisms at four sites along the latitudinal climate gradient in Chile. The most northern study site was located in the Atacama Desert (arid climate), followed by open shrubland (semiarid climate), a dry forest region (Mediterranean climate) and a mixed broad leaved-coniferous forest (temperate climate) in the south. The lowest species richness was recorded in the desert (18 species), whereas the highest species richness was observed in the Mediterranean zone with (40 species). Desert biocrusts were composed exclusively of single-celled Chlorophyta algae, followed by cyanobacteria. Chlorophyta, Streptophyta and cyanobacteria dominated semiarid biocrusts, whereas Mediterranean and temperate Chilean biocrusts were composed mostly of Chlorophyta, Streptophyta and Ochrophyta. Our investigation of Chilean biocrust suggests high biodiversity of South American biocrust phototrophs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Microbiology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Biological Effects of Tricalcium Silicate Nanoparticle-Containing Cement on Stem Cells from Human Exfoliated Deciduous Teeth
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1373; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071373 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Nanomaterials can enhance interactions with stem cells for tissue regeneration. This study aimed to investigate the biological effects of tricalcium silicate nanoparticle-containing cement (Biodentine™) during or after setting on stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) to mimic clinically relevant situations in [...] Read more.
Nanomaterials can enhance interactions with stem cells for tissue regeneration. This study aimed to investigate the biological effects of tricalcium silicate nanoparticle-containing cement (Biodentine™) during or after setting on stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) to mimic clinically relevant situations in which materials are adapted. Specimens were divided into four groups depending on the start of extraction time (during (3, 6 and 12 min) or after setting (24 h)) and extracted in culture medium for 24 h for further physicochemical and biological analysis. After cell viability in serially diluted extracts was evaluated, odontogenic differentiation on SHED was evaluated by ARS staining using nontoxic conditions. A physicochemical analysis of extracts or specimens indicated different Ca ion content, pH, and surface chemistry among groups, supporting the possibility of different biological functionalities depending on the extraction starting conditions. Compared to the ‘after setting’ group, all ‘during setting’ groups showed cytotoxicity on SHED. The during setting groups induced more odontogenic differentiation at the nontoxic concentrations compared to the control. Thus, under clinically simulated extract conditions at nontoxic concentrations, Biodentine™ seemed to be a promising odontoblast differentiating biomaterial that is helpful for dental tissue regeneration. In addition, to simulate clinical situations when nanoparticle-containing cement is adjusted, biological effects during setting need to be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology for Regenerative Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
Lactobacillus helveticus-Fermented Milk Whey Suppresses Melanin Production by Inhibiting Tyrosinase through Decreasing MITF Expression
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2082; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072082 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Whey obtained from milk fermented by the Lactobacillus helveticus CM4 strain (LHMW) has been shown to improve skin barrier function and increase skin-moisturizing factors. In this study, we investigated the effects of LHMW on melanin production to explore the additional impacts of LHMW [...] Read more.
Whey obtained from milk fermented by the Lactobacillus helveticus CM4 strain (LHMW) has been shown to improve skin barrier function and increase skin-moisturizing factors. In this study, we investigated the effects of LHMW on melanin production to explore the additional impacts of LHMW on the skin. We treated mouse B16 melanoma cells with α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) alone or simultaneously with LHMW and measured the amount of melanin. The amount of melanin in B16 cells treated with α-MSH significantly increased by 2-fold compared with that in control cells, and tyrosinase activity was also elevated. Moreover, treatment with LHMW significantly suppressed the increase in melanin content and elevation of tyrosinase activity due to α-MSH. LHMW also suppressed the α-MSH-induced increased expression of tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TRP1), and dopachrome tautomerase (DCT) at the protein and mRNA levels. Furthermore, the mRNA and protein microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) expression levels were significantly increased with treatment with α-MSH alone, which were also suppressed by LHMW addition. LHMW suppression of melanin production is suggested to involve inhibition of the expression of the tyrosinase gene family by lowering the MITF expression level. LHMW may have promise as a material for cosmetics with expected clinical application in humans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficacy and Safety of the Combination of Pravastatin and Sorafenib for the Treatment of Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (ESTAHEP Clinical Trial)
Cancers 2020, 12(7), 1900; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12071900 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Pravastatin has demonstrated anti-tumor activity in preclinical and clinical studies. This multicentric randomized double-blind placebo-controlled phase II study (NCT01418729) investigated the efficacy and safety of sorafenib + pravastatin combination on the overall survival (OS) and time to progression (TTP) of patients with advanced [...] Read more.
Pravastatin has demonstrated anti-tumor activity in preclinical and clinical studies. This multicentric randomized double-blind placebo-controlled phase II study (NCT01418729) investigated the efficacy and safety of sorafenib + pravastatin combination on the overall survival (OS) and time to progression (TTP) of patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (aHCC). A total of 31 patients were randomized. Median OS did not differ between both groups (12.4 months for the sorafenib + pravastatin group vs. 11.6 months for the control group). Of note, however, the radiological TTP was higher in patients treated with sorafenib + pravastatin than in the control group (9.9 months vs. 3.2 months; p = 0.008). Considering all the study population, the presence of portal vein thrombosis (PVT) was associated with worse OS, being lower in patients with PVT compared to patients without PVT (6.3 months vs. 14.8 months; p = 0.026). Data also showed a decrease in OS in patients with vascular invasion (VI) compared to patients who did not present it (6.3 months vs. 14.8 months; p = 0.041). The group of patients without dermatological events (DE) showed lower OS (6.9 months vs. 14.5 months; p = 0.049). In conclusion, combination of sorafenib + pravastatin was safe and well-tolerated, prolonging the TTP of patients with aHCC but not improving the OS compared to sorafenib + placebo. The absence of PVT and VI and the development of DE are positive prognostic factors of sorafenib response. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Testing the Applicability of MALDI-TOF MS as an Alternative Stock Identification Method in a Cryptic Species Complex
Molecules 2020, 25(14), 3214; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25143214 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Knowledge of intraspecific variability of a certain species is essential for their long-term survival and for the development of conservation plans. Nowadays, molecular/genetic methods are the most frequently used for this purpose. Although, the Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight Mass [...] Read more.
Knowledge of intraspecific variability of a certain species is essential for their long-term survival and for the development of conservation plans. Nowadays, molecular/genetic methods are the most frequently used for this purpose. Although, the Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) technique has become a promising alternative tool to specify intraspecific variability, there is a lack of information about the limitations of this method, and some methodological issues need to be resolved. Towards this goal, we tested the sensitivity of this method on an intraspecific level, using genetically identified individuals of a cryptic fish species complex collected from five distinct populations. Additionally, some methodologic issues, such as the effect of 1) delayed sample preparation, 2) clove oil anaesthetization, and 3) different tissue types (muscle, and brain) were investigated using the MS analysis results. Our results show that the delayed sample preparation has a fundamental effect on the result of MS analysis, while at the same time the clove oil did not affect the results considerably. Both the brain and muscle samples were usable for cryptic species identification, but in our opinion this method has limited applicability for population-level segregation. The application of MALDI-TOF MS to the exploitable toolkit of phylogenetic and taxonomic researches could be used to broaden conclusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Analytical Chemistry)
Open AccessShort Note
Sodium N-(3,5-Bis(ethoxycarbonyl)-2,6-dimethyl-1,4-dihydropyridine-4-carbonyl)-l-methioninate
Molbank 2020, 2020(3), M1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/M1148 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
The development of the methods for amide bond formation is important for various uses in the laboratory and industrial applications. The compounds combined in their structures 1,4-dihydroisonicotinic acids and amino acids linked with an amide bond can be considered as “privileged structures” due [...] Read more.
The development of the methods for amide bond formation is important for various uses in the laboratory and industrial applications. The compounds combined in their structures 1,4-dihydroisonicotinic acids and amino acids linked with an amide bond can be considered as “privileged structures” due to their broad range of biological activities. Herein, the formation of amide bond between 1,4-dihydroisonicotinic acid and l-methionine is reported. The coupling of l-methionine with pentafluorophenyl active ester of 1,4-dihydroisonicotinic acid appears to be a convenient and effective method for amide bond formation. Sodium N-(3,5-bis(ethoxycarbonyl)-2,6-dimethyl-1,4-dihydropyridine-4-carbonyl)-l-methioninate has been successfully synthesized via a procedure where the key step is amide formation from 5-diethyl 4-(perfluorophenyl) 2,6-dimethyl-1,4-dihydropyridine-3,4,5-tricarboxylate and l-methionine. Sodium salt formation was performed to improve physicochemical properties, such as solubility of the l-methionine-derived 1,4-dihydroisonicotinamide. The obtained target compound was fully characterized by UV, IR, 1H NMR, 13C NMR, MS, and microanalysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heterocycle Reactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Bioactive Phytochemicals in Leaf Protein Concentrate of Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.)
Plants 2020, 9(7), 889; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070889 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Jerusalem artichoke (JA) is widely known to have inulin-rich tubers. However, its fresh aerial biomass produces significant levels of leaf protein and economic bioactive phytochemicals. We have characterized leaf protein concentrate (JAPC) isolated from green biomass of three Jerusalem artichoke clones, Alba, Fuseau, [...] Read more.
Jerusalem artichoke (JA) is widely known to have inulin-rich tubers. However, its fresh aerial biomass produces significant levels of leaf protein and economic bioactive phytochemicals. We have characterized leaf protein concentrate (JAPC) isolated from green biomass of three Jerusalem artichoke clones, Alba, Fuseau, and Kalevala, and its nutritional value for the human diet or animal feeding. The JAPC yield varied from 28.6 to 31.2 g DM kg−1 green biomass with an average total protein content of 33.3% on a dry mass basis. The qualitative analysis of the phytochemical composition of JAPC was performed by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-Orbitrap/mass spectrometry analysis (UHPLC-ESI-ORBITRAP-MS/MS). Fifty-three phytochemicals were successfully identified in JAPC. In addition to the phenolic acids (especially mono- and di-hydroxycinnamic acid esters of quinic acids) several medically important hydroxylated methoxyflavones, i.e., dimethoxy-tetrahydroxyflavone, dihydroxy-methoxyflavone, hymenoxin, and nevadensin, were detected in the JAPC for the first time. Liquiritigenin, an estrogenic-like flavanone, was measured in the JAPC as well as butein and kukulkanin B, as chalcones. The results also showed high contents of the essential amino acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs; 66-68%) in JAPC. Linolenic acid represented 39–43% of the total lipid content; moreover, the ratio between ω-6 and ω-3 fatty acids in the JAPC was ~0.6:1. Comparing the JA clones, no major differences in phytochemicals, fatty acid, or amino acid compositions were observed. This paper confirms the economic and nutritional value of JAPC as it is not only an alternative plant protein source but also as a good source of biological valuable phytochemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural and Functional Analysis of Extracts in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Home Enteral Nutrition in Adults—Nationwide Multicenter Survey
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2087; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072087 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Home enteral nutrition (HEN) is an important part of the health care system, with a growing population of patients around the world. The aim of our study was to analyze one of the largest cohorts of HEN patients to provide the most recent [...] Read more.
Home enteral nutrition (HEN) is an important part of the health care system, with a growing population of patients around the world. The aim of our study was to analyze one of the largest cohorts of HEN patients to provide the most recent data available in European literature. A multicenter, nation-wide survey in the period of 1 January 2018–1 January 2019 was performed in Poland. Data concerning adult patients on HEN in 2018 during 1 year of observation time were analyzed: demographic characteristics, primary disease, technique of enteral feeding, diet formulation and amount of energy provided. A total of 4586 HEN patients (F: 46.7%, M: 53.3%) were included in the study. The primary diseases were: 54.5% neurological (17.4%—neurovascular, 13.7%—neurodegenerative), 33.9% cancer (20.2%—head and neck, 11.7%—gastrointestinal cancer), 2.5%-gastroenterology, 1.5%—inherited diseases. Of new registrations in 2018—cancer patients 46.3%, neurological patients 45.1%. The median age overall was: 64 yr., BMI-20.2 kg/m2, NRS 2002 score—4.28. A total of 65% of patients were treated with PEG, 11.6% with surgical gastrostomy, 14.3% with naso-gastric tube and 7% with jejunostomy. Boluses were the most common method of feeding (74.4%). Gravity flow was used in 17.6% and peristaltic pump was used in 8% patients. The median energy provision was 1278 kcal/day and 24 kcal/kg/day. The most commonly used diets were: isocaloric (28.1%), protein-enriched isocaloric (20%) and protein-enriched hypercaloric (12%). The median overall duration of HEN was 354 days, 615 days for neurological and 209 days for cancer patients. A number of new registrations of cancer patients was significant and long duration of HEN in this group is encouraging. A developing spectrum of enteral formulas available enables more specified nutritional interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Enteral Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Optimization and Characterization of Microwave-Assisted Hydro-Distillation Extraction of Essential Oils from Cinnamomum camphora Leaf and Recovery of Polyphenols from Extract Fluid
Molecules 2020, 25(14), 3213; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25143213 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
In this study, the efficiency of microwave-assisted hydro-distillation (MAHD) to extract essential oil from Cinnamomum camphora leaf, and the recovery of polyphenols from extract fluid were investigated. The effects of microwave power, liquid-to-material ratio, and extraction time on the extraction efficiency were studied [...] Read more.
In this study, the efficiency of microwave-assisted hydro-distillation (MAHD) to extract essential oil from Cinnamomum camphora leaf, and the recovery of polyphenols from extract fluid were investigated. The effects of microwave power, liquid-to-material ratio, and extraction time on the extraction efficiency were studied by a single factor test as well as the response surface methodology (RSM) based on the central composite design method. The optimal extraction conditions were a microwave power of 786.27 W, liquid-to-material ratio of 7.47:1 mL/g, and extraction time of 35.57 min. The yield of essential oil was 3.26 ± 0.05% (w/w), and the recovery of polyphenols was 4.97 ± 0.02 mg gallic acid equivalent/g dry weight under the optimal conditions. Furthermore, the comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS) was used to characterize the essential oils of fresh and fallen leaves, and 159 individual compounds were tentatively identified, accounting for more than 89.68 and 87.88% of the total contents, respectively. The main ingredients include sabinene, l-β-pinene, β-myrcene, α-terpineol, 3-heptanone, and β-thujene, as well as -terpineol and 3-heptanone, which were first identified in C. camphora essential oil. In conclusion, the MAHD method could extract essential oil from C. camphora with high efficiency, and the polyphenols could be obtained from the extract fluid at the same time, improving the utilization of C. camphora leaf. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery of Phytochemicals from Forest Materials)
Open AccessArticle
The Linguistic Picture Fuzzy Set and Its Application in Multi-Criteria Decision-Making: An Illustration to the TOPSIS and TODIM Methods Based on Entropy Weight
Symmetry 2020, 12(7), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12071170 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
The paper considers the multi-criteria decision-making problem based on linguistic picture fuzzy information. Firstly, we propose the concept of linguistic picture fuzzy set(LPFS), where the positive-membership, the neutral-membership and the negative-membership are represented by linguistic variables, and its operation rules are also discussed. [...] Read more.
The paper considers the multi-criteria decision-making problem based on linguistic picture fuzzy information. Firstly, we propose the concept of linguistic picture fuzzy set(LPFS), where the positive-membership, the neutral-membership and the negative-membership are represented by linguistic variables, and its operation rules are also discussed. The linguistic picture fuzzy weighted averaging (LPFWA) operator and linguistic picture fuzzy weighted geometric (LPFWG) operator are developed based on the proposed operation rules. Secondly, we propose the generalized weighted distance measure, the generalized weighted Hausdorff distance measure, and the generalized hybrid weighted distance measure between LPFSs and discuss their properties. Thirdly, we extend the technique for order of preference by similarity to the ideal solution (TOPSIS) method and the TODIM (an acronym in Portuguese of interactive and multi-criteria decision-making) method to the proposed distance measure, and the linguistic picture fuzzy entropy method is proposed to calculate the weights of the criteria. Finally, an illustrative example is given to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed methods, the comparative analysis with other existing methods and sensitivity analysis of the proposed methods are also discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
High Refractive-Index Hybrids Consisting of Water-Soluble Matrices with Bipyridine-Modified Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane and Lanthanoid Cations
Polymers 2020, 12(7), 1560; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12071560 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
We report high refractive-index (RI) films composed of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (SSQ) matrices and various lanthanoid cations. The SSQ matrices were constructed from octaammonium SSQ by connecting with bipyridine dicarboxylic acid, which is expected to capture cations. By modulating the feed ratio between [...] Read more.
We report high refractive-index (RI) films composed of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (SSQ) matrices and various lanthanoid cations. The SSQ matrices were constructed from octaammonium SSQ by connecting with bipyridine dicarboxylic acid, which is expected to capture cations. By modulating the feed ratio between SSQ and dicarboxylic acid, the series of the SSQ matrices were obtained with variable cross-linking ratios among the SSQ units. Thin transparent films were able to be prepared through the drop-casting method with the aqueous mixtures containing SSQ matrices and various kinds of lanthanoid salts up to 40 wt %. From RI measurements, it was revealed that the increase of the amount of the metal ion can significantly lift up the RI values. In particular, critical losses of Abbe numbers, which theoretically have the trade-off relationship toward increases in RI values, were hardly detected. This effect could be obtained by cation assembly in local spots that are assisted by SSQ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silsesquioxane (POSS) Polymers, Copolymers and Nanoparticles)
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Open AccessReview
Role of Mitochondria-Cytoskeleton Interactions in the Regulation of Mitochondrial Structure and Function in Cancer Stem Cells
Cells 2020, 9(7), 1691; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9071691 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Despite the promise of cancer medicine, major challenges currently confronting the treatment of cancer patients include chemoresistance and recurrence. The existence of subpopulations of cancer cells, known as cancer stem cells (CSCs), contributes to the failure of cancer therapies and is associated with [...] Read more.
Despite the promise of cancer medicine, major challenges currently confronting the treatment of cancer patients include chemoresistance and recurrence. The existence of subpopulations of cancer cells, known as cancer stem cells (CSCs), contributes to the failure of cancer therapies and is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Of note, one of the recently characterized features of CSCs is augmented mitochondrial function. The cytoskeleton network is essential in regulating mitochondrial morphology and rearrangement, which are inextricably linked to its functions, such as oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). The interaction between the cytoskeleton and mitochondria can enable CSCs to adapt to challenging conditions, such as a lack of energy sources, and to maintain their stemness. Cytoskeleton-mediated mitochondrial trafficking and relocating to the high energy requirement region are crucial steps in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In addition, the cytoskeleton itself interplays with and blocks the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) to directly regulate bioenergetics. In this review, we describe the regulation of cellular bioenergetics in CSCs, focusing on the cytoskeleton-mediated dynamic control of mitochondrial structure and function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Aspects of Targeting Cancer Metabolism in Therapeutic Approach)
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Open AccessReview
The Ubiquitin Proteasome System in Hematological Malignancies: New Insight into Its Functional Role and Therapeutic Options
Cancers 2020, 12(7), 1898; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12071898 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is the main cellular degradation machinery designed for controlling turnover of critical proteins involved in cancer pathogenesis, including hematological malignancies. UPS plays a functional role in regulating turnover of key proteins involved in cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and [...] Read more.
The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is the main cellular degradation machinery designed for controlling turnover of critical proteins involved in cancer pathogenesis, including hematological malignancies. UPS plays a functional role in regulating turnover of key proteins involved in cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and terminal differentiation. When deregulated, it leads to several disorders, including cancer. Several studies indicate that, in some subtypes of human hematological neoplasms such as multiple myeloma and Burkitt’s lymphoma, abnormalities in the UPS made it an attractive therapeutic target due to pro-cancer activity. In this review, we discuss the aberrant role of UPS evaluating its impact in hematological malignancies. Finally, we also review the most promising therapeutic approaches to target UPS as powerful strategies to improve treatment of blood cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting the Ubiquitin Pathway in Cancer)
Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Acetogenesis of Waste Activated Sludge by Conditioning with Processed Organic Wastes in Co-Fermentation: Kinetics, Performance and Microbial Response
Energies 2020, 13(14), 3630; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143630 (registering DOI) - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Aimed at the low ratio of carbon and nitrogen (C/N, approximately 7/1) of waste activated sludge (WAS), which would inhibit the acetogenesis process during anaerobic fermentation, this study introduced three brewing wastes, including vinegar (VR), stillage (SR) and soy sauce (SSR) residues, to [...] Read more.
Aimed at the low ratio of carbon and nitrogen (C/N, approximately 7/1) of waste activated sludge (WAS), which would inhibit the acetogenesis process during anaerobic fermentation, this study introduced three brewing wastes, including vinegar (VR), stillage (SR) and soy sauce (SSR) residues, to promote acetogenesis by co-fermenting with WAS. Results showed that different brewing wastes contributed differently to the volatile fatty acids (VFAs) yield. The best performance was observed with SSR (4517 ± 367 mg COD/L), particularly rich in C2–C3 VFAs, corresponding to 40% and 52% higher concentrations than with SR and VR, respectively. Meanwhile, the hydrolysis rate constant peaked at 0.0059 h−1 in the SSR test, compared to the sole WAS test (0.0018 h−1). Furthermore, canonical correlation analysis reflected that the functional consortia, known to ferment saccharides/amino acids into C2–C3 VFAs (i.e., Proteiniclasticum, Petrimonas, Cloacibacillus and Gemmobacter), was related to the characteristics of the feedstock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Technologies for Centralized Water and Wastewater Treatment)
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