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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Cornstalk Biochar Immobilized Bacteria on Ammonia Reduction in Laying Hen Manure Composting
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1560; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071560 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
NH3 emission has become one of the key factors for aerobic composting of animal manure. It has been reported that adding microbial agents during aerobic composting can reduce NH3 emissions. However, environmental factors have a considerable influence on the activity and [...] Read more.
NH3 emission has become one of the key factors for aerobic composting of animal manure. It has been reported that adding microbial agents during aerobic composting can reduce NH3 emissions. However, environmental factors have a considerable influence on the activity and stability of the microbial agent. Therefore, this study used cornstalk biochar as carriers to find out the better biological immobilization method to examine the mitigation ability and mechanism of NH3 production from laying hen manure composting. The results from different immobilized methods showed that NH3 was reduced by 12.43%, 5.53%, 14.57%, and 22.61% in the cornstalk biochar group, free load bacteria group, mixed load bacteria group, and separate load bacteria group, respectively. Under the simulated composting condition, NH3 production was 46.52, 38.14, 39.08, and 30.81 g in the treatment of the control, mixed bacteria, cornstalk biochar, and cornstalk biochar separate load immobilized mixed bacteria, respectively. The cornstalk biochar separate load immobilized mixed bacteria treatment significantly reduced NH3 emission compared with the other treatments (p < 0.05). Compared with the control, adding cornstalk biochar immobilized mixed bacteria significantly decreased the electrical conductivity, water-soluble carbon, total nitrogen loss, and concentration of ammonium nitrogen (p < 0.05), and significantly increased the seed germination rate, total number of microorganisms, and relative abundance of lactic acid bacteria throughout the composting process (p < 0.05). Therefore, the reason for the low NH3 emission might be due not only to the adsorption of the cornstalk biochar but also because of the role of complex bacteria, which increases the relative abundance of lactic acid bacteria and promotes the acid production of lactic acid bacteria to reduce NH3 emissions. This result revealed the potential of using biological immobilization technology to reduce NH3 emissions during laying hen manure composting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Generation of Differentiating and Long-Living Intestinal Organoids Reflecting the Cellular Diversity of Canine Intestine
Cells 2020, 9(4), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040822 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
Functional intestinal disorders constitute major, potentially lethal health problems in humans. Consequently, research focuses on elucidating the underlying pathobiological mechanisms and establishing therapeutic strategies. In this context, intestinal organoids have emerged as a potent in vitro model as they faithfully recapitulate the structure [...] Read more.
Functional intestinal disorders constitute major, potentially lethal health problems in humans. Consequently, research focuses on elucidating the underlying pathobiological mechanisms and establishing therapeutic strategies. In this context, intestinal organoids have emerged as a potent in vitro model as they faithfully recapitulate the structure and function of the intestinal segment they represent. Interestingly, human-like intestinal diseases also affect dogs, making canine intestinal organoids a promising tool for canine and comparative research. Therefore, we generated organoids from canine duodenum, jejunum and colon, and focused on simultaneous long-term expansion and cell differentiation to maximize applicability. Following their establishment, canine intestinal organoids were grown under various culture conditions and then analyzed with respect to cell viability/apoptosis and multi-lineage differentiation by transcription profiling, proliferation assay, cell staining, and transmission electron microscopy. Standard expansion medium supported long-term expansion of organoids irrespective of their origin, but inhibited cell differentiation. Conversely, transfer of organoids to differentiation medium promoted goblet cell and enteroendocrine cell development, but simultaneously induced apoptosis. Unimpeded stem cell renewal and concurrent differentiation was achieved by culturing organoids in the presence of tyrosine kinase ligands. Our findings unambiguously highlight the characteristic cellular diversity of canine duodenum, jejunum and colon as fundamental prerequisite for accurate in vitro modelling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Stem Cell Culture)
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Open AccessArticle
Solubility, Hansen Solubility Parameters and Thermodynamic Behavior of Emtricitabine in Various (Polyethylene Glycol-400 + Water) Mixtures: Computational Modeling and Thermodynamics
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1559; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071559 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
This study was aimed to find out the solubility, thermodynamic behavior, Hansen solubility parameters and molecular interactions of an antiviral drug emtricitabine (ECT) in various “[polyethylene glycol-400 (PEG-400) + water]” mixtures. The solubility of ECT in mole fraction was determined at “T [...] Read more.
This study was aimed to find out the solubility, thermodynamic behavior, Hansen solubility parameters and molecular interactions of an antiviral drug emtricitabine (ECT) in various “[polyethylene glycol-400 (PEG-400) + water]” mixtures. The solubility of ECT in mole fraction was determined at “T = 298.2 to 318.2 K” and “p = 0.1 MPa” using an isothermal method. The experimental solubilities of ECT in mole fraction were validated and correlated using various computational models which includes “Van’t Hoff, Apelblat, Yalkowsky-Roseman, Jouyban-Acree and Jouyban-Acree-Van’t Hoff models”. All the models performed well in terms of model correlation. The solubility of ECT was increased with the raise in temperature in all “PEG-400 + water” mixtures studied. The highest and lowest solubility values of ECT were found in pure PEG-400 (1.45 × 10−1) at “T = 318.2 K” and pure water (7.95 × 10−3) at “T = 298.2 K”, respectively. The quantitative values of activity coefficients indicated higher interactions at molecular level in ECT and PEG-400 combination compared with ECT and water combination. “Apparent thermodynamic analysis” showed an “endothermic and entropy-driven dissolution” of ECT in all “PEG-400 + water” combinations studied. The solvation nature of ECT was found an “enthalpy-driven” in each “PEG-400 + water” mixture studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computational and Theoretical Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle
The Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Dissociation Using a Single-Mode Microwave Plasma Generator
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1558; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071558 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
This paper focuses on the dissociation of carbon dioxide (CO2) following the absorption processes of microwave radiation by noncontact metal wire (tungsten). Using a microwave plasma generator (MPG) with a single-mode cavity, we conducted an interaction of microwaves with a noncontact [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the dissociation of carbon dioxide (CO2) following the absorption processes of microwave radiation by noncontact metal wire (tungsten). Using a microwave plasma generator (MPG) with a single-mode cavity, we conducted an interaction of microwaves with a noncontact electrode in a CO2 atmosphere. High energy levels of electromagnetic radiation are generated in the focal point of the MPG’s cylindrical cavity. The metal wires are vaporized and ionized from this area, subsequently affecting the dissociation of CO2. The CO2 dissociation is highlighted through plasma characterization and carbon monoxide (CO) quantity determination. For plasma characterization, we used an optical emission spectroscopy method (OES), and for CO quantity determination, we used a gas analyzer instrument. Using an MPG in the CO2 atmosphere, we obtained a high electron temperature of the plasma and a strong dissociation of CO2. After 20 s of the interaction between microwaves and noncontact electrodes, the quantity of CO increased from 3 ppm to 1377 ppm (0.13% CO). This method can be used in space applications to dissociate CO2 and refresh the atmosphere of closed spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Photoacoustic Spectroscopy)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Design of a Cyberattack Resilient 77 GHz Automotive Radar Sensor
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040573 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
In this paper, we propose a novel 77 GHz automotive radar sensor, and demonstrate its cyberattack resilience using real measurements. The proposed system is built upon a standard Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar RF-front end, and the novelty is in the DSP [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose a novel 77 GHz automotive radar sensor, and demonstrate its cyberattack resilience using real measurements. The proposed system is built upon a standard Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar RF-front end, and the novelty is in the DSP algorithm used at the firmware level. All attack scenarios are based on real radar signals generated by Texas Instruments AWR series 77 GHz radars, and all measurements are done using the same radar family. For sensor networks, including interconnected autonomous vehicles sharing radar measurements, cyberattacks at the network/communication layer is a known critical problem, and has been addressed by several different researchers. What is addressed in this paper is cyberattacks at the physical layer, that is, adversarial agents generating 77 GHz electromagnetic waves which may cause a false target detection, false distance/velocity estimation, or not detecting an existing target. The main algorithm proposed in this paper is not a predictive filtering based cyberattack detection scheme where an “unusual” difference between measured and predicted values triggers an alarm. The core idea is based on a kind of physical challenge-response authentication, and its integration into the radar DSP firmware. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microwave and Wireless Communications)
Open AccessArticle
Hypoxia and Macrophages Act in Concert Towards a Beneficial Outcome in Colon Cancer
Cancers 2020, 12(4), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12040818 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
In colon cancer, the prognostic value of macrophages is controversial, and it is still unknown how hypoxia modulates macrophage–cancer cell crosstalk. To unravel this, co-cultures of human primary macrophages and colon cancer cells were performed at 20% and 1% O2, followed [...] Read more.
In colon cancer, the prognostic value of macrophages is controversial, and it is still unknown how hypoxia modulates macrophage–cancer cell crosstalk. To unravel this, co-cultures of human primary macrophages and colon cancer cells were performed at 20% and 1% O2, followed by characterization of both cellular components. Different colon cancer patient cohorts were analyzed for hypoxia and immune markers, and their association with patient overall survival was established. A positive correlation between HIF1A and CD68 in colon cancer patients was identified but, unexpectedly, in cases with higher macrophage infiltration, HIF1A expression was associated with a better prognosis, in contrast to breast, gastric, and lung cancers. Under hypoxia, co-cultures’ secretome indicated a shift towards a pro-inflammatory phenotype. These alterations occurred along with increased macrophage phagocytic activity and decreased SIRPα expression. Cancer cells were more invasive and exhibited higher CD47 expression. We hypothesize that the better prognosis associated with HIF1AHighCD68High tumors could occur due to macrophagic pro-inflammatory pressure. Indeed, we found that tumors HIF1AHighCD68High expressed increased levels of CD8A, which is positively correlated with HIF1A. In conclusion, we show that in colon cancer, hypoxia drives macrophages into a pro-inflammatory phenotype, concomitant with increased infiltration of anti-tumor immune cells, favoring better disease outcome. Full article
Open AccessArticle
CB-Art Interventions Implemented with Mental Health Professionals Working in a Shared War Reality: Transforming Negative Images and Enhancing Coping Resources
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2287; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072287 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
Research on mental health professionals (MHPs) exposed to a shared war reality indicates that they are subject to emotional distress, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, and vicarious trauma. This article focuses on a CB-ART (cognitive behavioral and art-based) intervention implemented during the 2014 [...] Read more.
Research on mental health professionals (MHPs) exposed to a shared war reality indicates that they are subject to emotional distress, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, and vicarious trauma. This article focuses on a CB-ART (cognitive behavioral and art-based) intervention implemented during the 2014 Gaza conflict with 51 MHPs who shared war-related experiences with their clients. The intervention included drawing pictures related to three topics: (1) war-related stressors, (2) coping resources, and (3) integration of the stressful image and the resources drawing. The major aims of the study were (1) to examine whether significant changes occurred in MHP distress levels after the intervention; (2) to explore the narratives of the three drawing and their compositional characteristics; and (3) to determine which of selected formats of the integrated drawing and compositional transformations of the stressful image are associated with greater distress reduction. Results indicate that MHP distress levels significantly decreased after the intervention. This stress-reducing effect was also reflected in differences between the compositional elements of the ‘stress drawing’ and the ‘integrated drawing,’ which includes elements of resources. Reduced distress accompanied compositional transformations of the stressful image. MHPs can further use the easily implemented intervention described here as a coping tool in other stressful situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salutogenesis and Coping: Ways to Overcome Stress and Conflicts)
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Open AccessReview
GSK3: A Kinase Balancing Promotion and Resolution of Inflammation
Cells 2020, 9(4), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040820 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
GSK3 has been implicated for years in the regulation of inflammation and addressed in a plethora of scientific reports using a variety of experimental (disease) models and approaches. However, the specific role of GSK3 in the inflammatory process is still not fully understood [...] Read more.
GSK3 has been implicated for years in the regulation of inflammation and addressed in a plethora of scientific reports using a variety of experimental (disease) models and approaches. However, the specific role of GSK3 in the inflammatory process is still not fully understood and controversially discussed. Following a detailed overview of structure, function, and various regulatory levels, this review focusses on the immunoregulatory functions of GSK3, including the current knowledge obtained from animal models. Its impact on pro-inflammatory cytokine/chemokine profiles, bacterial/viral infections, and the modulation of associated pro-inflammatory transcriptional and signaling pathways is discussed. Moreover, GSK3 contributes to the resolution of inflammation on multiple levels, e.g., via the regulation of pro-resolving mediators, the clearance of apoptotic immune cells, and tissue repair processes. The influence of GSK3 on the development of different forms of stimulation tolerance is also addressed. Collectively, the role of GSK3 as a kinase balancing the initiation/perpetuation and the amelioration/resolution of inflammation is highlighted. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Genome Editing Reveals Oosp Family Genes are Dispensable for Female Fertility in Mice
Cells 2020, 9(4), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040821 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
There are over 200 genes that are predicted to be solely expressed in the oocyte and ovary, and thousands more that have expression patterns in the female reproductive tract. Unfortunately, many of their physiological functions, such as their roles in oogenesis or fertilization, [...] Read more.
There are over 200 genes that are predicted to be solely expressed in the oocyte and ovary, and thousands more that have expression patterns in the female reproductive tract. Unfortunately, many of their physiological functions, such as their roles in oogenesis or fertilization, have yet to be elucidated. Previous knockout (KO) mice studies have proven that many of the genes that were once thought to be essential for fertility are dispensable in vivo. Therefore, it is extremely important to confirm the roles of all genes before spending immense time studying them in vitro. To do this, our laboratory analyzes the functions of ovary and oocyte-enriched genes in vivo through generating CRISPR/Cas9 KO mice and examining their fertility. In this study, we have knocked out three Oosp family genes (Oosp1, Oosp2, and Oosp3) that have expression patterns linked to the female reproductive system and found that the triple KO (TKO) mutant mice generated exhibited decreased prolificacy but were not infertile; thus, these genes may potentially be dispensable for fertility. We also generated Cd160 and Egfl6 KO mice and found these genes are individually dispensable for female fertility. KO mice with no phenotypic data are seldom published, but we believe that this information must be shared to prevent unnecessary experimentation by other laboratories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Manufacturing a Female Gamete: An Oocyte Story)
Open AccessReview
NK and NKT Cell-Mediated Immune Surveillance against Hematological Malignancies
Cancers 2020, 12(4), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12040817 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
Recent cancer treatment modalities have been intensively focused on immunotherapy. The success of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy for treatment of refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia has pushed forward research on hematological malignancies. Among the effector types of innate lymphocytes, natural [...] Read more.
Recent cancer treatment modalities have been intensively focused on immunotherapy. The success of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy for treatment of refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia has pushed forward research on hematological malignancies. Among the effector types of innate lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells show great importance in immune surveillance against infectious and tumor diseases. Particularly, the role of NK cells has been argued in either elimination of target tumor cells or escape of tumor cells from immune surveillance. Therefore, an NK cell activation approach has been explored. Recent findings demonstrate that invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells capable of producing IFN-γ when optimally activated can promptly trigger NK cells. Here, we review the role of NKT and/or NK cells and their interaction in anti-tumor responses by highlighting how innate immune cells recognize tumors, exert effector functions, and amplify adaptive immune responses. In addition, we discuss these innate lymphocytes in hematological disorders, particularly multiple myeloma and acute myeloid leukemia. The immune balance at different stages of both diseases is explored in light of disease progression. Various types of innate immunity-mediated therapeutic approaches, recent advances in clinical immunotherapies, and iNKT-mediated cancer immunotherapy as next-generation immunotherapy are then discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Innate Immunity Cells in Cancer)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Building a Better Baseline for Residential Demand Response Programs: Mitigating the Effects of Customer Heterogeneity and Random Variations
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040570 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
Peak-time rebates offer an opportunity to introduce demand response in electricity markets. To implement peak-time rebates, utilities must accurately determine the consumption level if the program were not in effect. Reliable calculations of customer baseline load elude utilities and independent system operators, due [...] Read more.
Peak-time rebates offer an opportunity to introduce demand response in electricity markets. To implement peak-time rebates, utilities must accurately determine the consumption level if the program were not in effect. Reliable calculations of customer baseline load elude utilities and independent system operators, due to factors that include heterogeneous demands and random variations. Prevailing research is limited for residential markets, which are growing rapidly with the presence of load aggregators and the availability of smart grid systems. Our research pioneers a novel method that clusters customers according to the size and predictability of their demands, substantially improving existing customer baseline calculations and other clustering methods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Three-Dimensional Flow Characteristics in Slit-Type Permeable Spur Dike Fields: Efficacy in Riverbank Protection
Water 2020, 12(4), 964; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040964 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
This paper focuses on finding efficient solutions for the design of a highly permeable pile spur (or slit type) dike field used in morphologically dynamic alluvial rivers. To test the suitability of different arrangements of this type of permeable pile spur dike field, [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on finding efficient solutions for the design of a highly permeable pile spur (or slit type) dike field used in morphologically dynamic alluvial rivers. To test the suitability of different arrangements of this type of permeable pile spur dike field, laboratory experiments were conducted, and a three-dimensional multiphase numerical model was developed and applied, based on the experimental conditions. Three different angles to the approach flow and two types of individual pile position arrangements were tested. The results show that by using a series of slit-type spurs, the approach velocity of the flow can be considerably reduced within the spur dike zone. Using different sets of angles and installation positions, this type of permeable spur dike can be used more efficiently than traditional dikes. Notably, this type of spur dike can reduce the longitudinal velocity, turbulence intensity, and bed shear stress in the near-bank area. Additionally, the deflection of the permeable spur produces more transverse flow to the opposite bank. Arranging the piles in staggered grid positions among different spurs in a spur dike field improves functionality in terms of creating a quasi-uniform turbulence zone while simultaneously reducing the bed shear stress. Finally, the efficacy of the slit-type permeable spur dike field as a solution to the riverbank erosion problem is numerically tested in a reach of a braided river, the Brahmaputra–Jamuna River, and a comparison is made with a conventional spur dike field. The results indicate that the proposed structure ensures the smooth passing of flow compared with that for the conventional impermeable spur structure by producing a lower level of scouring (low bed shear stress) and flow intensification. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Temporal Convolutional Networks Applied to Energy-Related Time Series Forecasting
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 2322; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072322 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
Modern energy systems collect high volumes of data that can provide valuable information about energy consumption. Electric companies can now use historical data to make informed decisions on energy production by forecasting the expected demand. Many deep learning models have been proposed to [...] Read more.
Modern energy systems collect high volumes of data that can provide valuable information about energy consumption. Electric companies can now use historical data to make informed decisions on energy production by forecasting the expected demand. Many deep learning models have been proposed to deal with these types of time series forecasting problems. Deep neural networks, such as recurrent or convolutional, can automatically capture complex patterns in time series data and provide accurate predictions. In particular, Temporal Convolutional Networks (TCN) are a specialised architecture that has advantages over recurrent networks for forecasting tasks. TCNs are able to extract long-term patterns using dilated causal convolutions and residual blocks, and can also be more efficient in terms of computation time. In this work, we propose a TCN-based deep learning model to improve the predictive performance in energy demand forecasting. Two energy-related time series with data from Spain have been studied: the national electric demand and the power demand at charging stations for electric vehicles. An extensive experimental study has been conducted, involving more than 1900 models with different architectures and parametrisations. The TCN proposal outperforms the forecasting accuracy of Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent networks, which are considered the state-of-the-art in the field. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Disdrometer Types on Rainfall Erosivity Estimation
Water 2020, 12(4), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12040963 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
Soil erosion by water is affected by the rainfall erosivity, which controls the initial detachment and mobilization of soil particles. Rainfall erosivity is expressed through the rainfall intensity (I) and the rainfall kinetic energy (KE). KE–I relationships are an important tool for rainfall [...] Read more.
Soil erosion by water is affected by the rainfall erosivity, which controls the initial detachment and mobilization of soil particles. Rainfall erosivity is expressed through the rainfall intensity (I) and the rainfall kinetic energy (KE). KE–I relationships are an important tool for rainfall erosivity estimation, when direct measurement of KE is not possible. However, the rainfall erosivity estimation varies depending on the chosen KE–I relationship, as the development of KE–I relationships is affected by the measurement method, geographical rainfall patterns and data handling. This study investigated how the development of KE–I relationships and rainfall erosivity estimation is affected by the use of different disdrometer types. Rainfall data were collected in 1-min intervals from six optical disdrometers at three measurement sites in Austria, one site in Czech Republic and one site in New Zealand. The disdrometers included two disdrometers of each of the following types: the PWS100 Present Weather Sensor from Campbell Scientific, the Laser Precipitation Monitor from Thies Clima and the first generation Parsivel from OTT Hydromet. The fit of KE–I relationships from the literature varied among disdrometers and sites. Drop size and velocity distributions and developed KE–I relationships were device-specific and showed similarities for disdrometers of the same type across measurement sites. This hindered direct comparison of results from different types of disdrometers, even when placed at the same site. Thus, to discern spatial differences in rainfall characteristics the same type of measurement instrument should be used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
TiO2 Passivation Layer on ZnO Hollow Microspheres for Quantum Dots Sensitized Solar Cells with Improved Light Harvesting and Electron Collection
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040631 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
Light harvesting and electron recombination are essential factors that influence photovoltaic performance of quantum dots sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). ZnO hollow microspheres (HMS) as architectures in QDSSCs are beneficial in improving light scattering, facilitating the enhancement of light harvesting efficiency. However, this advantage [...] Read more.
Light harvesting and electron recombination are essential factors that influence photovoltaic performance of quantum dots sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs). ZnO hollow microspheres (HMS) as architectures in QDSSCs are beneficial in improving light scattering, facilitating the enhancement of light harvesting efficiency. However, this advantage is greatly weakened by defects located at the surface of ZnO HMS. Therefore, we prepared a composite hollow microsphere structure consisting of ZnO HMS coated by TiO2 layer that is obtained by immersing ZnO HMS architectures in TiCl4 aqueous solution. This TiO2-passivated ZnO HMS architecture is designed to yield good light harvesting, reduced charge recombination, and longer electron lifetime. As a result, the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of QDSSC reaches to 3.16% with an optimal thickness of TiO2 passivation layer, which is much higher when compared to 1.54% for QDSSC based on bare ZnO HMS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Glycofullerenes Inhibit Particulate Matter Induced Inflammation and Loss of Barrier Proteins in HaCaT Human Keratinocytes
Biomolecules 2020, 10(4), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10040514 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Abstract
Exposure to particulate matter (PM) has been linked to pulmonary and cardiovascular dysfunctions, as well as skin diseases, etc. PM impairs the skin barrier functions and is also involved in the initiation or exacerbation of skin inflammation, which is linked to the activation [...] Read more.
Exposure to particulate matter (PM) has been linked to pulmonary and cardiovascular dysfunctions, as well as skin diseases, etc. PM impairs the skin barrier functions and is also involved in the initiation or exacerbation of skin inflammation, which is linked to the activation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathways. Fullerene is a single C60 molecule which has been reported to act as a good radical scavenger. However, its poor water solubility limits its biological applications. The glyco-modification of fullerenes increases their water solubility and anti-bacterial and anti-virus functions. However, it is still unclear whether it affects their anti-inflammatory function against PM-induced skin diseases. Hence, glycofullerenes were synthesized to investigate their effects on PM-exposed HaCaT human keratinocytes. Our results showed that glycofullerenes could reduce the rate of PM-induced apoptosis and ROS production, as well as decrease the expression of downstream mitogen-activated protein kinase and Akt pathways. Moreover, PM-induced increases in inflammatory-related signals, such as cyclooxygenase-2, heme oxygenase-1, and prostaglandin E2, were also suppressed by glycofullerenes. Notably, our results suggested that PM-induced impairment of skin barrier proteins, such as filaggrin, involucrin, repetin, and loricrin, could be reduced by pre-treatment with glycofullerenes. The results of this study indicate that glycofullerenes could be potential candidates for treatments against PM-induced skin diseases and that they exert their protective effects via ROS scavenging, anti-inflammation, and maintenance of the expression of barrier proteins. Full article

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