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Open AccessArticle
Pan-Proteomic Analysis and Elucidation of Protein Abundance among the Closely Related Brucella Species, Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis
Biomolecules 2020, 10(6), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10060836 (registering DOI) - 30 May 2020
Abstract
Brucellosis is a zoonotic infection caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. The species, B. abortus and B. melitensis, major causative agents of human brucellosis, share remarkably similar genomes, but they differ in their natural hosts, phenotype, antigenic, immunogenic, proteomic and [...] Read more.
Brucellosis is a zoonotic infection caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. The species, B. abortus and B. melitensis, major causative agents of human brucellosis, share remarkably similar genomes, but they differ in their natural hosts, phenotype, antigenic, immunogenic, proteomic and metabolomic properties. In the present study, label-free quantitative proteomic analysis was applied to investigate protein expression level differences. Type strains and field strains were each cultured six times, cells were harvested at a midlogarithmic growth phase and proteins were extracted. Following trypsin digestion, the peptides were desalted, separated by reverse-phase nanoLC, ionized using electrospray ionization and transferred into an linear trap quadrapole (LTQ) Orbitrap Velos mass spectrometer to record full scan MS spectra (m/z 300–1700) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) spectra of the 20 most intense ions. Database matching with the reference proteomes resulted in the identification of 826 proteins. The Cluster of Gene Ontologies of the identified proteins revealed differences in bimolecular transport and protein synthesis mechanisms between these two strains. Among several other proteins, antifreeze proteins, Omp10, superoxide dismutase and 30S ribosomal protein S14 were predicted as potential virulence factors among the proteins differentially expressed. All mass spectrometry data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD006348. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
Open AccessArticle
Endovascular Temporary Balloon Occlusion for Microsurgical Clipping of Posterior Circulation Aneurysms
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(6), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10060334 (registering DOI) - 30 May 2020
Abstract
Based on the relationship between the posterior clinoid process and the basilar artery (BA) apex it may be difficult to obtain proximal control of the BA using temporary clips. Endovascular BA temporary balloon occlusion (TBO) can reduce aneurysm sac pressure, facilitate dissection/clipping, and [...] Read more.
Based on the relationship between the posterior clinoid process and the basilar artery (BA) apex it may be difficult to obtain proximal control of the BA using temporary clips. Endovascular BA temporary balloon occlusion (TBO) can reduce aneurysm sac pressure, facilitate dissection/clipping, and finally lower the risk of intraoperative rupture. We present our experience with TBO during aneurysm clipping of posterior circulation aneurysms within the setting of a hybrid operating room (hOR). We report one case each of a basilar tip, posterior cerebral artery, and superior cerebellar artery aneurysm that underwent surgical occlusion under TBO within an hOR. Surgical exposure of the BA was achieved with a pterional approach and selective anterior and posterior clinoidectomy. Intraoperative digital subtraction angiography (iDSA) was performed prior, during, and after aneurysm occlusion. Two patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage and one patient presented with an unruptured aneurysm. The intraluminal balloon was inserted through the femoral artery and inflated in the BA after craniotomy to allow further dissection of the parent vessel and branches needed for the preparation of the aneurysm neck. No complications during balloon inflation and aneurysm dissection occurred. Intraoperative aneurysm rupture prior to clipping did not occur. The duration of TBO varied between 9 and 11 min. Small neck aneurysm remnants were present in two cases (BA and PCA). Two patients recovered well with a GOS 5 after surgery and one patient died due to complications unrelated to surgery. Intraoperative TBO within the hOR is a feasible and safe procedure with no additional morbidity when using a standardized protocol and setting. No relevant side effects or intraoperative complications were present in this series. In addition, iDSA in an hOR facilitates the evaluation of the surgical result and 3D reconstructions provide documentation of potential aneurysm remnants for future follow-up. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Airfoil Selection Procedure, Wind Tunnel Experimentation and Implementation of 6DOF Modeling on a Flying Wing Micro Aerial Vehicle
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060553 (registering DOI) - 30 May 2020
Abstract
Airfoil selection procedure, wind tunnel testing and an implementation of 6-DOF model on flying wing micro aerial vehicle (FWMAV) has been proposed in this research. The selection procedure of airfoil has been developed by considering parameters related to aerodynamic efficiency and flight stability. [...] Read more.
Airfoil selection procedure, wind tunnel testing and an implementation of 6-DOF model on flying wing micro aerial vehicle (FWMAV) has been proposed in this research. The selection procedure of airfoil has been developed by considering parameters related to aerodynamic efficiency and flight stability. Airfoil aerodynamic parameters have been calculated using a potential flow solver for ten candidate airfoils. Eppler-387 proved to be the most efficient reflexed airfoil and therefore was selected for fabrication and further flight testing of vehicle. Elevon control surfaces have been designed and evaluated for longitudinal and lateral control. The vehicle was fabricated using hot wire machine with EPP styrofoam of density 50 Kg/ m 3 . Static aerodynamic coefficients were evaluated using wind tunnel tests conducted at cruise velocity of 20 m/s for varying angles of attack. Rate derivatives and elevon control derivatives have also been calculated. Equations of motion for FWMAV have been written in a body axis system yielding a 6-DOF model. It was found during flight tests that vehicle conducted coordinated turns with no appreciable adverse yaw. Since FWMAV was not designed with a vertical stabilizer and rudder control surface, directional stability was therefore augmented through winglets and high wing leading edge sweep. Major problems encountered during flight tests were related to left rolling tendency. The left roll tendency was found inherent to clockwise rotating propeller as ‘P’ factor, gyroscopic precession, torque effect and spiraling slipstream. To achieve successful flights, many actions were required including removal of excessive play from elevon control rods, active actuation of control surfaces, enhanced launch speed during take off, and increased throttle control during initial phase of flight. FWMAV flew many successful stable flights in which intended mission profile was accomplished, thereby validating the proposed airfoil selection procedure, modeling technique and proposed design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section E:Engineering and Technology)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Osseodensification Drilling vs. Standard Protocol of Implant Site Preparation: An In Vitro Study on Polyurethane Foam Sheets
Prosthesis 2020, 2(2), 76-86; https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis2020008 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
(1) Background: The aim of the present in vitro investigation was to evaluate, on polyurethane sheets, two different drilling techniques for dental implant positioning using osteocondensing burs compared to a standard type protocol. (2) Methods: Three different implant designs (Implacil De Bortoli UN [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The aim of the present in vitro investigation was to evaluate, on polyurethane sheets, two different drilling techniques for dental implant positioning using osteocondensing burs compared to a standard type protocol. (2) Methods: Three different implant designs (Implacil De Bortoli UN III 4 × 10 mm, Restore RBM 4 (HEX) × 10 mm; Implacil De Bortoli UN II 4 × 10 mm) were evaluated (test implant (osteocondensing drills) and control implant (standard drills)). The insertion torque (IT), the removal torque (RT) and the resonance frequency analysis (RFA) values of test and control implants inserted in different size and different density polyurethane foam models were compared for 120 experimental sites. Accordingly, 120 experimental holes were produced in different PCF polyurethane foams: 60 sites were produced in 10 PCF sheets and 60 sites in 10 PCF sheets with an additional 1 mm layer of 30 PCF. (3) Results: The IT, removal torque and RFA values were significantly higher for both of the evaluated implants, in the sites prepared with the osteocondenser drills when compared to sites prepared with standard drills (p < 0.05). The UNII and UN III showed significantly higher stability compared to the HEX implant; these differences increased drastically in the 10 PCF Polyurethane Block with the additional 1 mm cortical layer (p < 0.05). (4) Conclusions: The outcome of this investigation suggested a possible clinical application of osteocondensing burs in case of reduced bone quality and quantity in the posterior maxilla. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCase Report
SARS-CoV-2 and Norovirus Co-Infection after Lung Transplantation
Transplantology 2020, 1(1), 16-23; https://doi.org/10.3390/transplantology1010002 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is spreading as a pandemic in 2020. Few reports on infections in thoracic transplantation have been published so far. We present a case of COVID-19 in a 55-year [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is spreading as a pandemic in 2020. Few reports on infections in thoracic transplantation have been published so far. We present a case of COVID-19 in a 55-year old female lung transplant recipient infected 5 months posttransplant, who additionally was co-infected with a Norovirus. Respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms were observed without need of therapeutic escalation except for antibiotic therapy. We observed a moderate disease evolution likely due to triple immunosuppression. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Antioxidant Effect of Vitamins in Olive Oil Emulsion
Colloids Interfaces 2020, 4(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids4020023 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
In this study, water-in-extra virgin olive oil emulsions were enriched with vitamins. Water-in oil emulsions are heterogeneous systems able to solubilize both hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds. Thus, hydrophilic vitamin C and lipophilic vitamin E were loaded separately or together in emulsion. A suitable [...] Read more.
In this study, water-in-extra virgin olive oil emulsions were enriched with vitamins. Water-in oil emulsions are heterogeneous systems able to solubilize both hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds. Thus, hydrophilic vitamin C and lipophilic vitamin E were loaded separately or together in emulsion. A suitable emulsion composition was selected after considering different surfactant (mono and diglycerides of fatty acids, E471; sorbitan monooleate, Span 80; polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate, Tween 80) and water concentrations. The most appropriate emulsion, for the high stability, resulted the one containing concentrations of Span 80 1% w/w and water 1% w/w. The antioxidant effect of vitamins in emulsions was studied considering the variation of the peroxide values during storage. The oxidation reaction was slowed down in emulsions containing vitamin C, but it was quickened by the loading of vitamin E for its high concentration. In emulsions containing vitamin E, indeed, the peroxide values were higher than in emulsions prepared in the absence of vitamins or in oil. The antioxidant activity generated by the co-loading of vitamin C and E was very effective to the point that in presence of high amounts of vitamins the peroxide values did not change in about 40 days of storage, due to the vitamin E regeneration by vitamin C. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Feasibility and Validity of a Low-Cost Racing Simulator in Driving Assessment after Stroke
Geriatrics 2020, 5(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics5020035 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
There is a myriad of methodologies to assess driving performance after a stroke. These include psychometric tests, driving simulation, questionnaires, and/or road tests. Research-based driving simulators have emerged as a safe, convenient way to assess driving performance after a stroke. Such traditional research [...] Read more.
There is a myriad of methodologies to assess driving performance after a stroke. These include psychometric tests, driving simulation, questionnaires, and/or road tests. Research-based driving simulators have emerged as a safe, convenient way to assess driving performance after a stroke. Such traditional research simulators are useful in recreating street traffic scenarios, but are often expensive, with limited physics models and graphics rendering. In contrast, racing simulators developed for motorsport professionals and enthusiasts offer high levels of realism, run on consumer-grade hardware, and can provide rich telemetric data. However, most offer limited simulation of traffic scenarios. This pilot study compares the feasibility of research simulation and racing simulation in a sample with minor stroke. We determine that the racing simulator is tolerated well in subjects with a minor stroke. There were correlations between research and racing simulator outcomes with psychometric tests associated with driving performance, such as the Trails Making Test Part A, Snellgrove Maze Task, and the Motricity Index. We found correlations between measures of driving speed on a complex research simulator scenario and racing simulator lap time and maximum tires off track. Finally, we present two models, using outcomes from either the research or racing simulator, predicting road test failure as linked to a previously published fitness-to-drive calculator that uses psychometric screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Driving: 2019)
Open AccessReview
Smart Ligands for Efficient 3d-, 4d- and 5d-Metal Single-Molecule Magnets and Single-Ion Magnets
Inorganics 2020, 8(6), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/inorganics8060039 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
There has been a renaissance in the interdisciplinary field of Molecular Magnetism since ~2000, due to the discovery of the impressive properties and potential applications of d- and f-metal Single-Molecule Magnets (SMMs) and Single-Ion Magnets (SIMs) or Monometallic Single-Molecule Magnets. One of the [...] Read more.
There has been a renaissance in the interdisciplinary field of Molecular Magnetism since ~2000, due to the discovery of the impressive properties and potential applications of d- and f-metal Single-Molecule Magnets (SMMs) and Single-Ion Magnets (SIMs) or Monometallic Single-Molecule Magnets. One of the consequences of this discovery has been an explosive growth in synthetic molecular inorganic and organometallic chemistry. In SMM and SIM chemistry, inorganic and organic ligands play a decisive role, sometimes equally important to that of the magnetic metal ion(s). In SMM chemistry, bridging ligands that propagate strong ferromagnetic exchange interactions between the metal ions resulting in large spin ground states, well isolated from excited states, are preferable; however, antiferromagnetic coupling can also lead to SMM behavior. In SIM chemistry, ligands that create a strong axial crystal field are highly desirable for metal ions with oblate electron density, e.g., TbIII and DyIII, whereas equatorial crystal fields lead to SMM behavior in complexes based on metal ions with prolate electron density, e.g., ErIII. In this review, we have attempted to highlight the use of few, efficient ligands in the chemistry of transition-metal SMMs and SIMs, through selected examples. The content of the review is purely chemical and it is assumed that the reader has a good knowledge of synthetic, structural and physical inorganic chemistry, as well as of the properties of SIMs and SMMs and the techniques of their study. The ligands that will be discussed are the azide ion, the cyanido group, the tris(trimethylsilyl)methanide, the cyclopentanienido group, soft (based on the Hard-Soft Acid-Base model) ligands, metallacrowns combined with click chemistry, deprotonated aliphatic diols, and the family of 2-pyridyl ketoximes, including some of its elaborate derivatives. The rationale behind the selection of the ligands will be emphasized. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Effect of the Chemical Composition on the Structural State and Mechanical Properties of Complex Microalloyed Steels of the Ferritic Class
Processes 2020, 8(6), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8060646 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
The most promising direction for obtaining a unique combination of difficult-to-combine properties of low-carbon steels is the formation of a dispersed ferrite microstructure and a volumetric system of nanoscale phase precipitates. This study was aimed at establishing the special features of the composition [...] Read more.
The most promising direction for obtaining a unique combination of difficult-to-combine properties of low-carbon steels is the formation of a dispersed ferrite microstructure and a volumetric system of nanoscale phase precipitates. This study was aimed at establishing the special features of the composition influence on the characteristics of the microstructure, phase precipitates, and mechanical properties of hot-rolled steels of the ferritic class. It was carried out by transmission electron microscopy and testing the mechanical properties of metal using 8 laboratory melts of low-carbon steels microalloyed by V, Nb, Ti, and Mo in various combinations. It was found that block ferrite prevails in the structure of steel cooled after hot rolling at a rate of 10–15 °C/s. Lowering of the microalloying components content leads to a decrease in the block ferrite fraction to 20–35% and the dominance of polygonal ferrite. The presence of nanoscale carbide (carbonitride) precipitates of austenitic and interphase/mixed types was detected in the rolled steels. It was established that the tendencies of changes in the characteristics of the structural state and present phase precipitates correlate well with obtained values of strength properties. The advantages of titanium-based microalloying systems in comparison with vanadium-based are shown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Application of Nano- and Microdispersed Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Novel Approach in Crude Enzyme Laccase Production and Application in Emerging Contaminant Bioremediation
Processes 2020, 8(6), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8060648 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
Laccase enzyme from white-rot fungi is a potential biocatalyst for the oxidation of emerging contaminants (ECs), such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and steroid hormones. This study aims to develop a three-step platform to treat ECs: (i) enzyme production, (ii) enzyme concentration and (iii) enzyme [...] Read more.
Laccase enzyme from white-rot fungi is a potential biocatalyst for the oxidation of emerging contaminants (ECs), such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and steroid hormones. This study aims to develop a three-step platform to treat ECs: (i) enzyme production, (ii) enzyme concentration and (iii) enzyme application. In the first step, solid culture and liquid culture were compared. The solid culture produced significantly more laccase than the liquid culture (447 vs. 74 µM/min after eight days), demonstrating that white rot fungi thrived on a solid medium. In the second step, the enzyme was concentrated 6.6 times using an ultrafiltration (UF) process, resulting in laccase activity of 2980 µM/min. No enzymatic loss due to filtration and membrane adsorption was observed, suggesting the feasibility of the UF membrane for enzyme concentration. In the third step, concentrated crude enzyme was applied in an enzymatic membrane reactor (EMR) to remove a diverse set of ECs (31 compounds in six groups). The EMR effectively removed of steroid hormones, phytoestrogen, ultraviolet (UV) filters and industrial chemical (above 90%). However, it had low removal of pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of Biodegradation and Bioremediation)
Open AccessArticle
Generalized Sasakian Space Forms Which Are Realized as Real Hypersurfaces in Complex Space Forms
Mathematics 2020, 8(6), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/math8060873 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
We prove a classification theorem of the generalized Sasakian space forms which are realized as real hypersurfaces in complex space forms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Differential Geometry: Theory and Applications)
Open AccessArticle
Channel and Spatial Attention Regression Network for Cup-to-Disc Ratio Estimation
Electronics 2020, 9(6), 909; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9060909 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
Cup-to-disc ratio (CDR) is of great importance during assessing structural changes at the optic nerve head (ONH) and diagnosis of glaucoma. While most efforts have been put on acquiring the CDR number through CNN-based segmentation algorithms followed by the calculation of CDR, these [...] Read more.
Cup-to-disc ratio (CDR) is of great importance during assessing structural changes at the optic nerve head (ONH) and diagnosis of glaucoma. While most efforts have been put on acquiring the CDR number through CNN-based segmentation algorithms followed by the calculation of CDR, these methods usually only focus on the features in the convolution kernel, which is, after all, the operation of the local region, ignoring the contribution of rich global features (such as distant pixels) to the current features. In this paper, a new end-to-end channel and spatial attention regression deep learning network is proposed to deduces CDR number from the regression perspective and combine the self-attention mechanism with the regression network. Our network consists of four modules: the feature extraction module to extract deep features expressing the complicated pattern of optic disc (OD) and optic cup (OC), the attention module including the channel attention block (CAB) and the spatial attention block (SAB) to improve feature representation by aggregating long-range contextual information, the regression module to deduce CDR number directly, and the segmentation-auxiliary module to focus the model’s attention on the relevant features instead of the background region. Especially, the CAB selects relatively important feature maps in channel dimension, shifting the emphasis on the OD and OC region; meanwhile, the SAB learns the discriminative ability of feature representation at pixel level by capturing the relationship of intra-feature map. The experimental results of ORIGA dataset show that our method obtains absolute CDR error of 0.067 and the Pearson’s correlation coefficient of 0.694 in estimating CDR and our method has a great potential in predicting the CDR number. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A 12-Bit 2.4 GS/s Four-Channel Pipelined ADC with a Novel On-Chip Timing Mismatch Calibration
Electronics 2020, 9(6), 910; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9060910 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
This paper presents a 12-bit 2.4 GS/s analog-to-digital converter (ADC) employing four time-interleaved (TI) pipelined channels with a novel on-chip timing mismatch calibration in 40 nm CMOS process. TI architecture can increase the effective sampling rate of ADC but the dynamic performance of [...] Read more.
This paper presents a 12-bit 2.4 GS/s analog-to-digital converter (ADC) employing four time-interleaved (TI) pipelined channels with a novel on-chip timing mismatch calibration in 40 nm CMOS process. TI architecture can increase the effective sampling rate of ADC but the dynamic performance of TI-ADC system is seriously degraded by offset, gain, and timing mismatches among the channels. Timing mismatch is the most challenging barrier among these mismatches due to the difficulty and complexity of its detection and correction. An automatic wideband timing mismatch detection algorithm is proposed for achieving a wide frequency range of timing mismatch detection without complex calculations. By adopting the proposed mismatch-free variable delay line (VDL), the full-scale traversal timing mismatch correction accomplishes an accurate result without missing codes. Measurement results show that the spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) of the prototype ADC is improved from 55.2 dB to 72.8 dB after calibration at 2.4 GS/s with a 141 MHz input signal. It can achieve an SFDR above 60 dB across the entire first Nyquist band based on the timing mismatch calibration and retiming technology. The prototype ADC chip occupies an area of 3 mm × 3 mm and it consumes 420 mW from a 1.8 V supply. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analog/Digital Mixed Circuit and RF Transceiver Design)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Energy-Aware Sensing on Battery-Less LoRaWAN Devices with Energy Harvesting
Electronics 2020, 9(6), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9060904 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
Billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices rely on batteries as the main power source. These batteries are short-lived, bulky and harmful to the environment. Battery-less devices provide a promising alternative for a sustainable IoT, where energy harvested from the environment is stored [...] Read more.
Billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices rely on batteries as the main power source. These batteries are short-lived, bulky and harmful to the environment. Battery-less devices provide a promising alternative for a sustainable IoT, where energy harvested from the environment is stored in small capacitors. This constrained energy storage and the unpredictable energy harvested result in intermittent on–off behavior of the device. Measuring and understanding the current consumption and execution time of different tasks of IoT applications is crucial to properly operate these battery-less devices. In this paper, we study how to properly schedule sensing and transmission tasks on a battery-less LoRaWAN device. We analyze the trade-off between sleeping and allowing the device to turn off between the execution of application tasks. This study allows us to properly define the device configuration (i.e., capacitor size) based on the application tasks (i.e., sensing and sending) and environmental conditions (i.e., harvesting rate). We define an optimization problem that determines the optimal capacitor voltage at which the device should start performing its tasks. Our results show that a device using LoRaWAN Class A can measure the temperature and transmit its data at least once every 5 s if it can harvest at least 10 mA of current and uses a relatively small capacitor of 10 mF or less. At harvesting rates below 3 mA, it is necessary to turn off the device between application cycles and use a larger supercapacitor of at least 140 mF. In this case, the device can transmit a temperature measurement once every 60–100 s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Network Protocols and Performance Evaluation)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Grasp Posture Control of Wearable Extra Robotic Fingers with Flex Sensors Based on Neural Network
Electronics 2020, 9(6), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9060905 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
This study proposes a data-driven control method of extra robotic fingers to assist a user in bimanual object manipulation that requires two hands. The robotic system comprises two main parts, i.e., robotic thumb (RT) and robotic fingers (RF). The RT is attached next [...] Read more.
This study proposes a data-driven control method of extra robotic fingers to assist a user in bimanual object manipulation that requires two hands. The robotic system comprises two main parts, i.e., robotic thumb (RT) and robotic fingers (RF). The RT is attached next to the user’s thumb, while the RF is located next to the user’s little finger. The grasp postures of the RT and RF are driven by bending angle inputs of flex sensors, attached to the thumb and other fingers of the user. A modified glove sensor is developed by attaching three flex sensors to the thumb, index, and middle fingers of a wearer. Various hand gestures are then mapped using a neural network. The input data of the robotic system are the bending angles of thumb and index, read by flex sensors, and the outputs are commanded servo angles for the RF and RT. The third flex sensor is attached to the middle finger to hold the extra robotic finger’s posture. Two force-sensitive resistors (FSRs) are attached to the RF and RT for the haptic feedback when the robot is worn to take and grasp a fragile object, such as an egg. The trained neural network is embedded into the wearable extra robotic fingers to control the robotic motion and assist the human fingers in bimanual object manipulation tasks. The developed extra fingers are tested for their capacity to assist the human fingers and perform 10 different bimanual tasks, such as holding a large object, lifting and operate an eight-inch tablet, and lifting a bottle, and opening a bottle cap at the same time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Artificial Intelligence)
Open AccessArticle
Subcutaneous Administration of Apolipoprotein J-Derived Mimetic Peptide d-[113–122]apoJ Improves LDL and HDL Function and Prevents Atherosclerosis in LDLR-KO Mice
Biomolecules 2020, 10(6), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10060829 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
Mimetic peptides are potential therapeutic agents for atherosclerosis. d-[113,114,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122]apolipoprotein (apo) J (D-[113,114,115,116,117,118 [...] Read more.
Mimetic peptides are potential therapeutic agents for atherosclerosis. d-[113,114,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122]apolipoprotein (apo) J (D-[113,114,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122]apoJ) is a 10-residue peptide that is predicted to form a class G* amphipathic helix 6 from apoJ; it shows anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic properties. In the present study, we analyzed the effect of d-[113,114,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122]apoJ in low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice(LDLR-KO) on the development of atherosclerosis and lipoprotein function. Fifteen-week-old female LDLR-KO mice fed an atherogenic Western-type diet were treated for eight weeks with d-[113,114,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122]apoJ peptide, a scrambled peptide, or vehicle. Peptides were administered subcutaneously three days per week (200 µg in 100 µL of saline). After euthanasia, blood and hearts were collected and the aortic arch was analyzed for the presence of atherosclerotic lesions. Lipoproteins were isolated and their composition and functionality were studied. The extent of atherosclerotic lesions was 43% lower with d-[113,114,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122]apoJ treatment than with the vehicle or scramble. The lipid profile was similar between groups, but the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) of d-[113,114,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122]apoJ-treated mice had a higher antioxidant capacity and increased ability to promote cholesterol efflux than the control group. In addition, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from d-[113,114,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122]apoJ-treated mice was more resistant to induced aggregation and presented lower electronegativity than in mice treated with d-[113,114,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122]apoJ. Our results demonstrate that the d-[113,114,115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122]apoJ peptide prevents the extent of atherosclerotic lesions, which could be partially explained by the improvement of lipoprotein functionality. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Significance of STAT3 in Immune Infiltration and Drug Response in Cancer
Biomolecules 2020, 10(6), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10060834 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2020
Abstract
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a transcription factor and regulates tumorigenesis. However, the functions of STAT3 in immune and drug response in cancer remain elusive. Hence, we aim to reveal the impact of STAT3 in immune infiltration and drug [...] Read more.
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a transcription factor and regulates tumorigenesis. However, the functions of STAT3 in immune and drug response in cancer remain elusive. Hence, we aim to reveal the impact of STAT3 in immune infiltration and drug response comprehensively by bioinformatics analysis. The expression of STAT3 and its relationship with tumor stage were explored by Tumor Immune Estimation Resource (TIMER), Human Protein Altas (HPA), and UALCAN databases. The correlations between STAT3 and immune infiltration, gene markers of immune cells were analyzed by TIMER. Moreover, the association between STAT3 and drug response was evaluated by the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) and Cancer Therapeutics Response Portal (CTRP). The results suggested that the mRNA transcriptional level of STAT3 was lower in tumors than normal tissues and mostly unrelated to tumor stage. Besides, the protein expression of STAT3 decreased in colorectal and renal cancer compared with normal tissues. Importantly, STAT3 was correlated with immune infiltration and particularly regulated tumor-associated macrophage (TAM), M2 macrophage, T-helper 1 (Th1), follicular helper T (Treg), and exhausted T-cells. Remarkably, STAT3 was closely correlated with the response to specified inhibitors and natural compounds in cancer. Furthermore, the association between STAT3 and drug response was highly cell line type dependent. Significantly, the study provides thorough insight that STAT3 is associated with immunosuppression, as well as drug response in clinical treatment. Full article

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