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Open AccessArticle
Augmenter of Liver Regeneration Reduces Ischemia Reperfusion Injury by Less Chemokine Expression, Gr-1 Infiltration and Oxidative Stress
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111421 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is a major complication in liver resection and transplantation. Here, we analyzed the impact of recombinant human augmenter of liver regeneration (rALR), an anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic protein, on the deleterious process induced by ischemia reperfusion (IR). Application of [...] Read more.
Hepatic ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is a major complication in liver resection and transplantation. Here, we analyzed the impact of recombinant human augmenter of liver regeneration (rALR), an anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic protein, on the deleterious process induced by ischemia reperfusion (IR). Application of rALR reduced tissue damage (necrosis), levels of lipid peroxidation (oxidative stress) and expression of anti-oxidative genes in a mouse IRI model. Damage associated molecule pattern (DAMP) and inflammatory cytokines such as HMGB1 and TNFα, were not affected by rALR. Furthermore, we evaluated infiltration of inflammatory cells into liver tissue after IRI and found no change in CD3 or γδTCR positive cells, or expression of IL17/IFNγ by γδTCR cells. The quantity of Gr-1 positive cells (neutrophils), and therefore, myeloperoxidase activity, was lower in rALR-treated mice. Moreover, we found under hypoxic conditions attenuated ROS levels after ALR treatment in RAW264.7 cells and in primary mouse hepatocytes. Application of rALR also led to reduced expression of chemo-attractants like CXCL1, CXCL2 and CCl2 in hepatocytes. In addition, ALR expression was increased in IR mouse livers after 3 h and in biopsies from human liver transplants with minimal signs of tissue damage. Therefore, ALR attenuates IRI through reduced neutrophil tissue infiltration mediated by lower expression of key hepatic chemokines and reduction of ROS generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Liver Repair Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Characterization, Antimicrobial Activity, and Genotoxicity Assessment of Two Heterocyclic Compounds Containing 1,2,3-Selena- or 1,2,3-Thiadiazole Rings
Molecules 2019, 24(22), 4082; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24224082 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
New 1,2,3-thiadiazole and 1,2,3-selenadiazole derivatives, (4-[4-((4-bromobenzyl)oxy)-phenyl]-1,2,3-thiadiazole (5a), 4-[4-((4-chlorobenzyl)oxy)-phenyl]-1,2,3-thiadiazole (5b)), (4-[4-((4-bromobenzyl)oxy)-phenyl]-1,2,3-selenadiazole (6a), and 4-[4-((4-chlorobenzyl)oxy)-phenyl]-1,2,3-selenadiazole (6b)), were prepared and screened in vitro for their antimicrobial activity against various pathogenic microbes. In addition, two compounds (5a and 6a) [...] Read more.
New 1,2,3-thiadiazole and 1,2,3-selenadiazole derivatives, (4-[4-((4-bromobenzyl)oxy)-phenyl]-1,2,3-thiadiazole (5a), 4-[4-((4-chlorobenzyl)oxy)-phenyl]-1,2,3-thiadiazole (5b)), (4-[4-((4-bromobenzyl)oxy)-phenyl]-1,2,3-selenadiazole (6a), and 4-[4-((4-chlorobenzyl)oxy)-phenyl]-1,2,3-selenadiazole (6b)), were prepared and screened in vitro for their antimicrobial activity against various pathogenic microbes. In addition, two compounds (5a and 6a) were examined for their in vivo genotoxicity using rats and an 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) assay. Compounds 5a and 5b were found to be highly active against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, a significant inhibition of urinary 8-OHdG level (50.2%) was observed upon treatment of animals with 500 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) of compound 6a (p < 0.0001). However, compound 5a increased urinary 8-OHdG levels. The lethal dose (LD50) values for compounds 5a and 6a were determined by an up-and-down procedure (OECD 425; OECD 1998), which showed that these compounds are safe, since the LD50 was >5000 mg/kg b.w. Thus, the tested compounds might have the potential for use as antibiotics, since they have low genotoxicity and strong antimicrobial activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the Joint Symposia of MESMAP-5 & ISPBS-5)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimization of Physical Activity Recognition for Real-Time Wearable Systems: Effect of Window Length, Sampling Frequency and Number of Features
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(22), 4833; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9224833 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
The aim of this study was to develop an optimized physical activity classifier for real-time wearable systems with the focus on reducing the requirements on device power consumption and memory buffer. Classification parameters evaluated in this study were the sampling frequency of the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to develop an optimized physical activity classifier for real-time wearable systems with the focus on reducing the requirements on device power consumption and memory buffer. Classification parameters evaluated in this study were the sampling frequency of the acceleration signal, window length of the classification fragment, and the number of classification features, found with different feature selection methods. For parameter evaluation, a decision tree classifier was created based on the acceleration signals recorded during tests, where 25 healthy test subjects performed various physical activities. Overall average F1-score achieved in this study was about 0.90. Similar F1-scores were achieved with the evaluated window lengths of 5 s (0.92 ± 0.02) and 3 s (0.91 ± 0.02), while classification performance with 1 s were lower (0.87 ± 0.02). Tested sampling frequencies of 50 Hz, 25 Hz, and 13 Hz had similar results with most classified activity types, with an exception of outdoor cycling, where differences were significant. Using forward sequential feature selection enabled the decreasing of the number of features from initial 110 features to about 12 features without lowering the classification performance. The results of this study have been used for developing more efficient real-time physical activity classifiers. Full article
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Open AccessReview
C-Fiber Assays in the Cornea vs. Skin
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(11), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9110320 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
C-fibers are unmyelinated nerve fibers that transmit high threshold mechanical, thermal, and chemical signals that are associated with pain sensations. This review examines current literature on measuring altered peripheral nerve morphology and discusses the most relevant aspects of corneal microscopy, especially whether corneal [...] Read more.
C-fibers are unmyelinated nerve fibers that transmit high threshold mechanical, thermal, and chemical signals that are associated with pain sensations. This review examines current literature on measuring altered peripheral nerve morphology and discusses the most relevant aspects of corneal microscopy, especially whether corneal imaging presents significant method advantages over skin biopsy. Given its relative merits, corneal confocal microscopy would seem to be a more practical and patient-centric approach than utilizing skin biopsies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms Underlying Alleviation of Pain)
Open AccessArticle
The Changing Process of Women’s Smoking Status Triggered by Pregnancy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224424 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Although pregnancy is the trigger for many women to stop smoking, often they are unable to maintain cessation, undoing any health benefits for themselves and their children. Smoking is a complex phenomenon both before and after pregnancy, influenced by social background, relationships, and [...] Read more.
Although pregnancy is the trigger for many women to stop smoking, often they are unable to maintain cessation, undoing any health benefits for themselves and their children. Smoking is a complex phenomenon both before and after pregnancy, influenced by social background, relationships, and the specific experience of pregnancy and delivery. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify the experience and process of changes in women’s smoking status from pregnancy to after delivery. To explore possibilities for better smoking cessation support, the objective of this study was to clarify the changing process of smoking status from pregnancy to after delivery in women for whom pregnancy triggered a smoking cessation. We analyzed data obtained through semi-structured interviews with 31 women, using the grounded theory approach. Women reconsidered their smoking status, either quitting or smoking fewer cigarettes, because of externally motivated changes due to concerns regarding the influence of smoking on pregnancy and children. To prevent smoking relapse, it is important for the women themselves, as well as those around them, to appreciate their cessation, facilitating internal motivation and assessment of the situation. Furthermore, it is important to provide support, by implementing the process revealed in this study, not only during pregnancy but for an entire lifetime. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relationship between Drug Management and Women's Health)
Open AccessArticle
A Single and Un-Adjuvanted Dose of a Chimpanzee Adenovirus-Vectored Vaccine against Chikungunya Virus Fully Protects Mice from Lethal Disease
Pathogens 2019, 8(4), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens8040231 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus (CHIKV) has become a major global health problem. Upon infection, chikungunya fever (CHIKF) can result in long-term joint pain and arthritis, and despite intense research, no licensed vaccine for CHIKV is available. We have developed two recombinant chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored [...] Read more.
The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus (CHIKV) has become a major global health problem. Upon infection, chikungunya fever (CHIKF) can result in long-term joint pain and arthritis, and despite intense research, no licensed vaccine for CHIKV is available. We have developed two recombinant chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccines (ChAdOx1) that induce swift and robust anti-CHIKV immune responses with a single dose, without the need for adjuvants or booster vaccines. Here, we report the vaccines’ protective efficacies against CHIKV infection in a lethal A129 mouse model. Our results indicate that a single, un-adjuvanted ChAdOx1 Chik or ChAdOx1 Chik ΔCap dose provided complete protection against a lethal virus challenge and prevented CHIKV-associated severe inflammation. These candidate vaccines supported survival equal to the attenuated 181/25 CHIKV reference vaccine but without the vaccine-related side effects, such as weight loss. Vaccination with either ChAdOx1 Chik or ChAdOx1 Chik ΔCap resulted in high titers of neutralizing antibodies that are associated with protection, indicating that the presence of the capsid within the vaccine construct may not be essential to afford protection under the conditions tested. We conclude that both replication-deficient ChAdOx1 Chik vaccines are safe even when used in A129 mice and afford complete protection from a lethal challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines against Alphaviruses and Flaviviruses)
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Open AccessArticle
“Green” Information Promotes Employees’ Voluntary Green Behavior via Work Values and Perceived Accountability
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6335; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226335 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
A range of different approaches has been used to involve employees in green workplace initiatives. One example of such an approach is to spread awareness by displaying “green” information concerning work-related environmental protection and sustainability information on organizational bulletin boards. The study aims [...] Read more.
A range of different approaches has been used to involve employees in green workplace initiatives. One example of such an approach is to spread awareness by displaying “green” information concerning work-related environmental protection and sustainability information on organizational bulletin boards. The study aims to examine how green display rules and felt accountability influence the relationship between new-generation employees’ work values and green behavior. There were 567 Chinese millennial employees who participated in this study. The results showed that intrinsic preference, interpersonal harmony, innovative orientation, and long-term development had a positive influence on employees’ green behavior through the effect of felt accountability. Besides, the more green information displayed, the stronger the effect of intrinsic preference, interpersonal harmony, and long-term development on employees’ green behavior. This study provides valuable insights for managers to understand the work values of the new-generation employees and, in turn, improve their green awareness, which can help execute corporate social responsibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Consumption and Financial Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Bimetallic Nanoparticles as a Model System for an Industrial NiMo Catalyst
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3727; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12223727 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
An in-depth understanding of the reaction mechanism is required for the further development of Mo-based catalysts for biobased feedstocks. However, fundamental studies of industrial catalysts are challenging, and simplified systems are often used without direct comparison to their industrial counterparts. Here, we report [...] Read more.
An in-depth understanding of the reaction mechanism is required for the further development of Mo-based catalysts for biobased feedstocks. However, fundamental studies of industrial catalysts are challenging, and simplified systems are often used without direct comparison to their industrial counterparts. Here, we report on size-selected bimetallic NiMo nanoparticles as a candidate for a model catalyst that is directly compared to the industrial system to evaluate their industrial relevance. Both the nanoparticles and industrial supported NiMo catalysts were characterized using surface- and bulk-sensitive techniques. We found that the active Ni and Mo metals in the industrial catalyst are well dispersed and well mixed on the support, and that the interaction between Ni and Mo promotes the reduction of the Mo oxide. We successfully produced 25 nm NiMo alloyed nanoparticles with a narrow size distribution. Characterization of the nanoparticles showed that they have a metallic core with a native oxide shell with a high potential for use as a model system for fundamental studies of hydrotreating catalysts for biobased feedstocks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metallic Nanoparticles in Heterogeneous Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Key Technologies and Development Trends of 5G Optical Networks
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(22), 4835; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9224835 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
With the development of 5G, 5G optical networks have gradually received increasing attention from scholars. However, most studies have focused on discussing the technical or market aspect. Furthermore, their findings have not provided a panorama of the technologies in the 5G domain, nor [...] Read more.
With the development of 5G, 5G optical networks have gradually received increasing attention from scholars. However, most studies have focused on discussing the technical or market aspect. Furthermore, their findings have not provided a panorama of the technologies in the 5G domain, nor have they provided a detailed understanding of the key technologies and development trends. An optical network is an indispensable type of infrastructure for the development of 5G. Therefore, defining key technologies in this domain is particularly crucial. The present study used patents for 5G optical networks as the basis of its analysis and constructed a technology network using a network analysis method. Research results indicated that the key technologies provided by 5G optical networks include wireless communication network facilities and local resource management (H04W88 and H04W72), selection arrangements for multiplex systems (H04Q11), and arrangements enabling multiple uses of the transmission path (H04L5). The maturation of optical component technology has paved the way for multiplex communication system technology to flourish and made it one of the key technologies in the development of 5G. Additionally, an analysis of top patentees revealed that information technology companies are the main force in developing 5G optical network technologies. Thus, driven by the market, 5G optical communication has become the technical focus of the private sector. In this study, the researchers constructed a technology network model to explore the technology development trends, and the results may serve as a reference for the government in observing emerging technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Network Evolution Towards 5G)
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Open AccessReview
Conversion Surgery for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(11), 1945; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8111945 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
While primarily unresectable locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) used to be an indication for palliative therapy, a strategy of neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) and conversion surgery is being increasingly used after more effective chemotherapy regimens have become available for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. While high-level [...] Read more.
While primarily unresectable locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) used to be an indication for palliative therapy, a strategy of neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) and conversion surgery is being increasingly used after more effective chemotherapy regimens have become available for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. While high-level evidence from prospective studies is still sparse, several large retrospective studies have recently reported their experience with NAT and conversion surgery for LAPC. This review aims to provide a current overview about different NAT regimens, conversion rates, survival outcomes and determinants of post-resection outcomes, as well as surgical strategies in the context of conversion surgery after NAT. FOLFIRINOX is the predominant regimen used and associated with the highest reported conversion rates. Conversion rates considerably vary between less than 5% and more than half of the study population with heterogeneous long-term outcomes, owing to a lack of intention-to-treat analyses in most studies and a high heterogeneity in resectability criteria, treatment strategies, and reporting among studies. Since radiological criteria of local resectability are no longer applicable after NAT, patients without progressive disease should undergo surgical exploration. Surgery after NAT has to be aimed at local radicality around the peripancreatic vessels and should be performed in expert centers. Future studies in this rapidly evolving field need to be prospective, analyze intention-to-treat populations, report stringent and objective inclusion criteria and criteria for resection. Innovative regimens for NAT in combination with a radical surgical approach hold high promise for patients with LAPC in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Machine Learning-Based Patient Load Prediction and IoT Integrated Intelligent Patient Transfer Systems
Future Internet 2019, 11(11), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi11110236 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
A mismatch between staffing ratios and service demand leads to overcrowding of patients in waiting rooms of health centers. Overcrowding consequently leads to excessive patient waiting times, incomplete preventive service delivery and disgruntled medical staff. Worse, due to the limited patient load that [...] Read more.
A mismatch between staffing ratios and service demand leads to overcrowding of patients in waiting rooms of health centers. Overcrowding consequently leads to excessive patient waiting times, incomplete preventive service delivery and disgruntled medical staff. Worse, due to the limited patient load that a health center can handle, patients may leave the clinic before the medical examination is complete. It is true that as one health center may be struggling with an excessive patient load, another facility in the vicinity may have a low patient turn out. A centralized hospital management system, where hospitals are able to timely exchange patient load information would allow excess patient load from an overcrowded health center to be re-assigned in a timely way to the nearest health centers. In this paper, a machine learning-based patient load prediction model for forecasting future patient loads is proposed. Given current and historical patient load data as inputs, the model outputs future predicted patient loads. Furthermore, we propose re-assigning excess patient loads to nearby facilities that have minimal load as a way to control overcrowding and reduce the number of patients that leave health facilities without receiving medical care as a result of overcrowding. The re-assigning of patients will imply a need for transportation for the patient to move from one facility to another. To avoid putting a further strain on the already fragmented ambulatory services, we assume the existence of a scheduled bus system and propose an Internet of Things (IoT) integrated smart bus system. The developed IoT system can be tagged on buses and can be queried by patients through representation state transfer application program interfaces (APIs) to provide them with the position of the buses through web app or SMS relative to their origin and destination stop. The back end of the proposed system is based on message queue telemetry transport, which is lightweight, data efficient and scalable, unlike the traditionally used hypertext transfer protocol. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pyrazinoic Acid Inhibits the Bifunctional Enzyme (Rv2783) in Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Competing with tmRNA
Pathogens 2019, 8(4), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens8040230 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Pyrazinamide (PZA) is a key drug for tuberculosis treatment. The active form of PZA, pyrazinoic acid (POA), appears to inhibit multiple targets in M. tuberculosis. Recently, the bifunctional enzyme Rv2783 was reported as a new target of POA. However, the mechanism by which [...] Read more.
Pyrazinamide (PZA) is a key drug for tuberculosis treatment. The active form of PZA, pyrazinoic acid (POA), appears to inhibit multiple targets in M. tuberculosis. Recently, the bifunctional enzyme Rv2783 was reported as a new target of POA. However, the mechanism by which POA inhibits Rv2783 is not yet clear. Here, we report how a new A2104C substitution in Rv2783c, identified in PZA-resistant clinical isolates, conferred resistance to PZA in M. tuberculosis. Expression of the mutant allele recapitulated the PZA resistance. All catalytic activities of Rv2783, but not the mutant, were inhibited by POA. Additionally, POA competed with transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA) for binding to Rv2783, other than the mutant. These results provide new insight into the molecular mechanism of the antitubercular activity of PZA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of New Surveillance Data on Predictive Species Distribution Modeling of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the United States
Insects 2019, 10(11), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10110400 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
The recent emergence or reemergence of various vector-borne diseases makes the knowledge of disease vectors’ presence and distribution of paramount concern for protecting national human and animal health. While several studies have modeled Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus distributions in the past five [...] Read more.
The recent emergence or reemergence of various vector-borne diseases makes the knowledge of disease vectors’ presence and distribution of paramount concern for protecting national human and animal health. While several studies have modeled Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus distributions in the past five years, studies at a large scale can miss the complexities that contribute to a species’ distribution. Many localities in the United States have lacked or had sporadic surveillance conducted for these two species. To address these gaps in the current knowledge of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus distributions in the United States, surveillance was focused on areas in Texas at the margins of their known ranges and in localities that had little or no surveillance conducted in the past. This information was used with a global database of occurrence records to create a predictive model of these two species’ distributions in the United States. Additionally, the surveillance data from Texas was used to determine the influence of new data from the margins of a species’ known range on predicted species’ suitability maps. This information is critical in determining where to focus resources for the future and continued surveillance for these two species of medical concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vectors and Vector-borne Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Review of Electrochemical DNA Biosensors for Detecting Food Borne Pathogens
Sensors 2019, 19(22), 4916; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19224916 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
The vital importance of rapid and accurate detection of food borne pathogens has driven the development of biosensor to prevent food borne illness outbreaks. Electrochemical DNA biosensors offer such merits as rapid response, high sensitivity, low cost, and ease of use. This review [...] Read more.
The vital importance of rapid and accurate detection of food borne pathogens has driven the development of biosensor to prevent food borne illness outbreaks. Electrochemical DNA biosensors offer such merits as rapid response, high sensitivity, low cost, and ease of use. This review covers the following three aspects: food borne pathogens and conventional detection methods, the design and fabrication of electrochemical DNA biosensors and several techniques for improving sensitivity of biosensors. We highlight the main bioreceptors and immobilizing methods on sensing interface, electrochemical techniques, electrochemical indicators, nanotechnology, and nucleic acid-based amplification. Finally, in view of the existing shortcomings of electrochemical DNA biosensors in the field of food borne pathogen detection, we also predict and prospect future research focuses from the following five aspects: specific bioreceptors (improving specificity), nanomaterials (enhancing sensitivity), microfluidic chip technology (realizing automate operation), paper-based biosensors (reducing detection cost), and smartphones or other mobile devices (simplifying signal reading devices). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biosensors for Bacterial Detection)

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