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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Manganese on Co–Mn/CNT Bimetallic Catalyst Performance in Fischer–Tropsch Reaction
Symmetry 2019, 11(11), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11111328 (registering DOI) - 24 Oct 2019
Abstract
Cobalt (Co) catalyst is supported by carbon nanotubes (CNT) using a strong electrostatic adsorption (SEA) method. To promote activity and selectivity as well as find the optimum loading percentage and its effect on catalyst performance, manganese (Mn) has been added to the Co/CNT [...] Read more.
Cobalt (Co) catalyst is supported by carbon nanotubes (CNT) using a strong electrostatic adsorption (SEA) method. To promote activity and selectivity as well as find the optimum loading percentage and its effect on catalyst performance, manganese (Mn) has been added to the Co/CNT catalyst. Samples were characterized by a scanning electron microscope (SEM-EDX), transmission electron microscope (TEM), hydrogen temperature programmed reduction (H2-TPR), Zeta potential, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray spectroscopy (XPS). TEM images illustrated an intake of metal particles which were highly dispersed, having a narrow particle size distribution of 6–8 nm to the external and internal CNT support. H2-TPR showed a lower temperature reduction with Mn at 420 °C for Fischer–Tropsch synthesis (FTS) reaction. The Co–Mn/CNT catalyst performance test for FTS was performed at a temperature of 240 °C in a fixed-bed micro-reactor at a pressure of 2.0 MPa. The addition of manganese resulted in a lower methane selectivity and a higher C5+ product with an optimum percentage of 5% of manganese. CO conversion was 86.6% and had a C5+ selectivity of 81.5%, which was higher than the catalysts obtained using only Co on pretreated CNT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocatalysis and Symmetry in Chemistry)
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Open AccessReview
Application and Evaluation of Energy Conservation Technologies in Wastewater Treatment Plants
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(21), 4501; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9214501 (registering DOI) - 24 Oct 2019
Abstract
High energy consumption is an important issue affecting the operation and development of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). This paper seeks energy-saving opportunities from three aspects: energy application, process optimization, and performance evaluation. Moreover, effective energy-saving can be achieved from the perspective of energy [...] Read more.
High energy consumption is an important issue affecting the operation and development of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). This paper seeks energy-saving opportunities from three aspects: energy application, process optimization, and performance evaluation. Moreover, effective energy-saving can be achieved from the perspective of energy supply and recovery by using green energy technologies, including wastewater and sludge energy recovery technologies. System optimization and control is used to reduce unnecessary energy consumption in operation. Reasonable indexes and methods can help researchers evaluate the application value of energy-saving technology. Some demonstration WWTPs even can achieve energy self-sufficiency by using these energy conservation technologies. Besides, this paper introduces the challenges faced by the wastewater treatment industry and some emerging energy-saving technologies. The work can give engineers some suggestions about reducing energy consumption from comprehensive perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Approaches for Drinking- and Waste-Water Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Different Amino Acids and Heating Conditions on the Formation of 2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) and Its Kinetics Formation Using Chemical Model System
Molecules 2019, 24(21), 3828; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24213828 (registering DOI) - 24 Oct 2019
Abstract
The formation of 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) was investigated using a kinetic study approach as described by first-order, Arrhenius, and Eyring equations. Chemical model systems with different amino acid precursors (proline, phenylalanine, and glycine) were examined at different times (4, 8, 12, and 16 min) [...] Read more.
The formation of 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) was investigated using a kinetic study approach as described by first-order, Arrhenius, and Eyring equations. Chemical model systems with different amino acid precursors (proline, phenylalanine, and glycine) were examined at different times (4, 8, 12, and 16 min) and temperatures (150, 180, 210, 240, and 270 °C). PhIP was detected using high-performance liquid chromatography equipped with fluorescence detector (HPLC-FLD). The good fit in first-order suggested that PhIP formation was influenced by the types of amino acids and PhIP concentration significantly increased with time and temperature (up to 240 °C). PhIP was detected in proline and phenylalanine model systems but not in the glycine model system. The phenylalanine model system demonstrated low activation energy (Ea) of 95.36 kJ/mol that resulted in a high rate of PhIP formation (great amount of PhIP formed). Based on the ∆S values both proline and phenylalanine demonstrated bimolecular rate-limiting steps for PhIP formation. Altogether these kinetic results could provide valuable information in predicting the PhIP formation pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Puffing as a Novel Process to Enhance the Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Curcuma longa L. (Turmeric)
Antioxidants 2019, 8(11), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8110506 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
Curcuma longa L. (turmeric) is used as a food spice; however, its strong taste restricts wider applications as a food ingredient despite its well-known health benefits. To develop an effective yet simple process for enhancing its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, turmeric was gun-puffed [...] Read more.
Curcuma longa L. (turmeric) is used as a food spice; however, its strong taste restricts wider applications as a food ingredient despite its well-known health benefits. To develop an effective yet simple process for enhancing its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, turmeric was gun-puffed at various pressures. Puffed turmeric exhibited an increase in its brown color and porous structures, indicating the occurrence of the Maillard reaction and vaporization during the process. Proximal analysis revealed that puffing did not alter the major constituents, although a very small decrease in crude fat extraction was observed under some circumstances. Total phenolic compounds in the extract were significantly increased after puffing, and subsequent assessment of antioxidant capacity, as determined using independent 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2’-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS), and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays, demonstrated enhanced antioxidant capacity in a puffing-pressure-dependent manner. Turmeric extract was further tested for the regulation of inflammatory responses in the murine macrophage RAW264.7 cell line. Suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in lipopolysaccharides (LPS)-induced macrophages was amplified using puffed-turmeric extracts compared to the control extract. Furthermore, macrophage-activation assessment revealed downregulated expression of inflammation-relevant cluster of differentiation (CD)80 and CD86 using puffed-turmeric extract in a puffing-pressure-dependent manner. However, expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-II, which controls adoptive immunity, was not affected by treatment with any of the turmeric extracts. Overall, the current study demonstrated that puffing is a promising and simple method for enhancing the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Industrial Applications of Antioxidants)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Well-Posedness Results for the Continuum Spectrum Pulse Equation
Mathematics 2019, 7(11), 1006; https://doi.org/10.3390/math7111006 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
The continuum spectrum pulse equation is a third order nonlocal nonlinear evolutive equation related to the dynamics of the electrical field of linearly polarized continuum spectrum pulses in optical waveguides. In this paper, the well-posedness of the classical solutions to the Cauchy problem [...] Read more.
The continuum spectrum pulse equation is a third order nonlocal nonlinear evolutive equation related to the dynamics of the electrical field of linearly polarized continuum spectrum pulses in optical waveguides. In this paper, the well-posedness of the classical solutions to the Cauchy problem associated with this equation is proven. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application of Mathematics to Physics and Nonlinear Science)
Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Commodity Discoveries on Small Open Economies: Empirical Evidence from the Falkland Islands
Economies 2019, 7(4), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/economies7040106 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
The aim of this study is to determine the effects of discovering oil on the performance of a small open economy, in this case the Falkland Islands. Using an event study approach and the return on one of the Falkland Islands’ main companies, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to determine the effects of discovering oil on the performance of a small open economy, in this case the Falkland Islands. Using an event study approach and the return on one of the Falkland Islands’ main companies, the results suggest that the discovery of oil has mostly had a positive effect on this company, which serves as a proxy for the Falkland Islands economy. In addition, using an EGARCH approach, there is evidence that the discovery of oil has reduced the volatility or risk of the company and therefore potentially the economy as a whole. However, when the oil price is added to the model, this tends to dominate the effect of the discovery. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Deployment of a Software to Simulate Control Systems in the State-Space
Electronics 2019, 8(11), 1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8111205 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
In this work, we present a simulation software that permits designing and testing several types of controllers based on both classical and modern control theory. It has been created using Easy JavaScript Simulations, since this software permits implementing interactive simulations of physical systems [...] Read more.
In this work, we present a simulation software that permits designing and testing several types of controllers based on both classical and modern control theory. It has been created using Easy JavaScript Simulations, since this software permits implementing interactive simulations of physical systems in a quick and intuitive way. This laboratory contains a SISO (Single-Input and Single-Output) and a MIMO (Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output) plant, which are hydraulic and nonlinear, thus the linear model (linearized equations) and the original model (nonlinerized equations) have been implemented. The user can choose any of these physical systems and they have the options to control them using either continuous-time or discrete-time controllers. All parameters of the plant are fully configurable by the user. After that, the controller can be designed and tested. This simulation software offers several configurations: (a) PID (Proportional, Integral and Derivative controller); (b) state feedback; (c) observer and state feedback; and (d) integral controller, observer and state feedback control. The evolution of the controlled system is visualized using an animation of the virtual plant and a graphical representation of the evolution of the most important variables. In this paper, the steps for the implementation of this simulation software are detailed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systems & Control Engineering)
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Novel Chalcone-Thiosemicarbazones Derivatives as Potential Anti-Leishmania amazonensis Agents and Its HSA Binding Studies
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110643 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
A series of seven chalcone-thiosemicarbazones (5a5g) were synthesized and evaluated as potential new drugs (anti-leishmanial effect). Although four of the chalcone-thiosemicarbazones are already known, none of them or any compound in this class has been previously investigated for their [...] Read more.
A series of seven chalcone-thiosemicarbazones (5a5g) were synthesized and evaluated as potential new drugs (anti-leishmanial effect). Although four of the chalcone-thiosemicarbazones are already known, none of them or any compound in this class has been previously investigated for their effects on parasites of the Leishmania genus. The compounds were prepared in satisfactory yields (40–75%) and these compounds were evaluated against promastigotes, axenic amastigotes and intracellular amastigotes of L. amazonensis after 48 h of culture. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of the intracellular amastigotes were determined to be in the range of 3.40 to 5.95 µM for all compounds assayed. The selectivity index showed value of 15.05 for 5a, whereas pentamidine (reference drug) was more toxic in our model (SI = 2.32). Furthermore, to understand the preliminary relationship between the anti-leishmanial activity of the chalcone-thiosemicarbazones, their electronic (σ), steric (MR) and lipophilicity (π) properties were correlated, and the results indicated that moieties with electronic withdrawing effects increase the anti-leishmanial activity. The preliminary pharmacokinetic evaluation of one of the most active compound (5e) was studied via interaction to human serum albumin (HSA) using multiple spectroscopic techniques combined with molecular docking. The results of antiparasitic effects against L. amazonensis revealed the chalcone-thiosemicarbazone class to be novel prototypes for drug development against leishmaniasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Improvement in Heavy Metal Removal from Wastewater Using an External Magnetic Inductor
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1508; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9111508 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
Magnetite nanoparticles (Fe3O4) of 12 ± 4 nm diameter are electrochemically synthesized for the adsorption and magnetic harvesting of Cr(VI) from contaminated simulated solutions. The removal of Cr(VI) from aqueous media follows pseudo-second-order kinetics. The adsorption efficiency is evaluated [...] Read more.
Magnetite nanoparticles (Fe3O4) of 12 ± 4 nm diameter are electrochemically synthesized for the adsorption and magnetic harvesting of Cr(VI) from contaminated simulated solutions. The removal of Cr(VI) from aqueous media follows pseudo-second-order kinetics. The adsorption efficiency is evaluated in three different scenarios. In standard conditions, i.e., at room temperature; in a thermal bath working at 60 °C, where the temperature could be considered homogeneous within the solution; and finally, under magnetic induction heating, while adjusting the frequency and magnetic field used to attain the same temperature as in the bath experiments. Two benefits of using a magnetic inductor are demonstrated. First, the removal efficiency is almost doubled in comparison to that of the room temperature experiments, and it is higher by 30% compared to that of the bath setup. At the same time as the adsorption occurs, a redox reaction occurs on the surface of the nanoparticles, and Cr(VI), the predominant species in the contaminated solution, is significantly reduced to Cr(III). Through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, it is shown that a greater reduction effect is achieved when working in induction conditions than at room temperature. This is the first time that this synergistic effect using magnetic induction heating has been demonstrated for heavy metal decontamination of wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Applications of Magnetic Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Seismological and Engineering Demand Misfits for Evaluating Simulated Ground Motion Records
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(21), 4497; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9214497 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
Simulated ground motions have recently gained more attention in seismology and earthquake engineering. Since different characteristics of waveforms are expected to influence alternative structural response parameters, evaluation of simulations, for key components of seismological and engineering points of view is necessary. When seismological [...] Read more.
Simulated ground motions have recently gained more attention in seismology and earthquake engineering. Since different characteristics of waveforms are expected to influence alternative structural response parameters, evaluation of simulations, for key components of seismological and engineering points of view is necessary. When seismological aspect is of concern, consideration of a representative set of ground motion parameters is imperative. Besides, to test the applicability of simulations in earthquake engineering, structural demand parameters should simultaneously cover a descriptive set. Herein, simulations are evaluated through comparison of seismological against engineering misfits, individually defined in terms of log-scale misfit and goodness-of-fit score. For numerical investigations, stochastically simulated records of three earthquakes are considered: The 1992 Erzincan-Turkey, 1999 Duzce-Turkey and 2009 L’Aquila-Italy events. For misfit evaluation, seismological parameters include amplitude, duration and frequency content, while engineering parameters contain spectral acceleration, velocity and seismic input energy. Overall, the same trend between both misfits is observed. All misfits for Erzincan and Duzce located on basins are larger than those corresponding to L’Aquila mostly placed on stiff sites. The engineering misfits, particularly in terms of input energy measures, are larger than seismological misfits. In summary, the proposed misfit evaluation methodology seems useful to evaluate simulations for engineering practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meta-heuristic Algorithms in Engineering)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Adaptation in Gait to Body-Weight Unloading
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(21), 4494; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9214494 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
Modifications in load-related sensory input during unloaded walking can lead to recalibration of the body schema and result in aftereffects. The main objective of this study was to identify the adaptive changes in gait and body-weight perception produced by unloaded walking. Gait performance [...] Read more.
Modifications in load-related sensory input during unloaded walking can lead to recalibration of the body schema and result in aftereffects. The main objective of this study was to identify the adaptive changes in gait and body-weight perception produced by unloaded walking. Gait performance during treadmill walking was assessed in 12 young participants before and after 30 min of unloaded walking (38% body weight) by measuring lower limb kinematics, temporal gait measures, and electromyography (EMG). A customized weight-perception scale was used to assess perception of body weight. Participants perceived their body weight to be significantly heavier than normal after unloading while walking. Angular displacement about ankle and knee was significantly reduced immediately after unloaded walking, while temporal gait parameters remained unchanged. The EMG activity in some muscles was significantly reduced after unloading. These findings indicate that walking at reduced body weight results in alterations in segmental kinematics, neuromuscular activity, and perception of body weight, which are the aftereffects of motor adaptation to altered load-related afferent information produced by unloading. Understanding the adaptive responses of gait to unloading and the time course of the aftereffects will be useful for practitioners who use body-weight unloading for rehabilitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Movement Biomechanics and Motor Control)
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Open AccessArticle
Undergraduate Disabled Students as Knowledge Producers including Researchers: A Missed Topic in Academic Literature
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040259 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
Research experience is beneficial for undergraduate students for many reasons. For example, it is argued in academic literature and in reports produced by various organizations that engage with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and science education that undergraduate research experience increases [...] Read more.
Research experience is beneficial for undergraduate students for many reasons. For example, it is argued in academic literature and in reports produced by various organizations that engage with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and science education that undergraduate research experience increases the graduation rate in STEM disciplines as well as the amount of students thinking about STEM careers. As such, being researchers should also be of benefit to undergraduate disabled students in all disciplines including STEM education. However, given that undergraduate disabled students encounter many problems within post-secondary education, including STEM education, undergraduate disabled students might encounter problems in becoming researchers. Policies are to be guided by knowledge and evidence. However, knowledge and evidence deficits exist in relation to the lived experience of disabled people. Undergraduate disabled students could decrease the knowledge deficit as researchers and knowledge producers. The numbers of disabled academic faculty are judged as being too low and efforts are under way to increase the number of disabled academics. Increasing the number of undergraduate disabled researchers might increase the available pool of disabled students that pursue an academic career. Given the important role research performed by undergraduate disabled students can play and given that many studies highlight problems for disabled students in post-secondary education in general, we used a scoping review approach to investigate the coverage of undergraduate disabled students as knowledge producers, including as researchers, in the academic literature. Using various search strategies, we obtained 1299 initial hits. However, only 15 had relevant content. No study investigated how undergraduate disabled students select their research topics or how they are enticed to pursue research projects outside of a course-based framework. No study looked at the linkage between being an undergraduate disabled researcher and career choices or using the obtained research skills on the undergraduate level in one’s role as a community member after graduation. Our findings suggest an opportunity for many fields, ranging from disability studies to STEM education, to generate more empirical data and conceptual work on the role of undergraduate disabled students as knowledge producers including as researchers. Such studies could help to increase the numbers of undergraduate disabled students as knowledge producers, including researchers, which in turn could help to increase (a) the number of disabled academics, (b) the number of disabled students who perform research in the community after graduation, (c) the degree success of disabled students and (d) the knowledge available on the social situation of disabled people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Undergraduate Research as a High Impact Practice in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
Peroxiredoxin 6 Down-Regulation Induces Metabolic Remodeling and Cell Cycle Arrest in HepG2 Cells
Antioxidants 2019, 8(11), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8110505 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
Peroxiredoxin 6 (Prdx6) is the only member of 1-Cys subfamily of peroxiredoxins in human cells. It is the only Prdx acting on phospholipid hydroperoxides possessing two additional sites with phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and lysophosphatidylcholine-acyl transferase (LPCAT) activities. There are contrasting reports on the [...] Read more.
Peroxiredoxin 6 (Prdx6) is the only member of 1-Cys subfamily of peroxiredoxins in human cells. It is the only Prdx acting on phospholipid hydroperoxides possessing two additional sites with phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and lysophosphatidylcholine-acyl transferase (LPCAT) activities. There are contrasting reports on the roles and mechanisms of multifunctional Prdx6 in several pathologies and on its sensitivity to, and influence on, the redox environment. We have down-regulated Prdx6 with specific siRNA in hepatoblastoma HepG2 cells to study its role in cell proliferation, redox homeostasis, and metabolic programming. Cell proliferation and cell number decreased while cell volume increased; import of glucose and nucleotide biosynthesis also diminished while polyamines, phospholipids, and most glycolipids increased. A proteomic quantitative analysis suggested changes in membrane arrangement and vesicle trafficking as well as redox changes in enzymes of carbon and glutathione metabolism, pentose-phosphate pathway, citrate cycle, fatty acid metabolism, biosynthesis of aminoacids, and Glycolysis/Gluconeogenesis. Specific redox changes in Hexokinase-2 (HK2), Prdx6, intracellular chloride ion channel-1 (CLIC1), PEP-carboxykinase-2 (PCK2), and 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) are compatible with the metabolic remodeling toward a predominant gluconeogenic flow from aminoacids with diversion at 3-phospohglycerate toward serine and other biosynthetic pathways thereon and with cell cycle arrest at G1/S transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peroxiredoxin)
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Open AccessCommunication
Systematic Physical Exercise and Spirulina maxima Supplementation Improve Body Composition, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Blood Lipid Profile: Correlations of a Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial
Antioxidants 2019, 8(11), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8110507 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases are part of the highly preventable chronic diseases associated with changes in lifestyle. Within them, physical activity, low-fat and high-fiber diets are distinguished as the main support for prevention, even when supplementation with nutraceuticals has become a very common practice. Fifty-two [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases are part of the highly preventable chronic diseases associated with changes in lifestyle. Within them, physical activity, low-fat and high-fiber diets are distinguished as the main support for prevention, even when supplementation with nutraceuticals has become a very common practice. Fifty-two young sedentary men with excess body weight (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg·m−2) were enrolled in a randomized-crossover controlled trial [six weeks of a systematic physical exercise with Spirulina maxima or placebo supplementation (4.5 g·day−1)]. Body composition, blood lipid profile, and maximal oxygen uptake were determined pre/post intervention. Pairwise comparisons showed a significant improvement (p < 0.01) on blood lipid profile in the group of exercise plus Spirulina maxima. Moreover, correlations of absolute changes of BMI, body fat percentage, blood lipids and maximal oxygen uptake were statistically significant (p < 0.01). These results indicate that the Spirulina maxima supplementation could be acting in a synergistic way with exercise due to the enhanced effects on body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, and blood lipid profile. This phenomenon should be considered to reduce risk of cardiovascular disorders. Trial registration: Clinical Trials, NCT02837666 (July 19, 2016). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Antioxidants and Exercise)
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Open AccessEditorial
A Focus on Soft Actuation
Actuators 2019, 8(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/act8040074 (registering DOI) - 23 Oct 2019
Abstract
The present editorial paper analyzes the hundred recent research works on soft actuation to understand the current main research focus in the light of the grand challenges in the field. Two characteristic paper types were obtained: one focuses on soft actuator design, manufacturing [...] Read more.
The present editorial paper analyzes the hundred recent research works on soft actuation to understand the current main research focus in the light of the grand challenges in the field. Two characteristic paper types were obtained: one focuses on soft actuator design, manufacturing and demonstration, while another includes in addition the development of functional materials. Although vast majority of the works showcased soft actuation, evaluation of its robustness by multi-cyclic actuation was reported in less than 50% of the works, while only 10% described successful actuation for more than 1000 cycles. It is suggested that broadening the research focus to include investigation of mechanisms underlying the degradation of soft functional material performance in real cyclic actuation conditions, along with application of artificial intelligence methods for prediction of muscle behavior, may allow overcoming the reliability issues and developing robust soft-material actuators. The outcomes of the present work might be applicable to the entire soft robotics domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Designs for Soft Actuators)
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