Latest Articles

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Comparison of Splitting Methods for Deterministic/Stochastic Gross–Pitaevskii Equation
Math. Comput. Appl. 2019, 24(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/mca24030076 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, we discuss the different splitting approaches to numerically solve
the Gross–Pitaevskii equation (GPE). The models are motivated from spinor Bose–Einstein
condensate (BEC). This system is formed of coupled mean-field equations, which are based on
coupled Gross–Pitaevskii equations. We consider conservative [...] Read more.
In this paper, we discuss the different splitting approaches to numerically solve
the Gross–Pitaevskii equation (GPE). The models are motivated from spinor Bose–Einstein
condensate (BEC). This system is formed of coupled mean-field equations, which are based on
coupled Gross–Pitaevskii equations. We consider conservative finite-difference schemes and spectral
methods for the spatial discretisation. Furthermore, we apply implicit or explicit time-integrators and
combine these schemes with different splitting approaches. The numerical solutions are compared
based on the conservation of the L2-norm with the analytical solutions. The advantages of the novel
splitting methods for large time-domains are based on the asymptotic conservation of the solution of
the soliton’s applications. Furthermore, we have the benefit of larger local time-steps and therefore
obtain faster numerical schemes. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Cardiac Fibroblasts and the Extracellular Matrix in Regenerative and Nonregenerative Hearts
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030029 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
During the postnatal period in mammals, the heart undergoes significant remodeling and cardiac cells progressively lose their embryonic characteristics. At the same time, notable changes in the extracellular matrix (ECM) composition occur with a reduction in the components considered facilitators of cellular proliferation, [...] Read more.
During the postnatal period in mammals, the heart undergoes significant remodeling and cardiac cells progressively lose their embryonic characteristics. At the same time, notable changes in the extracellular matrix (ECM) composition occur with a reduction in the components considered facilitators of cellular proliferation, including fibronectin and periostin, and an increase in collagen fiber organization. Not much is known about the postnatal cardiac fibroblast which is responsible for producing the majority of the ECM, but during the days after birth, mammalian hearts can regenerate after injury with only a transient scar formation. This phenomenon has also been described in adult urodeles and teleosts, but relatively little is known about their cardiac fibroblasts or ECM composition. Here, we review the pre-existing knowledge about cardiac fibroblasts and the ECM during the postnatal period in mammals as well as in regenerative environments. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Molecular Diagnostics in the Times of Surveillance for Candida auris
J. Fungi 2019, 5(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof5030077 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Recently, global health professionals have been significantly challenged by the emergence of Candida auris and its propensity to colonize human skin, persist in the healthcare environment, and cause healthcare-associated outbreaks. Additionally, C. auris isolates are often characterized by elevated minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) [...] Read more.
Recently, global health professionals have been significantly challenged by the emergence of Candida auris and its propensity to colonize human skin, persist in the healthcare environment, and cause healthcare-associated outbreaks. Additionally, C. auris isolates are often characterized by elevated minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values for antifungal drugs. Thus, rapid detection and accurate identification of C. auris together with an assessment of potential antifungal drug resistance has become essential for effective patient management, and infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities. Surprisingly, almost all of the commonly available diagnostic tools rely on recovery (growth) of yeast colonies from collected samples, which delays the diagnostic result by several days or longer. To circumvent these issues, molecular-based DNA amplification assays have been developed to identify C. auris DNA directly from patient samples. Moreover, allele discriminating detection probes can be used to rapidly assess validated mechanisms of echinocandin and azole resistance. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Pollution Source Identification for River Chemical Spills by Modular-Bayesian Approach: A Retrospective Study on the ‘Landmark’ Spill Incident in China
Hydrology 2019, 6(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6030074 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
It is important to identify source information after a river chemical spill incident occurs. Among various source inversion approaches, a Bayesian-based framework is able to directly characterize inverse uncertainty using a probability distribution and has recently become of interest. However, the literature has [...] Read more.
It is important to identify source information after a river chemical spill incident occurs. Among various source inversion approaches, a Bayesian-based framework is able to directly characterize inverse uncertainty using a probability distribution and has recently become of interest. However, the literature has not reported its application to actual spill incidents, and many aspects in practical use have not yet been clearly illustrated, e.g., feasibility for large scale pollution incidents, algorithm parameters, and likelihood functions. This work deduced a complete modular-Bayesian approach for river chemical spills, which combined variance assumptions on a pollutant concentration time series with Adaptive-Metropolis sampling. A retrospective case study was conducted based on the ‘landmark’ spill incident in China, the Songhua River nitrobenzene spill of 2005. The results show that release mass, place, and moment were identified with biases of −26.9%, −7.9%, and 16.9%, respectively. Inverse uncertainty statistics were also quantified for each source parameter. Performance, uncertainty sources, and future work are discussed. This study provides an important real-life case to demonstrate the usefulness of the modular-Bayesian approach in practice and provides valuable references for the setting of parameters for the sampling algorithm and variance assumptions. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Optogenetics in Brain Research: From a Strategy to Investigate Physiological Function to a Therapeutic Tool
Photonics 2019, 6(3), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/photonics6030092 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Dissecting the functional roles of neuronal circuits and their interaction is a crucial step in basic neuroscience and in all the biomedical field. Optogenetics is well-suited to this purpose since it allows us to study the functionality of neuronal networks on multiple scales [...] Read more.
Dissecting the functional roles of neuronal circuits and their interaction is a crucial step in basic neuroscience and in all the biomedical field. Optogenetics is well-suited to this purpose since it allows us to study the functionality of neuronal networks on multiple scales in living organisms. This tool was recently used in a plethora of studies to investigate physiological neuronal circuit function in addition to dysfunctional or pathological conditions. Moreover, optogenetics is emerging as a crucial technique to develop new rehabilitative and therapeutic strategies for many neurodegenerative diseases in pre-clinical models. In this review, we discuss recent applications of optogenetics, starting from fundamental research to pre-clinical applications. Firstly, we described the fundamental components of optogenetics, from light-activated proteins to light delivery systems. Secondly, we showed its applications to study neuronal circuits in physiological or pathological conditions at the cortical and subcortical level, in vivo. Furthermore, the interesting findings achieved using optogenetics as a therapeutic and rehabilitative tool highlighted the potential of this technique for understanding and treating neurological diseases in pre-clinical models. Finally, we showed encouraging results recently obtained by applying optogenetics in human neuronal cells in-vitro. Full article
Open AccessReview
Applying Trauma-Informed Practices to the Care of Refugee and Immigrant Youth: 10 Clinical Pearls
Children 2019, 6(8), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6080094 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Immigrant and refugee youth have higher rates of trauma than youth who are not transnational. While youth are incredibly resilient, trauma and toxic stress can result in poor health outcomes that persist throughout life. However, clinical interventions can promote resilience and decrease the [...] Read more.
Immigrant and refugee youth have higher rates of trauma than youth who are not transnational. While youth are incredibly resilient, trauma and toxic stress can result in poor health outcomes that persist throughout life. However, clinical interventions can promote resilience and decrease the negative impact of trauma. This article will review the principles of trauma-informed care and its application for the care of immigrant and refugee youth and their families by sharing concrete and feasible strategies for primary care providers and systems. Full article
Open AccessArticle
User Evaluation of Map-Based Visual Analytic Tools
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(8), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8080363 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Big data have also become a big challenge for cartographers, as the majority of big data may be localized. The use of visual analytics tools, as well as comprising interactive maps, stimulates inter-disciplinary actors to explore new ideas and decision-making methods. This paper [...] Read more.
Big data have also become a big challenge for cartographers, as the majority of big data may be localized. The use of visual analytics tools, as well as comprising interactive maps, stimulates inter-disciplinary actors to explore new ideas and decision-making methods. This paper deals with the evaluation of three map-based visual analytics tools by means of the eye-tracking method. The conceptual part of the paper begins with an analysis of the state-of-the-art and ends with the design of proof-of-concept experiments. The verification part consists of the design, composition, and realization of the conducted eye-tracking experiment, in which three map-based visual analytics tools were tested in terms of user-friendliness. A set of recommendations on GUI (graphical user interface) design and interactive functionality for map makers is formulated on the basis of the discovered errors and shortcomings in the assessed stimuli. The results of the verification were used as inputs for improving the three tested map-based visual analytics tools and might serve as a best practice for map-based visual analytics tools in general, as well as for improving the policy making cycle as elaborated by the European project PoliVisu (Policy Development based on Advanced Geospatial Data Analytics and Visualization). Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Expressing History through a Geo-Spatial Ontology
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(8), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8080362 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Conventional Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software struggles to represent uncertain and contested historical knowledge. An ontology, meaning a semantic structure defining named entities, and explicit and typed relationships, can be constructed in the absence of locational data, and spatial objects can be attached [...] Read more.
Conventional Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software struggles to represent uncertain and contested historical knowledge. An ontology, meaning a semantic structure defining named entities, and explicit and typed relationships, can be constructed in the absence of locational data, and spatial objects can be attached to this structure if and when they become available. We describe the overall architecture of the Great Britain Historical GIS, and the PastPlace Administrative Unit Ontology that forms its core. Then, we show how particular historical geographies can be represented within this architecture through two case studies, both emphasizing entity definition and especially the application of a multi-level typology, in which each “unit” has an unchanging “type” but also a time-variant “status”. The first includes the linked systems of Poor Law unions and registration districts in 19th century England and Wales, in which most but not all unions and districts were coterminous. The second case study includes the international system of nation-states, in which most units do not appear from nothing, but rather gain or lose independence. We show that a relatively simple data model is able to represent much historical complexity. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
A Stage-Based Approach to Therapy in Parkinson’s Disease
Biomolecules 2019, 9(8), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9080388 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that features progressive, disabling motor symptoms, such as bradykinesia, rigidity, and resting tremor. Nevertheless, some non-motor symptoms, including depression, REM sleep behavior disorder, and olfactive impairment, are even earlier features of PD. At later stages, apathy, [...] Read more.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that features progressive, disabling motor symptoms, such as bradykinesia, rigidity, and resting tremor. Nevertheless, some non-motor symptoms, including depression, REM sleep behavior disorder, and olfactive impairment, are even earlier features of PD. At later stages, apathy, impulse control disorder, neuropsychiatric disturbances, and cognitive impairment can present, and they often become a heavy burden for both patients and caregivers. Indeed, PD increasingly compromises activities of daily life, even though a high variability in clinical presentation can be observed among people affected. Nowadays, symptomatic drugs and non-pharmaceutical treatments represent the best therapeutic options to improve quality of life in PD patients. The aim of the present review is to provide a practical, stage-based guide to pharmacological management of both motor and non-motor symptoms of PD. Furthermore, warning about drug side effects, contraindications, as well as dosage and methods of administration, are highlighted here, to help the physician in yielding the best therapeutic strategies for each symptom and condition in patients with PD. Full article
Open AccessReview
Stabilin Receptors: Role as Phosphatidylserine Receptors
Biomolecules 2019, 9(8), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9080387 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Phosphatidylserine is a membrane phospholipid that is localized to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. Phosphatidylserine externalization to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane is an important signal for various physiological processes, including apoptosis, platelet activation, cell fusion, lymphocyte activation, and [...] Read more.
Phosphatidylserine is a membrane phospholipid that is localized to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. Phosphatidylserine externalization to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane is an important signal for various physiological processes, including apoptosis, platelet activation, cell fusion, lymphocyte activation, and regenerative axonal fusion. Stabilin-1 and stabilin-2 are membrane receptors that recognize phosphatidylserine on the cell surface. Here, we discuss the functions of Stabilin-1 and stabilin-2 as phosphatidylserine receptors in apoptotic cell clearance (efferocytosis) and cell fusion, and their ligand-recognition and signaling pathways. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Unchain My Blood: Lessons Learned from Self-Assembled Dendrimers as Nanoscale Heparin Binders
Biomolecules 2019, 9(8), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9080385 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This review work reports a collection of coupled experimental/computational results taken from our own experience in the field of self-assembled dendrimers for heparin binding. These studies present and discuss both the potentiality played by this hybrid methodology to the design, synthesis, and development [...] Read more.
This review work reports a collection of coupled experimental/computational results taken from our own experience in the field of self-assembled dendrimers for heparin binding. These studies present and discuss both the potentiality played by this hybrid methodology to the design, synthesis, and development of possible protamine replacers for heparin anticoagulant activity reversal in biomedical applications, and the obstacles this field has still to overcome before these molecules can be translated into nanomedicines available in clinical settings. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Triple Local Similarity Solutions of Darcy-Forchheimer Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) Flow of Micropolar Nanofluid Over an Exponential Shrinking Surface: Stability Analysis
Coatings 2019, 9(8), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9080527 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, the MHD flow of a micropolar nanofluid on an exponential sheet in an Extended-Darcy-Forchheimer porous medium have been considered. Buongiorno’s model is considered in order to formulate a mathematical model with different boundary conditions. The governing partial differential equations (PDEs) [...] Read more.
In this paper, the MHD flow of a micropolar nanofluid on an exponential sheet in an Extended-Darcy-Forchheimer porous medium have been considered. Buongiorno’s model is considered in order to formulate a mathematical model with different boundary conditions. The governing partial differential equations (PDEs) of the nanofluid flow are changed into a third order non-linear quasi-ordinary differential equation (ODE), using the pseudo-similarity variable. The resultant ODEs of the boundary value problems (BVPs) are renewed into initial value problems (IVPs) using a shooting method, and then the IVPs are solved by a fourth order Runge-Kutta (RK) method. The effects of various physical parameters on the profiles of velocity, temperature, microrotation velocity, concentration, skin friction, couple stress coefficients, heat, and concentration transfer are demonstrated graphically. The results reveal that triple solutions appear when S2.0337 for K=0.1 and S2.7148 for K=0.2. A stability analysis has been performed to show the stability of the solutions; only the first solution is stable and physically possible, whereas the remaining two solutions are not stable. Full article
Open AccessReview
Antibody Therapies for Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Unconjugated, Toxin-Conjugated, Radio-Conjugated and Multivalent Formats
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(8), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8081261 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In recent decades, therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has remained relatively unchanged, with chemotherapy regimens primarily consisting of an induction regimen based on a daunorubicin and cytarabine backbone, followed by consolidation chemotherapy. Patients who are relapsed or refractory can be treated with [...] Read more.
In recent decades, therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has remained relatively unchanged, with chemotherapy regimens primarily consisting of an induction regimen based on a daunorubicin and cytarabine backbone, followed by consolidation chemotherapy. Patients who are relapsed or refractory can be treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation with modest benefits to event-free and overall survival. Other modalities of immunotherapy include antibody therapies, which hold considerable promise and can be categorized into unconjugated classical antibodies, multivalent recombinant antibodies (bi-, tri- and quad-specific), toxin-conjugated antibodies and radio-conjugated antibodies. While unconjugated antibodies can facilitate Natural Killer (NK) cell antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), bi- and tri-specific antibodies can engage either NK cells or T-cells to redirect cytotoxicity against AML targets in a highly efficient manner, similarly to classic ADCC. Finally, toxin-conjugated and radio-conjugated antibodies can increase the potency of antibody therapies. Several AML tumour-associated antigens are at the forefront of targeted therapy development, which include CD33, CD123, CD13, CLL-1 and CD38 and which may be present on both AML blasts and leukemic stem cells. This review focused on antibody therapies for AML, including pre-clinical studies of these agents and those that are either entering or have been tested in early phase clinical trials. Antibodies for checkpoint inhibition and microenvironment targeting in AML were excluded from this review. Full article

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