Latest Articles

Open AccessArticle
Creating a Multimodal Translation Tool and Testing Machine Translation Integration Using Touch and Voice
Informatics 2019, 6(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6010013 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Commercial software tools for translation have, until now, been based on the traditional input modes of keyboard and mouse, latterly with a small amount of speech recognition input becoming popular. In order to test whether a greater variety of input modes might aid [...] Read more.
Commercial software tools for translation have, until now, been based on the traditional input modes of keyboard and mouse, latterly with a small amount of speech recognition input becoming popular. In order to test whether a greater variety of input modes might aid translation from scratch, translation using translation memories, or machine translation postediting, we developed a web-based translation editing interface that permits multimodal input via touch-enabled screens and speech recognition in addition to keyboard and mouse. The tool also conforms to web accessibility standards. This article describes the tool and its development process over several iterations. Between these iterations we carried out two usability studies, also reported here. Findings were promising, albeit somewhat inconclusive. Participants liked the tool and the speech recognition functionality. Reports of the touchscreen were mixed, and we consider that it may require further research to incorporate touch into a translation interface in a usable way. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cabazitaxel-Loaded Nanocarriers for Cancer Therapy with Reduced Side Effects
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030141 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Jevtana® is a micellar cabazitaxel (CBZ) solution that was approved for prostate cancer in 2010, and recently, this drug has been reported for breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the mediated delivery of CBZ via liposomes and nanoparticles [...] Read more.
Jevtana® is a micellar cabazitaxel (CBZ) solution that was approved for prostate cancer in 2010, and recently, this drug has been reported for breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the mediated delivery of CBZ via liposomes and nanoparticles (NPs) for the treatment of breast cancer and compare these with a micellar formulation that is currently in clinical use. CBZ-loaded nanocarriers were prepared with particle sizes between 70–110 nm, and with the sustained in vitro release of CBZ for more than 28 days. Cytotoxicity studies on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells demonstrated the toxic potential of these nanocarriers. Cellular internalization revealed that NPs and liposomes have better permeability than micelles. Cell cycle analysis and apoptosis studies on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells confirmed G2/M phase arrest as well as cell death due to apoptosis and necrosis, where formulations were found to be effective compared to a micellar CBZ solution. Results from pharmacokinetic studies revealed that there is an increased circulation half-life and mean residence time for CBZ liposomes and NPs in comparison with a micellar CBZ solution. CBZ liposomes and NPs showed a reduction in hemolysis and neutropenia in comparison with a micellar CBZ solution in rats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combination of Zinc Hyaluronate and Metronidazole in a Lipid-Based Drug Delivery System for the Treatment of Periodontitis
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11030142 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Background: Despite being a highly prevalent disease and a possible contributor to adult tooth loss, periodontitis possesses no well-established therapy. The aim of the recent study was the development and evaluation of a mucoadhesive monophase lipid formulation for the sustained local delivery of [...] Read more.
Background: Despite being a highly prevalent disease and a possible contributor to adult tooth loss, periodontitis possesses no well-established therapy. The aim of the recent study was the development and evaluation of a mucoadhesive monophase lipid formulation for the sustained local delivery of amoxicillin, metronidazole, and/or zinc hyaluronate or gluconate. Methods: To investigate our formulations, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, swelling, erosion, mucoadhesivity, drug release, and antimicrobial measurements were performed. Results: Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show that the loaded drugs are in a suspended form, the softening of the formulations starts at body temperature, but a part remains solid, providing sustained release. Swelling of the lipid compositions is affected by the hydrophilic components, their concentration, and the strength of the coherent lipid structure, while their erosion is impacted by the emulsification of melted lipid components. Conclusions: Results of drug release and antimicrobial effectiveness measurements show that a sustained release may be obtained. Amoxicillin had higher effectiveness against oral pathogens than metronidazole or zinc hyaluronate alone, but the combination of the two latter could provide similar effectiveness to amoxicillin. The applied mucoadhesive polymer may affect adhesivity, drug release through the swelling mechanism, and antimicrobial effect as well. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Parts Semantic Segmentation Aware Representation Learning for Person Re-Identification
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(6), 1239; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9061239 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Person re-identification is a typical computer vision problem which aims at matching pedestrians across disjoint camera views. It is challenging due to the misalignment of body parts caused by pose variations, background clutter, detection errors, camera point of view variation, different accessories and [...] Read more.
Person re-identification is a typical computer vision problem which aims at matching pedestrians across disjoint camera views. It is challenging due to the misalignment of body parts caused by pose variations, background clutter, detection errors, camera point of view variation, different accessories and occlusion. In this paper, we propose a person re-identification network which fuses global and local features, to deal with part misalignment problem. The network is a four-branch convolutional neural network (CNN) which learns global person appearance and local features of three human body parts respectively. Local patches, including the head, torso and lower body, are segmented by using a U_Net semantic segmentation CNN architecture. All four feature maps are then concatenated and fused to represent a person image. We propose a DropParts method to solve the parts missing problem, with which the local features are weighed according to the number of parts found by semantic segmentation. Since three body parts are well aligned, the approach significantly improves person re-identification. Experiments on the standard benchmark datasets, such as Market1501, CUHK03 and DukeMTMC-reID datasets, show the effectiveness of our proposed pipeline. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Upregulated Autophagy in Calcific Aortic Valve Stenosis Confers Protection of Valvular Interstitial Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(6), 1486; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061486 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Autophagy serves as a cell survival mechanism which becomes dysregulated under pathological conditions and aging. Aortic valve thickening and calcification causing left ventricular outflow obstruction is known as calcific aortic valve stenosis (CAVS). CAVS is a chronic and progressive disease which increases in [...] Read more.
Autophagy serves as a cell survival mechanism which becomes dysregulated under pathological conditions and aging. Aortic valve thickening and calcification causing left ventricular outflow obstruction is known as calcific aortic valve stenosis (CAVS). CAVS is a chronic and progressive disease which increases in incidence and severity with age. Currently, no medical treatment exists for CAVS, and the role of autophagy in the disease remains largely unexplored. To further understand the role of autophagy in the progression of CAVS, we analyzed expression of key autophagy genes in healthy, thickened, and calcified valve tissue from 55 patients, and compared them with nine patients without significant CAVS, undergoing surgery for aortic regurgitation (AR). This revealed a upregulation in autophagy exclusively in the calcified tissue of CAVS patients. This difference in autophagy between CAVS and AR was explored by LC3 lipidation in valvular interstitial cells (VICs), revealing an upregulation in autophagic flux in CAVS patients. Inhibition of autophagy by bafilomycin-A1 led to a decrease in VIC survival. Finally, treatment of VICs with high phosphate led to an increase in autophagic activity. In conclusion, our data suggests that autophagy is upregulated in the calcified tissue of CAVS, serving as a compensatory and pro-survival mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessOpinion
Microbe-Host Communication by Small RNAs in Extracellular Vesicles: Vehicles for Transkingdom RNA Transportation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(6), 1487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061487 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are evolutionary well-conserved nano-sized membranous vesicles that are secreted by both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Recently, they have gained great attention for their proposed roles in cell-to-cell communication, and as biomarkers for human disease. In particular, small RNAs (sRNAs) contained [...] Read more.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are evolutionary well-conserved nano-sized membranous vesicles that are secreted by both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Recently, they have gained great attention for their proposed roles in cell-to-cell communication, and as biomarkers for human disease. In particular, small RNAs (sRNAs) contained within EVs have been considered as candidate interspecies-communication molecules, due to their demonstrated capacity to modulate gene expression in multiple cell types and species. While research into this field is in its infancy, elucidating the mechanisms that underlie host–microbe interactions and communications promises to impact many fields of biological research, including human health and medicine. Thus, this review discussed the results of recent studies that have examined the ways in which EVs and sRNAs mediate ‘microbe–host’ and ‘host–microbe’ interspecies communication. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Learning or Relaxing: How Do Challenge Stressors Stimulate Employee Creativity?
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1779; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061779 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
As important situational factors in the workplace, challenge stressors play an important role in stimulating employee creativity. This study used self-efficacy and emotional exhaustion as intervening processes to delve into the impact of promotion and depletion mechanisms of challenge stressors on employee creativity. [...] Read more.
As important situational factors in the workplace, challenge stressors play an important role in stimulating employee creativity. This study used self-efficacy and emotional exhaustion as intervening processes to delve into the impact of promotion and depletion mechanisms of challenge stressors on employee creativity. According to the theory of resource conservation, the study explores the moderating effect of learning and relaxing at work on the promotion and depletion mechanisms of challenge stressors. Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis was conducted to analyze the effect of a combination of factors on employee creativity. A total of 240 valid paired-samples were collected from employees of three enterprises in information technology, finance, and evaluation services industries. This study drew the following conclusions. Challenge stressors have a direct positive effect on employee creativity, self-efficacy and emotional exhaustion have partial mediating effects on the relationship between challenge stressors and employee creativity, learning positively moderates the relationship between challenge stressors and self-efficacy, and qualitative comparative analysis reveals three configurations that improve employee creativity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Perceived Corporate Social Responsibility on Frontline Employee’s Emotional Labor Strategies
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1780; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061780 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study explores the relationship between corporate social responsibility and emotional labor strategies of frontline employees. In particular, the research focuses on the impact of perceived motives of corporate social responsibility on the cynicism, authenticity, and subsequently, the effect of cynicism and authenticity [...] Read more.
This study explores the relationship between corporate social responsibility and emotional labor strategies of frontline employees. In particular, the research focuses on the impact of perceived motives of corporate social responsibility on the cynicism, authenticity, and subsequently, the effect of cynicism and authenticity on surface acting and deep acting of frontline employees. Based on the online survey of 258 frontline employees in South Korea and structural equation modeling of the data, the findings show that the selfish motives of corporate social responsibility (CSR) increase cynicism whereas the altruistic motives of corporate social responsibility increase authenticity and decrease cynicism of frontline employees. In addition, this study reveals that CSR-cynicism leads to surface acting and reduces deep acting whereas CSR-authenticity increases deep acting and does not significantly affect surface acting of frontline employees. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bending Properties of Mg Alloy Tailored Arc-Heat-Treated Blanks
Materials 2019, 12(6), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12060977 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Tailored heat-treated blank is a special kind of sheet, and the plastic forming ability can be improved. In this work, the poor room-temperature plasticity of a tailored magnesium alloy blank was address through arc heat treatment. The formability of the material was enhanced [...] Read more.
Tailored heat-treated blank is a special kind of sheet, and the plastic forming ability can be improved. In this work, the poor room-temperature plasticity of a tailored magnesium alloy blank was address through arc heat treatment. The formability of the material was enhanced through local modification with arc pretreatment. The plasticity of the tailored arc-heat-treated blank was verified through the V-bending test. The microstructure and mechanical properties of the blank were tested, and the mechanisms underlying its improved deformability were analyzed. The bendability of the blank first increased and then decreased as heat input increased. The maximum V-bending ability of the arc-heat-treated blank increased by 88% relative to that of the untreated blank. Although springback decreased under increasing heat input, the local strength and elastic modulus of the alloy blank were equivalent to those of the base metal. This result indicated that the springback resistance of the material did not improve. The back of the blank treated under the optimal parameters comprised heat-affected zones with good plasticity. Recrystallization and grain growth occurred in the heat-affected zones. The blank exhibited reduced hardness and improved malleability. When the heat input was further increased, however, a semi-melting zone formed on the lower surface of the blank. The formation of this zone resulted in the precipitation of intermetallic compounds from the crystal phase and increased the hardness of the blank. It also decreased the plasticity and malleability of the blank. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Ceramic Conductors
Crystals 2019, 9(3), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9030173 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
For more than 4000 years, mankind has used and developed ceramics [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Systematic Mapping of Scientific Production on Open Innovation (2015–2018): Opportunities for Sustainable Training Environments
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1781; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061781 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Open innovation presents data that may be of value for future research and empirical studies in sustainable training environments. This paper aims to analyze the evidence published in the last three years (2015–2018) regarding open innovation, in order to identify the publications on [...] Read more.
Open innovation presents data that may be of value for future research and empirical studies in sustainable training environments. This paper aims to analyze the evidence published in the last three years (2015–2018) regarding open innovation, in order to identify the publications on the subject that may contribute to other studies or practical experiences. The systematic mapping method was used, reviewing 104 articles published from January 2015 to September 2018, which included studies on open innovation that were published in two databases—Web of Science (WOS) and Scopus. Inclusion, exclusion and quality criteria were applied in order to obtain the most relevant information. Findings show the type of methodology used, the most cited articles, the journals where they were published, the geographical distribution of the authors, the area of influence, contexts of application and the topics addressed. This paper provides value to assess progress, identify challenges and contexts of less influence, as well as to establish a database of scientific studies as support for future research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Are the Motives for Food Choices Different in Orthorexia Nervosa and Healthy Orthorexia?
Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11030697 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Recent research points to the bidimensional nature of orthorexia, with one dimension related to interest in healthy eating (healthy orthorexia) and another dimension related to a pathological preoccupation with eating healthily (orthorexia nervosa). Research was needed to provide further support for this differentiation. [...] Read more.
Recent research points to the bidimensional nature of orthorexia, with one dimension related to interest in healthy eating (healthy orthorexia) and another dimension related to a pathological preoccupation with eating healthily (orthorexia nervosa). Research was needed to provide further support for this differentiation. We examined the food-choice motives related to both aspects of orthorexia. Participants were 460 students from a Spanish university who completed the Teruel Orthorexia Scale and the Food Choice Questionnaire. By means of structural equation modeling, we analyzed the relationship between orthorexia, food-choice motives, gender, body mass index, and age. The motives predicting food choices in orthorexia nervosa and healthy orthorexia were quite different. In the case of orthorexia nervosa, the main motive was weight control, with sensorial appeal and affect regulation also showing significant associations. For healthy orthorexia, the main motive was health content, with sensorial appeal and price also showing significant associations. This supports the hypothesis that orthorexia nervosa is associated with maladaptive eating behavior motived more by weight control than by health concerns. Full article
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