Latest Articles

Open AccessProceedings
Low Temperature and Resin Effects on the Mode I Interlaminar Fracture Toughness in Aeronautical Quality Polymer Composites
Proceedings 2018, 2(23), 1478; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2231478 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In the present research the fracture behavior in mode I under static loading of two aircraft quality composites materials has been analyzed at different test temperatures. The composites under study are made of the same unidirectional AS4 carbon fiber reinforcement and had different
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In the present research the fracture behavior in mode I under static loading of two aircraft quality composites materials has been analyzed at different test temperatures. The composites under study are made of the same unidirectional AS4 carbon fiber reinforcement and had different matrix of epoxy resin, one made of epoxy type 3501-6, and the other with epoxy type 8552 (modified to increase its toughness). Double cantilever beam (DCB) specimens were tested for different temperatures: 20 °C (room temperature), 0 °C, −30 °C and −60 °C, in order to simulate flight conditions. The results obtained from the static tests were analyzed using the Gompertz function. Full article
Open AccessProceedings
Fractographic Analysis of the Temperature Influence in the Mode I Fatigue Delamination of Carbon/Epoxy Composites
Proceedings 2018, 2(23), 1477; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2231477 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The present research shows a fractographic analysis, using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), based in previous experimental tests of the delamination under mode I fatigue loading for two aeronautical quality composite materials at different test temperatures (90, 20 and −60 °C) in order
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The present research shows a fractographic analysis, using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), based in previous experimental tests of the delamination under mode I fatigue loading for two aeronautical quality composite materials at different test temperatures (90, 20 and −60 °C) in order to analyze the matrix and temperature influence (flight conditions). The materials employed are composed of two different epoxy matrixes and the same unidirectional carbon fiber reinforcement. This study suggests a variable behavior depending on the temperature and the type of matrix used. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices about Zika among a University Community Located in an Endemic Zone in Mexico
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2548; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112548 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
To assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices about the Zika virus in both students and workers at the University of Veracruz, an online survey was conducted. The participants were divided into two groups: one according to sex, the other according to whether they
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To assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices about the Zika virus in both students and workers at the University of Veracruz, an online survey was conducted. The participants were divided into two groups: one according to sex, the other according to whether they were workers or students. Their answers were classified into knowledge, attitudes, and practices and they were rated as low, medium, and high. The results showed that knowledge about Zika prevailing among the university population is considered as medium in 79.4% of the study population. Most respondents know that the mosquito spreads the Zika virus (98.8%) and the clinical characteristics, while sexual transmission by the virus is little known (36.85%). Both the univariate analysis (OR (CI5) 0.227 (0.070–0.735), p = 0.013] and multivariate analysis (OR (CI95) 0.234 (0.071–778), p = 0.018] showed that belonging to the health sciences area is related to having a greater knowledge about Zika. Despite the existing knowledge, a low level of prevention practices prevails in the whole community (55%). A medium level of knowledge about Zika prevailed, while proper implementation of preventive measures for Zika is low, despite the fact that the state of Veracruz—the place where the University is located—is an endemic area. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Next Generation Sequencing-Based Molecular Marker Development: A Case Study in Betula Alnoides
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 2963; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112963 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Betula alnoides is a fast-growing valuable indigenous tree species with multiple uses in the tropical and warm subtropical regions in South-East Asia and southern China. It has been proved to be tetraploid in most parts of its distribution in China. In the present
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Betula alnoides is a fast-growing valuable indigenous tree species with multiple uses in the tropical and warm subtropical regions in South-East Asia and southern China. It has been proved to be tetraploid in most parts of its distribution in China. In the present study, next generation sequencing (NGS) technology was applied to develop numerous SSR markers for B. alnoides, and 64,376 contig sequences of 106,452 clean reads containing 164,357 candidate SSR loci were obtained. Among the derived SSR repeats, mono-nucleotide was the main type (77.05%), followed by di- (10.18%), tetra- (6.12%), tri- (3.56%), penta- (2.14%) and hexa-nucleotide (0.95%). The short nucleotide sequence repeats accounted for 90.79%. Among the 291 repeat motifs, AG/CT (46.33%) and AT/AT (44.15%) were the most common di-nucleotide repeats, while AAT/ATT (48.98%) was the most common tri-nucleotide repeats. A total of 2549 primer sets were designed from the identified putative SSR regions of which 900 were randomly selected for evaluation of amplification successfulness and detection of polymorphism if amplified successfully. Three hundred and ten polymorphic markers were obtained through testing with 24 individuals from B. alnoides natural forest in Jingxi County, Guangxi, China. The number of alleles (NA) of each marker ranged from 2 to 19 with a mean of 5.14. The observed (HO) and expected (HE) heterozygosities varied from 0.04 to 1.00 and 0.04 to 0.92 with their means being 0.64 and 0.57, respectively. Shannon-Wiener diversity index (I) ranged from 0.10 to 2.68 with a mean of 1.12. Cross-species transferability was further examined for 96 pairs of SSR primers randomly selected, and it was found that 48.96–84.38% of the primer pairs could successfully amplify each of six related Betula species. The obtained SSR markers can be used to study population genetics and molecular marker assisted breeding, particularly genome-wide association study of these species in the future. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Low Pt Alloyed Nanostructures for Fuel Cells Catalysts
Catalysts 2018, 8(11), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8110538 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Low-noble metal electrocatalysts are attracting massive attention for anode and cathode reactions in fuel cells. Pt transition metal alloy nanostructures have demonstrated their advantages in high performance low-noble metal electrocatalysts due to synergy effects. The basic of designing this type of catalysts lies
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Low-noble metal electrocatalysts are attracting massive attention for anode and cathode reactions in fuel cells. Pt transition metal alloy nanostructures have demonstrated their advantages in high performance low-noble metal electrocatalysts due to synergy effects. The basic of designing this type of catalysts lies in understanding structure-performance correlation at the atom and electron level. Herein, design threads of highly active and durable Pt transition metal alloy nanocatalysts are summarized, with highlighting their synthetic realization. Microscopic and electron structure characterization methods and their prospects will be introduced. Recent progress will be discussed in high active and durable Pt transition metal alloy nanocatalysts towards oxygen reduction and methanol oxidation, with their structure-performance correlations illustrated. Lastly, an outlook will be given on promises and challenges in future developing of Pt transition metal alloy nanostructures towards fuel cells catalysis uses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Efficient Bioemulsifier-Producing Bacillus subtilis UCP 0146 Isolated from Mangrove Sediments
Colloids Interfaces 2018, 2(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids2040058 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this work, we investigated the potential of Bacillus subtilis UCP 0146 in the bioconversion of a medium containing 100% cassava flour wastewater to obtain a bioemulsifier. The evaluation of the production was carried out by the emulsification index (IE24) and
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In this work, we investigated the potential of Bacillus subtilis UCP 0146 in the bioconversion of a medium containing 100% cassava flour wastewater to obtain a bioemulsifier. The evaluation of the production was carried out by the emulsification index (IE24) and the surface tension (ST). The ionic charge, stability (temperature, salinity, and pH measured by IE24 and viscosity), and ability to remove and disperse oil and textile dye were investigated. B. subtilis produced an anionic bioemulsifier in the medium containing 100% cassava wastewater under Condition 4 of the factorial design (inoculum 9% at a temperature of 35 °C and shaken at 100 rpm), and showed a surface tension of 39 mN/m, an IE24 of 95.2%, and a yield of 2.69 g·L−1. The bioemulsifier showed stability at different pH (2–8), temperatures (0–120 °C), and NaCl concentrations, a dispersion oil displacement area (ODA) test of 55.83 cm2, and a reduction of the viscosity of the burned engine oil (90.5 Cp). The bioemulsifier was able to remove petroleum (94.4%) and methylene blue azo dye (62.2%). The bioemulsifier and its synthesis from bacteria also emphasizes the role of surfactants in oil remediation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Parametric Analysis of a Spiraled Shell: Learning from Nature’s Adaptable Structures
Designs 2018, 2(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/designs2040046 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In our current building design philosophy, structural design is based on static predictions of the loads a building will need to withstand and the services it will need to provide. However, one study found that 60% of all buildings are demolished due to
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In our current building design philosophy, structural design is based on static predictions of the loads a building will need to withstand and the services it will need to provide. However, one study found that 60% of all buildings are demolished due to obsolescence. To combat our obsolescence-demolition culture, we turn to Nature for lessons about adaptable structural design. In this paper, we investigate the structural adaptability of the T. terebra spiraled turret shell through finite element modeling and parametric studies. The shell is able to change its structure over time to meet changing performance demands—a feat of adaptability that could transform our current infrastructure design. Modeling the shell’s growth process is an early and simple attempt at characterizing adaptability. As the mollusk deposits material overtime, its shell wall thickness changes, and its number of whorls increases. We designed parametric studies around these two modes of growth and investigated their effect on structural integrity and living convenience for the mollusk. By drawing parallels between the shell structure and human structures, we demonstrate connections between engineering challenges and Nature’s solutions. We encourage readers to consider biomimicry as a source of inspiration for their own quantitative studies for a more sustainable world. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of Advanced Demand Side Management for Microgrid Incorporating Demand Response and Home Energy Management System
Infrastructures 2018, 3(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3040050 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
To facilitate the possible technology and demand changes in a renewable-energy dominated future energy system, an integrated approach that involves Renewable Energy Sources (RES)-based generation, cutting-edge communication strategies, and advanced Demand Side Management (DSM) is essential. A Home Energy Management System (HEMS) with
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To facilitate the possible technology and demand changes in a renewable-energy dominated future energy system, an integrated approach that involves Renewable Energy Sources (RES)-based generation, cutting-edge communication strategies, and advanced Demand Side Management (DSM) is essential. A Home Energy Management System (HEMS) with integrated Demand Response (DR) programs is able to perform optimal coordination and scheduling of various smart appliances. This paper develops an advanced DSM framework for microgrids, which encompasses modeling of a microgrid, inclusion of a smart HEMS comprising of smart load monitoring and an intelligent load controller, and finally, incorporation of a DR strategy to reduce peak demand and energy costs. Effectiveness of the proposed framework is assessed through a case study analysis, by investigation of DR opportunities and identification of energy savings for the developed model on a typical summer day in Western Australia. From the case study analysis, it is evident that a maximum amount of 2.95 kWh energy can be shifted to low demand periods, which provides a total daily energy savings of 3%. The total energy cost per day is AU$2.50 and AU$3.49 for a house with and without HEMS, respectively. Finally, maximum possible peak shaving, maximum shiftable energy, and maximum standby power losses and energy cost savings with or without HEMS have been calculated to identify the energy saving opportunities of the proposed strategy for a microgrid of 100 houses with solar, wind, and a back-up diesel generator in the generation side. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Biological Efficacy of Natural Products against Acute and Chronic Inflammatory Diseases in the Oral Region
Medicines 2018, 5(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5040122 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The oral inflammatory diseases are divided into two types: acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. In this review, we summarize the biological efficacy of herbal medicine, natural products, and their active ingredients against acute and chronic inflammatory diseases in the oral region, especially stomatitis
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The oral inflammatory diseases are divided into two types: acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. In this review, we summarize the biological efficacy of herbal medicine, natural products, and their active ingredients against acute and chronic inflammatory diseases in the oral region, especially stomatitis and periodontitis. We review the effects of herbal medicines and a biscoclaurin alkaloid preparation, cepharamthin, as a therapy against stomatitis, an acute inflammatory disease. We also summarize the effects of herbal medicines and natural products against periodontitis, a chronic inflammatory disease, and one of its clinical conditions, alveolar bone resorption. Recent studies show that several herbal medicines such as kakkonto and ninjinto reduce LPS-induced PGE2 production by human gingival fibroblasts. Among herbs constituting these herbal medicines, shokyo (Zingiberis Rhizoma) and kankyo (Zingiberis Processum Rhizoma) strongly reduce PGE2 production. Moreover, anti-osteoclast activity has been observed in some natural products with anti-inflammatory effects used against rheumatoid arthritis such as carotenoids, flavonoids, limonoids, and polyphenols. These herbal medicines and natural products could be useful for treating oral inflammatory diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biofilm Formation of a Polymer Brush Coating with Ionic Liquids Compared to a Polymer Brush Coating with a Non-Ionic Liquid
Coatings 2018, 8(11), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8110398 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
N,N-diethyl-N-(2-methancryloylethy)-N-methylammonium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide polymer (DEMM-TFSI) brush coated specimens (substrate: glasses) and a liquid ion type of polymer brush coating were investigated for their antifouling effect on biofilms. Biofilms were produced by two kinds of bacteria, E. coli and S. epidermidis. They were
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N,N-diethyl-N-(2-methancryloylethy)-N-methylammonium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide polymer (DEMM-TFSI) brush coated specimens (substrate: glasses) and a liquid ion type of polymer brush coating were investigated for their antifouling effect on biofilms. Biofilms were produced by two kinds of bacteria, E. coli and S. epidermidis. They were formed on specimens immersed into wells (of 12-well plates) that were filled with culture liquids and bacteria. The biofilm formation was observed. Also, brush coated specimens and glass substrates were investigated in the same way. DEMM polymer brush coated specimens formed more biofilm than PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) polymer brush coated specimens and glass substrates. A greater amount of polarized components of biofilms was also observed for DEMM polymer brush coated specimens. The polar characteristics could be attributed to the attraction capability of bacteria and biofilms on DEMM polymer brush coated specimens. When considering the ease of removing biofilms by washing it with water, the ionic liquid type polymer brush (coated specimens) could be used for antifouling applications. If an initial antifouling application is needed, then the polar characteristics could be adjusted (design of the components and concentrations of ionic liquids, etc.) to solve the problem. Full article
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