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(searched for: doi:10.3390/*)
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Published: 17 October 2019
by MDPI
Nutrients, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/nu11102494

Abstract: The purpose of this randomized, placebo-controlled, blind study was to investigate the effects of the drinkable nutraceutical ELASTEN® (QUIRIS Healthcare, Gütersloh, Germany) on skin aging and skin health. Drinking ampoules provides a blend of 2.5 g of collagen peptides, acerola fruit extract, vitamin C, zinc, biotin, and a native vitamin E complex. This controlled interventional trial was performed on 72 healthy women aged 35 years or older. They received either the food supplement (n = 36) or a placebo (n = 36) for twelve weeks. A skin assessment was carried out and based on objective validated methods, including corneometry (skin hydration), cutometry (elasticity), the use of silicon skin replicas with optical 3D phase-shift rapid in-vivo measurements (PRIMOS) (roughness), and skin sonography (density). The verum group was followed for an additional four weeks (without intake of the test product) to evaluate the sustainability of the changes induced by the intake of the test product. The test product significantly improved skin hydration, elasticity, roughness, and density. The differences between the verum group and the placebo group were statistically significant for all test parameters. These positive effects were substantially retained during the follow-up. The measured effects were fully consistent with the subjective assessments of the study participants. The nutraceutical was well tolerated.
Published: 17 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205747

Abstract: This research proposed a peer review system for the instruction of building information modeling (BIM). With the rapid growth of BIM technology, 3D modeling has become an essential skill for civil engineers. However, it is difficult for an engineer to gain 3D modeling skills through conventional lecture-based learning. The peer review approach has been recently introduced as an educational method and is widely utilized to promote learners’ active learning that is hard to teach using conventional approaches; however, no peer review system has been developed thus far for teaching 3D modeling. Therefore, this research developed a peer review system for 3D modeling courses and proposed guidelines for developing a peer review-based BIM course. Additionally, this study developed a web-based reviewing system, which allows the learner to review others’ works online. The system was implemented in an undergrad-level course for validation. The results revealed that using the peer review system for 3D modeling instruction can help learners to gain more detailed skills; it also allows learners to learn from others’ works. The system can also help the instructor to identify potential mistakes that the students may make while constructing the BIM model and to make continuous improvements for future courses.
Published: 17 October 2019
by MDPI
Education Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/educsci9040256

Abstract: This paper seeks to deconstruct the place of midwives as professionals using the novel interdisciplinary lens of the Place Model—an innovative analytical device which originated in education and has been previously applied to both teachers and teacher educators. The Place Model allows us to map the metaphorical professional landscape of the midwife and to consider how and where midwives are located in the combined context of two senses of place: in the sociological sense of public esteem and also the humanistic geography tradition of place as a cumulative process of professional learning. A range of exemplars will bring this map to life uncovering both the dystopias and potentially utopian places in which midwives find their various professional places in the world. The Model can be used to help student midwives to consider and take charge of their learning and status trajectories within the profession.
Published: 17 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205746

Abstract: Decisions on environmental issues are complex and multidimensional as they represent multiple interests and values. Nevertheless, the ability of participatory multi-criteria methodologies to deal with this kind of problem is widely acknowledged. Traditionally, multi-criteria methods have focused more on technical issues than on the representation of participants’ preferences. In participatory processes there are questions such as who establishes the mechanisms of participation, in what terms these processes are developed and who is going to participate, which are determining factors that have not been sufficiently studied in multi-criteria analysis. This paper, in order to shed light on this gap, aims to compare the creation of social preferences under two different participatory approaches. For this purpose, two different participatory approaches are compared. On the one hand, applying the social multi-criteria evaluation (SMCE) method, a deliberative process is developed following the principles of deliberative democracy. On the other hand, an aggregation process of individual preferences has been developed based on information collected through surveys. Both approaches have advantages as well as constraints. Our main finding is that the information obtained through the different participatory methods is different and complementary. Therefore, we can state that both participatory methods can be enriching assessment processes.
Published: 17 October 2019
by MDPI
Coatings, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/coatings9100674

Abstract: High-speed rotary bell atomization is the preeminent coating technique in the automotive industry. It is widely accepted that a narrow droplet size distribution and constant spray are necessary in order to guarantee uniform film thickness and high-quality appearance. This may be deteriorated by paint flow pulsations. So far, however, no studies exist regarding such fluctuations quantitatively for this type of atomizers. We fill this gap using image analysis of high-speed recordings close to the bell edge. We could show that the fundamental pulsation frequency increases linearly with rotational speed. A ratio of pulsation frequency and true rotational speed of about 3 was found, indicating that pulsations were initiated mainly by the three struts of the distributor disc. The coefficient of variation, i.e., the amplitude of fluctuation increased with decreasing liquid volume rate and rotational speed. Beyond that, we could show that the formation of droplets larger than 100 μm, which are assumed to cause paint defects, is promoted by the degree of fluctuation. These findings may stimulate development of bell cups showing less paint flow pulsations.
Published: 17 October 2019
by MDPI
Agronomy, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/agronomy9100647

Abstract: Laurel is a medicinally important plant and is known to the world for its essential oil. Turkey is the main market in the laurel leaf trade by sharing about 90% of the world trade. Here we made an effort to elucidate genetic diversity and population structure of 94 Turkish laurel genotypes collected from 26 provinces and four geographical regions using inter-primer binding site (iPBS) retrotransposon markers. A total of 13 most polymorphic primers were selected which yielded 195 total bands, of which 84.10% were found polymorphic. Mean polymorphism information content (PIC) was (0.361) and diversity indices including mean effective number of alleles (1.36), mean Shannon’s information index (0.35) and overall gene diversity (0.22) revealed the existence of sufficient amount of genetic diversity in the studied plant material. Most diversity was found in genotypes collected from the Mediterranean region. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that most of the variation (85%) in Turkish laurel germplasm is due to differences within populations. Model-based structure, principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) and neighbor-joining algorithms were found in agreement and clustered the studied germplasm according to their collection provinces and regions. This is a very first study exploring the genetic diversity and population structure of laurel germplasm using iPBS-retrotransposon marker system. We believe that information provided in this work will be helpful for the scientific community to take more interest in this forgotten but the medicinally important plant.
Published: 17 October 2019
by MDPI
Materials, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/ma12203393

Abstract: A quaternized cotton linter fiber (QCLF) based adsorbent for removal of phosphate was prepared by grafting glycidyl methacrylate onto cotton linter and subsequent ring-opening reaction of epoxy groups and further quaternization. The adsorption behavior of the QCLF for phosphate was evaluated in a batch and column experiment. The batch experiment demonstrated that the adsorption process followed pseudo-second-order kinetics with an R2 value of 0.9967, and the Langmuir model with R2 value of 0.9952. The theoretical maximum adsorption capacity reached 152.44 mg/g. The experimental data of the fixed-bed column were well fitted with the Thomas and Yoon–Nelson models, and the adsorption capacity of phosphate at 100 mg/L and flow rate 1 mL/min reached 141.58 mg/g. The saturated QCLF could be regenerated by eluting with 1 M HCl.
Published: 17 October 2019
by MDPI
Nutrients, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/nu11102495

Abstract: Background: Deterioration of liver function, or intestinal failure-associated liver disease, is often observed in long-term parenterally fed children. Fish oil-based intravenous lipids have been reported to play a role in the prevention and treatment of intestinal failure associated liver disease. Methods: This retrospective analysis included 40 pediatric patients, (20 male and 20 female), median age 38 months (range 1.5–200 months) on long-term (≥1 month) parenteral nutrition who received the parenteral mixtures containing a combination of a third-generation lipid emulsion and pure fish oil because of laboratory liver function abnormalities. The total dose of fish oil from both emulsions for each patient exceeded 0.5 g/kg/day. Data from visits in an outpatient clinic were retrospectively analyzed using the Wilcoxon test, Mann-Whitney test, and Spearman correlation test. Results: The median time of therapy was 149 days (range 28–418 days). There was a decrease of median total and direct (conjugated) bilirubin concentration from 22.23 µmol/L (range 3.42–243 µmol/L) to 10.26 µmol/L (range 3.42–180.58 µmol/L; p < 0.005) and 8.55 (range 1.71–212.04 µmol/L) to 6.84 µmol/L (range 1.71–150.48 µmol/L; p < 0.007) respectively. A significant decrease in median alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transferase was also observed. In 11 patients bilirubin concentrations increased or remained unchanged. When compared to the patients who responded to the combination therapy, the patients who did not respond received parenteral nutrition for a longer time prior to the start of the therapy (51 vs. 30 months; p < 0.05). Conclusions: The mixture of an intravenous lipid emulsion containing soybean oil, medium-chain triglycerides, olive oil, and fish oil with the addition of pure fish oil emulsion may be helpful in the treatment of liver complications in children on long-term parenteral nutrition.
Published: 17 October 2019
by MDPI
Brain Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/brainsci9100279

Abstract: Oxcarbazepine, an antiepileptic drug, has been reported to modulate voltage-dependent sodium channels, and it is commonly used in epilepsy treatment. In this study, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of oxcarbazepine in the hippocampus after transient ischemia in gerbils. Gerbils randomly received oxcarbazepine 100 or 200 mg/kg before and after transient ischemia. We examined its neuroprotective effect in the cornu ammonis 1 subfield of the gerbil hippocampus at 5 days after transient ischemia by using cresyl violet staining, neuronal nuclei immunohistochemistry and Fluoro-Jade B histofluorescence staining for neuroprotection, and by using glial fibrillary protein and ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 immunohistochemistry for reaction of astrocytes and microglia, respectively. Pre- and post-treatment with 200 mg/kg of oxcarbazepine, but not 100 mg/kg of oxcarbazepine, protected pyramidal neurons of the cornu ammonis 1 subfield from transient ischemic damage. In addition, pre- and post-treatment with oxcarbazepine (200 mg/kg) significantly ameliorated astrocytes and microglia activation in the ischemic cornu ammonis 1 subfield. In brief, our current results indicate that post-treatment as well as pre-treatment with 200 mg/kg of oxcarbazepine can protect neurons from ischemic insults via attenuation of the glia reaction.
Published: 17 October 2019
by MDPI
Molecules, Volume 24; doi:10.3390/molecules24203741

Abstract: Formation of the α-helical conformation in the poly-l-alanine (PA) sequence regions, subsequent structural transition to β-sheet during natural spinning, and presence of residual α-helices in Samia cynthia ricini (S. c. ricini) native silk fiber have been experimentally proven. However, the aggregation state of the residual α-helices, and their influence on the mechanical deformation behavior in native fiber remain unclear. Here we show that the α-helices form an ordered aggregation state with a hexagonal packing in the aqueous solution, some of which remain during natural spinning. X-ray scattering and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analyses revealed occurrence of a structural transition of the residual α-helices to the β-sheet structure, accompanied by disappearance of the plateau region in the force-strain curve, due to heat-treatment at ~220 °C. On the basis of X-ray scattering before and after tensile stretching of S. c. ricini native silk, a direct connection between the plateau region and the α-helix to β-sheet structural transition was confirmed. Our findings demonstrate the importance of the PA sequence regions in fiber structure formation and their influence on the tensile deformation behavior of S. c. ricini silk, features believed to be essentially similar in other saturniid silks. We strongly believe the residual ordered α-helices to be strategically and systematically designed by S. c. ricini silkworms to impart flexibility in native silk fiber. We anticipate that these knowledge forms a basis for fruitful strategies in the design and development of amino acid sequences for artificial silks with desired mechanical properties.
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