Medicines, Volume 6; doi:10.3390/medicines6030078
Abstract: Cancer is still a global challenge worldwide with a high impact not only on human health, causing morbidity and mortality, but also on economics
Catalysts, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/catal9070628
Abstract: A series of hierarchical H-MOR zeolites with different pore structure were designed and synthesized by alkaline and alkaline-acid post-synthesis methods. The catalytic performance of hierarchical H-MOR zeolite-supported vanadium oxide was investigated for dimethyl ether (DME) direct oxidation. Different pore structures apparently affect the distribution of oxidation product distribution, especially the selectivity of DMMx and CO. The formation of mesopores for 10%V2O5/deAlmm-H-MOR markedly improved the DMMx selectivity up to 78.2% from 60.0%, and more notably, CO selectivity dropped to zero compared to that of 10%V2O5/H-MOR. The hierarchical H-MOR zeolites were confirmed to be successfully prepared by the post-synthesis method. Due to the presence of mesoporous structure, the dispersion of vanadium oxide species was enhanced, which could improve the reducibility of vanadium oxide species and also make better contact with the acid sites of zeolite to exert the synergistic effect of the bifunctional active sites. More importantly, the creation of mesopores was proved to be favorable to the mass transfer of intermediate and products to avoid the occurrence of secondary reaction, which could effectively suppress the formation of by-products. This work is helpful for us to provide a novel insight to design the catalyst with suitable pore structure to effectively synthesize diesel fuel additives from DME direct oxidation.
Micromachines, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/mi10070491
Abstract: Hydrogen is one of the most important clean energy sources of the future. Because of its flammability, explosiveness, and flammability, it is important to develop a highly sensitive hydrogen sensor. Among many gas sensing materials, zinc oxide has excellent sensing properties and is therefore attracting attention. Effectively reducing the resistance of sensing materials and increasing the surface area of materials is an important issue to increase the sensitivity of gas sensing. Zinc oxide seed layers were prepared by atomic layer deposition (ALD) to facilitate the subsequent hydrothermal growth of ZnO nanorods. The nanorods are used as highly sensitive materials for sensing hydrogen due to their inherent properties as oxide semiconductors and their very high surface areas. The low resistance value of ALD-ZnO helps to transport electrons when sensing hydrogen gas and improves the sensitivity of hydrogen sensors. The large surface area of ZnO nanorods also provides lots of sites of gas adsorption which also increases the sensitivity of the hydrogen sensor. Our experimental results show that perfect crystallinity helped to reduce the electrical resistance of ALD-ZnO films. High areal nucleation density and sufficient inter-rod space were determining factors for efficient hydrogen sensing. The sensitivity increased with increasing hydrogen temperature, from 1.03 at 225 °C, to 1.32 at 380 °C after sensing 100 s in 10,000 ppm of hydrogen. We discuss in detail the properties of electrical conductivity, point defects, and crystal quality of ALD-ZnO films and their probable effects on the sensitivity of hydrogen sensing.
Nanomaterials, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/nano9071053
Abstract: In this study, inorganic silicon oxide (SiOx)/organic silicon (SiCxHy) stacked layers were deposited by a radio frequency inductively coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition system as a gas diffusion barrier for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). The effects of thicknesses of SiOx and SiCxHy layers on the water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) and residual stress were investigated to evaluate the encapsulation capability. The experimental results showed that the lowest WVTR and residual stress were obtained when the thicknesses of SiOx and SiCxHy were 300 and 30 nm, respectively. Finally, different numbers of stacked pairs of SiOx/SiCxHy were applied to OLED encapsulation. The OLED encapsulated with the six-pair SiOx/SiCxHy exhibited a low turn-on voltage and low series resistance, and device lifetime increased from 7 h to more than 2000 h.
Sensors, Volume 19; doi:10.3390/s19143233
Abstract: Amid the ever-accelerated development of wireless communication technology, we have become increasingly demanding for location-based service; thus, passive indoor positioning has gained widespread attention. Channel State Information (CSI), as it can provide more detailed and fine-grained information, has been followed by researchers. Existing indoor positioning methods, however, are vulnerable to the environment and thus fail to fully reflect all the position features, due to limited accuracy of the fingerprint. As a solution, a CSI-based passive indoor positioning method was proposed, Wavelet Domain Denoising (WDD) was adopted to deal with the collected CSI amplitude, and the CSI phase information was unwound and transformed linearly in the offline phase. The post-processed amplitude and phase were taken as fingerprint data to build a fingerprint database, correlating with reference point position information. Results of experimental data analyzed under two different environments show that the present method boasts lower positioning error and higher stability than similar methods and can offer decimeter-level positioning accuracy.
Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, Volume 4; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed4030110
Abstract: Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease affecting more than 250 million people, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. In Côte d’Ivoire both Schistosoma haematobium (causing urogenital schistosomiasis) and Schistosoma mansoni (causing intestinal schistosomiasis) co-exist. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of S. haematobium and S. mansoni and to identify risk factors among schoolchildren in the western and southern parts of Côte d’Ivoire. From January to April 2018, a cross-sectional study was carried out including 1187 schoolchildren aged 5–14 years. Urine samples were examined by a filtration method to identify and count S. haematobium eggs, while stool samples were subjected to duplicate Kato-Katz thick smears to quantify eggs of S. mansoni and soil-transmitted helminths. Data on sociodemographic, socioeconomic, and environmental factors were obtained using a pretested questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regression was employed to test for associations between variables. We found a prevalence of S. haematobium of 14.0% (166 of 1187 schoolchildren infected) and a prevalence of S. mansoni of 6.1% (66 of 1089 schoolchildren infected). In the southern part of Côte d’Ivoire, the prevalence of S. haematobium was 16.1% with a particularly high prevalence observed in Sikensi (35.6%), while S. mansoni was most prevalent in Agboville (11.2%). Swimming in open freshwater bodies was the main risk factor for S. haematobium infection (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 127.0, 95% confidence interval (CI): 25.0–634.0, p < 0.001). Fishing and washing clothes in open freshwater bodies were positively associated with S. haematobium and S. mansoni infection, respectively. Preventive chemotherapy using praziquantel should be combined with setting-specific information, education, and communication strategies in order to change children’s behavior, thus avoiding contact with unprotected open freshwater.
Antioxidants, Volume 8; doi:10.3390/antiox8070237
Abstract: The study investigated the accumulation of phenolic compounds and the antioxidant activity of extracts of various parts of R. crispus and R. obtusifolius, collected at the flowering stage and the fruiting stage. Half of the collected plants were divided into root, stem, leaves, and reproductive organs (inflorescence). The other half was used to study the vertical distribution of biologically active components and antioxidants throughout the plant. The samples were analyzed for total catechins content, total proanthocyanidins content, total phenolic content, and total antioxidant activity (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2’azinobis(3)ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS), and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays). All analyses were performed in four replicates. In general, a similar trend was observed in the distribution of phenolic compounds in the studied species. The maximum content of these secondary metabolites was noted in the reproductive organs, both in the flowering and fruiting period. Stems were characterized by a minimum content of the studied classes of substances. The antioxidant activity of the sorrels studied parts can be arranged in the following order: the generative part (flowers, seeds) > leaves > root > stem (for flowering and fruiting stages). It was found that parts of the root closer to the stem differed in higher activity.
Polymers, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/polym11071227
Abstract: The present work explores the possibility of chemically modifying carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), a widely diffused commercial cellulose ether, by grafting of hydrophobic moieties. Amidation of CMC, at high temperature and in heterogeneous conditions, was selected as synthetic tool for grafting on CMC a panel of commercially available amines (bearing long aliphatic chains, alkyl aromatic and heteroaromatic groups, more or less spaced from the cellulose backbone). The reaction was successfully carried out in absence of solvents, catalysts and coupling agents, providing a promising and more sustainable alternative to conventional amidation procedures. Relationships between the chemical structure of the obtained CMC derivatives and their thermal properties were carefully studied, with a particular attention to the thermal behavior. Grafting of aromatic and heteroaromatic alkyl amines, presenting a linear alkyl chain between CMC backbone and a terminal bulky moiety, allowed for efficiently separating the polysaccharide chains, improving their mobility and resulting in a consequent lowering of the glass transition temperature (Tg). The Tg values obtained (90–147 °C) were found to be closely dependent on both the size of the aliphatic spacer, the structure of the aromatic ring and the extent of amidation.
Cancers, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/cancers11071037
Abstract: Immune check point blockade therapy has revolutionized the standard of cancer treatment and is credited with producing remarkable tumor remissions and increase in overall survival. This unprecedented clinical success however is feasible for a limited number of cancer patients due to resistance occurring before or during a course of immunotherapy, which is often associated with activation of oncogenic signaling pathways, co-inhibitory checkpoints upregulation or expansion of immunosuppressive regulatory T-cells (Tregs) in the tumor microenviroment (TME). Targeted therapy aiming to inactivate a signaling pathway such as the Mitogen Activated Protein Kinases (MAPKs) has recently received a lot of attention due to emerging data from preclinical studies indicating synergy with immune checkpoint blockade therapy. The dimeric transcription factor complex Activator Protein-1 (AP-1) is a group of proteins involved in a wide array of cell processes and a critical regulator of nuclear gene expression during T-cell activation. It is also one of the downstream targets of the MAPK signaling cascade. In this review, we will attempt to unravel the roles of AP-1 in the regulation of anti-tumor immune responses, with a focus on the regulation of immune checkpoints and Tregs, seeking to extract useful insights for more efficacious immunotherapy.
Marine Drugs, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/md17070428
Abstract: Prostaglandins (PGs) are lipid mediators belonging to the eicosanoid family. PGs were first discovered in mammals where they are key players in a great variety of physiological and pathological processes, for instance muscle and blood vessel tone regulation, inflammation, signaling, hemostasis, reproduction, and sleep-wake regulation. These molecules have successively been discovered in lower organisms, including marine invertebrates in which they play similar roles to those in mammals, being involved in the control of oogenesis and spermatogenesis, ion transport, and defense. Prostaglandins have also been found in some marine macroalgae of the genera Gracilaria and Laminaria and very recently the PGs pathway has been identified for the first time in some species of marine microalgae. In this review we report on the occurrence of prostaglandins in the marine environment and discuss the anti-inflammatory role of these molecules.