EISSN : 20763417
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 8,829
Latest articles in this journal
Applied Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/app9204299
Abstract:Liver-expressed antimicrobial peptides (LEAPs) are cysteine-containing cationic peptides. LEAP-1 and LEAP-2 are eight- and four-cysteine containing antimicrobial peptides found in humans, respectively. LEAP-1 is a widely known antibacterial peptide involved in the innate immunity of fish, but the roles of LEAP-1 and LEAP-2 in Antarctic fish species such as notothenioid and eelpout are still unknown. In the present study, we synthesized and characterized novel LEAPs with four and eight cysteine residues, derived from Antarctic notothenioid (Dissostichus mawsoni) and Antarctic eelpout (Lycodichthys dearborni). Circular dichroism spectroscopy of these peptides showed a typical β-sheet confirmation. The LEAPs were found to be bactericidal against gram-positive as well as gram-negative bacteria. In the SYTOX green uptake assay, LEAPs did not trigger any significant increase in fluorescence. LEAPs competitively bind to DNA and replace the ethidium bromide (EB) dye. To determine the effect of temperature on LEAPs, we evaluated the antibacterial activity against Listeria monocytogenes at 5, 15, 25, and 35 °C. The results showed that the antibacterial activity of LEAPs decreases with an increase in temperature. Taken together, our results suggest that novel LEAPs with four and eight cysteine residues are bactericidal, with the likely mode of action being DNA binding.
Applied Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/app9204300
Abstract:Previous investigations devoted to the optimization of nonspherical gold nanoparticles for photothermal therapy (PTT) encountered two issues, namely, the appropriate selection of objective functions and the processing of particle random orientations. In this study, these issues were resolved, and accurate optimization results were obtained for the three typical nonspherical gold nanoparticles (nanospheroid, nanocylinder, and nanorod) by using the T-matrix method. The dependence of the optimization results on the excitation wavelength and the refractive index of tissue was investigated. Regardless of the excitation wavelength and tissue type, gold nanospheroids were found to be the most effective therapeutic agents for PTT. The light absorption ability of optimized nanoparticles could be enhanced by using a laser with a longer wavelength. Finally, the design tolerance for the different sizes of nanoparticles was provided.
Applied Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/app9204272
Abstract:Product service system (PSS) is becoming a popular business model, where companies offer product based service to customers to realize steady recurring revenue. However, to provide PSS-based service to customers in reliable way, PSS need to be supplemented with a field repair kit onsite, in case of parts failure and PSS shutdown. The field repair kit consists of frequently used spare parts in multiple quantities. However, mismatch in spare parts type and quantities in the field repair kit will results in sub-par performance of PSS for both customer and company. In this paper, a case study involving industrial PSS repair kit optimization is presented. In the case study, the field repair kit for complex industrial printing system is cost optimized, while satisfying the system availability requirement, specified by the maintenance contract between the company and the customer. Key analysis steps and results are presented to offer insight into the PSS field repair kit optimization, offering useful references to industrial practitioners.
Applied Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/app9204274
Abstract:To achieve frequency regulation, energy-storage systems (ESSs) are systems that monitor and maintain the grid frequency. In South Korea, the total installed capacity of battery ESSs (BESSs) is 376 MW, and these have been employed to achieve frequency regulation since 2015. When the frequency of a power grid is input, accurately estimating the state of charge (SOC) of a battery is difficult because it charges or discharges quickly according to the frequency regulation algorithm. If the SOC of a battery cannot be estimated, the battery can be used in either a high SOC or low SOC. This makes the battery unstable and reduces the safety of the ESS system. Therefore, it is important to precisely estimate the SOC. This paper proposes a technique to estimate the SOC in the test pattern of a frequency regulation ESS using extended Kalman filters. In addition, unlike the conventional extended Kalman filter input with a fixed-error covariance, the SOC is estimated using an adaptive extended Kalman filter (AEKF) whose error covariance is updated according to the input data. Noise is likely to exist in the environment of frequency regulation ESSs, and this makes battery-state estimation more difficult. Therefore, significant noise has been added to the frequency regulation test pattern, and this study compares and verifies the estimation performance of the proposed AEKF and a conventional extended Kalman filter using measurement data with severe noise.
Applied Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/app9204271
Abstract:Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are extensively adopted in the applications of biotechnology and biomedicine. Their interactions with cell membranes are of great importance for understanding the toxicity of CNTs and the application of drug delivery. In this paper, we use atomic molecular dynamics simulations to study the permeation and orientation of pristine and functionalized CNTs in a lipid bilayer. Pristine CNT (PCNT) can readily permeate into the membrane and reside in the hydrophobic region without specific orientation. The insertion of PCNTs into the lipid bilayer is robust and independent on the lengths of PCNTs. Due to the presence of hydroxyl groups on both ends of the functionalized CNT (FCNT), FCNT prefers to stand upright in the lipid bilayer center. Compared with PCNT, FCNT is more suitable to be a bridge connecting the inner and outer lipid membrane. The inserted CNTs have no distinct effects on membrane structure. However, they may block the ion channels. In addition, preliminary explorations on the transport properties of CNTs show that the small hydrophobic molecule carbon dioxide can enter both PCNT and FCNT hollow channels. However, hydrophilic molecule urea is prone to penetrate the PCNT but finds it difficult to enter the FCNT. These results may provide new insights into the internalization of CNT in the lipid membrane and the transport properties of CNTs when embedded therein.
Applied Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/app9204270
Abstract:Piperine is the main compound present in black pepper, and is the carrier of its specific pungent taste, which is responsible for centuries of human dietary utilization and worldwide popularity as a food ingredient. Along with the application as a food ingredient and food preservative, it is used in traditional medicine for many purposes, which has in most cases been justified by modern scientific studies on its biological effects. It has been confirmed that piperine has many bioactive effects, such as antimicrobial action, as well as many physiological effects that can contribute to general human health, including immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, antimetastatic, antitumor, and many other activities. Clinical studies demonstrated remarkable antioxidant, antitumor, and drug availability-enhancing characteristics of this compound, together with immunomodulatory potential. All these facts point to the therapeutic potential of piperine and the need to incorporate this compound into general health-enhancing medical formulations, as well as into those that would be used as adjunctive therapy in order to enhance the bioavailability of various (chemo)therapeutic drugs.
Applied Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/app9204275
Abstract:With the escalating production of automobiles, energy efficiency and environmental friendliness have always been a major concern in the automotive industry. In order to effectively lower the energy consumption of a vehicle, it is essential to develop air-conditioning systems that can make good use of combustion waste heat. Ejector refrigeration systems have become increasingly popular for this purpose due to their energy efficiency and ability to recycle waste heat. In this article, the elements affecting the performance of a typical ejector refrigeration system have been explored using both experimental and numerical approaches. For the first time, the internal flow structure was characterized by means of comprehensive numerical simulations. In essence, three major sections of the steam ejector were investigated. Two energy processes and the shock-mixing layer were defined and analyzed. The results indicated that the length of the choking zone directly affects the entertainment ratio under different primary fluid temperature. The optimum enterainment ratio was achieved with 138 °C primary fluid temperature. The shock-mixing layer was greatly affected by secondary fluid temperature. With increasing of back pressure, the normal shock gradually shifted from the diffuser towards the throat, while the shock train length remains lunchanged.
Applied Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/app9204276
Abstract:The Single Shot MultiBox Detector (SSD) is one of the fastest algorithms in the current target detection field. It has achieved good results in target detection but there are problems such as poor extraction of features in shallow layers and loss of features in deep layers. In this paper, we propose an accurate and efficient target detection method, named Single Shot Object Detection with Feature Enhancement and Fusion (FFESSD), which is to enhance and exploit the shallow and deep features in the feature pyramid structure of the SSD algorithm. To achieve it we introduced the Feature Fusion Module and two Feature Enhancement Modules, and integrated them into the conventional structure of the SSD. Experimental results on the PASCAL VOC 2007 dataset demonstrated that FFESSD achieved 79.1% mean average precision (mAP) at the speed of 54.3 frame per second (FPS) with the input size 300 × 300, while FFESSD with a 512 × 512 sized input achieved 81.8% mAP at 30.2 FPS. The proposed network shows state-of-the-art mAP, which is better than the conventional SSD, Deconvolutional Single Shot Detector (DSSD), Feature-Fusion SSD (FSSD), and other advanced detectors. On extended experiment, the performance of FFESSD in fuzzy target detection was better than the conventional SSD.
Applied Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/app9204277
Abstract:Fracture properties are crucial for the applications of structural materials. The fracture behaviors of crystalline alloys have been systematically investigated and well understood. The fracture behaviors of metallic glasses (MGs) are quite different from that of conventional crystalline alloys and have drawn wide interests. Although a few reviews on the fracture and mechanical properties of metallic glasses have been published, an overview on how and why metallic glasses fall out of the scope of the conventional fracture mechanics is still needed. This article attempts to clarify the up-to-date understanding of the question. We review the fracture behaviors of metallic glasses with the related scientific issues including the mode I fracture, brittle fracture, super ductile fracture, impact toughness, and fatigue fracture behaviors. The complex fracture mechanism of MGs is further discussed from the perspectives of discontinuous stress/strain field, plastic zone, and fracture resistance, which deviate from the classic fracture mechanics in polycrystalline alloys. Due to the special deformation mechanism, metallic glasses show a high variability in fracture toughness and other mechanical properties. The outlook presented by this review could help the further studies of metallic glasses. The review also identifies some key questions to be answered.
Applied Sciences, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/app9204278
Abstract:High-maneuvering target tracking is a focused application area in radar positioning and military defense systems, especially in three-dimensional space. However, using a traditional motion model and techniques expanded from general two-dimensional maneuvering target tracking may be inaccurate and impractical in some mission-critical systems. This paper proposes an adaptive sample-size unscented particle filter with partitioned sampling (PS-AUPF), which is used to track a three-dimensional, high-maneuvering target, combined with the CS-jerk model. In PS-AUPF, the partitioned sampling is introduced to improve the resampling and predicting process by decomposing motion space. At the same time, the adaptive sample size strategy is used to adjust the sample size adaptively in the tracking process, according to the initial parameters and the estimated state variance of each time step. Finally, the effectiveness of this method is validated by simulations, in which the sample size of each algorithm is set to the minimum required for the optimal accuracy, thus ensuring the reliability of the tracking results. The results have shown that the proposed PS-AUPF, with higher accuracy and lower computational complexity, performs better than other existing tracking methods in three-dimensional high-maneuvering target tracking scenarios.