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Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are well known for biomedical applications. The particle size, morphology, surface area, and functionalization are the key parameters that affect their bioactivity properties. Inline to this, the superparamagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles were prepared via chemical coprecipitation method with an average particle size of 6 ± 3 nm. The particles were surface-functionalized with chitosan and in-house prepared reduced graphene oxide (rGO) to obtain chitosan-coated Fe3O4 nanoparticles (C-Fe3O4) and rGO-Fe3O4 nanocomposites (G-Fe3O4), respectively. Upon functionalization, the physicochemical properties of the materials were characterized thoroughly using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, vibrating sample magnetometer, Raman Spectroscopy, and thermal gravimetric analysis. Furthermore, they have subjected to cytotoxicity assay, agar two-fold broth dilution test, and disc diffusion assay experiments for the determination of cytotoxicity and antibacterial activities. The effect of surface functionalization on their bioactivity was investigated thoroughly. The surface functionalization with chitosan and rGO has enhanced the bioactivity of the Fe3O4 nanoparticles.
In this paper, longitudinal and lateral-directional aerodynamic characterisation of the Cropped Delta Reflex Wing (CDRW) configuration–based unmanned aerial vehicle is carried out by means of full-scale static wind-tunnel tests followed by full-scale flight testing. A predecided set of longitudinal and lateral/directional manoeuvres is performed to acquire the respective flight data, using a dedicated onboard flight data acquisition system. The compatibility of the acquired dynamics is quantified, in terms of scale factors and biases of the measured variables, using Kinematic consistency check. Maximum likelihood (ML), least squares and newly emerging neural Gauss–Newton (NGN) methods were implemented for a wing-alone delta configuration, mainly to capture the dynamic derivatives for both longitudinal and lateral directional cases. Estimated damping and weak dynamic derivatives, which are in general challenging to capture for a wing alone configuration, are consistent using ML and NGN methods. Validation of the estimated parameters with aerodynamic model is performed by proof-of-match exercise and are presented therein.
A central and critical step in the molecular detection of soil-transmitted helminths from environmental sources is the extraction of DNA from the eggs. In this study, we investigated the yield of DNA extracted from known quantities (500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5) of Ascaris suum eggs, as well as directly from wastewater and sludge samples containing Ascaris spp. eggs, using six commercial DNA extraction kits. The amount of DNA extracted was quantified with NanoDrop, Qubit and Ct values from quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay using CFX96 Touch™ real-time PCR equipment. The PowerLyzer Ultraclean Microbial DNA isolation kit and PowerSoil DNA isolation kit gave the highest yield of DNA based on the NanoDrop, Qubit and Ct values. However, the qPCR results indicate that in some of the kits, PCR inhibitors may have been carried over to the PCR reaction. DNA extraction kits that incorporate a bead-beating step as well as other mechanical eggshell disruption steps were superior in extracting DNA from Ascaris spp. eggs. Additionally, for the accurate quantification of extracted DNA, the use of Ct values from qPCR and Qubit readings gives better results compared to the NanoDrop readings. For efficient downstream applications, the use of DNA extraction kits with superior inhibitor removal technology is essential, in addition to a high yield of DNA.
A field experiment was conducted to study the long-term effects of nutrient management practices on micronutrient concentrations in soil and their uptake by crops under a long-term rice–wheat cropping system. The treatments comprised different combinations of N, P, K, Zn and farm yard manure (FYM), used as nutrient management practices. After 25 years of continuous cropping, the higher grain yields and uptake of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) were obtained when FYM was applied along with mineral sources of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) when compared to mineral sources of NPK alone. The residual effect of FYM, applied to rice, on the yield of subsequent wheat was significant. The application of mineral NPK with FYM recorded higher diethylene triamine penta acetic acid extracted (DTPA)-Fe, Mn and Cu concentrations in the soil compared to any other treatment. The plots with Zn application showed higher DTPA-Zn concentration in the soil compared to any other treatments. The available Fe, Mn and Cu in the soil were higher than their critical limits and the soil was low in Zn where inorganic fertilizers were applied alone (without Zn). Integrated application of mineral NPK and FYM to the rice crop and mineral NPK to wheat was found to be the best nutrient management practice in producing higher yields of rice and wheat and improve long-term soil micronutrient concentrations.
A novel flexible radio frequency (RF) sensor is designed to facilitate the accurate testing of various samples used in the biomedical industry at the industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) frequency band. The proposed RF biosensor comprises a liquid channel-loaded interdigitated capacitor, which is integrated on a coplanar waveguide structure. The prototype of the sensor is fabricated on a 0.13 mm thin biodegradable polyethylene terephthalate polyester film to perform the testing of various bio-graded samples by recording the corresponding resonant frequency. It is observed that there is a noticeable change between the measured resonant frequencies of these samples, which primarily occurs due to the difference in their dielectric properties. The designed sensor was used to monitor and investigate the quality of glycerol, which is the most commonly used raw ingredient in the biomedical and food industry. The determination of glucose concentration in base fluids is considered to ease the challenges faced by doctors and biochemists regarding the monitoring of glucose concentration. It is found that the proposed sensor can quantify the glycerol purity up to the minimum specified adulteration level of 2 and 1% corresponding to toxic contaminants diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, respectively, and the glucose concentration of 0.5 mg/ml.
GaN films have been grown on SiC substrates with an AlN nucleation layer by using a metal organic chemical vapor deposition technique. Micro-cracking of the GaN films has been observed in some of the grown samples. In order to investigate the micro-cracking and microstructure, the samples have been studied using various characterization techniques such as optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The surface morphology of the AlN nucleation layer is related to the stress evolution in subsequent overgrown GaN epilayers. It is determined via TEM evidence that, if the AlN nucleation layer has a rough surface morphology, this leads to tensile stresses in the GaN films, which finally results in cracking. Raman spectroscopy results also suggest this, by showing the existence of considerable tensile residual stress in the AlN nucleation layer. Based on these various observations and results, conclusions or propositions relating to the microstructure are presented.
In this work, a new compact, low profile, frequency, and end-fire pattern reconfigurable antenna is presented. The proposed antenna consists of four parasitic elements and an electric-inductive-capacitive (ELC) resonator enclosed with a closed ring resonator (CRR). The reconfigurability in the proposed antenna is achieved with the help of five PIN diodes (D1–D5) embedded on the top surface of the substrate. The diode (D1) is implanted between ELC and CRR resonators for frequency reconfigurability. The other four diodes (D2–D5) are implanted between the ground plane and four parasitic elements to control the electrical length of the ground plane to achieve pattern diversity. The ground plane and parasitic elements steer the primary omni-directional beam to bi-directional and uni-directional end-fire radiation at multiple frequencies. The proposed antenna exhibits multiband operation and end-fire pattern diversity depending upon the different states of PIN diodes. The overall size of the proposed antenna is 0.20λ0× 0.17λ0× 0.009λ0, where λ0 is calculated at the lowest resonance frequency. The impedance bandwidth of the antenna ranges from 1.45 to 26.22%, while peak gain varies from 0.86 to 3.86 dBi depending upon the state of operation. The measured results are in agreement with the simulated results, which confirm the frequency and pattern diversity performance of the antenna. The proposed antenna can be used in back-to-back repeater systems.
The present study investigated if the presence of encircling granulosa cells protected against di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)-induced oxidative stress in rat oocytes cultured in vitro. Denuded oocytes and cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were treated with or without various doses of DEHP (0.0, 25.0, 50.0, 100, 200, 400 and 800 μM) in vitro. Morphological apoptotic changes, levels of oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential, and expression levels of apoptotic markers (Bcl2, Bax, cytochrome c) were analyzed. Our results showed that DEHP induced morphological apoptotic changes in a dose-dependent manner in denuded oocytes cultured in vitro. The effective dose of DEHP (400 µg) significantly (P>0.05) increased oxidative stress by elevating ROS levels and the mitochondrial membrane potential with higher mRNA expression and protein levels of apoptotic markers (Bax, cytochrome c). Encircling granulosa cells protected oocytes from DEHP-induced morphological changes, increased oxidative stress and ROS levels, as well as increased expression of apoptotic markers. Taken together our data suggested that encircling granulosa cells protected oocytes against DEHP-induced apoptosis and that the presence of granulosa cells could act positively towards the survival of oocytes under in vitro culture conditions and may be helpful during assisted reproductive technique programmes.
Biochar has received attention due to its potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration in soil and improving soil quality and crop productivity. This study evaluated the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB) and rice husk ash (RHA) each applied at 5 Mg ha−1 and four N levels (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha−1) on soil fertility, growth, and yield of rice and wheat for three consecutive rice–wheat rotations. RSB significantly increased electrical conductivity, dehydrogenase activity, and P and K contents when compared to control (no amendment) up to 7.5 cm soil depth. Both RSB and RHA did not influence shoot N concentration in wheat plant but significantly increased P and K concentrations at 60 days after sowing. Grain yields of both rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB as compared to control (no amendment) and RHA treatments. While the highest grain yields of rice and wheat were observed at 120 kg N ha−1 in RHA and no biochar-treated plots, a significant increase in grain yields was observed at 80 kg N ha−1 in RSB treatment, thereby saving 40 kg N ha−1 in each crop. Both agronomic and recovery N efficiencies in rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB-amended soil compared to control. Significant positive correlations were observed between soil N, P, and K concentrations and total N, P, and K concentrations in aboveground biomass of wheat at 60 days after sowing. This study showed the potential benefits of applying RSB for improving soil fertility and yields of rice and wheat in a rice–wheat system.
This paper presents the design and analysis of a miniaturized, coplanar waveguide-fed ultra-wideband monopole on-chip antenna with band-notch characteristics. By incorporating a “U”-shaped slot in the feedline, a band-notch is realized in the frequency range of 7.9–8.4 GHz to avoid interference from the X-band uplink satellite communication system. The proposed antenna achieved good voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) characteristics with VSWR value <2 for the frequency range of 2.5–20.1 GHz excluding the band-notched frequencies. The fractional bandwidth and bandwidth ratio are obtained as 156% and 8.04:1, respectively. Dominant factors that affect the center frequency and bandwidth of the notched band are thoroughly investigated. This paper addresses both frequency as well as time domain behavior of the proposed structure. Standard 675 µm thick, high resistive silicon substrate (ρ≥8 kΩ-cm, εr = 11.8, and tan δ = 0.01) is used to design the proposed compact antenna structure with a layout area of 8.5 × 11.5 mm2. Fabrication process steps along with simulated and measured data are presented here. A close analogy between simulated and measured data is observed.
Prematurity impacts myocardial development and may determine long-term outcomes. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that preterm neonates develop right ventricle dysfunction and adaptive remodelling by 32 weeks post-menstrual age that persists through 1 year corrected age.
Materials and Methods:
A subset of 80 preterm infants (born <29 weeks) was selected retrospectively from a prospectively enrolled cohort and measures of right ventricle systolic function and morphology by two-dimensional echocardiography were assessed at 32 weeks post-menstrual age and at 1 year of corrected age. Comparisons were made to 50 term infants at 1 month and 1 year of age. Sub-analyses were performed in preterm-born infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or pulmonary hypertension.
In both term and preterm infants, right ventricle function and morphology increased over the first year (p < 0.01). The magnitudes of right ventricle function measures were lower in preterm-born infants at each time period (p < 0.01 for all) and right ventricle morphology indices were wider in all preterm infants by 1 year corrected age, irrespective of lung disease. Measures of a) right ventricle function were further decreased and b) morphology increased through 1 year in preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or pulmonary hypertension (p < 0.01).
Preterm infants exhibit abnormal right ventricle performance with remodelling at 32 weeks post-menstrual age that persists through 1 year corrected age, suggesting a less developed intrinsic myocardial function response following preterm birth. The development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and pulmonary hypertension leave a further negative impact on right ventricle mechanics over the first year of age.
A single-centre, single-blinded prospective experimental study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of autologous platelet-rich plasma applied to the tonsillar bed post-operatively in reducing post-operative pain and haemorrhage.
Platelet-rich plasma, prepared prior to surgery, was applied with calcium gluconate to one randomly chosen tonsillar fossa. Pain and haemorrhage were analysed, using a visual analogue scale and a pre-defined grading scale respectively, four times on the day of surgery at 2-hourly intervals, and thrice on the following day.
The pain score and haemorrhage grade on the test side were lower than on the control side. These findings were statistically significant.
This pilot study, conducted in India, revealed valid positive results for a promising new technology. The manual preparation of platelet-rich plasma could be automated in the future to allow a larger sample size.
Introduction: Children diagnosed with medulloblastoma (MB) who are refractory to upfront therapy or experience recurrence have very poor prognoses. Although phase I and phase II trials exist, these treatments bear significant treatment-related morbidity and mortality. Methods: A retrospective review of children diagnosed with a recurrence of MB from 2002 to 2015 at McMaster University was undertaken. Results: Recurrent disease in 10 patients involved leptomeningeal dissemination, with 3 experiencing local recurrence. In three recurrent patients the disease significantly progressed, and the children were palliated. The remaining 10 children underwent some form of salvage therapy, including surgical re-resection, radiation, and chemotherapy, either in isolation or in varying combinations. Of the 13 children experiencing treatment-refractory or recurrent disease, 4 are currently alive with a median follow-up of 38.5 months (75.5 months). Of the eight patients with molecular subgrouping data, none of the Wnt MB experienced recurrence. Conclusion: Recurrent MB carried a poor prognosis with a 5-year overall survival (OS) of 18.2% despite the administration of salvage therapy. The upfront therapy received, available treatment, and tolerability of the proposed salvage therapy resulted in significant heterogeneity in the treatment of our recurrent cohort.
Aberrant face emotion processing has been demonstrated in youth with and at a familial risk for bipolar and major depressive disorders. However, the neurobiological factors related to emotion processing that underlie resilience from youth-onset mood disorders are not well understood. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data during an implicit emotion processing task were collected at baseline from a sample of 50 youth, ages 8–17, who were healthy but also familially at high risk for either bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder, and 24 healthy controls with no family history of psychopathology (HCL). Participants were reevaluated 3 years later and classified into three groups for analysis: high-risk youth who converted to a psychiatric diagnosis (CVT; N = 23), high-risk youth who were resilient from developing any psychopathology (RES; N = 27), and HCL youth (N = 24) who remained healthy at follow-up. For happy > calm faces, the CVT and RES groups had significantly lower activation in the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL), while the RES group had lower activation in the right supramarginal gyrus. For fear > calm faces, the RES group had lower activation in the right precuneus and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) compared to the CVT group. Connectivity analyses revealed the RES group exhibited higher left IPL connectivity with visual cortical regions for happy > calm faces, and higher IFG connectivity with frontal, temporal, and limbic regions for fear > calm faces. These connectivities were correlated with improvements in prosocial behaviors and global functioning. Our findings suggest that differential activation and connectivity in the IPL, IFG, and precuneus in response to emotional stimuli may represent distinct resilience and risk markers for youth-onset mood disorders.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from 2014 to 2017 in 13 organised pig farms located in eight states of India (Northern, North-Eastern and Southern regions) to identify the risk factors, pathotype and antimicrobial resistance of Escherichia coli associated with pre- and post-weaning piglet diarrhoea. The data collected through questionnaire survey were used to identify the risk factors by univariable analysis, in which weaning status, season, altitude, ventilation in the shed, use of heater/cooler for temperature control in the sheds, feed type, water source, and use of disinfectant, were the potential risk factors. In logistic regression model, weaning and source of water were the significant risk factors. The piglet diarrhoea prevalence was almost similar across the regions. Of the 909 faecal samples collected (North – 310, North-East – 194 and South – 405) for isolation of E. coli, pathotyping and antibiotic screening, 531 E. coli were isolated in MacConkey agar added with cefotaxime, where 345 isolates were extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producers and were positive for blaCTX-M-1 (n = 147), bla TEM (n = 151), qnrA (n = 98), qnrB (n = 116), qnrS (n = 53), tetA (n = 46), tetB (n = 48) and sul1 (n = 54) genes. Multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) index revealed that 14 (2.64%) isolates had MAR index of 1. On the virulence screening of E. coli, 174 isolates harboured alone or combination of Stx1, Stx2, eaeA, hlyA genes. The isolates from diarrhoeic and post-weaning samples harboured higher number of virulence genes than non-diarrhoeic and pre-weaning. Alleviating the risk factors might reduce the piglet diarrhoea cases. The presence of multidrug-resistant and ESBL-producing pathogenic E. coli in piglets appears a public health concern.
International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 355 drilled Sites U1456 and U1457 in Laxmi Basin (eastern Arabian Sea) to document the impact of the South Asian monsoon on weathering and erosion of the Himalaya. We revised the chronostratigraphic framework for these sites using a combination of biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy and strontium isotope stratigraphy. The sedimentary section at the two sites is similar and we divided it into six units bounded by unconformities or emplaced as a mass-transport deposit (MTD). Unit 1 underlies the MTD, and is of early–middle Miocene age at Site U1456 and early Paleocene age at Site U1457. An unconformity (U1) created by emplacement of the MTD (unit 2) during the late Miocene Epoch (at c. 9.83–9.69 Ma) separates units 1 and 2 and is identified by a marked change in lithology. Unit 3 consists of hemipelagic sediment with thin interbeds of graded sandstone of late Miocene age, separated from unit 4 by a second unconformity (U2) of 0.5–0.9 Myr duration. Unit 4 consists of upper Miocene interbedded mudstone and sandstone and hemipelagic chalk deposited between c. 8 and 6 Ma. A c. 1.4–1.6 Myr hiatus (U3) encompasses the Miocene–Pliocene boundary and separates unit 4 from unit 5. Unit 5 includes upper Pliocene – lower Pleistocene siliciclastic sediment that is separated from unit 6 by a c. 0.45 Myr hiatus (U4) in the lower Pleistocene sediments. Unit 6 includes a thick package of rapidly deposited Pleistocene sand and mud overlain by predominantly hemipelagic sediment deposited since c. 1.2 Ma.
We report evolution of the surface and wetting behavior of Barium fluoride (BaF2) thin films under the effect of swift heavy ion (SHI) irradiation at different fluences. The analogy of this study may be used may be used for the development of dust resistant fabric technology for rural area. The ion irradiation has been performed at normal incidence on the films with Au ions having 100 MeV energy. Further, the wettability of irradiated surfaces is studied through contact angle of water droplet. The value of contact angle of droplet changes with irradiation, it increases from 111° to 123° with the increase in fluence from 5×1011 to 1×1013 ions/cm2. The mechanism of wettability of BaF2 is explained on the basis of increase in contact area of water droplet with surface. SHI irradiation deposits a huge amount of energy in materials due to extreme electronic excitation and it causes a large increase in the temperature of material around the ion track. Ion beam irradiation leads to the large ejection of atoms from the surface which is one of the major factors in increasing the roughness of the surface and thus for the change in contact angle.
Nanoemulsion formulation of vitamin D3 have been shown to have better bioavailability than the coarse emulsion preparation in vitro and in vivo animal studies. In the absence of randomised trial in humans, comparing the efficacy of nanotechnology-based miscellised vitamin D3 over conventional vitamin D3, we undertook this study. A total of 180 healthy adults were randomised to receive either micellised (DePura, group A) or conventional vitamin D3 (Calcirol, group B) at a monthly dose of 60 000 IU (1500μg) for 6 months. The outcome parameters were serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), parathyroid hormone (PTH), Ca, phosphate, alkaline phosphatase and urinary Ca:creatinine ratio. A total of eighty-nine subjects in group A and seventy-seven in group B completed the trial. Subjects in both the groups had a significant increase in their serum 25(OH)D levels following supplementation (group A: 21·5 (sd 10·9) to 76·7 (sd 18·8) nmol/l (P<0·001); group B: 22·8 (sd 10·4) to 57·8 (sd 16·0) nmol/l (P<0·001)). Participants in micellised group had an additional increase of 20·2 (95 % CI 14·0, 26·4) nmol/l in serum 25(OH)D levels (P<0·001). The difference between the groups was 17·5 (95 % CI 11·8, 23·1) nmol/l, which remained statistically significant (P<0·001) even after adjustment for age and sex. Significant decline in mean serum PTH was observed in both the groups. No hypercalcaemia or hypercalciuria was noted. Although supplementation with both the preparations resulted in a significant rise in serum 25(OH)D levels, micellised vitamin D3 appeared to be more efficacious in achieving higher levels of serum 25(OH)D.
A cross-sectional study on six dairy farms was conducted to ascertain the occurrence of carbapenem-resistant Escherichia coli in calves. Two-hundred and seventy-nine isolates of E. coli were recovered from 90 faecal samples from apparently healthy (45) and diarrhoeal (45) calves. The isolates were screened for phenotypic susceptibility to carbapenems and production of metallo β-lactamase, as well as five carbapenemase resistance genes by PCR, and overexpression of efflux pumps. Eighty-one isolates (29.03%) were resistant to at least one of three carbapenem antibiotics [meropenem (23.30%), imipenem (2.15%) and ertapenem (1.43%)], and one isolate was positive for the blaVIM gene which was located on an Incl1 plasmid of a novel sequence type (ST 297) by multilocus sequence typing. The majority (83.95%) of isolates had an active efflux pump. Calves housed on concrete floors were approximately seven times more likely to acquire meropenem-resistant isolates than those housed on earthen floors (95% CI 1.27–41.54). In India, carbapenem drugs are not used in food animal treatment, hence carbapenem-resistant strains in calves possibly originate from the natural environment or human contact and is of public health importance. To our knowledge, this is the first report of blaVIM carbapenemases gene in calves from India.
Chronic maxillary atelectasis is a rare and underdiagnosed condition in which there is a persistent and progressive decrease in maxillary sinus volume secondary to inward bowing of the antral walls. Chronic maxillary atelectasis is typically unilateral. Simultaneous bilateral chronic maxillary atelectasis is extremely uncommon.
A retrospective review was performed of patient data collected by the senior clinician over a three-year period (2015–2018). A comprehensive literature search was conducted to locate all documented cases of chronic maxillary atelectasis in English-language literature. Abstracts and full-text articles were reviewed.
Three patients presented with sinonasal symptoms. Imaging findings were consistent with bilateral chronic maxillary atelectasis. The literature review revealed at least nine other cases of bilateral chronic maxillary atelectasis. Management is typically via endoscopic middle meatus antrostomy.
Chronic maxillary atelectasis was initially defined as a unilateral disorder, but this description has been challenged by reports of bilateral cases. Further investigation is required to determine the aetiology and pathophysiology of the disease.