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Since ancient times, lubricants have been used to reduce friction and wear problems of mechanical systems. However, nowadays, there is a constant effort to improve their performance through additives so that they can accomplish properly in this modern world. In that sense, in this study, it was proposed the use of Poly(ε-Caprolactone) (PCL) as a biodegradable additive in Castor oil. The effect that this additive has on the tribological properties of AISI 4140 steel/Al2O3 tribosystem was analyzed. For this purpose, PCL was dissolved in Castor oil at 65 °C for 15 minutes. Later, once the lubricant formulations got into room temperature, friction tests were conducted with a ball-on-disk configuration. Several experiments were systematically carried out in order to study the factors that could influence the performance of the tribological system, for instance: additive concentration, velocity, temperature, and wear track radius. The kinetic friction coefficient was used to analyze the results as an output variable. The parameters in which the best friction behavior was observed were employed again to compare the efficiency of the polymeric additive by profoundly analyzing and comparing the wear response of the system. The PCL additive showed great results by decreasing friction up to 30% compared to the neat Castor oil. Nevertheless, as the opposite effect, this additive increased the steel wear to almost half an order of magnitude. Given the above, this investigation showed that, with further studies, Poly(ε-Caprolactone) could be used as an additive in vegetable oil-based lubricants for the improvement of friction performance.
This work presents a study about synthesis of polypyrrole films electrochemically doped with iodine by luminescent discharge plasma in aqueous sodium sulfate solution, and its structural, morphological and electrical characterization. The synthesis is carried out at atmospheric pressure with square pulse from -1.06 to 1.16 V for 120 minutes. Doping times of the films are 10, 30 and 50 minutes. The films have thicknesses of 6, 12.7, 20.32 and 25.4 μm, and linear growth trend according to the time exposure of their synthesis. The main chemical groups exhibited in the films are C-H, N-H and CH2I, which are characteristics of film doped with Iodine. The electrical conductivity calculated of polypyrrole films is in the range 10-5-10-3 S/cm, and its activation energy is between 0.052 and 1.77 eV.
Poly (methyl methacrylate)/hydroxyapatite (PMMA/HAp) nanocomposites with HAp nanoparticles content of 12 wt.% were obtained by free-radical polymerization synthesis. Three different concentrations of benzoyl peroxide (PBO) of 3, 6, and 12 wt.% were studied. The results showed that the concentration of PBO has an effect on the performance of composites. In particular, the nanocomposite with the highest concentration of PBO presented the best mechanical and tribological behavior, as well as the lowest values of water absorption and porosity percent.
The synthesis and antiprotozoal activity of some simple dialkyl pyrazole-3,5-dicarboxylates (compounds 2–6) and their sodium salts (pyrazolates) (compounds 7–9) against Trypanosoma cruzi, Leishmania infantum and Leishmania braziliensis are reported. In most cases the studied compounds showed, especially against the clinically significant amastigote forms, in vitro activities higher than those of the reference drugs (benznidazole for T. cruzi and glucantime for Leishmania spp.); furthermore, the low non-specific cytotoxicities against Vero cells and macrophages shown by these compounds led to good selectivity indexes, which are 8–72 times higher for T. cruzi amastigotes and 15–113 times higher for Leishmania spp. amastigotes than those of the respective reference drugs. The high efficiency of diethyl ester 3 and its sodium salt 8 against the mentioned protozoa was confirmed by further in vitro assays on infection rates and by an additional in vivo study in a murine model of acute and chronic Chagas disease. The inhibitory capacity of compounds 3 and 8 on the essential iron superoxide dismutase of the aforementioned parasites may be related to the observed anti-trypanosomatid activity. The low acute toxicity of compounds 3 and 8 in mice is also reported in this article.
This study aimed to examine the association between vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 biomarkers and plasma fatty acids in European adolescents. A subsample from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study with valid data on B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters, and all the other covariates used in the analyses such as BMI, Diet Quality Index, education of the mother and physical activity assessed by a questionnaire, was selected resulting in 674 cases (43 % males). B-vitamin biomarkers were measured by chromatography and immunoassay and fatty acids by enzymatic analyses. Linear mixed models elucidated the association between B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters (changes in fatty acid profiles according to change in 10 units of vitamin B biomarkers). DHA, EPA) and n-3 fatty acids showed positive associations with B-vitamin biomarkers, mainly with those corresponding to folate and vitamin B12. Contrarily, negative associations were found with n-6:n-3 ratio, trans-fatty acids and oleic:stearic ratio. With total homocysteine (tHcy), all the associations found with these parameters were opposite (for instance, an increase of 10 nmol/l in red blood cell folate or holotranscobalamin in females produces an increase of 15·85 µmol/l of EPA (P value <0·01), whereas an increase of 10 nmol/l of tHcy in males produces a decrease of 2·06 µmol/l of DHA (P value <0·05). Positive associations between B-vitamins and specific fatty acids might suggest underlying mechanisms between B-vitamins and CVD and it is worth the attention of public health policies.
The present study employs a linear global stability analysis to investigate buoyancy-induced flickering of axisymmetric laminar jet diffusion flames as a hydrodynamic global mode. The instability-driving interactions of the buoyancy force with the density differences induced by the chemical heat release are described in the infinitely fast reaction limit for unity Lewis numbers of the reactants. The analysis determines the critical conditions at the onset of the linear global instability as well as the Strouhal number of the associated oscillations in terms of the governing parameters of the problem. Marginal instability boundaries are delineated in the Froude number/Reynolds number plane for different fuel jet dilutions. The results of the global stability analysis are compared with direct numerical simulations of time-dependent axisymmetric jet flames and also with results of a local spatio-temporal stability analysis.
Influenza vaccination has been shown to be the most effective preventive strategy to reduce influenza-related morbidity and mortality in high-risk groups. Despite healthcare personnel (HCP) being considered part of such high-risk groups, their vaccination coverage is low in Europe. In January 2012, we distributed an 18-question survey regarding influenza vaccination to HCP at Gregorio Marañon Paediatric Hospital, in Madrid, Spain. After we documented that only ~30% of HCP were vaccinated an educational programme was implemented in October 2012 before the next influenza season. In January 2013, the same survey delivered again to all HCP documented a significant increase in vaccination rates (from 30% to 40%, P = 0·007) mainly among physicians and for patients' protection. In summary we found that a simple and inexpensive educational programme significantly improved the uptake of influenza vaccination in HCP in our centre. Nevertheless, vaccination rates remained low, and broader and updated campaigns are needed to overcome perception barriers.
RNA polymerase III (Pol III) synthesizes small RNA molecules that are essential for cell viability. Accurate initiation of transcription by Pol III requires general transcription factor TFIIIB, which is composed of three subunits: TFIIB-related factor BRF1, TATA-binding protein and BDP1. Here we report the molecular characterization of BRF1 in Trypanosoma brucei (TbBRF1), a parasitic protozoa that shows distinctive transcription characteristics. In silico analysis allowed the detection in TbBRF1 of the three conserved domains located in the N-terminal region of all BRF1 orthologues, namely a zinc ribbon motif and two cyclin repeats. Homology modelling suggested that, similarly to other BRF1 and TFIIB proteins, the TbBRF1 cyclin repeats show the characteristic structure of five α-helices per repeat, connected by a short random-coiled linker. As expected for a transcription factor, TbBRF1 was localized in the nucleus. Knock-down of TbBRF1 by RNA interference (RNAi) showed that this protein is essential for the viability of procyclic forms of T. brucei, since ablation of TbBRF1 led to growth arrest of the parasites. Nuclear run-on and quantitative real-time PCR analyses demonstrated that transcription of all the Pol III-dependent genes analysed was reduced, at different levels, after RNAi induction.
The in vitro leishmanicidal activity of a series of imidazole-containing phthalazine derivatives 1–4 was tested on Leishmania infantum, Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania donovani parasites, and their cytotoxicity on J774·2 macrophage cells was also measured. All compounds tested showed selectivity indexes higher than that of the reference drug glucantime for the three Leishmania species, and the less bulky monoalkylamino substituted derivatives 2 and 4 were clearly more effective than their bisalkylamino substituted counterparts 1 and 3. Both infection rate measures and ultrastructural alterations studies confirmed that 2 and 4 were highly leishmanicidal and induced extensive parasite cell damage. Modifications to the excretion products of parasites treated with 2 and 4 were also consistent with substantial cytoplasmic alterations. On the other hand, the most active compounds 2 and 4 were potent inhibitors of iron superoxide dismutase enzyme (Fe-SOD) in the three species considered, whereas their impact on human CuZn-SOD was low. Molecular modelling suggests that 2 and 4 could deactivate Fe-SOD due to a sterically favoured enhanced ability to interact with the H-bonding net that supports the antioxidant features of the enzyme.
The in vitro leishmanicidal activity and cytotoxicity of pyrazole-containing macrocyclic polyamines 1–4 was assayed on Leishmania infantum and Leishmania braziliensis species. Compounds 1–4 were more active and less toxic than glucantime and both infection rates and ultrastructural alterations confirmed that 1 and 2 were highly leishmanicidal and induced extensive parasite cell damage. Modifications in the excretion products of parasites treated with 1–3 were also consistent with substantial cytoplasm alterations. Compound 2 was highlighted as a potent inhibitor of Fe-SOD in both species, whereas its effect on human CuZn-SOD was poor. Molecular modelling suggested that 2 could deactivate Fe-SOD due to a sterically favoured enhanced ability to interact with the H-bonding net that supports the enzyme`s antioxidant features.
Sol-gel coatings show an excellent chemical stability, oxidation control and enhanced corrosion resistance for metal substrates. An organic-inorganic hybrid consisting of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and silica (SiO2) was successfully synthesized in the form of solution, by using 3-(trimethoxysilyl) propyl methacrylate (TMSPM) as a coupling agent and cohydrolyzed with tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) to afford chemical bondings to the forming silica networks by a sol-gel method. The as-synthesized hybrid material was subsequently characterized by Fourier Transformation infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. PMMA-SiO2 was applied as a protective film on hardness steel substrates by dip-coating. The thickness of the coating was 25 µm, while the roughness Ra = 0.6 µm. The wear and friction behavior of the coating on hardened steel (HS) was evaluated by a ball-on-disk test in dry conditions with a AISI steel ball as counterface applying 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 N normal loads. Friction coefficient values (µk) were in the range of 0.76 to 0.99, whereas the lowest wear rate (k) was observed at 6N with a value of 1.30x10-4 (mm3(Nm)-1).
The psychometric properties of a Binocular Rivalry (BR)-based test on a group of 159 participants (57 with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD) aged between 6 and 15 years are presented. Two factors, which explained 56.82% of the variance, were obtained by exploratory factor analysis: (a) Alternations and Duration of exclusive dominances, and (b) Decision time. Reliability was excellent (Cronbach’s α = .834 and .884). The ADHD group showed fewer alternations and longer duration of dominances and decision time than the control group. Correlations between measures of BR, IQ, working memory, and processing speed of the WISC-IV, and ADHD symptoms, assessed by parents and teachers, ranged between low and medium.
Epidemiological studies show that adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MD) increases longevity; however, few studies are restricted to Mediterranean populations or explore the effect of a MD pattern that directly incorporates olive oil. Therefore the relationship between adherence to the MD and mortality was studied within the the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Spain). The EPIC-Spain analysis included 40 622 participants (37·7 % males) aged 29–69 years who were recruited from five Spanish regions in 1992–1996. During a mean follow-up of 13·4 years, 1855 deaths were documented: 913 from cancer, 399 from CVD, 425 from other causes and 118 from unknown causes of death. Risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality was assessed according to the level of adherence to a relative MD (rMED) score, measured using an 18-unit scale incorporating nine selected dietary components. A high compared with a low rMED score was associated with a significant reduction in mortality from all causes (hazard ratio (HR) 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91), from CVD (HR 0·66; 95 % CI 0·49, 0·89), but not from overall cancer (HR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·75, 1·12). A 2-unit increase in rMED score was associated with a 6 % (P < 0·001) decreased risk of all-cause mortality. A high olive oil intake and moderate alcohol consumption contributed most to this association. In this Spanish cohort, following an olive oil-rich MD was related to a significant reduction in all-cause mortality, and reduced the risk of mortality from CVD. These results support the important role that the MD pattern has on reducing mortality in Mediterranean countries.
The different incidence rates of, and risk factors for, depression in different countries argue for the need to have a specific risk algorithm for each country or a supranational risk algorithm. We aimed to develop and validate a predictD-Spain risk algorithm (PSRA) for the onset of major depression and to compare the performance of the PSRA with the predictD-Europe risk algorithm (PERA) in Spanish primary care.
A prospective cohort study with evaluations at baseline, 6 and 12 months. We measured 39 known risk factors and used multi-level logistic regression and inverse probability weighting to build the PSRA. In Spain (4574), Chile (2133) and another five European countries (5184), 11 891 non-depressed adult primary care attendees formed our at-risk population. The main outcome was DSM-IV major depression (CIDI).
Six variables were patient characteristics or past events (sex, age, sex×age interaction, education, physical child abuse, and lifetime depression) and six were current status [Short Form 12 (SF-12) physical score, SF-12 mental score, dissatisfaction with unpaid work, number of serious problems in very close persons, dissatisfaction with living together at home, and taking medication for stress, anxiety or depression]. The C-index of the PSRA was 0.82 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79–0.84]. The Integrated Discrimination Improvement (IDI) was 0.0558 [standard error (s.e.)=0.0071, Zexp=7.88, p<0.0001] mainly due to the increase in sensitivity. Both the IDI and calibration plots showed that the PSRA functioned better than the PERA in Spain.
The PSRA included new variables and afforded an improved performance over the PERA for predicting the onset of major depression in Spain. However, the PERA is still the best option in other European countries.
The titanates MTiO3 ( M =; Ni,Co,Mn ) were prepared by a sol-gel method. The reaction between the metal solution and titanium butoxide leads to the formation of gels. The amorphous gels so obtained under different pH conditions, were calcined at temperatures between 750°C and 1200°C to obtain in some cases high purity, crystalline MTiO3 powders. The characterization of the samples was done by X-ray powder diffraction, differential thermal analysis (DTA), thermal gravimetry (TG) and BET surface measurements.
Aluminum-based composites prepared from pure Al powder and previously Cu metallized graphite are fabricated by a solid state route and are characterized by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy in order to follow their microstructural evolution. Composites are processed using powder metallurgy technique in order to obtain cylindrical samples to carry out mechanical testing. Microstructural and mechanical characterizations reveal that, by milling, a homogeneous dispersion of insoluble particles into the Al matrix is obtained; this produces an important improvement in hardness and strength with respect to an un-milled sample. Milling intensity and particle concentration have an important effect on the mechanical properties of the synthesized composites.
There is evidence that bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with significant neurocognitive deficits and this occurs in individuals with BD type I (BD I) and with BD type II (BD II). Only a few studies have focused on cognitive impairment in BD II. The aim of this study was to describe the pattern of cognitive impairment in patients with BD II, in order to identify specific cognitive deficits that distinguish BD II from BD I patients as well as from healthy subjects.
We performed a systematic review of the literature of neuropsychological studies of BD II published between 1980 and July 2009. Fourteen articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in this review.
Main cognitive deficits found in BD II include working memory and some measures of executive functions (inhibitory control) and approximately half of the studies also detected verbal memory impairment.
There are subtle differences between the two subtypes regarding cognition. This may suggest neurobiological differences between the two subgroups which will be helpful in order to determine cognitive endophenotypes in BD subtypes.